Sporting Life- Sports, Exercise Blog

Posts Tagged ‘bikes

Taipei, March 20 (CNA) Asia’s largest bike show opened Wednesday in Taipei, attracting over 1,000 exhibitors who are expected to generate over US$300 million in business, organizers said.

The Taipei International Cycle Show has attracted 1,103 exhibitors from 36 countries, over a quarter of whom are foreign exhibitors, Wang Chih-kang, chairman of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), said at the opening ceremony of the show.

A total of 7,000 international buyers are estimated to attend the show that will run till March 23, he said.

“Taiwan has become the supply center of the world’s high-end bicycles,” he said, highlighting the country’s strength in the research, development and branding of bicycles.

The export value of Taiwanese bicycles reached US$1.8 billion in 2012, up 8.68 percent from a year earlier, while the total export value of bicycles and bicycle parts touched US$2.73 billion in 2012, an increase of 11.74 percent from the previous year, according to TAITRA, Taiwan’s main trade promotion body.

Taiwan also exported 94,200 bikes valued at US$45.29 million to China last year, a significant growth of 179 percent and 158 percent, respectively, from 2011, TAITRA said.

Wang attributed the growth to a reduction of tariff barriers in bicycle trade since the 2010 Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement between Taiwan and China took effect.

He said the Taipei bike show is currently Asia’s largest and among the top three in the world, and expressed hope that the show will become the world’s largest, after construction is completed on a new exhibition hall near the current venue at the Taipei World Trade Center Nangang Exhibition Hall.

He added that the show is also expected to boost business in the tourism, transportation and communications sectors.


Anthony Lo, chairman of the Taiwan Bicycle Exporters’ Association, said Taiwan should continue its efforts to become a “cycling island” by continuing to research and develop high-quality bike products, improving its cycling environment and transforming its cities into low carbon cities.

Currently, over 25,000 people use the Youbike system — a bike rental system in Taipei — every day, Lo said, adding that the number of bikes under the program is expected to increase from around 1,500 to over 5,500 by July this year, benefiting over 10 million riders in the city each year.

Youbike was launched by the Taipei city government in 2009 and allows registered users to use their “Easy Card” prepaid transport cards to rent the bikes for free for the first half hour of rental, after which they are charged.

Vice President Wu Den-yih said the government is determined to support Taiwan’s bicycle industry and urged the Ministry of Economic Affairs to accelerate the construction of the new exhibition hall.

The four-day show will showcase a diverse range of bicycles, bicycle accessories, sportswear and other bicycle and sports-related products.

Forums will also be organized to discuss the latest breakthroughs in motors, batteries and emerging market trends and how to transform Taiwan into a “cycling island.”

An international expo showcasing sports textiles and accessories will also be held March 20-23 in Taipei, while an international sporting goods show and an international diving and water sports show will take place March 19-22.

At the opening ceremony, Wu also presented awards to the four gold award winners of the Taipei Cycle d&i awards, jointly organized by TAITRA and Taiwan Bicycle Exporters’ Association and executed by iF International Forum Design GmbH for the second time.

The gold award winners include an innovative full carbon wheel set, a cycle shoe insole, child’s bicycle seat and bicycle brake caliper.

The annual event, now in its 26th year, will take place at the Taipei World Trade Center Nangang Exhibition Hall and Hall 1.

(By Christie Chen)

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Basement fitness centers be damned. There are some places around the world that make your intentions to lace up the runners and don the spandex a whole lot more inviting.

1. MV Stella Australis, Chile

Ever wanted to jog around Cape Horn but thought it was impossible? Well, it’s not.

Brand-new ship (well, in cruise ship terms any ship just past her first birthday is still brand-new) Stella Australis plies the glacier-lined route between Punta Arenas (Chile) and Ushuaia (Argentina).

The gym is positioned on the top deck with full-height double-glazed windows providing an ever-changing view of snow-dusted mountains and glaciers amid forest-clad fjords. The double glazing is important, as summer temperatures barely reach double figures in South American Patagonia.

There’s no problem getting warmed up, however, on modern treadmills, steppers and bikes, as albatross soar on the Furious Fifties winds that buffets the land at the “end of the world”.

2. Andaman Hotel, Langkawi, Malaysia

National Geographic film crews know a good location when they see one. So it’s no surprise to find out that the same ancient rainforest that treadmill pounders gaze at from the Andaman Hotel is a favoured habitat for filming wildlife documentaries.

Located on the northwest coast of Langkawi, the region abounds in rare wildlife on land and kaleidoscopic fringing coral reef beyond the beach.

Hotel designers didn’t quite get it right for water babies but for those who find inspiration in lush plush jungle, you won’t be disappointed with French windows allowing heady tropical aromas to waft around the gym.

3. Sasakwa Lodge, Tanzania

Unleash your inner safari man (or woman) when you drop into your own personal piece of African indulgence on a privately held 137,000-hectare concession of Singita Grumeti Reserve.

Incongruously rising above the plains in the style of an Edwardian manor house, the main lodge is surrounded by a handful of secluded cottages, each with its own infinity pool and dreamy heat-haze views all the way to the horizon.

If you can drag yourself beyond poolside tranquilized stupor, the gym is a revelation for such a remote location. Equipped with modern machines, it’s easy to imagine running across the sun-kissed plains, with bounding zebras kicking up their hooves beside you.

4. Aqua Expeditions, Peru

If cruising little-accessible waters of the Amazon floats your boat, step onto the treadmill aboard luxury river expedition vessel MV Aria, departing from the forest-clad port of Iquitos.

Launched in the spring of 2011, MV Aria plies the upper reaches and tributaries of the Andes-fed Amazon, allowing up to 32 guests to immerse themselves in wildlife and wild landscapes of 20,000 square kilometers of Pacaya Samira Reserve encased in floating luxury.

Hitting the treadmill daily is recommended, given that menus are designed by renowned chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, otherwise known as the jungle chef, for his creative use of Amazonian wild foods.

More an exercise room bathed in natural light from immense picture windows rather than a fully blown gym, there’s no denying the inspirational “in-your-face” view gliding by.

5. Chobe Safari Lodge, Uganda

Recently restored to her former 1950s elegance and perched above the bank of the River Nile, water is the main focus of Chobe Safari Lodge.

That is, of course, once you’ve had your fill of the elephants, hippos and buffalo that hang out around this legendary waterway. Attracting wildlife by the safari-load, the three-level swimming pool, spa and gym all overlook the rushing, gushing Nile.

Within the largest National Park in Uganda, Murchison Falls National Parkis not a bad spot for fishos to drop a line once they’ve finished buffing their biceps in the Chobe Health Club and Spa.

6. Sheraton Anchorage Hotel & Spa, United States

It’s unlikely that master mariner Captain James Cook would recognize much about Anchorage these days. Things have changed a bit since he anchored in the bay, now known as Cook Inlet, beneath a couple of active volcanoes and a mountain affectionately known by locals as Sleeping Lady.

On a clear day Redoubt and Spurr mountains, all 3,000 meters of them, poke out above the clouds, all theatrical summits and look-at-me attitude.

Gazing out from the 15th floor gym to the street below, gym junkies shouldn’t be surprised to see one of the 1,000-odd moose who also call Anchorage home wandering the streets.

7. Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, United States

Any hotel that puts step machines front and center behind frameless glass walls that overlook the Pacific Ocean gets my vote.

Add a crystal chandelier to enhance the theatrical movie star opulence, and you’ll be seriously motivated to get your butt camera-ready.

Naturally, equipment is top-of-the-line Precor and Icarian with individual screens and multimedia connectivity. The team at Ritz-Carlton seem to know just how to prop up a narcissistic gym junkie’s habit.

 

8. Wickaninnish Inn, Canada

The favored destination for storm chasers, those climate-crazy souls who time their holidays to encounter the worst weather, Wickaninnish Inn sits tall, proud and somewhat weather-beaten on a point jutting seaward. Beachcombers and surfer dudes also find their way to wild tumbled Chesterman Beach.

Looking west across the Pacific Ocean from Vancouver Island, 10 years ago the inn built a new wing to capitalize on their beachfront location, thrilling gym junkies no end by placing the workout room center stage.

9. Paresa Resort Phuket, Thailand

Phuket is home to sea gypsies who live on floating villages earning a living from ever depleting fish stocks, as well as the seething, writhing, pumping tourism hub of Patong Beach which attracts modern-day travelers.

Treadmill joggers who bother to look south from the gym at Paresa can catch a glimpse of the ever-present partying integral to the beachfront strip.

But for my money, the real attraction is the uninterrupted cliff top view from high above the Andaman Sea, particularly at dusk as the blazing tropical sun disappears below the salt-laden horizon.

10. Hotel Icon, Hong Kong

Opened just two months ago, Hotel Icon represents the combined efforts of Hong Kong’s most creative geniuses.

Clearly health-conscious designers who appreciate the benefits of positioning the pool and gym on the rooftop, it’s hard to imagine a more exciting cityscape than Hong Kong’s.

Particularly so at night, when all bets are off when it comes to conserving energy and the city lights up like the a Christmas tree.

Naturally, being a brand-new luxuriously appointed hotel with a heavy focus on glamour, gym equipment is state of the art and open 24 hours.

(By Fiona Harper, CNN Travel )


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