Mad Dogs Adventure Ltd managing director Humphrey Wilson celebrates arriving at Government House in Hong Kong on Dec. 13, 2009, after a cycling adventure that started in England.
Photo courtesy of Mad Dogs
By Grant Dexter / Staff reporter
A cycle tour with a difference is asking for people “mad enough” to take on a tour of the nation in December.
Hong Kong-based Mad Dogs Adventure Ltd says it enables people to achieve meaningful long-distance cycling by having participants cover “every inch” of one of their challenges, rather than relying on the company to cover the less interesting kilometers with motor vehicles.
“We research all our rides by cycling them ourselves first-hand — which we did for the Taiwan Challenge route in the spring of 2014,” Mad Dogs managing director Humphrey Wilson said.
“The December 2014 ride will be the inaugural challenge to give cyclists from around [the] Asia-Pacific [region] the chance to experience the natural beauty of Taiwan first-hand, although we hope to welcome many Taiwanese participants too,” Wilson said.
Originally a chartered accountant, the Briton said he was never really cut out for a career in auditing.
“As soon as I finally qualified [as an accountant], I bought the best bicycle I could afford and set off on an epic adventure challenge — departing from Buckingham Palace, destination Government House Hong Kong,” Wilson said.
The route he chose took him through the Caucasus, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Xinjiang in China.
“Along the way I was shown extraordinary generosity and kindness — from Italian farmers, Georgian nuns, Pamiri shepherds, Uyghur families to Chinese policemen among many others,” Wilson said.
“After I finished, I tried to settle back into the financial world, but ... I had become far more identified by my cycling achievement,” he said, adding that it was a shame that others did not have the opportunity to take on similar challenges.
Wilson said that if a ride is supported and carefully planned, extraordinarily long rides can be accomplished in only a week.
HONG KONG TO HANOI
“The first of these was the Hong Kong to Hanoi Challenge ... in late 2013,” he said, adding that the event was such a success that it prompted him to start the full-time adventure cycling business.
“A Mad Dog is a unique, gritty challenge and although most find it is extremely enjoyable, fun is not in itself the main object. We want you to accomplish something wonderful,” the Mad Dogs Web site says.
“To successfully complete, you must cycle the whole distance. Every. Last. Meter,” it says.
The company refers to its challenges as well as those who take them on as “Mad Dogs.”
The company has designed a route through Taiwan from Taipei to Kenting in Pingtung County, with overnight stops in Yilan County’s Nanao Township, Hualien County’s Rueisuei Township and Taitung.
HALL OF FAME
It offers luggage forwarding, support vehicles, bicycle mechanics and guides, and successful participants get a completion certificate and induction into its hall of fame.
For more information on the company and the Taiwan tour, visit the agency’s Web site at www.gomaddogs.com.