By Grant Dexter / Staff reporter
Cyclists “mad enough” to take on Hong Kong-based Mad Dogs Adventure Ltd’s Taiwan challenge finished a trek down the length of the nation on Wednesday last week, clocking up more than 550km in four days.
The cycling travel company says it enables people to achieve meaningful long-distance rides by having participants cover “every inch” of one of their challenges, rather than relying on vehicles to cover the less interesting stretches.
The company refers to its rides, as well as those who take them on, as “Mad Dogs.”
The Taiwan route took the participants from Taipei to Kenting in Pingtung County, with overnight stops in Yilan County’s Nanao Township, Hualien County’s Rueisuei Township and Taitung.
Briton Julia Mason said she jumped at the chance to conquer the challenge.
“When I found out that the Mad Dogs were riding from Taipei to Kenting, I jumped at the opportunity to join them,” she said.
“Having never cycled more than 80km in a day before, I was excited, but slightly apprehensive as to how I would find cycling over 560km in four days,” Mason added.
Mason said she slowly got into a rhythm on the first day.
“I grew to really enjoy the climbs, for I knew that the way down would be a lot of fun,” the Hong Kong resident said.
She said that the cyclists had made a slight detour at one point.
We rode through “Nan Fang Ao fishing harbor, which was lovely to see and a worthwhile detour,” she said.
However, the detour led to a bit of a mix up.
“After establishing we were on the road ... all of a sudden, the sea was on our right-hand side and we were heading north,” she said.
The recent graduate of the University of Sheffield in England reached the finish in Kenting, with a completion time of 36 hours, 58 minutes.
Also completing the challenge were Cyrille Gosse, a retired Frenchman (31 hours, 52 minutes), and Philippe Pierrot, a French businessman (32 hours, 22 minutes).
Mason said she is planning to ride from the UK to Hong Kong in March next year.
Next year, Mad Dogs has long-distance cycling events planned in Singapore (1,282km); Macau (693km); Thailand (1,420km); from Tokyo to Sapporo, Japan, (1,101km); from Sapporo to Poronaysk, Russia (675km); from Hong Kong to Hanoi (1,204km); before a return to Taiwan in December.
For more information, visit the Mad Dogs Web site: www.gomaddogs.com.