Yesterday I commented on the importance of the Round-Island-Tour in Taiwanese culture, which has become a rite of passage and in many ways a Gandhi-esque discovery of the nation.
Eye Taiwan, an independent cycling advocacy group, has put together a program to sponsor cyclists in Taiwan to make the fabled Round-Island-Tour. I have written about Yang a little bit when his vision was unfortunately misrepresented in Common Wealth Magazine.
The concept is the brainchild of Yang Ming-huang a.k.a "Frog", who is the owner and operator of the Frog Cafe in Bali, a bicycle themed cafe along the western banks of the Danshui (Tamshui) River.
In 2008, after completing his own Round-Island-Tour, Yang decided he needed to invest his resources in allowing other riders to discover Taiwan and learn to love Taiwan as he had. Since 2008 Yang has made 10 fully equipped bicycles available for a full tour of Taiwan
The rules to participate are as follows:
1. Read the book authored by Frog entitled, Ride Around Taiwan Island (島內出走)
2. Write A Book Report on Ride Around Taiwan Island.
3. Write your proposal and route plan for your trip.
4. Return and write your own story and post it on Eye Taiwan.
Riders can download an application or apply on-line and will be contacted if the proposal has been accepted. The rider's schedule will then be posted on the Eye Taiwan website. The minimum number of applicants per tour is one and the maximum is 10, limited by the number of available bikes.
Some other terms of agreement include:
1. Riders must also agree to post their ride reports within a month of completing their tours.
2. Riders must start and end their tours at the Frog Cafe in Bali.
3. The distance is unlimited, but riders are encouraged to make one full loop around Taiwan.
4. Riders will be responsible for any damaged to the bicycles or equipment during their journey.
5. Riders will be required to pay NT500 for maintenance and an additional NT500 donation to the Eye Taiwan cycling fund to keep the program in operation.
6. All bikes are loaners and must be returned to Frog Cafe.
This program information and applications are limited to Chinese language only, but the organizers are considering a future English language format as well.
You can check out a model cycling calendar that reveals accompanying pictures when you click on the days. Here
This is basically an offer for a free bike rental for riders who want to circle Taiwan.