I go to Taiwan twice a year, and have only managed it once to go into the mountains, and never like this. I wondered what Richie was doing in Taipei this year – I didn’t ask him straight out – it only occurred to be later that I wasn’t at Eurobike, or Interbike and so chatting with Richie or Hans was a bit odd at the show. Oh well, they all melt into another after a while (the shows, not the riders). Anyway, check this out.
Richie Schley – Made in Taiwan on pinkbike.com
Mixed feelings about coming to Taiwan for the show. The proximity to the continuing unfolding disaster in Japan has put off a lot of people. Certain customers of mine wont be here (which means I will have to go and see them instead) as they have cancelled at the last minute. I personally don’t think that is a necessary to avoid Asia because of problems in one part of it, but the fact is that it is a personal decision.
The Taipei show opens this morning. However a welcome party held by Velo and Wellgo for their customers was held last night. I was invited to speak on stage.
It was a small affair, with just 450 people and a 10 course meal. There were bands and dancers and lots of free wine!
No sharks were hurt in the making of this meal. – it wasn’t real shark fin used in the soup.
I don’t really have much to write about in terms of products at the Taipei show…. I just walked around taking some photos…. Interesting things are the new X7 group from SRAM, interesting because it is bringing their top of the line spec to mid range products. An SLX killer?
Other than that… here are pretty things….
OEM Frames anyone?
There were a lot of nice steel frames around.
So it is another trade show. This one is perhaps the best one of all. It is the most honest. Downstairs are all the OEM manufacturers, and upstairs are all the brands. It is honest because you see brands having chats with their manufacturers, and no one blinks. There is an honesty about it. There are few people blagging their way in, and fewer wannabes. It is refreshing and self limiting, because the cost of the flight is high. You have to be a very committed bike freak to travel here to try to con your way in.
Taipei Cycle is one of the big three. I meet with the distributors, and talk product. Products are launched and previews done (if you know who to talk to) – XTR 2011 anyone?!
I arrived here on Monday, flying from London to Singapore on an A380. Being an aeroplane geek, this was quite exciting. On the flight I watched a couple of great films. An Education and Liebe Mauer.
The first is multi award winning, so it was not a great surprise that I enjoyed it so much. The second is about a love affair in Berlin just before the fall of the wall. I watched this because of having been there recently, and so the points of reference were all fresh in my mind. Trailer is in German.
Yesterday I took a day away from work (well, I had breakfast with the head of our US Ops, and talked about how the brand is progressing). There is so much to do at the moment, and when traveling weekends and weekdays become so confused. I wanted to take advantage of knowing someone non-cycle related in Taipei to give me an insight into what the city and life is really like. She suggested that we went to the Yangmingshan national park mainly as it is the closest to the city. I had expected to go for a good walk, but really it was more of a light stroll, owing to the high humidity at the 26 degree temperatures. I experienced some local cuisine, with fried battered mushrooms (served with grated wasabi) from a street side seller. This is a really none tourist area, and I think I was an attraction myself, being obviously different (I am pretty tall). The waterfalls and the surroundings were really beautiful, and I will return.
Following this, I returned to Xiaolin’s district to meet with her sister and niece. Neither of them spoke English, but the 8 year old niece gave it a go, and I am completely smitten. She was so adorable.
Xiaolin and I then went to the night market (Shinlin) to eat the local delicacies before I returned for my final night in the United Hotel, Taipei, for this trip.
Right now, I am in Kansai International Airport having flown to Japan from Taiwan this morning. I am currently waiting hours before continuing my trip on to South Korea this evening. It is very windy and the island that the airport is, is being heavily battered on all sides by the ocean. Flights aren’t suffering delays, but arrival was extremely bumpy.