The last day of the Republic of China’s (ROC) 100th year was celebrated in elaborate fashion yesterday as a record--breaking cycling event drew more than 110,000 cyclists across the country to ride at the same time.
The event “One Bike One” heralds the arrival of the next century in Taiwan, event organizers said, adding that the rolling wheels symbolize the energy of Taiwanese.
A total of 114,606 cyclists set off at 10am from 1,000 check-in points around Taiwan and its outlying islands, according to the organizers.
The event, which lasted for an hour, required every cyclist to ride for at least 5km on the 1,000km route around the nation.
Many cyclists said they were thrilled by the event.
“This is the most significant event I have ever participated in in my life because we needed to work together to set a new world record,” said Liao Hsin-cheng, who started from the National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, one of the event’s major points in Taipei.
The 58-year-old was referring to the goal of breaking the world record for the largest bicycle parade in the world.
The previous world record for the most bikers riding at once was set in Italy in 2000, with 48,615 people cycling at the same time.
Taiwan’s success in setting a new record was confirmed after the event by Guinness World Records authorities.
Brian Weidemann, from the US, said he was moved by his fellow riders’ high spirits despite the wind and drizzle.
“It’s a nice way to close out the 100th year of the Republic of China with friends,” said the 43-year-old, who has lived in Taiwan for about eight years.
People around the country participated in the event, with more than 21,000 people participating in Taipei, 14,000 in Greater Taichung and 12,000 in Greater Kaohsiung, the organizers said.
In Keelung, dozens of residents wore special uniforms bearing an eagle logo to represent their commitment to environmental protection.
In Greater Tainan, 10 players from the Uni-President Lions baseball team participated.
Although the anniversary of the ROC is officially celebrated on Oct. 10, Taiwan traditionally regards the start of each ROC year as Jan. 1.