Giant chairman King Liu (劉金標) and China Airlines (CAL) chairman Philip Wei (魏幸雄) attended the ceremony yesterday morning to sign the agreement.Bicycle train cruises! Mileage for bike riding! Bicycle tours! Lots of potential here.
Janice Lai (賴瑟珍), Tourism Bureau director-general, attended the ceremony as a special guest and said the government had budgeted about NT$700 million (US$21 million) to expand the nation’s bicycle routes. A majority of the funding will be dedicated to construction along the east coast, where bikers can enjoy spectacular views and quality bike tours.
Giant president John Ho (何守仁) said both companies had exchanged thoughts on the proposal of tracking the kilometers that bikers travel in Taiwan and converting them to flight mileage on CAL’s membership cards. CAL, however, had not yet decided whether to implement the plan, Ho said.
Giant also said it was also in the process of applying with the Ministry of Transportation and Communications for an official license to operate a travel agency that offers bike tour services.
In related news, the Taiwan Railway Administration and the Northeast and Ilan Coast National Scenic Area Administration are jointly promoting a cruise train service that allows travelers to tour around the nation’s northeast coast with bicycles.
Giant, a globally famous bicycle maker, already has a great program profiled by my friend Jeff Miller on his blog a while back.
Giant Bicycles Corporation (捷安特), Taiwan's largest bicycle designer, builder and retailer, offers a highly attractive rental program (自行車租賃) to encourage more Taiwanese to take multi-day cycling trips across the island. The program lets you choose from two mid-range (NT$20,000 / US$650) bicycles [Great Journey 1 and CRX-2] and comes with a saddle bag and support kit that includes basic cycle accoutrements (air pump, tool kit, flashlight, lock, etc.).You can rent for as little as $1000 a day. If you don't want to rent, you can easily ship your bicycle by rail to any major station on the island. Today I shipped mine to Hualien from Taichung ($445), arriving tomorrow. A friend of mine is picking it up Friday -- he merely needs to show ID. No charge for letting it sit in the station baggage area overnight either. To take advantage of this system, take the bike to the baggage services area of the station, and fill out a couple of forms. "Don't need the address of the sender or receiver!" my wife and I were told, "just fill in the phone number!" The formal informality of Taiwan is one of its most endearing traits -- it's like shipping a bike across a small town....
UPDATE: If shipping through the baggage services, the bike can be shipped as is. No need to disassemble it and bag it.
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