Nationwide cycling trip set to break record


TAIPEI–Taiwanese officials yesterday called on the public to join a nationwide cycling trip on Dec. 31 that aims to break the Guinness World Record for the most bikers riding at once. Organized to mark the centennial of the Republic of China, the “One Bike One” tour has so far attracted the registration of more than 110,000 cyclists, organizers said at a press conference in Taipei to promote the tour.

“This event heralds the arrival of the next century in Taiwan as an energy-saving one with a focus on healthy lifestyle options, “said Ovid Tzeng, minister for the Council for Cultural Affairs.

Tzeng and Tai Hsia-ling, minister of the Cabinet-level Sports Affairs Council, called on the public to join the event to “move Taiwan forward.”

At 10 a.m. on Dec. 31, participants will set off simultaneously from 1,000 check-in points around Taiwan and its outlying islands and will cycle in a clockwise direction around the country until they reach their designated destination points.

The event, expected to last for an hour, requires each biker to ride at least five kilometers on the 1,000-km route and to check in before they set off from their departure points and after they arrive at their destination points, otherwise their rides will not be counted for the record.

Bikers with smartphones can check in by downloading an app from the event’s website and activating their app to start a GPS track, which will be recorded on the website’s homepage.

Those without smartphones can send text messages to a designated number, after which their signals will be tracked.

Calling the event “unprecedented,” King Liu, president of Taiwan’s largest bicycle manufacturer Giant Manufacturing, said the tour brings together two of Taiwan’s strengths.

“This is not only a simple biking event. It is one that combines Taiwan’s IT industry and traditional bike industry,” said Liu, who heads the event’s executive team.

Organizers are attempting to break the world record for the most bikers riding at once, which currently stands at 48,615, a record set in Udine, Italy on June 11, 2000.

More than 7,000 riders have registered to set off from Taipei’s Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, which will be the largest departure point, said organizers, calling on interested bikers who have not registered to still join in the event.

A ceremony was also held at the press conference to donate 1,000 used bikes to aboriginal children in eastern Taiwan, so they could take part in the cycling trip.