All entries for Thursday 23 March 2006

March 23, 2006

Reasons to love the internet #22: Jacky and The Friendly Bicycle Shop

The Friendly Bicycle Shop

One of the more fabulous parts of a job developing distance and online learning resources for a major distance learning programme is that, every now and again, I have been able to travel to some fascinating parts of the world to run events for current students and to market the programme to prospective students. I was absolutely privileged to be able to visit Hong Kong recently and, with my work done, I had a day to myself before the flight home.

What better way to get a feel for the place and the landscape than to catch an early morning ferry to an outlying island, hire a mountain bike and take on a challenging coastal bike trail. I learned of the trails around Hong Kong from an elementary web search. Much more than that, however, I learned very quickly (from this article and this little advice piece) that I could rent a bike from The Friendly Bicycle Shop situated right beside the ferry pier at Mui Wo and about their very friendly owner Jacky. So, minutes after the ferry docks, I pull up at the shop, knowing where they are, what they can offer and the name of the guy who runs the place.

Jacky is the first person I meet in the shop. (That's Jacky in the centre of the picture, above.) I tell him about how I know about his shop. He's not aware of his 'internet fame', especially since, as he tells me, the shop's website had suffered an attack from hackers and it's offline at the moment. Jacky kits me out with a decent bike for 50 dollars and points me in the direction of the beginning of the trail. I cycle aroud the block to get used to the bike and the roads and pass two other bike hire shops, one of which is The Lucky Bicycle Shop, but neither of which had turned up in my searches.

So Jacky I salute you. Internet I love you, although neither of the articles I had read could have prepared me for just how thrilling and rocky the first section of that trail was. Perhaps this little post will add that additional information to the record (and give the Lucky Bicycle Shop a mention that might bag them some custom).


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