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YouBike 'scenic tour' ends in court battle

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- A man in Taoyuan County (桃園縣) was investigated by prosecutors over allegations of stealing a YouBike and riding from Taipei to Taoyuan.

A police officer of the Taoyuan County Police Department yesterday discovered a YouBike, or one of Taipei City's public bicycles, left on the sidewalk near the intersection of Sanmin Road (三民路) and Wanshou Road (萬壽路) in Taoyuan City.

Based on a statement from an employee at a convenience store nearby the intersection, the police found the man in Taoyuan County Stadium. The man was sleeping when the police discovered him.

The man said he did not have money to return to Taoyuan, and he saw an unlocked YouBike left at Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall (國父紀念館) in Taipei, so he thought he could ride the bike from Taipei back to Dashi Township in Taoyuan. He said that when he passed Taoyuan City, he had no more energy to keep riding and decided to leave the bike on the road and take a nap before riding further.

The man added that it took two hours for him to ride from Taipei City to Taoyuan County.

The man was transferred to Taoyuan District Prosecutors Office for further investigation of possible larceny.

Earlier in June, a cyclist rode a YouBike over 15 hours from Taichung to the highest point of any road in Taiwan— Wuling (武嶺) in Nantou County . The cyclist posted photos of himself riding the YouBike in Wuling on his Facebook page, and said he had ridden the bike for 250 kilometers over the past few days, and ended up paying NT$810 for the rental when he returned the bike in Taipei.

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