Taipei's most famous jogger, Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), has taken a new interest in cycling. Yesterday he set off from the southern tip of Taiwan on a ten day bike ride to the northern tip of Taiwan.
Yam News reports:
KMT Presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou yesterday set off from Taiwan's southernmost point Eluanbi. He will ride for ten days and 640 kilometres on a "Youth going forward make Taiwan smile" bike ride. On 20 May he will reach Taiwan's northernmost point, Fugui Lighthouse. When Ma started the ride he raised his arm and shouted, "It feels great to leave behind Taipei politics!" [English translation by David]
Looking at Ma's bike ride blog it seems that Ma is riding a Merida bike. Compare this with a photo of Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) at a Bicycle Day event earlier this month. Su was dressed in Giant livery. It seems that major bicycle manufacturers in Taiwan are also divided along political lines. They are both wearing yellow jerseys, the color traditionally worn by the leading rider in a bike race.
Chinese-language media and promotion for the event make much of the use of the word tiěmǎ (鐵馬), which literally means iron horse, but also means bicycle. Mǎ (馬), meaning horse, is also Ma's surname.
I wonder what bright idea DPP Presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) might come up with to match Ma's effort.