Taiwan's government has announced on their "International Service Portal" that, essentially, the First Annual Taiwan Bike Festival was such a smashing success... they are going to hold the exact same event again next year and have thus announced plans to hold the second First Annual Taiwan Bike Festival in 2011.
You read that correctly. Next year will be considered the "first" one and the 2010 festival is being called a "trial event" that doesn't really count. Sorry attendees. Luckily next year's event will be held in the month of November to coincide with my twelfth 25th birthday.
Among this year's successes that helped the Sports Affairs Council opt for a do-over was the October scheduling, which put the event at the tail end of typhoon season and resulted in several events being cancelled as several of the world's top cyclists waited in their hotels for conditions to clear.
... and there's more...
Here's the whole thing:
The full article is only two paragraphs, but there is a lot to dig into.
I covered just some of it here. I think the article above really helps illustrate some of my points.
The first thing I would like to draw attention to is the extravagant use of the term LOHAS. The term has become a buzzword in Taiwan's domestic marketing with little action to back it up. LOHAS or Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability, encourages the wealthier and more educated classes to be willing to spend more on "green" living.
Taiwan's government is clearly focused on pushing cycling touri$m, or rather, Tourism's ability to generate construction and development profits over real lifestyles of sustainability.
The promise of more concrete for bike paths rings empty when riders are asked drive their bikes out to ride them. The claims that Taiwan is becoming "Bicycle Island" sounds like something from Fantasy Island. With the narrow focus on only tourism, Taiwan's cycling infrastructure is like a new subdivision of big, fancy houses that are not hooked up to a sewer line or power grid. We currently have islands of bike trails that connect to nothing and very little investment pointed toward making those connection that might make those systems valuable to society.
They are always eager to throw NT 4 billion into concrete, but can you get there by bus?