Blogging Taipei by Bike

5

by Byron on Oct 09, 2007 at 6:00 AM

hugga_taipei.jpg Next week Jason and I arrive in Taipei. We’re there consulting with a client and attending the IDF.

We’re also meeting and riding with Dahon, and I’m bringing the Flyby. Considering that Taiwan is a leading manufacture of bikes, I thought that many of our readers have probably been there before.

So tell us: what must we do? What’s to see? And where to ride?

Like the trip to Beijing, we’ll blog Taipei by bike.

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Comments: 5

Have fun…that’s my hometown.  Make sure you hit the night markets and try some of the local delicacies…highly recommend the oh-wa-jien (oyster omelette), red sausauge on a stick, and big fat fried chicken filets.  If you’re feeling adventurous, just pick something and try it…never mind that there’s flies buzzing around it or that it smells funny.  They eat parts of pigs and cows that we would cringe at.  The innards use to be rare delicacies, but some genius figured out that they can just go to American sources for the stuff and get it frozen and cheap cus we don’t eat those parts.  Did you know they can cut up intestines to make them look and taste like calimari?  My wife didn’t…but she could tell you all about it!

Hopefully you’ll find that Taiwanese people are exceedingly friendly in a food-centric way.  I’ve spoken with a lot of people that confirmed this. 

If you get a chance to move around the island, do yourself a huge favor and avoid the tourist traps.  They’re awful.  If you see anything with a Tourism Taiwan logo on it, avoid it.  Don’t buy the tea they’re trying to sell you.  Taiwan is indeed famous for it’s green tea, but all the stuff they sell tourists is b-grade stuff…which is good, but nothing worth bringing home. 

Hit as many night markets as you can.  Buy a couple of t-shirts that say non-sensical things.  Don’t bother with the bike shops…they don’t sell anything that you can’t buy here.  I was looking for local team jerseys and didn’t find a thing. 

Happy travels and look forward to reading the blogs!

Tai

Hi there

Do and eat? I think Tai is on the money.

Where to ride?
I used to work in the bike industry in Taipei. The mountains surrounding the city are full of amazing trails. Check out www.formosanfattire.com for some samples.

Have fun, it is a great place

Chris

Taipei is a fantastic city. Temples on one corner and modern sky scrappers on the next. The pace on the street is fast and traffic patterns quite unlike what you find in the US. After a few days buzzing around the city go to Wulai to soak in the hot springs (you can even pedal up) <a href=“http://wikitravel.org/en/Wulai” rel=“nofollow”><a href=“http://wikitravel.org/en/Wulai” rel=“nofollow”>http://wikitravel.org/en/Wulai</a></a> or experience the natural beauty of TWN and visit Yamingshan mountain.  Both areas are easily accessible from Taipei city.

Taiwanese people are very friendly and take great pride in their county.  They are very gracious host and just in case your Mandarin is a little rusty, pretty much anyone under 40 speaks good english so don’t be afraid to engage people in conversation.

And when you raise a glass to toast your new friends remember the words you learned during the infamous shirt exchange dinner in Vegas; “ho-dah-lah” that’s sure to get the party started! 

Must Do?
Must talk to Dahon about their handle posts and seat posts.
Specifically, the handle posts which are angled are very difficult to properly orient. They should start marking the forward orientation on the posts themselves. They should also strengthen the quick release at the top of the handlebar post. The juncture is a critical one (I’ve flown off my bike when standing for hills because my handlebars ended up pointing a different direction than my tires!). The quick release that came on my post was way to weak—the lever started deforming shortly after I started using it. I’d like to see them engineer this much better—either make the ID of the handlebar post match the OD of the stem for a good inch or more (more interference will make a better fit) and/or improve the strength of the QR itself.

On the seat post, a simple numbering scheme printed on the post would make it so I don’t have to sharpie mine to get the seat height right. I think they’re doing this on some of their newer models now though.

They should also seriously consider adding a riser bar to their standard handlebar options. My (cheapo model) Dahon came with a welded stem+flat bar. Switching to the Revolve stem was Ok, but the stem’s not strong enough to handle moustache bars. Riser bars are a stylish alternative that doesn’t apply the same amount of tourque.

Re: Food and Travel, I got nuthin. The above sounds great though!

Steve,

We’re riding to hot springs tomorrow (10/14) and I think that’s the place. We’re riding there with Dahon, so Dave I’ll give them the input. The Mu line I think address your concerns. The Flyby has the upgraded stem/bar combo and the seatpost/pump has numbers.

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