Thursday, March 6, 2014

2014, 2nd Annual Tern Social Ride

A highly anticipated event.. 

I made my way to the Nangang exhibition hall late in the afternoon after updating my blog.
The timing was such, I don't have to wait long.
While I was hanging out at the lobby area, I met Danny Teo of Le Run Industries.
He is the man in charge of Schwalbe tires and we had a chat about what future collaborations can be made between The Malaysian Foldie e-magazine and Schwalbe.
Things are looking up at my end when we talked about giving our readers the best benefits.
Danny even bought me a Japanese Green Macha as a treat as we carried on with our conversation.

Hanging out with Danny Teo of Le Run Industries
Tern's outdoor demo booth at Nangang

A selection of bikes, some brought by owners being lined-up
A wet, wet, wet, evening...

I bumped into Eric Mah, the company's project manager (Consumer Marketing) who is also my key contact person at Tern Bicycles at the exit of the hall.
"You don't mind some moisture eh Samo?"
The weather forecast was right, chances of rain and temperatures dipping down to 16C at night.
Nevertheless, the show must go on! 
I was designated to a Tern Joe P24, a real interesting bike and perhaps one of the largest bike in the fold.
Staff and guests of Tern Bicycles were gathered at the registration area. 
I received a disposable poncho, a set of Biologic lights and a beer coupon for signing-up.
What kept my upper extremities dry was my Woolrich Elite tactical jacket. I haven't worn this in ages, and sure am glad to bring it along.
The destination was the former site of a floral expo some 15km away from Nangang.
I was told by Joshua Hon, the main man behind Tern Bicycles that during the ride that some cyclists complained about last year's social ride being too short  in terms of distance.
Well, this one's really interesting and despite a soaked butt, the cold, it was not tiring at all...

Terry Chen of Tern with her Verge X10

The one and only music machine being prepped for the ride

Josh (centre) sharing a light moment with one of the participants

The crowd, gathering at the outdoor demo booth
While waiting for the ride to beging, I met Terry Chen, Brand Manager (Marketing) for Tern Bicycles. 
She was setting up her Verge X10 which was fitted with a Bilogic Joule 3 Dynamo kit with a Valo 2 light.
Pretty neat rig and we talked a lot about touring and how I ended up riding a folding bike.
I recalled the Dahons that got me started and eventually ending up with a Tern Eclipse X20, the very first in Malaysia.. 
Then came Josh Hon and his neatly folded Eclipse X20.
He had the bike tricked out with dynamos to generate clean power and the Eclipse is his favourite bike.
There was another X20 at the scene and at least three Eclipse S18is on the ride.
Last year's turnout was more than 100 people and due to the rain, the 2nd Tern Social Ride had  just a quarter of the crowd. Nevertheless, the ride was on!
"Some people are "allergic" to rain, they keep indoors and cease all activities," Josh joked.
Taiwan's cycling paths are very well planned and its a real nice place to move about if you have a folding bike.
The group rallied up mid-point and took snapshots at a mural.

Re-grouping at the mid-way point

Taking snapshots

Cyclists and their bikes

A Hibiscus mural

Josh, chatting up with the cyclists
It wasn't that bad at all...

We reached the end-destination after covering a distance of 15km from Nangang.
The bikes were collected and placed on a truck to be sent back to Tern's office and we were ushered to our tables at a tavern at the floral expo site.
Beers were on the house and I had a bowl of Beef stew to line my stomach.
I was on a table with Tern's international customers and friends and we talked a bit about traveling in Thailand.
One of the guys from Peru was headed to Bangkok on a holiday.
The rest of the time, my mind was numb as it was cold.
An outdoor heater was the source of our warmth as we gathered around it..

Josh and Eric

Happy Campers!

The bikes being wheeled to a truck waiting nearby

Loading up the bikes..
One for the album with Josh and Eric
The warmth of friendship and fellowship of cyclists..

After the meals and beers, it was time to head back.
Eric Mah led the gang to the MRT station where I got off at the Taipei Central Station.
There, I was Uwe Weissflog who is in charge of marketing Tern Bicycles for the European Market. We chat a bit and parted ways at the Ximen station.
For me, my day ended with total satisfaction. Having met the Tern crew as well as cycle a short distance for some beers and food! That was awesome.
I look forward to the third edition of the Tern Social Ride if time permits..

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