Re: [rootsradicals] xtracycle in Taiwan
- Hi parepidemos,
Taiwan finally allowed private inter-city buses, so we no longer have
the 'wild chicken buses.' Some of the new companies, though, are
getting quite a reputation for dramatic... uh... technical difficulties.
One bus was filmed cruising at the usual top-speed down the highway
with flames coming out the back. With the increasingly top-heavy tour
buses, I'm surprised that only 1 or 2 fall off the mountains each year
(I've no data on actual rates, but it happens often enough).
Air quality in Taipei and Kaohsiung has improved, but not Taichung. All
new motorbikes are equipped with catalytic converters, so that source of
pollution has improved somewhat.
For bikers, the real problem is that the economy HAS grown, resulting in
1) the hugely increasing number of poorly driven (think cell-phones and
inexperience), brand-new, US-sized SUV's that think they own the road
(when I know that it is really I who owns the road...) and 2) the
arrow-headed 0.5 m long spikes they have sticking off the ends of their
front bumpers. Theoretically, those spikes are supposed to help these
hapless drivers to know where their front wheels are so they don't fall
off any mountains (which also happens fairly regularly). What I, and
the motorbikes and pedestrians, know is that those spikes are there to
ensure that any collision is a fatality by impaling us on those spikes.
Often, fatalities cost less than hospital bills and rehab... When you
were in Taiwan, you must have heard about the accidents where afterwards
the truck backs up over the victim to make sure the victim is really
dead. That sort of behavior is much less common now as it can
(finally!) land the truck driver in prison.
In the US, I used to whitewater kayak for my adrenalin fix. Here,
riding a bike or motorbike gives me my adrenalin fix. It's actually
more complicated as all the hazards (except pot holes) are moving.
Well, even the size and location of pot holes can change from day to
day... The only moving hazards kayakers need to worry about are rafts.
When on my xtracycle, I've had several people stop me to ask what sort
of bike I had. They were thinking it was the length of the bike that
allowed me to climb the hill with 'ease.' I'm happy to recommend the
xtracycle, but I had to tell them that it wasn't the frame, but the
gears that did the job. Most Taiwanese bikers could use instruction on
how to use their gears.
> I was wondering if Xtracycle had a following in the land of its making!--
> Glad to hear there is a rootsradical at the Radical's roots.
> I used to live in Taipei and biked everywhere: look out for those ye ji
> che. (this was 1987, don't know if they have passed into history by
> now as the economy has grown) Oh how I would have loved an Xtracycle
> then. With a Stokemonkey you'll be the envy of Taichung-- might see a
> lot more Stoked Xtracycles on the Fragrant Isle soon! Sure would be
> good for the air quality, if they began to replace motorbikes.
> -- Nic in Los Angeles
> (2000-vintage X mated to old aluminum Motiv, plotting and scheming for
> a newer better X in 2007)
> On Apr 3, 2006, at 7:22 AM, email@example.com wrote:
>> Date: Mon, 03 Apr 2006 12:45:23 +0800
>> From: Cara Lin Bridgman <caralinb@...>
>> Subject: Re: New to rootsradicals from Taichung, Taiwan
>> Hi Folks,
>> The xtracycle may be produced in Taichung, Taiwan, but as far as I
>> I'm the only one riding one around Taichung.
> You're getting this message because you signed up to be an Xtracycle roots radical.
> To Post a message, send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org
> ride to believe.
> Yahoo! Groups Links
Cara Lin Bridgman
Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
P.O. Box 013 Phone: 886-4-2632-5484
Longjing Sinjhuang 434
Taiwan website: myweb.hinet.net/home6/caralinb/