March will be an exciting month for anyone interested in bikes and cycling in Taiwan. The Tour de Taiwan runs from 9-16 March. Taipei Cycle 2008 takes place at the TWTC Nangang Exhibition Hall from 13-16 March.
The 2008 Tour de Taiwan starts in Kaohsiung on 9 March. The race will cover 832 kilometres in eight stages. The final stage on 16 March will be a criterium around Taipei City Hall. The tour is part of the UCI Asia Tour and 22 teams from 15 countries will compete in the race. Stage by stage the race will go as follows:
- Stage 1: 9 March (Sun) Kaohsiung City
- Stage 2: 10 March (Mon) Pingdong County
- Stage 3: 11 March (Tue) Zhanghua County
- Stage 4: 12 March (Wed) Taizhong City
- Stage 5: 13 March (Thu) Xinzhu City
- Stage 6: 14 March (Fri) Taipei County
- Stage 7: 15 March (Sat) Taipei City (Nangang)
- Stage 8: 16 March (Sun) Taipei City (Taipei City Hall)
Descriptions of the stages (in Chinese) are available on the Tour de Taiwan website. The stages in Kaohsiung, Pingdong, Taizhong, Xinzhu, Nangang and Taipei will all be held on street circuits allowing spectators to get close to the action. Stage 6 in Taipei County will start and finish at the Taipei County Government building in Banqiao. Riders will race over an out and back circuit to Cape Bitou via Danshui.
Taipei Cycle 2008 will be held at the TWTC Nangang Exhibition Centre from 13-16 March. The event marks the opening of the new exhibition centre which has 1.7 times more floor space than the Taipei World Trade Centre. Unfortunately the MRT lines that will connect to the Nangang Exhibition Centre are not yet complete. The best way to get there will be to travel on the MRT to Kunyang Station and take a bus or taxi from there. The bike show is also being held in conjuction with the Taiwan International Sporting Goods Show (TaiSPO). TaiSPO will be held at the TWTC in the Xinyi District of Taipei.
And finally, if you prefer riding bikes rather than just looking at them, don't forget Bike Smiling (微笑單車上路). It's on Sunday 30 March at 3:00pm in Taipei. Meet at the main gate of NTU (on the corner of Roosevelt and Xinsheng Roads).