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Thursday, May 31, 2012

NOTICE: Northern Cross Trip Change of Date

According to Michael at The View From Taiwan, the trip over the Northern Cross Island Highway is being postponed due to a forecast of inclement weather. 

To keep everyone safe and comfortable, the new date will be June 9-10

All other details remain the same. 

I would like to thank everyone who has expressed an interest in joining this trip, and I hope this change will not cause any inconvenience. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Catching-up: Links

Taiwan Links:

  • Taichung Bike Week registration is open. That means that between November 13-16, Taiwanese OEMs will be showcasing their wares in the hopes of scoring a big contract. It also means a peek at some of the goodies that are still a ways out.

The inaugural Exergy Tour boasts some of the top women’s teams in the world — and several that are trying to get to that level.
AXMAN Team Taiwan is the first, and only, professional women’s team in the country. The first-year team has one rider who has qualified for the Olympics (Mei-Yu Hsiao) and is hoping to use this week’s Tour to collect international qualifying points that could enable the country to send two more cyclists to London.
Taiwan is No. 24 in the world rankings. If it can move up to No. 23, the country would gain two more Olympic spots, according to Shu-Ping Lin, the team’s psychologist and translator.
“All the teams, all the riders are really top notch,” Lin said. “It’s a really good experience for my team members to compete against them and give them experience and also get points.”
Lin said the race is pivotal because the team rarely gets a chance to compete in China “because of political issues. China doesn’t think Taiwan is a country, she said.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Fit for the Future: Fun With The Family

I am back to blogging after a 2 week hiatus while my father was in town visiting. I used the two weeks to allow my legs even more recovery time. A little more rest couldn't hurt. I also just used the time to enjoy my family.

As amateur cyclists, we are often looking for opportunities to break away from the family to get in that valuable saddle time as the fear of backsliding looms overhead. For me, it is also the encouragement of my family that drives me to be a better rider, a better husband and a better father. I am proud to put the bike up for a couple of weeks to spend those valuable moments with the people I would, in a heartbeat, sell any of my bikes for. 

With my dad here, I was also provided the opportunity to ponder my riding and why it matters. 

My father is 74 years old. He has been a smoker for 55 of those years. The smoking, poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, and lack of self-control, has given his time with us an added sense of urgency--an urgency I never felt with my grandfather, even when he was in his 90's. 

Up at Wuling, my dad was becoming dangerously lightheaded and I had to rush him down to lower elevations so he could catch his breath. 

You see, as opposed to the idealized image of the father, my father is also a study in frailty and weakness. 

As much as I don't like to think about the reality of possibility, I know that my father could be gone at any time and these moments with him are precious. He is a wonderful, kind, intelligent, loving person and there are never enough of those people in this world. He's also my dad. 

I am also a selfish father and I would like him to have time to share his gifts with his little granddaughter. 

Now, as I look at my little baby, I realize that she may make me a grandpa one day. I just hope if that time comes, I can be an example of health, fitness, strength and provide that child with as much of my time as I can. 

Cycling is one way I can commit to my daughter that I will try to be there for her... even in the hours when I am away on a long stretch of highway.

Here are a few pictures from my family time over the past two weeks. I am just glad we had the opportunity to make some really great memories. I just hope there will be opportunities for more.