Thu, Nov 29, 2007 - Page 4 News List

Council release book of 50 greatest bicycle routes

CAREFREE While similar publications have been published before, chief editor Anita Lai said none of them could likely match the time spent on this project

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Sports Affairs Council (SAC) announced yesterday that it published a guidebook documenting the 50 most noteworthy bicycle routes around the nation.

The book, titled Let's Bike: Carefree Tour Biking (鐵馬逍遙遊), consists of two volumes and is available in Chinese and English. The routes are organized by location -- north, central, south and the surrounding islands.

In addition to maps, the guidebook includes photos of tourist attractions that can be seen along the routes. The guidebook also provides information on bicycle rental shops and hostels near each route.

The book's chief editor Anita Lai (賴宛靖) told the Taipei Times that members of the editorial board were able to visit each route, mainly by biking.

While similar publications have been previously available, Lai said none of them could likely match the resources and time spent on this project.

Lai emphasized that there are more than 50 bike routes in Taiwan. The ones introduced by the book are absolutely safe for regular bikers, she said.

When asked how editors chose 50 out of so many other bike trails, Lai said they all are bike routes highly recommended by county governments.

The book includes some of the most popular bike routes as well as the most challenging ones, including the route along the riverbanks in Taipei County and the one in Baguashan (八卦山), Changhua County.

SAC minister Yang Chung-ho (楊忠和) told a press conference yesterday that in the past five years the council has been executing the Executive Yuan's project to build a nationwide bike route 1,000km long. He said that 70 percent of the construction is completed.

Yang said he hoped the book would help foster a new biking culture in Taiwan.

The hardcopy edition of the book can be purchased at the Government Bookstore on Bade Rd in Taipei and Wunan Books in Taichung City. It can also be downloaded from the council's Web site at www.sac.gov.tw.

In related news, the legislative Finance Committee yesterday rejected an amendment proposed by the council to allow a portion of the profits generated from Sports Lotteries to be used for sports development.

The current regulation says the profits earned from the sports lotteries must be used to fund the operations of the National Pension Program, National Health Insurance and other social welfare expenses.

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