This year has been a whirlwind for NOBL Wheels. We’ve experience significant growth and have been involved in more events this year than all previous years combined. It has been challenging to get away for an extended period, but we thought it would be a good investment to spend some more time where most of the world’s bike parts are made. While we aren’t able to share most photos of the different factories we visited, here is a sampling of our trip.
Downtown Taichung, Taiwan was quite fun. Scooters ripping by you, warm into the night, lots of street food and vendors of all kinds. If you need a selfie-stick, this was the place to be. Braving the crowds to see the bustling night market, and Ryan stopping for some brief photobombing sessions along the way…
Since not many street vendors were adhering to food-safe, we hit up the buffet at the hotel. I thought it was pretty awkward when a fish vendor hurled a huge catfish down the sidewalk right behind us (it was alive and flipping around). I don’t know if that’s normal or if he just wanted to freak us out. We heard an obvious cleaver sound a few seconds later and decided it best not to turn around a second time. The middle picture was pretty mysterious “Ancient Thousands of Bone”. Yummy. On our last day in Taiwan we stayed at the befitting Howard Prince hotel, and I finished each meal with a healthy dose of Hagen-Daaz!
This giant machine weaves carbon filaments into whatever pattern you wish. We were told it takes about 3 hours to set the machine up to start weaving the carbon fiber sheets! A table of carbon cranks shown mid-layup. If you look closely, you can see the plastic air bladders which are yet to be inflated. We don’t produce anything but rims, but it’s interesting to see how frames, forks, handlebars and crank arms are made.
Some of our western comforts – a version of Vancouver’s Yaletown, McDonalds and Starbucks. We found it funny that whenever we asked if there was Western food in the area, we were always referred to McDonalds. We ate traditional Chinese and Taiwanese Cuisine most of the trip, but sometimes you just need a burger!
Which way to the beach? After an hour of parking lot cruising to get a spot, we arrived at this massive stretch of beach. It was very popular to take wedding photos here, and we counted about a dozen wedding parties. Apart from that, it was pretty standard as far as beaches go. Digging our feet into the sand was a great way to wind down after a long day.
I can’t wait to go back; it was a short but very rewarding trip. The people we met were so hospitable, open and friendly, and there are endless places to explore!