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Monday, October 19, 2009
  Toyota Breezer folding bike collab
By Yokota Fritz 
In the world of bike collaborations, this one is interesting: Toyota in Taiwan and Breezer Bikes of Sausalito have branded this "X frame" folding bike that was used as a sales incentive this last summer at Toyota dealerships in Taiwan.

Note the cute little Toyota logo imprinted next to the Breezer logo on the saddle.

The 6061 alloy bike weighs 34 lbs, features 6 speed Shimano Revoshift shifters and Kenda Kwest 16 x 1.5" tires. The marketing in Taiwan apparently makes a pretty big deal about Joe Breeze's design reputation in the United States, although Breezer in the USA sources their folding bikes from Dahon. My guess is this bike is maybe an offering from Breezer's sister company, Fuji Bikes, though as far as I know Fuji has never marketed this style of folding bike before.

The bike has a claimed market value of NT$15,000 (about US$450) -- I see them on Taiwan "for sale" sites for NT$7000 (~US$200) and less, which sounds like a pretty screaming deal. I might have picked one up for that price if I knew about these during my visit.


Monday, October 05, 2009
  JCE Smofo
By Yokota Fritz 
We saw this JCE "SMOFO" electric folding bike in Taiwan. The Smofo appears to be sold directly by the manufacturer in Taichung City for about NT$28,000 (about US$900). This was at a roadside rest stop area with a battery charger plugged in.


The Lithium Ion battery is hidden in the top tube between the hinge and and steerer and provides a claimed 30 km of range. Rear hub motor, rear disc brake and front caliper brake, handlebar control with three power settings, 17 kg with battery.

Mark also talks about this Smofo bike over at Bike Hugger.


Friday, October 02, 2009
  Kirin Ichiban Bike
By Yokota Fritz 
Most of the bikes I see in Taipei are basic mountain style bikes from Giant or Merida with little in the way of personalization. Check out this marvelous rig with the Kirin Ichiban Beer customization, though.

Kirin Ichiban Bike

The bike itself looks like a junky Next "full suspension" "mountain" bike shaped object. The owner has obviously put a lot of love into the look of the bike, however, by painting the frame and carefully applying decals and detailing. That rear disc wheel is amazing.

Kirin Ichiban is a Japanese beer brewed from rice.


Thursday, October 01, 2009
  Taiwan cycling photos
By Yokota Fritz 
Today we participated in a short ride to promote tourism in rural Taitung County. The countryside of eastern and central Taiwan is populated with indigenous peoples who lived in Taiwan prior to Han Chinese immigration. The economy is primarily agricultural and the people seem more relaxed than their cousins in the big cities of the northwest.

Cycling Taiwan - Day 5

Everything about today was a highlight. We met Bethany, a Chinese Christian who passionately works to encourage the indigenous children to achieve. We watched tribal dances that stir the soul. We met Kevin Lin, an endurance athlete who ran across the Sahara Desert in 2007. He's a super super nice guy. He's mostly a runner but also enjoys bicycling on road and trail and participates in triathlons.

Cycling Taiwan - Day 5

Another highlight was a visit to an ice cream shop in Chihshang Village. "Popeye," a local chamber of commerce volunteer with Betel nut stained teeth, enthusiastically explained "this is most famous ice cream in all Taiwan!" It was yummy indeed.

Cycling Taiwan - Day 5

Finally, in the middle of this sits the incredible Papago Resort. This is the view from my room balcony.

Cycling Taiwan - Day 5

It's well past midnight in Taiwan and I'm hitting the sack just as your day is getting started. Have a wonderful wonderful. I'll point you to Mark V's posts at Bike Hugger:

Kate also mentions Taiwan in her Global Soul Adventures.


Wednesday, September 30, 2009
  Video: Cycling from Tapei through Yangmingshan National Park
By Yokota Fritz 
It's pretty awesome cycling through northern Taiwan.

Today, we cycled along the western (Pacific) coast of Isla Formosa. Hopefully I'll post photos of that later today.


Monday, September 28, 2009
  Let's Bike Taiwan 2009
By Yokota Fritz 
About 150 people celebrated "Let's Bike Taiwan" today at Sun Moon Lake, a resort destination in central Taiwan. Taiwan officials, working with the Taiwan Tourism Bureau and Giant Bicycles, are working to promote cycling as a healthy and environmentally friendly activity on the island and are opening bike facilities all over Taiwan. Over 1,000 km of bike trails are now available to ride on throughout Taiwan.

Visitors traveled in tour buses to Sun Moon Lake, where they rented bikes from a brand new company owned Giant Bicycle store. Everything from inexpensive mountain bikes to the top of the line Giant TCR Advanced is available for rent.

Let's Bike Taiwan 2009

The festivities began with a grand opening ceremony for the Yeutan Bikeway, a bike trail that connects the west side of the lake over the dam to the eastern side of Sun Moon Lake, bypassing the stretch of Highway 21 south of the lake.

Let's Bike Taiwan 2009

From the bikeway entrance, the cyclists rode 4.5 km into Checheng and along the Xianshan Bikeway, where everybody stopped at Meihe Garden to take in the views and sample several varieties of tea. The Sun Moon Lake area is the tea growing region of Taiwan.

Everybody then continued another 2.5 km uphill to stop at Fleur de Chine resort, where they boarded boats for a lake cruise, then returned to Lalu Hotel to conclude the festivities with a 10 course meal.

Let's Bike Taiwan 2009

The cheesiness of the whole thing was amazing fun. China Airlines flight attendants did a dance involving bikes [watch for video soon from Bike Hugger], us Americans were all interviewed by Chinese television, the local girls went crazy when a boy band showed up to promote cycling, and a great time was had by all.

See also:


Sunday, September 27, 2009
  I'm in Taiwan!
By Yokota Fritz 
Taiwan Tourism Board and Giant Bicycles is promoting cycling on the island in a big way this year. I'm in Taiwan along with several other people taking a look cycling on the island. We're currently at Sun Moon Lake at the center of Taiwan, a gorgeous alpine lake and the largest freshwater lake on the island, where we'll participate in a bike ride.

The gang at the Del Lago Hotel along Sun Moon Lake.

In Taiwan!

Mark of Bike Hugger and Alicia of ROAD Magazine ride up the street.

Mark and Alicia

Heather takes a look at a Giant minivelo at the Giant bike store and rental shop at Sun Moon Lake.

Pink It and Shrink It: Giant Mini Velo



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