Cycling in Taiwan
This page contains some general information and links about cycling in Taiwan.
Taiwan is an excellent destination for bicycle touring. Once you get beyond the crowded cities there are plenty of quiet and scenic roads. If you don't mind going uphill then Taiwan has an exceptional range of roads going through its steep Central Mountain Range. In recent years the round-the-island ride (環島) has become part of Taiwanese culture and an expression of Taiwanese identity. It was also popularised by the 2006 Taiwanese movie Island Etude.
Drew of Taiwan in Cycles has compiled an excellent list of Taiwan's best cycling routes complete with maps. He has also put together a collection of photos of some of the scenery on his recommended round-the-island route.
Reddit user x3nomik had this to say about riding around the island.
There are numerous options for hiring bikes in Taiwan. These range from cheap hourly hire to fully equipped touring bikes for multi-day tours.
Giant Fastroad SLR- ALUXX
Drew has compiled all the information you need to know about Giant's touring bike rental service. This is ideal for anyone visiting Taiwan who would like to hire a bike for multi-day tour or round the island ride.
Another option for hiring a touring bike is Tripercise. Bikes can be picked up and returned from their shop in Taipei City.
Public bike sharing systems have become very popular in Taiwan. Taipei's system is known as Youbike (or U-Bike) and is the largest with over 6,000 bikes. Youbike or similar systems are now operating in New Taipei, Hsinchu, Taichung, Changhua, Tainan, Kaohsiung and Pingtung.
In popular tourist destinations like Sun Moon Lake or the Dongshi Bike Trail in Taichung you should have no trouble finding a bike to hire for few hours.
Taiwan in Cycles has compiled detailed information in English about taking bikes on trains. There is also a discussion at Forumosa.com which may have some updates and additional information. It should be noted that the rules and conditions for taking bikes on trains may be somewhat confusing and inconsistent.
Taiwan KOM Challenge
The Taiwan King of the Mountain Challenge is held annually in October. The race attracts an international field of cyclists. The 109 km course has an altitude gain of 3,275 metres! See the Taiwan KOM Challenge website for more information.
Tour de Taiwan
The Tour de Taiwan (國際自由車環台公路大賽) is held annually in March. It is a UCI Class 2.1 race and part of the UCI Asia Tour. It is on 26-30 March 2017. More details on the Tour de Taiwan website.
Taipei International Cycle Show
The dates for Taipei Cycle 2017 are from March 22 to 25 at the TWTC Nangang Exhibition Hall and TWTC Exhibition Hall 1 (near Taipei 101). Taipei Cycle will move to a later date on the calendar in 2018. It is currently scheduled for 31 October to 3 November 2018.
Taichung Bike Week
Taichung Bike Week is held annually in October. The dates for 2016 are 18 to 21 October.
Bike Smiling (微笑單車上路) was Taipei's version of Critical Mass. It was held regularly from 2007 to 2009. The Bike Smiling blog is mostly written in Chinese but it contains a good archive of reports about past rides and many issues related to cycling and sustainable transport in Taipei and Taiwan.
More recently some Critical Mass rides were held around Taiwan on 20 April and 22 September 2013. A report of these rides can be found here. An article in the Taipei Times reports that the rides are occuring regularly in 2016. For more information see the @criticalmasstw Twitter account or Facebook group.
Interesting articles about Taiwan cycling
Taiwan cycling photos
Taiwan cycling links
Last updated 19 December 2016
David's Guide to Taiwan
© David Reid