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Why Taiwan is made for cycling

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The subtropical island of Taiwan is one that must be experienced hands on. Cycling the island is most probably the best option to do so, collating a natural and environmentally friendly method of transportation that will get you where you need to be, sooner or later, with an enjoyable tour of the most beautiful landscapes in peace and serenity. 

Given how well equipped the island is for cyclists, in terms of infrastructure and routes, cycling can be taken both professionally, with a high-powered approach and plenty of sweat and effort, as well recreationally, with a relaxed, laidback attitude whilst you glide under the sun.

Due to the multifaceted capabilities of this island, the government, together with the tourism board, hold several different events dedicated specifically to cycling on an annual basis. There's so many that you can really choose your pick and see which one you're most suited for!

First and foremost comes the Tour de Taiwan, a UCI class 2.1 race and part of the UCI Asia tour. It's been held in Taiwan since 1978 and took place between March 26th and 30th this year.

The tour comprises of a five stage route, going from Taipei, to New Taipei, through Taoyuan, in the Nantou County and finishing with the Pingtung County. You can visit their official website for a more detailed description of the single stages.

The Taiwan King of the Mountain Challenge is a 109km course that gains 3275 metres up the mountainous ranges of the subtropical island. It's described by professional cyclist Aaron Lee as "one of the hardest bike races in the world" and Emma Pooley, a multi-prize winner women's cycling champion, has also said that it “was the hardest single day I have ever had on a bike." In fact the competition is known world-wide as the hill climb that surpasses them all.  Check out the route and plan on their official website

Similarly, the Formosa 900 is an island-wide tour currently acquiring international fame. Held in late October, it requires each team to ride 900 kilometers in nine days and, with a circular route ending at its starting point, it awards a certificate of cycling island will be awarded to the team members who have completed the challenge. 

Don't think you'll manage such daunting tracks? Don't fret! 

In March, the nation’s capital hosts the Taipei International Cycle Show.

In October, the Taiwanese town of Taichung hosts the 0K Taiwan-Floral City Biking Festival, an event further promoting low-carbon tourism for both foreign and domestic tourists. Read the activity brief here - it ranges from raffles to religion to economy and several other activities for in-depth understanding of local customs and culture.

In November, you and your family can joing the Sun Moon Lake Come! Bikeday, exploring the excquisite views the water basin has to offer, as one of the world's top ten bicycle paths, as voted by CNNGO.

The island’s got it all: cycle from the coast to up the mountainous roads, or simply enjoy the view of lakes and beaches and typical towns. You can also hear it for yourselves with these interviews with experts.

On our cycling tour around the island we experienced both, splitting between ourselves according to our cycling abilities. Guess what, I took the whole “recreational” take on the tour. Fortunately, you can watch this short clip we put together to recount some of our travels.

Also check out our article regarding the most breathtaking scenery you can experience whilst on a cycling trip around the island, to be published soon.

There are innumerous amounts of great cycling tracks around the island, whether it's a creative cycling approach you're after or an intense tour. Is that too much choice? You can also pick between the top ten cycling tours of the nation so some of the choice has already been done for you!

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Sofia travelled to Taiwan with the Taiwan Tourism Bureau on a ten-day trip cycling around the island.

In this series she'll explore lifestyle, culture, religion, food, nature and sporting opportunities that are available in Taiwan.

Visit the Taiwan Tourism Bureau on Facebook for insight on holidays in Taiwan and check out the events coming to the nation in the next few months.

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