Taipei Bike Boom

During Interbike, we talked at length with Dahon about Taipei’s Bike Boom and saw it today. A year ago, when we rode the the river bike paths, we saw handful of cyclist, including us. Today, there were bike traffic jams, bike pit stops, and a steady stream of bikes in both directions. Sometimes crazy bikes; often fully-kitted-out, euro-style cyclists on folding bikes; all of them having a good time. We saw more Dahons that I could count, KHS, Giant, Birdy, one Brompton, and some unknown brands. The adage “build it and they will come” applies in Taipei and the bike boom is directly attributed to the City spending millions of bike paths and infrastructure.

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TrioBike Spotted

Don’t know how we’ve not seen this bike before, but spotted it a Taipei fashion store. Considering there’s a Taipei bike boom, that made sense and after much discussion, we decided it was “Neo Dutch Cargo” and it’s fantastic. Possibly hydro-formed aluminum with thick shapes, big headset, Nexus, disc brakes, and more. The bike switches between a bike, a cargo bike, and cargo carrier with no tools; as the video shows. It was designed by DesignAgenda.

Also noticed by

A Dog In a Hat

dog_in_a_hat.jpg Dog in a Hat, a book about an American racing in Belgium, reads like the racer – Joe Parkin – was just telling you these epic stories on a ride, up a climb, or at a coffee shop. I guess that Joe’s friends convinced him to write this book after years of hearing his stories, laughing, embellishing them, and imagining themselves what it’s like to race the Hell of the North. Joe did that and more. I expect when you get dropped by Joe, the grumbles are, “yeah drop me on this local hammerhead ride, but he got dropped all over Liege-Bastogne-Liege, whatever … .”

And that’s the beauty of this book and story. It’s not a hero’s journey, but instead a racer’s tale, including drugs, betrayal, crazy stuff. A story about getting flat-ass dropped and waking up in a whorehouse to race again. Think about the determination it takes us to finish our local Tuesday night world championship and here’s Joe: a stranger in a strangeland, racing with some crazy-ass mofos.

Rapha Cyclocross Roller Races

These photos and recap of the Oregon Manifest Roller Races are brought to you by bike hugging Flickr contributor, David Schloss:

Oregon Manifest (the excellent hand-built bicycle/Oregon cultural experience we attended this weekend) isn’t just about the semi-serious world of beautiful custom frames, it’s also about the hard-core, no- nonsense competitive world of ‘Cross racing.

Take, for example the Rapha Cross Rollers Race held on Saturday. Take four fixed gears mounted to rollers, connect them to a big cycle computer showing the distances for all four bikes, and have waves of riders compete for the top spot. Pretty standard right? That’s why the Rapha guys threw in not only copious amounts of beer, but a ‘cross portion that required racers to dismount after they completed 500 meters of on-bike sprinting and pick up a kids bike from a pile, which they then had to portage around the indoor course.

Travel Wool: on/off the bike

Technical wool from Ibex, Teko, et al is growing in popularity. I noticed this by what I’m wearing, hearing in the industry, and just spotted racks of wool clothes at REI yesterday; including new offerings from Arc’Teryx and Icebreaker.

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I’m traveling most of October – Italy, Vegas, Taipei, Monterey – and wearing an 09 sample Shak Jersey, wool liners, briefs, beanie, and Teko socks. The Shak travels well because of what wool does; especially on a 12 hour plane ride and “freezing-ass cold” Fall weather in Amsterdam. It performs on and off the bike, across temperatures, and climates. It’s comfortable, breathable, doesn’t smell, and increasingly stylish.

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