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.
Bike Hugger has traveled and ridden in lots of places and Taipei is always fascinating because of this crazy old, new, reinventing-itself mix. Today during the ride, we rode through Liberty Square and watched a Halloween Parade. It was uniquely Taipei with costumes, puppets, tribal drummers, gold lamé, coconut bras, and lots of families watching. It was like watching your Smalltown USA neighborhood parade through a Taiwan kaleidoscope. Mark shot video that we’ll post later.
Such a diverse cultural mix I’ve not seen in other cities and expect to see more of it tomorrow at the Day Zero of Intel Developer Forum Taiwan. We’re hosting a Blogger Party, visiting the tech showcase, interviewing the keynoters, and riding around. We’re also blogging about the event and looking for MIDs, small-form factor PCs, and maybe some surprises.
For some context, check the Purple Pedals and consider a rev 2.0 of that bike that had a computer on it …