Thu, Sep 13, 2012 - Page 4 News List

Bikers revamp image with charity tour

Staff writer, with CNA

Nearly 100 motorcyclists pledged yesterday to reshape their image by visiting charity organizations and tourists sites every month, amid public opposition to big motorbikes being allowed to ride on freeways.

Instead of holding demonstrations to fight for their rights, members of the 21st Century Motorcade said they have decided to take a softer approach that gives a more accurate view of their lifestyle.

“We want the public to know that we are not crazy racers who love trouble,” said Chen Chien-tsung (陳建宗), chairman of the group, which was established yesterday.

Chen said his group would start by visiting children’s homes in Keelung and Hsinchu City and offering the children free rides.

The bikers are also to travel to various scenic spots across the country, including Sun Moon Lake and Shei-Pa National Park, to demonstrate how tourists can enjoy sightseeing on big bikes, he said.

Another member of the group, surnamed Wu (吳), said she hoped the campaign would promote motorcycle safety and improve the image of bikers.

“We just love the feeling of taking a road trip on an open vehicle,” she said.

Wu and other bikers like her do not yet have access to the nation’s freeways, although a law amendment was passed in the Legislative Yuan last year that allows bikes with engines of 550cc and above to ride on such roads.

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications said the law cannot take effect unless it is approved by local governments, who have not supported the measure due to safety concerns. A total of 28,000 large-engine motorcycles are registered nationwide.

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