Friday, October 28th, 2016
The southwestern tip of the island is the toughest. I'm carrying the bike up and down the grades most of the time, only getting on the bike to coast for 10 meters at a time before I run into some unrideable obstacle around the next corner. I stop to wring out my cotton shirt... yes, wring out. I flew to Hong Kong with just a carry-on bag so my wardrobe is a bit lacking in preparation for these conditions, cotton shirts are definitely not what's required. While I'm at it the only other biker I'll see today pulls up, drops the bike, and heads off to the bushes; presumably to relieve himself. He's wearing a pained expression on his face and all he does is grunt when he walks by me. He reappears a few minutes later to wearily pick up his bike then continues on down the trail.
I make it back to the spot where the road had been blocked this morning; the firemen are gone and the road has been cleared. I've still got plenty of time so I head west again to the other side of the island. Even on pavement the grades are vicious. In Tai O I stop to drink a liter of water.
I ride diagonally back across the island towards Mui Wo, more tough grades but decent pavement.
I drop the bike off straight away in Mui Wo and get my $200 HK deposit back. Late lunch/early dinner at a restaurant then I duck into the bathroom to clean up and change into fresh clothes, I'm filthy.
I hop on the ferry and arrive in HK in time to rejoin the daily subway commute heading in the other direction towards Kowloon, just like I went and punched the clock for a day's work like everyone else. The only thing that distinguishes me are the scads of little burrs that have attached themselves all over my shoes. They don't want to come off...