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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bikes , Beer and Links: It Must Be Friday

I know someone who bought an electric bicycle so he can continue to drink and drive without getting tickets. You know... to be safe. Besides... as he told us... he doesn't have a drinking problem because he isn't one of those guys who goes out drinking all the time. He usually gets drunk at home by himself. *sigh!*

For those of you who don't know Taiwanese drinking culture first hand, it is unlike its other Asian neighbors to the North, Japan and Korea, in that young Taiwanese are relatively contained with their alcoholic consumption.... Not that they don't drink, but it is not so much the passed out on the sidewalk all hours salaryman or the violent puking youth on a train in Seoul. Sadly, Taiwan's heavy drinkers and binge drinkers are often the "lost generation" of middle aged men who gulp down expensive (and inexpensive) whiskeys because they "have to"or maybe to chase the demons of lost opportunities and lived lives that weren't theirs. That is at least what I have sussed out from the old drinkers I know or what comes out during their slurred ravings. Who really knows? I see lots of 50ish men who are alcoholics.

Fortunately, some Taiwanese researchers have clued in to the growing number of people like this person I know, and have done something about it. (Check out the leather bike beer carrier from the link as well)

A group of engineers from Taiwan believes that drink riding is likely to be such a problem in the future that electric bikes will need a built-in breathalyzer.

The bicycle built at Chienkuo Technology University includes innovations such as an electric motor to drive each wheel and handlebar warmers, but the most notable feature is a handlebar-mounted breathalyzer that prevents the bike from being ridden if the cyclist is over the legal limit.

Cycling News from the Tour of Taiwan:

Eibegger maintains overall race lead

Driven by the will to provide some solace to earthquake-affected Japan, rider Shinichi Fukushima of the Japan national team put up a splendid display of determination and prowess to take Stage Five of the Tour de Taiwan 2011 – a 111.2km ride round the cultural city of Taichung.

Japan were recently hit by a devastating earthquake with the subsequent tsunami resulting in not only loss of lives and properties but has also affected the stability of several of the country's nuclear plants.

And Fukushima today was very proud of his achievement when he went off very early on the stage to complete the route in 2:53:52 to finish with more than a minute advantage over second-placed Park Sung Baek of Korea and the rest of the peloton.

The next stage will be a 136km route through Changhua. It will have a couple climbs and should be fun to follow, especially if you frequently ride the routes.


Be sure to catch up with Taka on the last day of his tour around Taiwan.


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