Richie Schley - Made in Taiwan Video

Apr 1, 2012 at 23:33
by Aaron LaRocque  

Taiwan is a place of diversity and extremes: from busy factories to dense jungle, from white sand beaches to snow-capped peaks, from deep marble gorges to bustling city; Taiwan has it all. I had an image of what to expect when I first made the trip to Taiwan 2 years ago. My mind conjured up images of concrete sprawl, skyscrapers, and smog-spewing chimneys littering the skyline. The oft-seen label "Made in Taiwan" is testament enough to the sheer scale of industry. However, I was about to see another side of Taiwan altogether.

With a huge part of the mountain bike industry based in Taiwan, long time freerider, Richie Schley made the pilgrimage to experience a side of the bike world that often goes unseen. This is his experience.


Views: 70,520    Faves: 587    Comments: 54



Despite the 23 million inhabitants of the island, the mountains remain somewhat neglected. Perhaps due to an inherited fear carried down over the generations from days when head hunting tribes ruled Taiwan's mountains or the ever-present threat of dangerous landslides, its mountains maintain a certain mystique. It's this that adds to a sense of isolation or remoteness when exploring the mountains, a stark contrast to the shoulder-to-shoulder feeling of a westerner in busy Taipei.

richie schley shredding
  Some of the zones were simply stunning. It was difficult not to stop to get a shot at every corner.


epic adventure
  Richie shredding into yet another spectacular zone.


epic adventure
  Richie checking out the view near the trailhead.


epic adventure
  The Taroko Gorge. 2000 feet deep and countless photo opps.


Special thanks to Rob Dunnet for his roll in creating this piece. His translating and navigating were crucial to the adventure.

Video/Words: Aaron LaRocque
Rider: Richie Schley
Photo: Rob Dunnet

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72 Comments

  • + 38
 Great video! I live in Taiwan and work in the bike industry, so I've been riding here for years. It's great to see some coverage of our beautiful island in the bike media, and for sure the high mountain trails here are wild, but epic. Best part is 98% of riders here are roadies so the trails are empty!
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  • + 12
 Good to see you guys coming to Taiwan riding those hidden trails in the mountains. We seem to have a whole new fresh angle looking at our homeland throug your lens. Thanks!
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  • + 6
 Lived and worked in TW for nearly 10 years, exactly as Richie describes it. Industrial image however the trails are abundant and absolutely amazing. One of the best places in Asia to ride in my view!!
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  • + 3
 Sweet video, very cool to see some trails on the other side of the world. Would have been nice to meet some local riders though. A little heavy on the slo-mo as well. What a stunning landscape though!
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  • + 3
 nice one guys! rode that trail back in October. slick as snot in a chicken's lip! great to see a video of it here. can't wait to go back when it's a bit drier for the loonngg ride down!
  • + 2
 the rain made it interesting to say the least, i am looking forward to riding it when it is dry
  • + 7
 Love this kind of stuff on Pikebike! show the real side of mountain biking. you dont get to see this type of stuff riding downhill and freeride, XC/ ALL MOUNTAIN ALL THE WAY!!!!
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  • + 1
 Great video!. I'm moving to Taiwan for 3-4 years at the end of the Summer (my girlfriend is in the US Foreign Service and is going to be stationed in Taipei). Definitely looking forward to seeing what the mtb scene is like.
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  • + 1
 How would one go about changing their flag to a Taiwanese one? I am British and living in Taiwan, but Pinkbike have given me a Canadian flag. Last time I was in Canada I'd never heard of Pinkbike, so it's not because I signed up there.
I notice a few of you chaps are sporting TW colours, how did you do it?
  • + 1
 hey jaame, click profile to go to your profile page, on the profile page click more+, in more+ click edit profile, in edit profile, in edit profile you can change all of your information and get a Taiwan Flag ...
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  • + 1
 b1k - If your fine with outsourcing to someone in Taiwan who is underpaid- manufacturing stuff for you , just so you can get it for cheap..... then I guess I shouldnt of said anything. I wonder why the middle class in N.A. is disappearing...
  • + 5
 the idea that workers in Taiwan are underpaid is a misconception. most of the factory workers are making a good living, live in nice homes and drive nice vehicles. sure the minimum wage in Taiwan is much lower than in Canada, but so is the cost of living. the factories in Taiwan are filled with workers from all over Asia who have moved to Taiwan to support their families back home. the working conditions in Taiwan are not like what many may think they are. the workers in the factories in Taiwan are skilled tradesmen working with state of the art equipment. i would argue that the quality coming out of Taiwan is on par with that of North American. i also understand buying a north american manufactured product to keep the industry alive in canada and to pay the wages of canadian workers. but i can almost guarantee it that there is something on your bike that was produced in Taiwan. there are several Canadian brands making their products in Asia because at the end of the day they can make a quality product and make a little extra profit, which is also putting food on the plate of their Canadian employees. it is an argument that has two sides and being a Canadian in Taiwan I can see and argue both side, but I would rather ride my bike ...
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  • + 1
 Love this kind of stuff on pike bike! show the real side of mountain biking. you dont get to see this type of stuff riding downhill and freeride, XC/ ALL MOUNTAIN ALL THE WAY!!!!
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  • + 1
 Awesome trails!!! Looking to plan a trip there in Nov. Do any of you know of any tour operators that can arrange MTB trips to these and other trails like them?

Thank you in advance.
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  • + 1
 Nice work Richie! Great video and killer trails that you found while you were there. More riders need to visit the island to see what it's all about...glad you made the trip!
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  • + 1
 wow very beautiful trail just nature pure and the video awesom.
PS: i never tought there some much taiwan people on pinkebike :-D
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  • + 2
 Right on gang! Looks beautiful and there's some sweet singletrack there too, eh? Cool!
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  • + 3
 Those trails look so Drool
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  • + 1
 I only ever got to ride the Graveyard trail (countless times) that ends behind the Veterans hospital in Tien Mou, Taipei. This looks awesome though!
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  • + 2
 Aaron, rob, and Richie.... you 3 are absolute masters, incredible artists, and legends. Thank you so much for sharing!!!!
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  • + 1
 Fantastic looking place, great looking trails.. Makes me feel like getting my bike out of the garage and ride it now! (But its dark and my light isn't charged.. Frown )
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  • + 1
 amazing video, i was born in taiwan, only been there for 7 years of my life, never knew they had trails, all i see when i go back to visit is roadbikes
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  • + 1
 Anyone can tell me the trails exact location? thank U, thank U, thank U....
  • + 3
 in the google machine put "jinshuiying trail" or "jinshuiying camp trail" or "jinshuiying" and you should be able to find it ... actually getting there might be another problem.
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  • + 1
 Was there not a video last year about some guys who lived in taiwan and just rode bikes all day? I'd like to see it again.
  • + 1
 yah, when Aaron was in Taiwan last year he came and hung out with us at our jumps, this year I took him and Richie riding and then on a tour of Taiwan. The video is in Aaron's 2011 video folder.
  • + 1
 thanks dude, so sick!
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  • + 1
 Awesome! Proper mountain biking, you wont find bike renal and go ape's there
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  • + 1
 "slick as snot in a chicken's lip!" Best line in a loonngg time Canadiandude 1974!
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  • + 2
 Yes yes yes, that's a great, wee film fella.
  • + 2
 see, you didn't miss anything leaving early ... ha ha ha
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  • + 1
 Great video, would be nice to have a bit more insight into what goes on over there riding wise aswell Smile
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  • + 1
 What an epic place to ride! What's the air temperature like there this time of year?
  • + 1
 it is pretty warm now, in the 85-90 range. when we did the ride it was a little cooler and wet ... probably 60-70 degrees maybe a bit cooler.
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  • + 1
 Instead of deleting it, why didn't you help me out?
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  • + 1
 One of the best I've seen in awhile!
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  • + 1
 Taiwan is a beautiful place.
台湾是很美丽的地方。
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  • + 1
 Think i wanna live in Taiwan too Smile
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  • + 1
 Sweeeeet trail! I envy the rider...dear Santa.......
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  • + 1
 fantastic vid and always an honour to watch shley slay!
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  • + 1
 I am convinced that I need to visit Taiwan along with my bike.
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  • + 1
 I'd love to kayak that river, after I rode those trails.
  • + 1
 trail and river in two completely different places, but when we were in the gorge i was thinking pretty much the same thing.
  • + 1
 and then climb some rocks!
  • + 1
 never had the pleasure of a trip to Taiwan, but the scenery very much reminds me of my trip to Hong Kong some years ago, I was blown away by the stunning scenery above the City (on the mainland) and how remote / isolated it seemed as I had hiked for hours to get up there

great video guys!
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  • + 1
 because lana del ray was an amazing song choice for a mountain bike vid
  • + 1
 it was actually. really set the tone, in my opinion.
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  • + 1
 Amazing video! Thanks for that and I hope you enjoyed it. Peace
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  • + 1
 awesome video, great riding, perfect song
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  • + 1
 Great video!
Has anyone ridden Philippines or Vietnam trails?
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  • + 1
 Awesome atmosphere and riding. LaRocque's videos rules!
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  • + 1
 WOW....we'v just been there three weeks ago. What a wounderful place
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  • + 2
 what's the song ...??
  • + 5
 Song is Lana Del Ray - Summertime Sadness
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  • + 0
 any time i hear the name Richie Schley, I imagine him in his rocky mountain shredding the craziest cliffs and jumps
  • + 0
 It has been ROTWILD for 5 years.
  • + 2
 Perhaps, but it was Rocky when the Schley-worship started.
  • + 1
 Nice edit there Richie!
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  • + 1
 1:34 amazing shot!!
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  • + 1
 Yeah yeah yeah yeah!
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  • + 1
 Hell yeah, Lana Del Ray
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  • - 2
 I always buy North American made Bikes! Actually, my bike is made in *CANADA*
  • + 2
 When Richie first mentioned that he visited the place where his bikes are made, I thought "Rocky" for an instant.
I'm proud to say that I toured the ol' Rocky production line many years before it moved to Asia. It was a special place.
  • + 2
 I buy the best product, regardless of it's country of origin. I know that most guys including myself jump around in the industry in an effort to improve their personal situation. Building carbon wheels, QC, assembly- whatever. To most, it is just a job; one that gets us cheap bikes and pays bills while doing something we enjoy. The guys over in Taiwan has workers building your frame that will never own a car. Most of those same workers construct frames for a living- just like the guys making the stuff at NAHMBS- only for much less and without the prestige. Buy whatever you want; but don't talk down on taiwanese products just because they are from Taiwan. I know I wouldn't want a motor vehicle made in N.A.
  • + 2
 even if the frame is built in North America, there is a good chance that something on your bike started in Taiwan ...
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