Thursday, May 8, 2008

A-Team takes to the road...

I hear and read about plenty of Taiwan bashing when it comes to consumers commenting on where bikes are made. They throw out comments that are unresearched and biased. They know little of the incredible abilities of the bicycle industry in Taiwan. The Taiwanese are eager to work with foreign customers and their abilities are second to none.

In the past, however, there has been little cycling culture present in the Taiwanese bicycle industry. That is about to change. And the change is coming from the top down. On May 4, Taiwan's new president sent off 32 members of the A-Team on a 950km circumnavigation of the island of Taiwan. Among these members are the presidents, general managers, and owners of some of the best Taiwanese bicycle businesses - many of whom, I've been lucky enough to sit at a dinner table with or call friends. They are, in essence, setting the example for the rest of the industry to follow. Giant's chairman, Tony Lo said "It’s not enough to engineer good products. If Taiwan’s industry is to be a world leader then its executives need to better understand bicycles and their relationship to cyclists," according to a Bicycle Retailer story. What a better way to use your own company's products.

A lot of folks use cycling as a means to also indulge in food and drink. The theory being that as a cyclist your body consumes a huge amount of calories so you must replenish. It looks like that theory also applies to the A-Team riders as they tour around Taiwan stopping for bufffets featuring the incredible local food and beer. I've sat many a time around a dining table in a small local Taiwanese restaurant as large quantities of food get laid out on lazy susans and beer flows freely. Combine that with riding and that has got to be an incredible tour. I kinda wish I was there riding with them.

And to show that they are also not just fair weather cyclists, the second day of their tour dawned with rain and wind. The conditions just showed just how tough these executives are as they simply geared up for the rain, got on their bikes and started pedaling.

Read about the A-Teams tour at

(What's playing: She and Him - Why Don't You Let Me Stay Here?)


Guitar Ted said...

I find the actions of the "A-Team" inspiring. Yeah.......and I wish I was there too, and I don't even know any of them! But hey, if they like bikes, food, and beer, how hard could it be to make new friends with them, ya know?

Wouldn't it be awesome to see the heads of the U.S. companies doing this here?

blackmountaincycles said...

Mike Sinyard and his Specialized crew did it when they rode from Morgan Hill to Las Vegas for Interbike in '07.

But it would be cool to see competing heads of company get together for a tour.