Much like Beijing, there’s a flow in Taipei, and we just rode in it. We were surrounded nearly at all times by scooters. I’ve never seen so many scooters. The don’t have specific bike lanes, except around the business district, but relatively wide lanes, and cars give you room. There’s a roadie scene and even a Tour de Taiwan.
Most of the ride, Jason was hanging out behind us with Matt from Dahon until we had some betel nut. Then he was all sprinting from stop lights, taking pulls, dropping us, mister energized on the bike – watch the video. Then I climbed a hill like never before on a folding bike, while I heard Once in a Lifetime in my head. I expect my legs to really hurt tomorrow.
Betel nut is a chewable stimulant sold in stands, similar to cocoa leaf, and it’s dispensed by girls in lingerie. A betel nut sports drink would make Red Bull seem like kool-aid. It also turns your mouth red, sort of like the spice in Dune, and is part of the Taipei experience.
If we get tired blogging at the IDF, I know where that stand is.
By now Dwell Magazine is arriving in the mail and on newsstands with an urban bike report. Bike Hugger provided the expert commentary for the report and other insights. Check the related story online and see these snapshots I took during the photoshoot. Bikes in the report include
Read our urban bike tag archives for ongoing coverage and the Flickr Urban Bike group. That’s the stylish Hugga Tee I’m wearing and the photo was taken at Elliott Bay Bicycles near bike stand number 2.
As <http://bikehugger.com/2007/10/critical_manners.htm#comments”>promised, we’ll be gathering at Westlake, 5:30 tonight for a Critical Manners ride. Look for Matt McClung when you arrive. We’ll probably leave Westlake around 6:00, actual manners observed will be negotiated at the gathering and maybe we’ll pick a snazzier name next time around. This is a great chance to get out and have some non-confrontational interactions with traffic and pedestrians, and a great ride for anybody who’s ever been put off by traditional Critical Mass tactics. I’ll report back after the ride.
A week before Interbike I’d posted about Ultra Mobile Bike Devices and connecting an iPod to a bike. Remarkably during the Hugga Hookup we met Cy-Fi, an iPod speaker and remote for your bike. Good timing!
I did test ride and video the Cy-Fi, but it was too dark and the video didn’t turn out well. The device itself was cool and the owners of the company were very proud of it. Using new technology, from Kleer, it’s an iPod remote that connects to speakers you mount to your handlebars. What’s unique is that the speaker has buttons to change the track, volume, and select playlists.
Sure, sure, a DIYer could just duct-tape some speakers to a wire and an iPod. Maybe just wear headphones, but if you’re at Critical Mass or a bike parade with the Rock the Bike crowd, you can blast your Bombay Dub Orchestra for everyone to hear.
Ride louder is Cy-Fi’s slogan and they’ll find buyers for this gadget. The tech bloggers have certainly noticed