Friendship, Camaraderie and a Passion for BMC Bikes… in Hong Kong
“Must be a friendly BMC bike owner that lives in Hong Kong” – that’s all you need to be a member of the Hong Kong BMC Bike Club. This cycling club, having around 100 members who are all keen BMC fans, has a mission to make cycling and the BMC brand more popular in the Hong Kong area. We caught up with some of the most enthusiastic riders in this Asian club to find out more about their club and riding in Hong Kong.
“Any BMC bike owner living in the Hong Kong area is welcome to join the club,” says Tony Ng, a club member. Formalities aren’t the most important thing.“Formalities aren’t the most important thing – the sport is, that and the absolute rule that members need to have at least one BMC bike,” he adds cheekily. In response to the question what role Tony has in the cycling club, he says: “I’m a member – just like everybody else!” The club has no president, no treasurer or secretary, all members are equal and no one has to pay a membership fee. The club feeling is really relaxing, none of the rides are obligatory – those who simply like to train with other cycling enthusiasts can join the rides.
History of Origins
I asked myself why there wasn’t a Facebook group of BMC riders like me in Hong Kong, so I decided to create my own.But how was the club formed? It all began with a young cycling enthusiast and his second-hand BMC Streetracer SSX01 in 2011. “I asked myself why there wasn’t a Facebook group of BMC riders like me in Hong Kong, so I decided to create my own, then I went to some cycling forums and started inviting BMC owners from Hong Kong to join,” explains Calvin Luk, the founder of the club.
Calvin isn’t the only cyclist with a BMC in Hong Kong, keen on riding with other BMC’ers. Just like him, a lot of people want to share their passion on cycling, and talk about bike tech and equipment. Little by little, the club began to grow and at the moment, it is 100 strong organizing several rides and training outings per week. The club often participates in local time-trial races and club members often meet for activities other than cycling; like the monthly club dinner and BBQs. Club member Henry says: “I made friends with many members of the club, I got fit and now I have real motivation to ride.”
Club members aren’t just passionate cyclists, but also keen BMC fans. “In my mind, BMC bikes are unique and simply stunning,” Calvin raves, “I like that the design is so simple. Together with the Swiss precision and attention to detail, it’s everything I need in a bicycle.”I like that BMC's design is so simple.
Tony is also delighted with his bicycles: “You can easily recognize a raw BMC carbon bike, even if there is no painting at all. It makes BMC stand apart from other brands.” Eric, a designer, says: “BMC is a clear commitment to a state-of-the-art design.”
It’s common sense amongst cyclists: the correct amount of bikes is n+1. A formula that the members of the club know very well: more than half of them own more than one BMC bike. “I’m riding an Impec and a Timemachine TM01 from the same year,” Tony says. Calvin rides a “wonderfully stiff” Impec and in keeping with the motto “n+1”, there is no end in sight: “I’d like to try every single BMC bike!” “BMC is a very ambitious company in the development of cycling,” Tony says and Eric agrees: “They at least dare to do something different.” Many club members got their bike from the local BMC dealer BullBike Bicycle Company, one of the largest cycling and triathlon equipment retailers in Hong Kong, or from 277 Bike, located in Tainan City, Taipei.
Different Riders, Different Goals
Everyone is welcome in the club: riders who like to take it easy and simply enjoy the ride, as well as riders who are constantly working on their form and like to take part in local races and duathlons. The club even has an active duathlete, Humphrey, who trains around 5 – 6 times per week and often gets Top 10 results in his age group in various local duathlon races.
I don’t want to lose the fun element of riding just because I push too hard during training.The club helps everyone achieve their individual goals. Some just want to get fitter; others, on the contrary, would like to win a Time Trial. Calvin comes straight to the point: “For me it’s more important to enjoy the time on the bike. I don’t want to lose the fun element of riding just because I push too hard during training. I don’t want to forget why I started riding.”
Those who were already in other cycling clubs describe the atmosphere in the Hong Kong BMC Bike Club as more relaxing and friendlier. The relationships between the riders are closer and they know each other better. “But the most important thing for me, is that I have made friends from all walks of life, which is very precious,” Tony explains.
Riding in Hong Kong
The club often heads out to the New Territories. This region is more or less rural and not like the concrete jungle that makes up most of the well-known parts of Hong Kong. Tony explains that they often ride the Bride’s Pool Road in the New Territories, the Disney Resort region on Lantau Island and the Castle Peak highway. From time to time, the club also rides other routes, e.g. Victoria Peak or Hong Kong’s highest mountain, Tai Mo Shan (957 meters above sea level).
The Data Freaks!
You won’t find only cycling-enthusiastic friends in the club; the members also learn a lot from each other. Tony talks about the rewards of his club membership: They've become real data freaks!“I learnt a lot from my club mates, be it cycling skills, knowledge about the equipment, or things like how to use a power meter.” When it comes to the power meter, the members can profit from the ‘King of the Power Meter’ – Eric Chan. Eric is one of the most experienced members of the club. “His knowledge about using a power meter for training is tremendous,” Tony raves. Now, almost half of the active members in the club train with a power meter and have training programs from the coaching platform Training Peaks. “They've become real data freaks!” laughs Eric.
Annual Mt Fuji Climb
Once a year, the club travels to Japan to climb the famous Mount Fuji. For many members, this is the highlight of the year. Eric says: “Without the team spirit, I wouldn’t have made it to the top.”
Team spirit – to support each other, not to leave somebody in the lurch – that’s a very important value in the Hong Kong BMC Bike Club. Another memorable moment was the participation in a local team time trial event, when, thanks to the support and motivation they gave each other, everybody finished. “Cycling taught me to never give up,” says Jonathan, another member of the Asian cycling club.
Cycling as a way of life
“For me, cycling is a reflection of a modern lifestyle, it relieves the stress of my daily life, I make new friends who are also cycling enthusiasts.” It soon becomes clear: in the Hong Kong BMC Bike Club, everyone finds what he seeks – cycling with friends.