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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

October 20-21: Another Expedition on the Northern Cross Island Highway


Michael is organizing another of his great Northern Cross Island rides. These rides are becoming legendary as Michael is becoming known as Mr. Northern Cross. 

I will be unable to attend. But if you have time this weekend, you should really take the opportunity for a fun two days on the bike. 

This is by no means a hardcore race. Rather, it is an accessible ramble into the mountains that most regular riders can enjoy.


October 20th-21st. Northern Cross-Island Highway ride. Leaving Yongning Metro 7-11 around 8 to ride up the 7A to the 7. Overnight in Lower Baling. Day 2 leave around 7, arrive in I-lan midafternoon. Taipei people should be home for dinner.

The Second Taiwan International Bike Festival and Links


 To coincide with Taichung Bike Week, Taiwan's second (actially third, but the first one got a do-over) annual International Bike Festival will kick off on November 10th. Taiwan's Tourism Bureau has been busy stoking international interest in the event with press releases and inviting bike bloggers to fly in and write favorable pieces about leisure bike trails, Giant Bicycles, Sun Moon Lake and eastern Taiwan. While I can't fault anyone for accepting the opportunity to be feted on the government's dime, I have to wonder if the patronage pays off for Taiwan. There has been an obvious thrust under the Ma administration to ease Taiwan's economy into one based on tourism. The bicycle is a major part of that equation. Check out this predictable press release from New Zealand or this gag-worthy brochure copy from the Canberra Times. The lucky bloggers had plenty to see as Taiwan again tries to lionize individuals to become industry icons. I hope in the future more cycling publications will send their own staff to see Taiwan's cycling culture away from a government minder or industry patron who is footing the bill.

The best part of the bike festival is the Maxxis KOM Challenge, a sadistic race from sea level to 3275m. This year's Giro d'Italia King of the Mountains winner, Matteo Rabottini, will be here to learn a thing or two about the misery Taiwan's topography can throw at the world's best.