Disclaimer: This post about cycling in Taiwan is sponsored by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau.
The annual Taiwan Cycling Festival is upon us again!
Have you visited my homeland- Taiwan? Over the last 3 decades, cycling has risen to be one of the most popular recreational sports in this little but beautiful green country. It all began with the rise of GIANT in the 80’s, a Taiwanese bike manufacturer.
The government began investing in cycleways and thus, Cycle Route No. 1 was born in 2015. Taiwanese citizens and visitors worldwide can now circumnavigate the entire island on just two wheels, weaving through diverse landscapes of mountain ranges and coastlines.
Today, completing a bicycle circuit around Taiwan is now a bucketlist item for many travelers. What better way to cross it off your list than with the Taiwan Cycling Festival?
What is the Taiwan Cycling Festival?
Organized by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau, Taiwan Cyclist Federation, Taiwan Bicycle Exporters’ Association, and Sun Moon Lake National Scenic Area Administration, the Taiwan Cycling Festival has been around since 2010.
This year, the major league events began on October 20th with the internationally acclaimed Taiwan King-of-the-Mountain (KOM) Challenge. The cross-island Formosa 900 stretches from November 4th to November 12th, and the family-friendly Sun Moon Lake “Come! Bikeday” occurs on November 11th and 12th.
Taiwan KOM Challenge
The Taiwan KOM Challenge takes place on the scenic east coast starting in Qixingtan, through Taroko Gorge, ending high up on Hehuan Mountain. It leads competitors through different climate zones and terrains. Attracting renowned cyclists from across the globe, this is perhaps one of the most picturesque yet strenuous routes in the world.
From sea level, cyclists scale up 3,275 meters (approximately 10,000 feet) to Hehuan Mountain’s summit. This 105km route, of which 87km is a continuous climb, puts even the greatest cyclist’s stamina and strength to the test.
Teams have 9 days to complete this 900km marathon around the island. Riding along Cycle Route No. 1, Formosa 900 allows cyclists to experience each city and county, marvel at breathtaking scenery, and taste regional delicacies. Famous attractions along the way include Lugang Township, Kaohsiung’s Love River, and Zhi Ben Hot Springs,
Don’t think you can complete the circuit all on your own? E-bikes are a new addition this year for those who need that extra boost.
Sun Moon Lake Come! Bikeday
This weekend event invites cycling enthusiasts of all ages to Taiwan’s largest body of water: Sun Moon Lake. Feast your eyes on the beauty of Central Taiwan and learn about its unique aboriginal culture.
Three routes of varying difficulty, including a family-friendly path, are up for grabs. There’s even a friendly competition for kids on tricycles!
Not in Taiwan for the 2017 main events?
Don’t worry! Taiwan Cycling Festival offers a series of events throughout the year. You can find the full list on this page.
Cycling in Taiwan
Even if you’re not in the country during the event dates, cycling is one of the best ways to experience Taiwan. Check out Taiwan Tourism Bureau’s comprehensive handbook detailing trip preparation, sample itineraries, and route maps.
My husband’s colleague rode down the east coast a few years ago and had the time of his life! He found the people incredibly friendly and helpful, and the terrain challenging, diverse, and rewarding all at once. He particularly enjoyed rural riding and of course, the food!
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