Taiwan is a cyclist's paradise: Lonely Planet writer | Taiwan News


Man, it would be the end of cycling as we know it if the Belgians started complaining about closed roads and halted traffic during bicycle races.

But yeah, Taiwan never closes roads or halts traffic even if you have a 1000+ people yanking around with their temple Deity. Chaos was invented in Taiwan I guess.


Cycling’s yuge on the Eastern seaboard, especially north of Asheville up through New England. It’s also huge in just about every college/university town in all of the lower 48. That is a lot of towns.

But I take your point. Not in anybody’s health interests to ride if you’re competing directly with cars for a piece of the road, not in general. Fact.


There was a Tour de France/Carrefour sponsored event that was taking place in Taichung last year in Oct. The entire event was cancelled due to a typhoon and then never rescheduled because French organizers wanted the roads to be 100% closed and wanted a registration fee of 3000NT. The only other event that takes that much is the Taiwan KOM that gets major major big names to come and compete. Local partners said, this is Taiwan not Europe, it can’t be done. Roads can only be “semi” closed.

Yah, but the thing is, running events get the green light all the time.

I’m not an elitist and saying, running is inferior to cycling, but just shows that despite the amount of participants at cycling events and the Taiwan KOM event that takes place every year in Hualien to Wuling, cycling is still not a very popular sport, compared to running.

How I see it, the cost of cycling (if you want to be a bit more serious than just leisure rides on the riverside) just tremendously out weighs running.


If Taiwan wants to be visible Internationally it needs to carry the cost. Taiwan is nowhere when it comes to sports, except for a few disciplines like badminton, archery, taekwondo.


A small correction


Taiwan is great for cycling in the same way that Taiwan is great: the island is great, except for what the Taiwanese have done to it.

OK, that’s not fair at all. The cycling infrastructure is not bad at all; there are plenty of bike lanes everywhere that casual and more “serious” riders can an enjoy any day. Also Taiwan produces or controls the production of lots of bicycles, so prices are not that bad, and there are enough shops too. Well, cycling is becoming ridiculously expensive if you want to ride a “good” bike, but that’s not the case of everyone.

The problems have been already pointed out:

  • polution
  • road manners
  • roads

The pros:

  • big local bikes industry
  • infrastructures such as bike lanes and bridges
  • cities are pretty flat, so they are easy to cycle around
  • very hilly/mountainous everywhere else, so it’s fun and challenging for more keen riders
  • routes beautiful landscapes (when not fucked up by Taiwanese and their love for tin, concrete and junk)
  • lots of aficionados
  • ubike

Personally I like that I can take my bicycle inside some shops and bars/restaurants. I even do it when shopping at Carrefour xD


I guess I’m old school. I come from a land where we cycle the bike right out of house garage onto roads with no scooters and pretty decent drivers overall. Then while whistling a happy tune one cycles on SIDEWALKS or wide roads…did I mention you usually find yourself cheerfully whistling along down the road?


I stop and scream at them pretty loud in my mother language, which is not English, using really harsh words. Kinda works.


I admire your optimism. :wink:


I envision lane side firing squads.


Someone has to be optimistic in a world of pessimists.


My glass is always half empty. Not unlike the brain of your average copper, I suspect. :wink:


Taipei bikeways near rivers are simply amazing. One of truly great things about Taiwan done absolutely right. One of favorites is Bali/Tamsui to Main Station via Sanchong and those monstrous bridges, especially after sunset.