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Taiwanese, French cyclists to embark on `green' journey

2012/03/09 22:28:00

Taipei, March 9 (CNA) Two Taiwanese men and a French woman kicked off a round-island "green" cycle trip Friday in Taichung, central Taiwan, with a plan to plant tree seedlings all the way fromAsia to Europe to publicize awareness of environmental protection.

The trio -- Chang Yen-chung, Chen Chi-wen, and Fleur Merlingeas Meynard -- left from the Da Jia Jenn Lann Temple and hope to planttheir seedlings in 42 communities during the trip, which is expectedto take them around a week.

Chang and Chen, 28, were classmates at National Taipei University of Technology and later quit their jobs as engineers so as to be able to realize their dream of spreading their green message from a bicycle saddle.

They met Meynard, a French teacher who has been in Taiwan for five years, and formed the team.

“If we want to cycle, we want to cycle big,” Chang said, adding that the trio planned the journey under the auspices of a local foundation, Legislator Tsai Chi-chang of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party and the Taichung city government’s Agriculture Bureau.

After concluding their islandwide journey, they will next target Europe and Asia, departing from Beijing on April 22 -- Earth Day -- on a six-month journey to Rome, with plans to stop in 28 citiesalong the 15,000-km route.

Through the tree-planting activity, they hope to rekindle public awareness of the importance of protecting the world ecology.

Meynard, 30, said she loves Taiwan very much and has alreadycycled around Taiwan twice.

She said she is glad to be able to plant a tree every day and spread the message of environmental protection.

(By Chen Chin-ping and Lilian Wu)