From Taiwan: Asian Pop Culture meets Cycling

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I have to confess that I didn’t do much cycling in Taiwan, I mainly shopped and ate and took really long, hot baths. It was vacation with my girlfriend after all. But wherever I go, I keep an eye out for things related to cycling. And it seems like Taiwanese popular culture has latched onto cycling like America in the 1970s.

Everywhere I went I saw advertisers using cycling to sell products, portraying an image of fun and health. I saw TV commercials for diet supplements targeting middle-aged consumers, showing a greying man with a bike on his shoulder, greeting his wife after a vigorous ride. Mobile carriers actually give away bikes as part of some deals. There’s even an exercise drink called Bicycle that comes in a bike bottle. It’s in the refrigerated section of convenience stores next to teas and cola.

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At one of the stationary stores in the Ximending shopping district, we saw this pack of cycling related stickers to spruce up your written correspondence.

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Taiwan is experiencing a boom in cycling right now, and advertisers are eager to co-op cycling’s image of health and fun. It was fascinating to see this land, which has long been a crucial player in the cycling industry, seemingly fall in love with joy of bikes for the first time.

Yet, if I had to name one negative, I would have to say that Taiwan is not close to recognizing the bicycle as a valid and respectable form of commuting. Here in Taiwan, the motorscooter rules the road and the Taiwanese with money use automobiles.



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From Taiwan: Trikes at Ximending was the previous entry in this blog.

From Taiwan: Bike Parks is the next one.

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