body{background-attachment: fixed ! important; }

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

From Singapore With Love: Kaohsiung to Taipei

Chance Meeting With Some Industry Guys

Last night I was privileged to meet up for beers with Xuyun, a rider from Singapore and a regular reader.

Xuyun, who celebrated his 21st birthday with beers at the Early Bird, has come to Taiwan with the mission of riding the length of the island along the foothills from Kaohsiung to Taipei.

His plan entails riding mainly up the Highway 3, but with a detour in Ershui to the 137 and a side tour through Sanyi. Here is the route.

What is even more laudable is his youthful sense of adventure and an unstoppable drive to "Get Action".

Xuyun is not just riding his shaky folding bike across Taiwan for the challenge and the hardship.... Xuyun has plans to arrive in Taipei victorious, where he will then meet up with a girl and woo her with his tales from the road.

Friends and readers....

This is what living life and living youth is all about.

You only live once.

Cheers!

Xuyun

Good on ya!

Monday, April 25, 2011

From Mad To Normal: Expat Describes 20 Years Of Cycling Taiwan


In a wonderful feature for Travel In Taiwan, veteran traveler and cyclist, Mark Caltonhill lays out his 20 years of cycling Taiwan in a few short pages. Mark has seen cycling move from utility transportation to leisure sport in just a few short years.

Caltonhill's article is both informative and entertaining. My favorite section is his review of the bikes. Sadly, for Taiwan's bike retailers, touring bikes and mountain bikes are the same thing. You really don't need a heavy tourer, but a good, steel tourer with racks, long wheelbase and drop bars is hard to come by.

You can read the whole article HERE.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Thursday Night Fights (Video)


Each Thursday night I like to attack Dadu Shan, the hill overlooking Taichung City, and work a little on climbing and bike handling.

Some riders don't like riding in Taichung during the day, let alone at night.

I really enjoy it. With lights, you can see cars and drivers can better see you.

This particular route goes from Wu Chuan West Rd. to the Taichung Industrial Park, and then through the back door of the Tung-hai Market. I then cut across Taichung Harbor Rd. and hit Art/International Street, before coming down Xitun Rd. and back onto Wen Xin.

I normally complete the loop in just over 45min. but I was taking it easy and thus I thought I could get some video.

Sunny Day On The Miaoli Route 130

Old Building in Jhuo Lan

This Sunday was a big day for me as it was my first attempt at getting back into a solid ride schedule.

The original plan was for a short, but hilly, 50k around Nantou. Unfortunately, plans fell through and so I met up with Dominic A. to take advantage of some beautiful weather on a ride up the Highway 3 to Miaoli Route 130 and back. It seemed a little ambitious for me after my long rehabilitation with leg troubles, but I have been having some good results and decided to give it a try.

Jhuo Lan Market

I met Dom in Nantun Dist. and we slowly warmed up through the city before snakign our way out to the Hou-Feng bike trail. I abhor the trail, but it leads to a great back road that completely bypasses Dong Shih and goes right to the base of a little that separates Jhuo Lan from Dong Shih. The hill serves as a wake-up call for any rider as it is steep enough and long enough to make it a pain.
Dom Poses

We capped the hill and plunged into the wide Daan river valley before stopping in Jhuo Lan for the first coffee of the day. My legs were a bit out of shape, but workable and I wasn't feeling any discomfort. After coffee we made a brief spin through Jhuo Lan before climbing into Miaoli county.

Looking Out

The water level in the reservoir was looking depressingly low, so I didn't take any decent pictures, but the dive off the hill was an absolute thrill.


Looking At Low Water Levels

Ginger Is King

After a few more undulating hills we hit the turn-off to the Route 130. I was happy to get off the Highway 3 as it seems I was not made aware that it would be turned into an F1 motorcycle race way. I am sure those guys all get home and bitch about how they were pushed off the road by careless drivers.

Menace On The Roads

The Route 130 is quick with introductions and immediately starts at a 12% grade. No easing in or fore play on this hill. It just gets more and more vertical. I was trying to save my leg and working hard to push on a 39 to 27 gear choice after being so badly out of practice.

Another One Of Taiwan's Generous Strangers

As we made our ascent under the full heat of the sun, a random stranger on a scooter stopped us and invited us to share some freshly picked plums. The boost in blood sugar was welcome before continuing up the mountain.

Half Way On The 130

Although the weather was not its clearest, we could still look out over southern Miaoli.

Steep Enough?

The final third of the climb starts to get pretty rough and I was trying to ignore a growing "awareness" of my knee. It became clear to me that I might be over doing it.

Hey... This Isn't The Mile High Club!!!

Near the top we stopped for another coffee at the Mile High Cafe, which offers views and an assortment of cooked fat. My recommendation is to stick with the beverages. The wait staff is friendly and accommodating. They invited us to bring out bikes into the restaurant.

Crazy Man Pedals Folding Bike To Top


The Final Push

Soon, we were off again to make our final push to the top.

Ride To Eat

When we got there, a round rider with legs and a Pinarello Dogma accosted us and asked if he could take our picture. He then produced the biggest camera I have ever seen a cyclist carry and snapped a couple photos. His jersey was priceless. It read, "Ride To Eat."

Great Road

I was really looking forward to the descent. My bike felt like it was working telepathically as I flew through the corners. Then, just as I was settling into a thrilling set of switchbacks, a silver Honda Civic saw me coming and made a last minute jump into the road to get in front of me, where he promptly rode his brakes all the way down the hill with me firmly planted on his ass. It was soooooo stupid. "I better jump out and get in front of that bicycle because bikes are slow." Grrrrrrrrrr!!!!

Long-Tan

At the bottom of the hill we snaked through the freshly paved back roads and punchy little hills before a rest stop at the Long-tan Broken Bridge.

Dom At Bridge

My leg was beginning to bother me, but the pain strangely subsided when I increased my effort and stood on the pedals. The discomfort would come and go.

Heading Home

Before long, we were on our way to the Highway 13 into Houli and Fengyuan, before meeting back up with Taichung.

By the time I got home I was feeling a lot of discomfort, but not as bad as before. I think I will continue to massage and ride to get back to 100%.

It was a lot of fun riding with Dom today and I was glad to be there for his longest ride to date. We ended just over 100km.

No it is time to ice my knee and continue with my muscle work. Splendid ride with a wonderful bike and good people.

Cheap Bicycle Insurance

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sports Massage With A Happy Ending


Yesterday I went in for a complete massage to get my body back in riding shape. I have usually done my own massage, but this time I was ready for some professional help.

I was referred to a massage therapist named Lin Rong-han who had been treating my neighbor, a triathlete with a torn ACL. I figured I had nothing to lose and walked into the clinic in an alley off Mei Tsuen Rd. by the Blockbuster Video. There was nothing fancy and something alarmingly low key about this place, but I was committed to getting things put back in shape.

My masseuse quickly found my injuries and muscle problems. She worked on my IT bands and brutalized my hips. Each injury, both old and new, were pushed and knuckled into submission. She was not afraid to introduce me to new types of pain... and for a quality massage... that is a good thing.

I was told I have a higher tolerance for pain than most people, which I thought was pretty ok as a cyclist, but the masseuse was not as thrilled as it means I am more apt to over exert myself.

In the end, I felt better than I have in a long time. I was loose and my body was humming with a warm buzz. My leg was also in fine shape. I hope to go in for a few more treatments and then a monthly maintenance massage.

If you are looking for some body work check it out.

I am very happy with the result.

漢生堂/Han Sheng Tang
Mr. Lin Rong-han
No. 35, Alley 236 Mei Tsuen (Mei cun) Rd. Sec-1
Taichung City, West Dist.
Tel: 04-23016413
Full Body: NTD700/hr
--------------------------------

Links:

Great stuff from the weekend races.
Condolences:

The heir to the Ferrero Rocher confectioners fortune has died while cycling in South Africa. You may recognize the Ferrero Rocher chocolates as a staple 7-11 quality gift in Taiwan. I have a special spot in my heart for the company, which sells products for which I am deathly allergic... and always seem to arrive on my desk as "gifts" or veiled threats. Authorities speculate that Pietro Ferrero, a cycling enthusiast, may have suffered a fatal heart attack while he was riding. Sad.

Independent Bike Shops: Longmao-Bianchi in Shalu

Longmao-Bianchi Shop (CLOSED)
Manager: Tseng Mei-feng
Address: No. 605 Zhong Shan Rd.
Lufeng Neighborhood, Shalu Township
Greater Taichug (Taichung County)
Tel: 04-26655308
Email: longma0922@yahoo.com.tw



Last weekend I swung by a little bike shop along Zhong-shan Rd. in Shalu, along the coastal plain between Taichung City and Taichung Harbor. When I saw the Bianchi sign, I couldn't resist the Celeste coloring and popped in for a look.


The shop is managed by Ms. Tseng Mei-feng, who was eager to tell me about their store. Aside from bike related services, the shop sells several brands beside the obvious Bianchi label.

According to Ms. Tseng, their customers are mainly interested in a wide selection of Cannondale and Gary Fisher bikes, along with Stevens. I was interested to note the Gary Fisher bikes.

Gary Fisher made his name as a long-haired pioneer in Mountain Bikes, but the company was absorbed by Trek and has expanded into other types of rigs. One of my favorites is the Presidio, which was formerly sold as the Poprad under the LeMond label.

LeMond, was the company formed around Greg LeMond, the cycling legend, former World Champion and three time Tour de France winner. LeMond was bought out by Trek and lived as a Trek boutique brand until 2009, when Greg and Trek had a major falling out following LeMond's continued public accusations against Lance Armstrong and other riders sponsored by Trek. LeMond was forced to fold, but Gary Fisher picked up some of Lemond's road designs to add to their offerings. What I liked about the steel Poprad was its CX geometry with a low, road style bottom bracket for better road handling.

This little bike store had a full range of inexpensive Taiwanese brands as well. It is surely worth a look if you live near Shalu. I saw some pretty good values in the shop.

WebRep
currentVote
noRating
noWeight

Monday, April 18, 2011

The View From Kenting: Michael Concludes His Romp Through Southern Formosa


Michael concludes his Tour of Pingtung with some routes in and around Kenting. Although Kenting is known as the Palm Beach or Brighton of Taiwan, there are some really wonderful roads that wind around the peninsula. There are plenty of off-the-beaten-track adventures still to be had. Check out the full report and marvelous pictures HERE.

Hua-Dong Race (Video)

YouTube has been able to supply some great video from the Hua Dong race this past weekend. It is nice to see our local talent putting on a display.

The weather was mostly overcast for some ideal racing weather, but turned a little soggy for day 2.

Enjoy the sights:




Thursday, April 14, 2011

Weekend Racing, Riding, Reporting and Links!!!

This weekend will be the 2011 running of the Hualien -Taitung-Hualien 380km road race. There will also be an amateur race that is a mere 300km, along with a ride for weekend duffers who just want to enjoy the scenery. Good Luck!

In other racing news, the Taiwan Cultural Portal has a pretty detailed write-up of this year's Tour of Taiwan. Lots of stuff to read here beyond bikes.

July 3, The Taiwan Urban Athletic Association will hold its, Alishan Extreme Challenge, in which participants are required to pedal to 2100m above sea level amid Taiwan's awesome mountain peaks.

This contest is divided into two groups- self-challenge and athlete. Participants can not only challenge your strength but also appreciate the magnificent mountains. The contest also combines energy station, concept of safety timekeeping, TUAA finish commemorative cards, etc.

The concept of timekeeping means not to count the time, spent on downhill, for contestants’ safe sake. As for, energy station is for contestants to regain their strength and for audience to cheer up challengers.

Registration period is until May 16. Anyone must considerate his/ her physical condition before joins in the event and must take enough physical training! For further information, please visit the organizer’s website:
HERE
Alishan is a beautiful area to ride.

And Finally...

I took my Salsa in to switch out some of the stock parts with some old favorites and have a better fitting done. I switched out the Salsa Moto Ace Bell Lap bars for Deda Newtons, like my Seven. I switched the disc rotors between the Avid BB7 and the Shimano disc brakes. I will use the stock Salsa Delgado wheels as off-road/abuse wheels, while the custom built DT Swiss/Chris King wheels will be my standard touring/commuting wheel. Most importantly, I replaced the stock bottom bracket with the Shimano Ultegra bottom bracket, which was 1.5 times heavier. Not to be a weight weenie... but I brought the total weight (including pedals) down from 24lbs to about 22lbs. Note: Cheap bottom brackets are often the cause of mystery bike weight... if that matters to you. At 22lbs, I am not concerned. The bike is looking good and is a lot of fun to just ride around on.

---------------------------------------

Links:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Biking Michael In Pingtung Part III: Kenting

Be sure to visit The View From Taiwan for the third installment of Michael Turton's Kenting leg of his Tour of Pingtung. He has some really excellent pictures and commentary.

Also:


and

  • Bicycle Sidewalk shows off his awesome legs in an impressive report on his Hualien riding and Miaoli Triathlon results.

  • The Daily Bubble Tea explores the foothills and mountains leading up to the base of Alishan along the magnificent 149甲.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Rehab Ride #4: 20km to Daya and Back


For those of you who have been following my slow recovery from my leg injury, I am pleased to report that I have made great improvements over the past two weeks. Even since Sunday's ride I am feeling a lot better. I hope my ordeal can be helpful to others who may be suffering the same thing, or who don't want to suffer the physical pain and the pain of having to sit out while everyone else has all the fun.

My treatment regimen has been as follows:

1. Rest: I have spent very little time on the bike, concentrating on short, slow rides that simply get the muscles warmed up and balanced. I have been focusing on my pedal stroke and technique.

2. Stretching: Every day, several times a day, I find an opportunity to stretch my leg muscles. Anything from using the side of a desk or a wall to stretch my calves, or doing some standing IT band stretches.

3. Massage: A couple weeks ago I bought a tennis ball to help me with some massage. The tennis ball is hard enough to provide appropriate resistance, and the roundness can really concentrate on a smaller point on the muscle. The ball can be used as a roller along the IT band, or I can simply roll it up and down my muscles. I worked out a lot of the pain in my calf with this method.

4. Ice: Every day after the tennis ball massage, I have been icing my calf and knee. I will wrap the ice bags tightly around the trouble spots for 20 min. at a time under pressure while elevating the leg. Usually before bed, so I can avoid standing.

Last night I went for a short 20km ride out to Daya without pain. I was spinning on the small ring, but I was able to work between 40-70% of my potential power. For the first time I was able to really generate some speed and work out of the saddle, which is the hardest on my calves. My wife joined me on this ride to push me along the route.

It will still be a little while before I can start planning more ambitious projects beyond my backyard, but things are looking up.

And:

Here is one more Paris-Roubaix video that really shows why this is such a brutal race. Many of the riders use cyclocross bikes to better handle the conditions.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Roubaix Heroics, Miaoli Triathlon and Other Gold


Paris-Roubaix wrapped up last night and for the 109th time it lived up to its moniker, The Hell of the North, as the riders bludgeoned themselves and their equipment over nearly 260km of farm roads across the French and Belgian countryside.

This year's edition was won by the lesser known Belgian rider, Johann Vansummeren, from the Garmin-Cervelo squad. Vamsummeren held a lead all day through the uncharacteristic heat of the day, which saw the peloton kick up a thick, yellow dust that wrecked havoc on both riders and their equipment.

Many of the race favorites were taken out of the race by mechanical failures and by the seemingly random crashes that dotted the route.

The race's greatest punishment seemed to have been taken out on Tom Boonen and his powerful Quickstep team. The most poignant image from the race may have been that of Boonen standing dead in the middle of the notorious Arenberg Forest section of fist-sized cobble, stranded with a drivetrain malfunction. The former Belgian national champion just stood dazed with a look of bewilderment at the futility of his situation as most of the riders and his own teammates rumbled past on either side before the team car could arrive for the rescue.

Boonen mounted a brave assault on the peloton and pulled himself within a minute of the front in a massive effort. Then, he tangled with another rider and hit the deck, effectively ending his attempt to tie the record for number of wins. Quickstep's misery was compounded by Sylvain Chavanel, the runner up in last week's Tour of Flanders, having a puncture after helping to drag Boonen back up.

The stor of the day, in my opinion, was not the lanky Vansummeren, who won the event, but rather the heroic effort Fabien Cancellara made as he continued to throw himself out into breaks in an attempt to challenge for the lead.

Immediately outside the Arenberg Forest, Cancellara laid on the gas putting distance between himself and the peloton. After several major assaults he, and a handful of other riders including Juan Antonio Flecha and the current world champion, Thor Hushovd of Garmin-Cervelo. Cancellara of Team LeoPard (aka Tean Schleck) was unable to recruit the other riders to help propel him into contention at the front. Again and again he tried to put distance between he and Hushovd in a series of powerful thrusts to the front. And the Mighty Thor time and time again reeled in Spartacus (Cancellara) until the Swiss rider fought for enough of a gap to overcome a 50 second deficit to within 19 seconds of the lead. By then it was too late and Vansummeren had already entered the fabled velodrome at Roubaix to bring home the trophy of the day's toil-- a mounted road cobble.

Another fantastic race.

VeloNews has their own take here.

-------------------------------------

Taiwan Cycling:

The Miaoli Triathlon attracted over 600 participants for two days of racing. The women's event was won by the Czech athlete, Radka Vodickova, followed by Hoi Long from Macao, and the Taiwanese, Chang Luo-yi in third.

The men's event was taken by three Taiwanese, Wei Chen-chan, Hsieh Shang-yen, and Chiu Wei-chang.

And

A Taiwanese cycling team of another sort has taken gold. This time in Geneva, where a team from Far East University in Tainan, won the first prize in an international invention contest.

The winning design was for a tandem bicycle that telescopes out for easy transport and storage. The team envisioned the bicycle to be used by families with limited space using the bikes for family outings with only one car.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Recovering on the Cobbles? Rehab Ride #3


Instead of hammering my legs into brutal submission on a 258km hell ride, I was merely satisfied with a slow tour around Taichung's Dadu Mountain to take a took at some of the area's listed bike routes.


I made my way down Wu Chuan West Rd. for a slow rolling warm-up, and turned down Anhe Rd. before the road could really begin climbing up to the Taichung Industrial Park. At Taichung Harbor Rd. I took a left until the Route 125 to Daya.

I was happy to be on the bike and two wheels under my ass felt fantastic after two weeks off. I deliberately kept the pace slow, but still managed to pass a few guys on mountain bikes.


It was at Daya on Chung Ching (Zhong qing) Rd. that I hit my first bike path, which consisted of little more than bicycle markings and roughened up concrete on the sidewalk. Some shops along the way had brought their wares out onto the path as well. I quickly retreated to the safety of the street. This road is also known as the Highway 10.


I had a wonderful descent into Ching Shui, a little town on the coastal plain, where the market was really too full of people to safely ride and take pictures. I didn't know how much longer I had on my leg, so I got moving south on Chung Shan (Zhong Shan) Rd. This makes for a nice alternative to the busy Highway 1 and it was on this stretch I was able to ride at my normal pace. After massaging my injured leg for so long, I could feel how much tighter my uninjured leg had become. Note to self: Achieve Balance.


Chung Shan (Zhong Shan) Rd. hooks back up with the Highway 1 in Long Jing near the base of Dadu Shan, where I met up with another bike path. Finally, I could hit the cobbles.


It was a raised pedestrian and bicycle path, which often means trouble, as we see above with a woman preparing to dry her garlic on the path. The rough brick is less than ideal for biking, but not too rough.

I stopped for a stretch and took in Changhua's bicycle infrastructure.



There are several spurs that break off from the main trail and go on up to the Zhushan-Nanliao Old Road, in which cyclists can chug up the hill to a dead end, where they can walk along an old rail line. Unfortunately, I didn't see any place to lock a bike. I returned to the Highway 1 and plugged along through Dadu. It was not long after this that my leg started to get sore. I was sure not to torque on it too hard and gingerly made my way home.

Unlike earlier rehabilitation rides, I was able to walk up the stairs to my house without any pain. A few minutes of stretching and 20 min. of ice, and I felt great.

Better, but not perfect.

The whole ride was about 40 miles, which I completed in a humbling 4 hours. Sometimes it takes a little discipline to hold back when you need to. I will keep working on this.


Bike route 897709 - powered by Bikemap

Friday, April 8, 2011

Queen For A Day: Paris-Roubaix Weekend!!!

This Sunday, the Queen of the Classics, the great Paris-Roubaix bicycle race gets underway... and I will be unable to join in the celebrations with My Own Sunday In Hell. My leg is feeling like I can ride, but I am nowhere near ready for a long one day ride. Maybe now I can sit back and take in the action from home.

After the exciting sprint finish at Flanders, I am looking forward to a thrillingly brutal Roubaix. Both Fabien Cancellara and Tom Boonen seem to be in fine form to challenge for the lead. Mark Cavendish, the world's leading sprinter and most hated professional will be in his first. Still, I would love to see Big George Hincapie finally take this race home with him.

See Roubaix Tech... here

---------------------------------

I will not be able to test my mettle over 258km of cobbled hell, but this weekend several riders in the Taiwanese ranks will. The 380km Hualien-Taidong-Hualien race will also kick off, with an additional 300km race and a three day event for duffers.

I hope everyone will get out on the bike this weekend to celebrate my favorite race.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Stray Puppy Leads Bike Boy... Astray


TTV is reporting that a 6 yo. Taiwanese boy from Xin Zhuang in New Taipei City was recovered 9km away in Shulin after following a puppy on his bicycle.

According to the report, the boy thought the puppy was cute and could not resist following the animal from 9:00am until 6:00pm, when the community chief in Shulin discovered a boy crying on his bicycle. The news was broadcast to local authorities who brought the lost boy to a nearby police station, where he was reunited with his father.

It is amazing how far we can ride when we just focus on our goal.

----------------------------
Also:

Check out this insider report from The Cycling Tribe on this year's Tour of Taiwan.
Excerpt:
My lungs on the verge of exploding as I followed two riders up the climb on stage 8. Over the top, Tabriz once again finding their groove at 55kmph in the rain.
-----------------------------
Around The Horn:

Monday, April 4, 2011

The National Taiwan University Bike Rack: A Glimpse Into Student Bicycle Culture


Although I spent part of the weekend in Taipei off the bike, true to form, cycling wasn't too far off my mind. I was especially interested in the bike racks around the National Taiwan University campus, which have become a part of the university's more infamous features.

At NTU there are thousands of rusty bicycles clustered in single and double-decker racks around the perimeter of the school, like fruit rotting on a vine. Despite the dilapidated appearance, these machines still function to serve as cheap transportation for students and faculty alike, often being passed down from graduates to underclassmen like used calculus books or the "just-in-case jar".

One really interesting feature I noticed on several of the bikes at NTU, were the placards students attached to their bikes in an effort to advertise events organized for their departments or college clubs--effectively turning bike space into ad space.

Like many universities around the world, universities all over Taiwan encourage students to participate in groups or clubs. But unlike many of their international counterparts, Taiwanese students are directed away from participating in groups that may become too political, and universities have even been encouraged to dissuade students and faculty from engaging in political discussion or debate on college campuses. Instead of using the university experience as a forum to discuss and debate ideas and ideologies, Taiwanese students are encouraged to channel their energies into less contentious vocations like hip-hop dance, sports, music, movies and religious service clubs.

Compared with many "western" universities where students are regularly asked to free Leonard Peltier and Mumia or protest against the latest military adventure... or South Korea, where protests and face-offs with riot police are practically viewed as a rite of passage for any college student...it seems Taiwanese student groups are little more than vapid adolescent gatherings. The reason for such a stark contrast between these university traditions stems from Taiwan's unique political history, and in particular, stems largely from a series of events that transpired on the National Taiwan University and National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) campuses on April 6, 1949.

In the wake of the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT's) bloody retribution campaign that followed the 228 massacre in 1947, tensions in Taiwan remained high as Chiang Kai-sheck's government prepared to cede China to the communists and evacuate to Taiwan by mid 1949. The KMT security apparatus was already deeply distrustful of local Taiwanese, whom they often viewed as "Japanese slaves" and not to be trusted.

On August 6, 1949, KMT security agents stormed both NTU and NTNU campuses to arrest students involved in a student organization that the party had deemed, "leftist". When students refused to hand over the group's member list, the agents began a large scale arrest in which hundreds of students were taken into custody on charges of treason. Some students fled, others spent several years jailed as political dissidents. This event is largely viewed as the beginning of the era of White Terror, when the KMT government used an expansive system of secret police, paid informants, kangaroo courts and murder to cement their hold on power using the rough tactics of fear and intimidation.

From this point forward, student organizations were severely curtailed as the government feared any type of public organization. With later periods of marginal political liberalization, less intimidating student groups were encouraged as both a safe outlet for youthful energy, and as a means for the party-state to keep an eye on the nation's youth. Furthermore, the KMT maintained some control over student organizations through patronage as many student groups received generous financial sponsorship from the KMT and were thus requested to perform functions for KMT voter mobilization and other partisan activities well into the democratic era.

Despite Taiwan's recent political liberalization, student groups have largely failed to mirror their international counterparts in other democratic countries, and remain aloof from politics. The advertisements on the backs of a few bicycles is a reminder of how Taiwan's unique political history has greatly influenced student culture here in Taiwan and how the events from decades ago still reverberate across Taiwan's political landscape.

Acoustic Guitar Club: Guitar Night


Countryside Service Corps


Cocktail Week


Dept. of Public Health Night


Yunlin and Chiayi Students Union


Dept. of Bio-industrial Mechatronics Engineering Night (woot!)