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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday Morning Coffee Ride

End of Tunghai Descent

I am still battling knee soreness and couldn't decide which flat, easy route to take on my Sunday ride, so I threw my hands in the air and just took an easy loop up to Dadu Shan and Tunghai University.

Urban Greenspace

The weather in Taichung was gorgeous with enough of a breeze to keep things comfortable.

Mojo Coffee

My main goal was to enjoy a couple cups of coffee and just relax. I know... biking to coffee is such a hipster thing to do... so I indulged.


I enjoyed the gliding descent into Taichung city and landed first at MOJO Coffee on Daye Rd. There were three people there just reading and it had the total feeling of a lazy Sunday at coffee. They make a wet cappuccino. I chilled there for a while and read the papers before leaving for more coffee.

I love a good cappuccino

Next, I went to Caffe Terry after zipping through Taichung's uncharacteristically placid city traffic.


At Caffe Terry I had another cappuccino and just hung out at an outside table to enjoy the light breeze. I noticed Terry has a Jango Flick folding bicycle available for visitors who are looking for wheels around town.

The mountain to get back to my prior form and fitness grows by the week. I just hope my down time will allow me to become healthy again to get back to 100%. This is the most frustrating process.

Terry's Flik

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Taiwan's Exercises Its Soft Power Through Bicycle Diplomacy

Michael Turton at The View From Taiwan has recently posted on a look into Taiwan's use of "soft power" in creating a type of informal international space that is not regulated by the language of international diplomacy, charter associations, membership agreements, historical tropes or the murky world of real politik. Taiwan's soft power seeps through the diplomatic cracks in the walls of international protocol and invades our individual and collective mind-space, despite the best work of professional propagandists to block or subvert the message.

The bicycle has become one arrow in Taiwan's often unintentional quiver of defecto national and cultural independence.

As I mention in other posts, Taiwan has gained a reputation for providing some of the world's best OEM/ODM manufacturing for bicycles and bicycle components. Despite its former pejorative label, "Taiwan" has become synonymous with quality bicycle production. This awareness has even trickled down to the consumer who is now confident in the quality of a Taiwanese frame that it is often preferred over a Chinese model. This is also a key point as the consumer who might not be even remotely aware of Taiwan's geographic location or complicated history, may be fully aware that Taiwan and China are different and that difference translates into the perception of a disparity in quality between Chinese and Taiwanese products. In the mind of the consumer there is already a huge quality gap between Chinese and Taiwanese goods and the recent melamine scandal and other health scares from adulterated products has further cemented the perceived differences.

Taiwan's government and ordinary Taiwanese cyclists have used the bicycle numerous times as a convenient meme to gain international awareness, recognition and greater international space. Here, here, here, here!!!

The Taiwanese bicycle industry has not only raised Taiwan's profile internationally, but it has also led to a domestic awareness of the bicycle's symbolic power in expressing and exporting the Taiwanese identity.

This type of soft power that both creates international space and projects a type of national pride is also the source of internal friction as Taiwan's political actors are divided on whether to exploit these popular images and perceptions to raise Taiwan's international stature, or seek to rein it in, in deference to China and Chinese pressure. This friction becomes more acute during a rising election cycle as each politician wants to be photographed on a bike, but not every politician wishes to raise Taiwan's international stature with soft power.

It will be interesting to see how the soft power of the bicycle will be used in the future and whether China will be able to erase the perceived gap in quality in the short to medium term.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Taiwan 24hr Record Set: News, Links and Giro

Taiwan Links:

According to an article from the CNA, a local cyclist has set the 24hr. record in the first annual Pingtung County bike marathon. Fu Sheng-chieh rode 578.2km in 24 hours to take the win. I am still confused as he would obviously be setting a record in the first annual event. *head scratch*

Two stories on senior cyclists.

  • The first: Lu Yung-chuan sets out on his cycling odyssey to raise money and awareness to help Taiwan's elderly residents. The "growing old locally" concept helps seniors live out their days in the familiar surroundings of home without having to endure the stress of moving in with their urban dwelling children.
  • The second: A group of riders of retirement age set out to bike the rails and visit Taiwan's train stations. A careful reader will read between the lines as each article is edited with a particular viewpoint.
  • Bike Hugger unveils his beer themed bike called the "Hodala" in honor of the Taiwanese drinking term for "Bottoms Up!"
  • Cycling Satin Cesena takes on Ta Ta Jia.
Other Cycling News:

  • Another elite cyclist dies in a tragic training accident. Xavier Tondo was killed last week in a freak accident involving a garage door as he was leaving to go for a training ride. It just goes to show, you never know when your number will be called.
  • Cycling advocate learns to steer resources away from the 20% of Americans who are apocalyptic Christians as they will not share the belief in a need for long term transportation solutions.
  • Hamstrung: Clouds over Texas as the Lance Armstrong case looks more and more bleak asTyler Hamilton levels accusations.

In The Pro Ranks:
  • The Giro d'Italia: For a guy surrounded by doping allegations, Alberto Contador is a man on fire. He has taken an approximate 4min. lead on his closest rivals and has been performing like an extraterrestrial. On the climbs up the Grossglockner and Monte Zoncolan he kept spinning on up as poor Nibali looked as if he might be drowning. Contador also took the Individual Time Trial in the mountains to thumb his nose at doubters. It seems the battle is now for second place should Contador become ineligible due to the doping charge, which is currently on appeal. Stage 17 tonight.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Natural and Nuclear Disaster Brings Giant Bikes To Japan

Jiufen Er Shan (Nantou) 921 Earthquake Epicenter

Japanese quake victims are grateful to GIANT for the bikes they received as part of a donation program that put 1000 mountain bikes into use to help residents of northern Japan become more mobile following the complete collapse of the transportation infrastructure in several of the hardest hit areas.

Focus Taiwan reports:
The Taiwan-based Giant Global group said its donation of 1,000 mountain bikes to residents of northeastern Japan was well received and the bikes were being used to meet transportation needs in the area, one of the hardest hit in the disaster.

Company spokesperson Jeffrey Sheu said the "Special Edition Quake Reconstruction" models were delivered in early May to most of the areas affected by the magnitude 9 earthquake and ensuing tsunami.

Seven hundred of the special model of bicycles were delivered to Miyagi prefecture, 200 to Iwate prefecture and 100
to Fukushima prefecture, Sheu said.
He goes on to explain:
Sheu said the specially-designed mountain-bikes were painted a high-visibility yellow and equipped with features that included front suspension, headlamps and a rear luggage rack that can carry up to 20kg.
Thus sounds a lot better than the company's initial reaction in tabulating how the quake would increase bicycle prices.

Kudos, Giant! Kudos!

Moving Your Bikes To Taiwan... All Of Them.

I often come across forum threads and other opinionated info that treats Made in Taiwan as a pejorative. Even when I was writing copy about CNC machines over a decade ago we would give the Very Well Made In Taiwan label a knowing guffaw. Customers would insist that I highlight their purchased accolades for Taiwan manufacturing.

Opinions have changed.

Taiwan no longer carries the stigma of low production value and poor QC. That is not saying that there is no room for improvement, but there are obvious reasons why so many bike companies prefer to have their brand manufactured in Taiwan.

When the Cannondale plant closed in Bethel CT in 2009, the slamming of the doors echoed throughout the industry. The economy of scale was working against America as a producer of bikes.

Why do bike manufacturers move to Taiwan?

A recent article in Bike BIZ interviews Sam Schulte regarding the decision of his Tree Bikes brand to move production to Taiwan.

Operating the business on a wafer thin margin, Schulte answers back to those accusing his firm of 'selling out', explaining that in the current economy his 'dream' of domestic manufacturing simply isn't viable.

Schulte explains how missed deadlines were causing major financial strains, telling the website:
"It’s hard to find a machinist to do what you need for the prices and make it work. A lot of times you need to get machinists to give you a special price and they are really not making any money, and that causes product not getting done on time, and that’s why a lot of brands have been moving over to Taiwan. Taiwan factories can afford to give us the price we need and get it done in time to help the customer in the end. So that’s why we have decided to move over there."
On the other hand, in the case of Cannondale and Tree Bikes, the US economy could have used a few more jobs between 2007 and 2011.

For companies that decide to relocate their operations to Taiwan, it is wise to employ full time representatives to stay in Taiwan to monitor manufacturing as much of the manufacturing can be outsourced to other fabricators and there may be hidden networks of material supply that are not part of the original production agreement. This is quite common as factories have their own suppliers and seek ways to maximize their own profits from a manufacturing agreement.

I was recently made aware of a renowned Taiwanese company that agreed to certain terms of production with a very powerful American company, with terms that included some very high-end CNC machining centers. When the client's representatives left, the company purchased cheaper, much less precise machining centers. Word on the street says that Taiwan can make the finest equipment, but you need to build good relationships, remain vigilant and know your partners. The American company is currently looking into opening their own production facility.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Goldilocks and The Three Bikes

My Orange La Cruz

This weekend I didn't go out on any long rides. Instead, I joined my good friend Michael C. at Peimic in his search for a new bike. Yes, the thrill of vicariously bike shopping through others is hard to resist, and with Michael C. it is even more special. Michael is one of the reasons I decided to start this blog. I wanted to put some of my experiences and info up for others to use if it might be helpful.

Michael C. is the Goldilocks of bike shopping and has really been searching for his ideal bike for a number of years with marginal success. He can't seem to find the one that is just right. He knows the taste and the smell of his perfect bike, but he just never seems to know what it might look like. We have had some really heavy discussions about what his ideal bike might be and it has taken Michael a bit of time to discover for himself what kind of rider he is and the kind of rider he wants to be.

This is a very personal issue and one person's idea of perfection is another's idea of hell. We all have our own tastes and preferences.

Michael (and his wife) decided the time had come to buy a serious bike that would sooth Michael's restless heart. He really wanted a true road bike with SRAM Rival for somewhere in the NT60,000 to NT80,000 range. He also preferred a steel frame as he is a strong rider who can really turn some watts and he likes the feel of steel.

Michael's search for the ideal bike has been a trail of heartache that has left a wide swath of brokenhearted bike shop owners and second hand bikes for sale. Ok, maybe not that bad, but nothing quite fits.

This past Friday Michael came up using my Taichung Bike Shop Directory as a guide, and purchased a bike he hopes will carry him for many more years and keep the lust at bay.

I loaned out my Orange Lincoln Continental of a Salsa La Cruz and Michael was soon on his way to interviewing different shop owners about what they could do for him. Among his list of favorites Michael chose T-Moaic, Famous and 185 Warehouse.

In the end, he found a bike that spoke to him.

Michael fell head over heels with the Speed One RT30 from Famous Cycles.

If you have not heard of the Speed One RT30, it is a road bike with classic road bike geometry in Reynolds 853 steel covered in a clear coat to seal the metal from oxidizing. As an added feature, the classically styled RT30 comes with the BB30 standard for the bottom bracket; a feature Michael found especially attractive. The bike also came with the SRAM Rival groupset.

Speed One is a relatively new name on the market as the company (YOAN) had formerly been doing just OEM work for other brands and decided to enter the lucrative retail market with their own brand. This has been a recent trend as Taiwanese companies with decades of experience have been trying to establish themselves as stand-alone brands. I have also noticed that many Taiwanese companies are looking to produce high end steel frames over carbon fiber, a material that is really more concentrated in China.

You can read Michael's initial review and experience at his website: HERE

I hope to link to his future ride reports as we see how this purchase turns out. Regardless, I was happy to spend the weekend helping a really great guy find a really great bike.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Eye Taiwan: Sponsoring Riders To DIscover Taiwan on Two Wheels

Yesterday I commented on the importance of the Round-Island-Tour in Taiwanese culture, which has become a rite of passage and in many ways a Gandhi-esque discovery of the nation.

Eye Taiwan, an independent cycling advocacy group, has put together a program to sponsor cyclists in Taiwan to make the fabled Round-Island-Tour. I have written about Yang a little bit when his vision was unfortunately misrepresented in Common Wealth Magazine.

The concept is the brainchild of Yang Ming-huang a.k.a "Frog", who is the owner and operator of the Frog Cafe in Bali, a bicycle themed cafe along the western banks of the Danshui (Tamshui) River.

In 2008, after completing his own Round-Island-Tour, Yang decided he needed to invest his resources in allowing other riders to discover Taiwan and learn to love Taiwan as he had. Since 2008 Yang has made 10 fully equipped bicycles available for a full tour of Taiwan

The rules to participate are as follows:

1. Read the book authored by Frog entitled, Ride Around Taiwan Island (島內出走)

2. Write A Book Report on Ride Around Taiwan Island.

3. Write your proposal and route plan for your trip.

4. Return and write your own story and post it on Eye Taiwan.

Riders can download an application or apply on-line and will be contacted if the proposal has been accepted. The rider's schedule will then be posted on the Eye Taiwan website. The minimum number of applicants per tour is one and the maximum is 10, limited by the number of available bikes.

Some other terms of agreement include:

1. Riders must also agree to post their ride reports within a month of completing their tours.

2. Riders must start and end their tours at the Frog Cafe in Bali.

3. The distance is unlimited, but riders are encouraged to make one full loop around Taiwan.

4. Riders will be responsible for any damaged to the bicycles or equipment during their journey.

5. Riders will be required to pay NT500 for maintenance and an additional NT500 donation to the Eye Taiwan cycling fund to keep the program in operation.

6. All bikes are loaners and must be returned to Frog Cafe.

This program information and applications are limited to Chinese language only, but the organizers are considering a future English language format as well.

You can check out a model cycling calendar that reveals accompanying pictures when you click on the days. Here

This is basically an offer for a free bike rental for riders who want to circle Taiwan.

Hot Blooded Cycling Around Taiwan: Tea, Cycling and Imagined Communities

Check out this brilliant piece of marketing that taps several Taiwanese cultural memes to reach the consumer.

The advertisement is titles Hot Blooded Cycling Around Taiwan, for the Tongyi brand of fresh Taiwanese tea that is packaged and sold by the carton. The term hot blooded does not translate very well into English as the term can be confused with being "easily angered" or "horny". In Taiwan the term "hot blooded" means "enthusiastic and motivated by something". Sorry to all you Foreigner fans out there.

The drinks are sold in black, green and oolong varieties, with the green tea providing a sugar free option.

The advertisement shows a group of young, hip Taiwanese on a bicycle tour around Taiwan, an activity that is particularly popular with college students. Circling Taiwan by bike has become regarded as an informal rite of passage in recent years.

The script for the ad might be translated as follows:

Taiwan... We're coming!

Now is the time!

Ooh Ahhh!

Oh so cool.

If you don't do it. It doesn't hurt. If you do it, you'll make a difference.

When it's fresh, it's original.

Try It! Tongyi Chun Chi Cha (Pure Drinking Tea)

The marketing department used several images to associate the product with various memes that are closely associated with the Taiwanese cultural and national identities. Although the marketing department may not be out to make a political statement (I assume they are doing what marketing departments do and trying to better sell products), by taking a semiotic look at this little ad it is possible to understand the salience of these images in contemporary Taiwan. It is no accident the bicycle plays a major role as the symbol of the Taiwanese identity... even if these images are being exploited in the name of Mammon.

First, the ad explicitly screams "Taiwan", which is not only the common name for the country, but also a demonstration of how Taiwanese imagine their community.

The ad also focuses on youth, which has also been a major focus demographic for political actors as they try to appeal to all Taiwanese, but youth will represent change this year as they are increasingly dissatisfied with the number of opportunities available after graduation.

Next, the ad focuses on the activity of circling Taiwan, which is seen as an essential part of learning and knowing (and imaging) that community. Circling helps denote the important borders of the inner and the outer.

Lastly, the advertisement uses the bicycle, which, for many Taiwanese, has come to symbolize Taiwanese culture and achievement as Taiwan is known as one of the world's largest producers of bicycles and bicycle components. The bicycle also symbolizes the values of freedom and mobility. It is also synonymous with a youthful, hip activity. There has been a recent sentiment of longing for change and a yearning for a fresh start--a breath of fresh air.

Although this is only a short ad, The marketing strategy betrays powerful sentiments of identity and the aspirations of more than just a few Taiwanese.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cycling Links, Notes and a Survey

Taiwan Links:

Mark Caltonhill lists his Five Favorite Routes for TiT. The routes are:

1) Kaohsiung-Lotus Lake and Love River.
2) Sun Moon Lake.
3) Little Kinmen.
4) Taipei to Iilan.
5) Wuling Pass.

I would advise riders who are unfamiliar with these routes to exercise caution as most of them require extensive road riding along with regular traffic. If you are not familiar with your bicycle or with Taiwan's traffic culture, consider these routes very carefully.


Taiwan Today has a short expose on Hualien leisure bike trails. They may not be ideal for touring the East Coast, but they might make a great way to spend some vacation time if you are in the area.

With the government backing a major investment in tourism infrastructure, Jens Kastner writes a great piece in the Asia Times on China's potential for conducting tourism warfare against Taiwan.

Satin Satin Cesena give some wonderful insights on OEM frames and the value of branding.


Jean from Velo-city wants you to take their survey on Local Cycling Infrastructure. Check the sidebar for the survey tab.

Other Links:

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Garden Path: Connecting Bike Routes To Campaign Trails

Like any other season, election season in Taiwan is marked by certain changes that clue us in that change is afoot. Fall has the changing of the leaves and Spring is a vibrant flurry of rebirth.

In Taiwan we don't need groundhogs, robins or Poor Richard to tell us election season is upon us. We simply need to look for the first awkward signs of a politician astride a bike. This past weekend we got our first indication that this is an election year. Like Bambi taking his first, unsure steps onto the ice, Taiwan's president Ma Ying-jiu gingerly made his wobbly way out on his bicycle in an electioneering photo-op thinly disguised as public service.

Unlike the play acting and costumed fantasy in which he hoped to indulge, Ma was not the spry yearling full of boundless energy, hope and possibility. Rather, the ROC's president looked feeble, wooden and old. And unlike his carefully groomed popular image of vitality and virility, the KMT chief looked ghoulishly pale and weak.

This less than flattering image of the ROC's former golden boy as doddering, impotent and out of touch does not come as a major surprise when Ma and his cohorts continue to belch policy and ideology that fits modern Taiwan about as well as a woolen Mao suit.

According to a report from the China Post:
Ma joined the biking trip yesterday morning to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Republic of China. He encouraged youths from around the globe to experience the beauty of Taiwan — the gorgeous scenery, delicacies and friendly people — on bike, saying that biking is a good way to discover Taiwan.
During his tenure as ROC president, Ma Ying-jiu has pursued an agenda that has primarily served corporate interests and the interests of the PRC at the expense of the environmental, economic and political interests of the Taiwanese people. Young people have felt the most alienated by rising inflation and stagnant earnings amid skyrocketing housing prices.

Moreover, Ma has led the country headlong into his reality distortion of a rabbit hole that is his own fixation and faith in his Chinese Nationalist ideology; the confluence of ethnic nationalism, racialism and historical fantasy that resembles the Cold War rhetoric spouted by the KMT Central Standing Committee during its heyday as the seat of power during Taiwan's four decades of authoritarian martial law--an era of which Ma was and still is an ardent defender.

Ma's ideology and his fear in its terminability is made clear by his frequent invocation of the "100 year" meme.

We have... and will undoubtedly continue to see the KMT drag out their beloved "centenary" prop during this election cycle capped by their curious denial of historical bifurcation that occurs whenever the slogan "Taiwan 100" is deployed.

It is evident that Taiwan and the ROC are mutually exclusive as one is the common name for the island and the other is the name of the state that extended its political domain over the island 66 years ago... at gunpoint.

To talk about "Taiwan-100" one would have to include Taiwan's experience as a Japanese colony with Viscount Kodama Gentaro and Goto Shimpei featuring more prominently than Sun Yat-sen. This is a fact that is often lost in the idealogical and slanted education system that is still structured as a colonial framework for transforming "backward" Taiwanese into "modern" Chinese and elevating the nationalist construction of the Han ethnic group onto the chauvinistic seat of hegemonic superiority... a charge that has often been leveled at Ma and his party.

The fact of the matter is that the KMT and the ROC are very close and for much of Taiwan's experience with them, they operated as a single party state. This is why we are now seeing such a drive to raise the ROC's profile, especially after 20 years of decline in Taiwan's popular nomenclature where simply "Taiwan" has supplanted "ROC" as the country's common name beginning at the dawn of the Democratic era in the 1980's when Taiwanese gained the space to reinterpret their own narratives.

Yes, Ma will continue these "ROC/Taiwan-100" events to do everything in his power to secure his exalted status as a "Descendent of the Dragon", but it will take a lot more than bike rides to breathe any more life and vitality into the tired political/cultural program he champions; a program that has already been subverted and transformed by Taiwanese while Ma was busy chasing a dragon.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cruising The Gaomei Wetlands

Shouldering Over Obstacles

This weekend I had the pleasure to ride with a very fit and capable rider from Calgary, Canada. Chris, who is a regular reader here at TiC, will be out in Caotun for three weeks and is looking to fill many of those days riding. He is a compact and fit athlete with a power to weight ratio that is ideal for climbing the hills of central Taiwan.

Sadly, I am still miles from getting back into the type of form that would allow me to show him around the better climbs in the area, so this Sunday's ride was just about getting on the bike and introducing Chris to another one of central Taiwan's more infamous features-- the traffic.

Dom Relaxes

We put a small group together with Michael from The View From Taiwan, Dominic from Hold These Green Balloons, Chris L, and myself, for an easy ride to the Gaomei Wetlands and along the coastal mudflats between Gaomei and Da-jia.

Michael and Chris

The weather had been a gauzine haze all morning with the threat of rain. After a few short kilometers the scenery would disappear behind a veil of mist. Not an ideal day for photos, but marvelous for a few hours on the bike.

I was nervous about my injury and even more disappointed when I started feeling a familiar tightness under my knee. My plan was to stop if the knee pain flared up.

Fortunately, I was able to keep the sensation to a discernible discomfort for the entire ride as it would threaten to end my ride and then mysteriously subside. Not good, but not too bad.

Looking for Fish

Our first stop would be the fishing port in Taichung Harbor, where there are dozens of booths set up selling the same seafood dishes. Each stall was staffed by ladies with either poor eyesight or simply bad taste as they kept calling out for our patronage by peppering us in a staccato greeting, "Shuai Ge! Shuai Ge! Lai!" meaning, "Handsome dude, handsome dude, come over!"

Chris and his Kestrel

It was nice to get a little food before taking off along a nearby bike trail, one of the few that isn't too bad, just narrow.
Bike Trail

We made our way to the Gaomei Wetlands, a natural preserve in the mudflats that is adorned with ornamental wind turbines (I have never seen them actually producing electricity).

It is common for visitors to roll up their pants and wade out onto the flats to chase mudskippers and collect clams.


We took a nearby path along the water and eventually wrapped our way back to the Highway 1 to Da-jia.


Cutting Through Rice Fields

Just over the bridge before Da-jia, there is a road that will lead back to Houli and Taichung. If you ever choose to explore this route, be sure to give yourself lots of time. It is a labyrinth of farm roads and dead ends.
Chris Soaks In The Scenery

Luckily, Michael is an expert in this part of Taichung, and he helped us successfully navigate our way through to Houli.

Working Up A Storm

Leisure Cycling
Michael tells Chris about his plans to join the Rebellion against the evil Galactic Empire.

From the traffic blitz in Fengyuan we all decided to go to the 185 Warehouse near DaKeng for some food, refreshments and a few bicycle tweaks and maintenance.


I had a great chicken and cheese sandwich with a coffee while James from 185 helped Chris work on his rear wheel.

It was an excellent ride.

Moreover, the last hour of the ride my leg felt perfect. I feel out of shape and slow, but I was not in pain. Things are looking up.

It was also great to meet up with Chris for some riding. He loves Taiwan traffic.

If anyone in central Taiwan would like to ride mid-week, Chris is looking for company. Contact me if you are interested.
A Quick Fix

Friday, May 13, 2011

Black Armband Saturday: #108

I am sorry for any inconvenience, but Blogger has been down for a couple of days.

Today it Black Armband Saturday in honor of Wouter Weylandt (#108), the Giro rider who died in a violent crash during a descent on Stage 3. It is also in honor of all the nameless and numberless others who have lost their lives cycling the world's roadways.

Wouter Weylandt Links:

From the FB Group:

As cyclists we wear different jerseys, ride with different teams,groups, shops or clubs however one thing doesn't change - we are a community who love and share the same passion. This Saturday, no matter where you are or who you ride with why not wear a black armband as a sign of your support and a showing of our strength and unity as a cycling community who together mourn the tragic passing of Wouter Weylandt of the Leopard Trek team and local Australian youngster, Shamus Liptrot both talented cyclists no longer with us. May they rest in peace.

Whilst the passing of Wouter and Shamus has lead to this event being created let's also use this day to remember those that have lost their lives or been injured through racing/training accidents in the past.

Remember you don't have to be on the bike on Saturday to show your support - you can wear the black armband wherever you will be.

Death Links For May:
Ride Safe!

Monday, May 9, 2011

It Is Definitely Not About The Bike... But Sometimes It Might Be A Good Idea To Consider

Old man rides his Dick in the market

Another recent story that has been making the rounds through the Chinese language media about geriatric cycling in Taiwan, is the curious tale of Li Rong-yu, a trim athlete in his mid-fifties, who has found triathlon success despite his unusual handicap.

In the sea of molded carbon fiber racing bikes, Mr. Li insists on riding his trusty old steel framed utility bike... complete with rusty vegetable basket.

Mr. Li, from Taichung, who has been a regular long distance runner, decided to try his hand at triathlons and rescued the old bike from the trash heap to use during the bicycle leg of the competition.

Despite some ridicule and other riders questioning the legality (and safety) of his equipment, Mr. Li successfully competed in the 113km Taidong Triathlon, in which he placed 4th in the Master's Over 55 age group with an official time of 6:46:58.

In watching some of the news reports featuring Mr. Li, I don't think I would recommend doing the same... despite what I have seen from Mr. Li and Ryan B.

Mr. Li is quoted as saying, "One's ability is not reliant on the tool".

I still think Mr. Li should invest in a bike that fits properly to avoid the elevated risk of injury from a poor fit and low seat.

For more info and pictures: