Taiwan, boasting a flourishing bike sales and rental market, is home to a large bicycle riding population as well as a dense network of cycling paths. With the 2015 inauguration of Cycling Route No. 1 and its 25 branch routes, offering 2,690 kilometers of scenic views around Taiwan, the idea of circumnavigating the island on two wheels has become increasingly popular among the public.
Earlier this year, the Executive Yuan approved a NT$1.6 billion (US$52.3 million) plan spanning 2020 to 2023 to upgrade the round-island network and integrate a wide range of pathways, with the aims of providing a bike-friendly environment and making cycling tourism safe and accessible, while attracting more domestic and foreign tourists to Taiwan's cycling events. These efforts are expected to bring overall enhancements to existing bike paths, improve service facilities and cyclist safety, and link the routes to national scenic areas to create in-depth local travel experiences with international appeal.
The Tourism Bureau has also launched a campaign to make 2021 the year of cycling tourism. Aside from allowing local and foreign tourists to experience the beauty of Taiwan, the campaign will expand the cycling tourism market with the ultimate objective of transforming Taiwan into a cycling nation.
Strategies for building a bike-friendly environment
■ Create internationally oriented cycling routes and unique travel experiences: Create a series of cycling events combining Taiwan's unique landscapes and features, and provide certification for completing challenges. Expand bicycling tourism information services while connecting bike paths to railway and bus transport options.
■ Develop in-depth local travel experiences for cyclists: Map and promote different types of touring routes for each locale. Combine cycling itineraries with accommodations and improve the biking environment in urban areas.
■ Improve the round-island bike network and enhance safety: Improve pavement quality on Cycling Route No. 1 and various branch routes. Add higher guardrails at sharp turns and dangerous slopes with limited visibility to ensure safety for cyclists.