The island nation of Taiwan, the Republic of China, is bidding to become the pre-eminent Asian destination for professional and amateur cycling with the annual restaging of its upcoming Taiwan Cycling Festival, taking place this year from November 9 – 17. Created by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau and developed into an annual event over the past several seasons, the nine-day festival was last year moved later in the calendar to November to avoid possible weather disruptions due to the typhoon season in Taiwan earlier in the fall.
The cycling festival is designed both to develop the sport among participants at all levels in Taiwan, including events for physically-challenged, senior and family cyclists, and to showcase the island nation as one of the most beautiful backdrops for both competitive and leisure cycling in the world.
There will be at least three main components in this year’s festival. The KOM (King of the Mountain) Challenge takes place as the opening event on November 9, involving 400 cyclists including about 150 amateur and professional foreign participants from outside Taiwan. The 105 kilometer (65 mile) mountain climb begins at sea level at the Quixingtan seashore and climbs through scenic valleys to the finish at the summit of Hehuan Mountain in Huling, Taiwan at 10,700 feet, one of the steepest courses in all of cycling racing.
The Formosa 900 is an eight-day bike tour extending the complete length of the festival days and involving eleven cycling teams from around Taiwan leaving from seven different starting locations. There will cycling groups included in the event for disabled, all-female, allied business participants, seniors and other affinity groups.
A third event is the Sun Moon Lake “Come! Bike Day” experience in which participants of all levels from professional to family to tourist cyclists in the festival are invited to join in a fun ride around the scenic Sun Moon Lake, the largest inland waterway in Taiwan and a route considered the most beautiful for cycling on the island.
Many biking tours have been organized for the festival by Taiwan’s Yilan County, Hualien County, Taitung County and Taichung County, as well as the Tourism Bureau National Scenic Area Administrations of Sun Moon Lake, North coast and Guanyinshan, Northeast Coast, Tri-mountain, East Rift Valley, Siraya, and East Coast. These exciting tours include Dapu Creative Bike Festival, Biking the Northeast Coast - Yilan Cycling Excursion, Biking Tour of Tribal Villages and Xiuguluan River Rafting, and East Rift Valley Biking Carnival.
Travel agents or their clients can get more information about this year’s festival or plans for 2014 by contacting the Taiwan Tourism Bureau of the Republic of China, 9F, No.290, Sec. 4, Zhongxiao E. Rd., Da-an District, Taipei City 10694, Taiwan, Republic of China.