Just a quick report of recent events here in Hong Kong…
1. Repairs to trailer hitch: Check
2. Meeting with legend local skaters: Check
3. Visa ready to be picked up: Check
4. Digital Camera handed in for repairs: Check
5. New skateboard wheels ordered from the US: Check
6. Interview with local newspaper: Check
1. The trailer hitch that was hastily designed and put together for me in the US had developed some issues recently. This is the first time that something like this has been developed for a skateboard, so unforseen issues were to be expected.
The tounge that attaches to my skateboard is made of aluminium, and the pin that goes through the tounge is stainless steel. With the continuous pulling action on the tounge by the pin, the hole in the soft aluminium tounge elongated, meaning that with each push I made, the trailer would jerk back and forth.
Rob Luxton, who is heavily involved in the interior and product design world in Hong Kong, took me to Lee Kam Fai’s metal working shop to see if something could be done to fix the problem. Lee Kam Fai took one look at the hitch setup and instantly came up with a workable solution:
Two stainless steel plates on either side of the aluminium plate. Seems to work well, and we’ll see how it lasts. I am concerned about losing the nuts though…they have spring washers attached, but they may still vibrate loose. I will have to try to find some nylock nuts or some Loctite.
2. I met with hkskateboarding.com founder and administrator Warren Stuart on Saturday after he read a post I had made on the forum asking about skate shops in Hong Kong. Warren is a bit of an institution in Hong Kong, involved in the skateboarding scene for many years.
Photo by 8Five2 Skate Shop, Hong Kong
We met at 8Five2 Skate Shop on the second floor of the United Success Commercial Center at 506-508 Jaffe Rd, Causeway Bay on Hong Kong Island. It is the only skate shop I know of in Hong Kong that sells good quality bearings (Bones Bearings). Warren and I went down to the Excelsior Hotel and he shouted me a quick meal of as-good-as-they-get-in-Hong-Kong fish and chips at an ex-pat bar. Thanks Warren!
Photo by Warren Stuart, Hong Kong
I took my entire longboard touring rig into town with me to show Warren. Mind you, skating through Hong Kong on a longboard is not ideal – too many people around.
3. I was supposed to go and pick up my visa for China on Friday, but got into Hong Kong central city and realised I had forgotten my receipt for collection. So that has been put off until Monday.
4. I had dropped my digital camera (again) about two months ago in Urumqi. The damage was not fatal, but meant that some of the buttons did not work. There is a Canon service center in Hong Kong, so I dropped the camera off to be fixed. The quote for repairs was steep: 2,100 HKD, or about 200 Euro. Still cheaper than a new camera, so I asked them to go ahead with the repair. Should be ready to pick up mid-next week.
5. On Monday I ordered some new wheels from Seismic, a skateboard company in the US. Those wheels should arrive mid-next week also. They are slightly smaller and slightly softer than the wheels I have now, so I am looking forward to seeing the difference, if any.
6. I have been interviewed by a major newspaper, the South China Morning Post, and will possibly have a feature story run about me. Thanks to Rob Luxton for setting this up!
Speaking of Rob Luxton, he’s posted his version of events, since I’m crashing at his place…http://www.chinawheelie.com/archive/2008/07/Rob%2DRob/
See towards the end of his blog post. Pity, I missed out on the bun festival.
Rob is living on Cheung Chau Island, and has the patience and tolerance of a saint. Big thanks to him for letting me share his space while I potter around Hong Kong!