Taiwan’s first mountain biking trails formally open with race
01/03/2012 (Liberty Times)
Mountain biking has been alive and well in Taiwan for years now, and Taiwan’s lack of quality bike paths has been solved by the opening of the country’s first exclusive mountain bike lanes on routes through the Baolai Mountain area in Kaohsiung’s Liugui on Sunday, which was marked by the "2012 Liugui International Bicycle Cross-Country Race."
After the massive typhoon of 2009, the Liugui police station was rebuilt using green construction principles, and as part of that project, existing commercial roads and pathways through the mountains nearby were developed into a mountain bike-only path system. The roadway runs 40 kilometers and has over 1,000 meters of rise over its course, making it a very challenging ride.
To mark the formal opening of the paths, the district office held its first international mountain bike competition, with various divisions of competition for top riders, city residents, and so on, attracting over 200 bike enthusiasts. The starter's gun echoed at 8 a.m. Sunday morning on Baolai Avenue, and the competitors followed a route that took them past the Suluopo Hot Springs and the Zhulin Recreational Farm. In the top riders division, Peng Kui-hsiang turned in a time of 1:37:28 to take home the gold.
Wang Peng-yu, head of Liugui’s Office of Tourism, says that the Baolai mountain bike trails run along incomparable scenery and have terrain to satisfy both the average rider and the very dedicated mountain biker. Three trails are mapped out: recreational, fitness and technically challenging.
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