Cyclists gear up for annual Taiwan Cycling Festival

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Oct 02, 2015 - Page 5

More than 110,000 people are expected to take part in this year’s Taiwan Cycling Festival, which is to begin later this month.

The Tourism Bureau said this year’s festival features four main events.

The Formosa 900, in which cyclists bike around the nation from Nov. 14 to Nov. 22, has attracted 20 cycling clubs from across Taiwan and overseas.

The number of groups participating in the event has risen from 10 in 2012 and 15 last year.

The Taiwan KOM Challenge is to be held on Oct. 30, in which cyclists are to ride 87km uphill as the elevation rises from sea level to 3,725m.

It was once listed by the French magazine Le Cycle as one of the most difficult cycling races in the world, along with a cycling route in the Alps.

The total prize money for the race is NT$2.41 million (US$72,853), with the winner receiving NT$1 million.

Another highlight of the cycling festival is “Come! Bikeday” at Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), which is to be held from Oct. 23 to Nov. 15.

Apart from different bike rides around the lake, the organizer is also expected to exhibit images depicting the lake’s bike culture and put on a fireworks display.

Meanwhile, 3,000 cyclists on vintage bicycles will be chosen to ride the Sun Moon Lake Bikeway together, wearing retro-fashion clothes.

The bureau said it has also arranged a bicycle fair.

Taiwan Cycling Federation international campaign director Scott Ellinger said that Taiwan is a safe, convenient and beautiful place, making it an ideal place to ride bicycles.

“If you have an accident, there would be people coming up to you and asking if they could help you,” Ellinger said.

“When I am riding with my members of cycling clubs, I feel like a part of big family,” he said.