TAICHUNG, Taiwan (BRAIN)—Giant chairman King Liu will embark on a challenging 1036-mile bicycle tour through China in May to promote the positive benefits of the cycling lifestyle.
Liu, who co-founded Giant in 1972, will be 75 when he begins his journey in Beijing on May 9. He hopes to complete his ride to Shanghai in about 20 days, sharing his passion for cycling along the way. Liu hopes to inspire cyclists in both Taiwan and China to work toward enhancing cycling opportunities in both nations.
Having spent most of his life focused on running a business, Liu reignited his passion for cycling two years ago when he completed a 575-mile ride through Taiwan in 17 days. Now he is facing a more intense challenge, a ride that will require him to complete about 50 miles per day for 20 consecutive days.
“I have spent 36 years at Giant to build the best quality bicycles in the world,” Liu said. “Now I would like to spend my next 36 years sharing the joy of the ride to all the people in the world.”
Liu hopes this personal challenge will inspire people in Taiwan, China and around the world to become more aware of cycling and to embrace it as both a healthy lifestyle and a solution to environmental concerns.
Liu designed the special edition Giant Defy Advanced bike he will ride in China. The bike features a symbolic color scheme—blue in the rear, white in the front—that represents King’s mission of uniting people in Taiwan and China in the push toward more healthy lifestyles.
“I want the relationship between the people of Taiwan and China to step out of the sorrow of the past [blue] and look forward to the bright future [white],” Liu said.
There’s also a message from Liu inscribed on the fork: “Enhance the spirit of health on both sides of Taiwan Strait, enjoy the happiness of rolling on two wheels.”
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 Bicycle Retailer and Industry News to name Liu “International Person of the Year” at their annual “BRAINy Awards” in April.
To celebrate King’s upcoming tour, Giant employees worldwide are participating in a global event known as “Ride Like King” day. On May 8, Giant employees throughout Europe, North America, Asia and Australia are encouraged to ride their bikes. Activities will include bicycle commuting, organized lunch rides or casual rides with family members.