September 6, 2009

Liu and supporters rode 1,668 kilometers from Beijing to Shanghai

Giant Chairman King Liu completed a 20-day, 1,668-kilometer cycling tour through China on May 29. Liu and a group of 28 support riders from Taiwan rode from Beijing to Shanghai with the goal of promoting the positive aspects of cycling in China and around the world.

Liu, the 75-year-old co-founder of Giant, began his journey on May 9 with a send-off from Beijing National Stadium, the famous landmark built for the 2008 Olympic Games that’s known as the Bird’s Nest. Over the next 20 days, Liu rode through three provinces—Hebei, Shandong and Jiangsu—and the three municipalities of Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai. They crossed the Yellow River and Yangtze River, and rode through 13 historical cities. Liu completed the trip on May 29, at Shanghai Stadium.

Liu’s journey is believed to be the first major organized non-stop cycling trip from Beijing to Shanghai. The group encountered many groups of friendly Chinese cyclists along the way, and Liu said he hopes his experience will motivate others to follow his path.

“After completing this ride in China, we look forward to seeing many more cycling groups from Taiwan coming across the Taiwan Strait to ride, and to promote a healthy and harmonious relationship in both nations,” King said.

Liu visited a host of historical attractions in the cities he passed through. Among these were the Cangzhou Iron Lion and the Confucian Temple in Qufu.

“I would strongly recommend this route for people who want to experience China by bike,” Liu said. “It was very satisfying, both mentally and physically.”

Liu was greeted by cyclists and officials in many of the cities he passed through. He spoke to gatherings along the way, emphasizing the positive developments that have contributed to cycling’s recent growth in popularity in Taiwan and around the world. .

Liu explained how bicycles themselves have improved dramatically in recent years, pointing to his Giant Defy Advanced Limited as an example. Liu said modern bikes with lightweight construction, comfortable ride qualities and a wide range of gears make cycling more enjoyable to more people.

Liu also stressed the social benefits of cycling as an alternative to automobiles. “Many people travel in cars, with high speeds and closed windows,” Liu said. “But on bikes, people greet each other, building human relationships and gradually shaping a more peaceful society.”

Liu and Giant have played major roles in the effort to make Taiwan more conducive to cycling. In January Liu was named a senior adviser to Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou. One of just 13 presidential advisers, Liu is instrumental in promoting government plans to enhance cycling opportunities. For instance, Giant recently worked with the government to introduce a public bicycle rental program in Taipei that encourages cycling as an important transportation solution by allowing riders to rent a bike at point A and return it at point B.

These and other achievements led the U.S.-based cycling trade publication Bicycle Retailer and Industry News (BRAIN) to name Liu “International Person of the Year” at their annual “BRAINy Awards” in April.