Bike path problems in Taipei


#41

Totally agree on this. Whole riverside trails all nice (during non-weekend hours, of course). Can do a round-trip 70+km ride from around NTNU to Tamsui and back; can take a leg of the river bike path to the back end (southwest) of Cheng-Chi University in Muzha and climb back rarely used roads (by cars) to get up to the Makong tea area. And yes, can get out to Sanxia in relative peace and quiet.

Not to mention you can rent bikes in many places, or fill up your water bottles for free at those bike rentals stations.

Wow, a Taiwan cobra. Must’ve been trying to sun himself.


#42

When are these right hours you speak of? Keen to start exploring :). Thanks!


#43

Not during the weekend. I’ve ridden on the bike path on any given Monday through Friday (non-holiday) and always had a beautiful ride. Almost never busy.
Stay away on the weekend.

The hours that are good are usually after 9am during the summer. Most locals will stay away during the heat of the day, and thus less people on the path from 9am to like 3pm. Get a free map of the bike path to see where the bike rental stations are. That’s where you can fill up on free water or hang out if a sudden downpour happens.


#44

I haven’t tried that approach. I usually try to make it out there early and be back home early. In the middle of the summer, I might be out there at 6 am and that seems good enough to avoid the crowds. Maybe I’ll try a time after 10 am sometime if I miss my morning ride.

The kids scare me more than anything and so after 4 pm or so is just terrible on the weekends.


#45

Yep, and then parents with young kids wandering/walking around the paths on weekends.
Good thing to have is a cheap bicycle bell.

I’ve ridden on the path in the summer after 10am. It’s hot, but not as bad as what one would think.
If I ride at that time, I wear one of those neck bandanna-type thingies that you put over your head and it can cover your ears, your nose, both cheeks and the whole neck. A better way to keep sun away from face during the hot part of the day. Think Carrefour or Decathlon sells them. Quite cheap. You see decent Taiwanese bike riders wear them all the time during the summer to keep sun off the whole face.


#46

No matter what day of the week it is. 5-730AM (maybe 8AM) is bike path heaven.

Depending on what part of the path you are on, Monday-Sunday llate nights after 10PM is also blissful. However, there’s the risk of rough patches in dark spots along the path if you’re not familiar!

I know some guys like to use the bike paths as if it were a formula 1 race track and haven’t had any collisions or accidents. Just be careful out there. No riverside Strava KOM is worth a visit to the hospital. Trust me, a friend crashed and I had to translate for him. It didn’t help English wasn’t his native language.


#47

i’m no biker but i went to the river park last weekend and noticed how chill it was compared to the city. usually i don’t want to go anywhere at the weekend due to crowding but it was great. they have really done a good job with these even if riding in the city is like mad max in contrast.


#48

Yeah, about what is said.

Depends a bit where you are, the Guandu to Tamsui area is one of the places where it gets flooded with rentals in the afternoons, other places are relative empty all day long.

Monday till Friday mornings are generally OK, other times just change plans and ride into the mountains or do the coast.

I have done a couple of dark rides, mainly on the way back from a too long day ride, and I hated it.
Bad lighting, people walking, joggers all over the place …
Will not do it by choice, and especially not after yesterday’s encounter with the local slitter :wink:


#49

Assuming you’re not dealing with crowds, I don’t see that it is worse than the roads. Most of the time you can see far ahead of you for slow cyclists. On my 25km and back route, there’s probably only a few places I need to slow down because of the path itself. It seems very safe to me, again as long as there are no crowds.

Is there a large number of accidents going on on the paths (I mean more than on regular roads)? I don’t think I’ve even seen anyone crash on the paths.

I crashed once not long after I got my bike. Totally self-inflicted and I’ll save that story for when we next meet. Too embarrassing. Nothing to do with the path, though.


#50

[quote=“CTaitung, post:45, topic:88125, full:true”]I wear one of those neck bandanna-type thingies that you put over your head and it can cover your ears, your nose, both cheeks and the whole neck.
[/quote]
I thought that was why they invented suncream. You can roast me but I will never ever wear one of those, never … :grin:


#51

I am terified of the possibility of ever encountering one of those. It is teh worse thing that one would encounter in a bike path, followed by a pack of stray dogs.

However, I find that awesome. Those are our worse fears. Sometimes I hang out walking the dog or shooting the breeze with pals after 10pm in the bikepaths. There is always a group of people playing basketball, people exercising. Try that in the ol country.


#52

After 9:30 p.m. with fewer people out, you can go really fast in the riverside bike lanes. I sometimes play a cat and mouse game with other cyclists. I find someone who’s going at a good clip, pass him and then hang back a little to allow him to pass me, and then I pass him again. Every once in a while I’d find someone who’d take up the challenge, and a race ensues. Always an exhilarating workout.


#53

I’m usually going at a decent pace so when someone passes me, it happens slowly. I will then tell him that I’m going to follow close behind. So far, they have been happy to oblige. We both get a good workout. This has happened two times. One time, we both ended up with many PRs (I found him easily on Strava and so I could see this). The second time, the guy couldn’t hang on for too long and bowed out before I got to the end of where I usually turn around. On one other occasion, which I don’t really count, I just overtook the guy after a couple of kilometers and didn’t try to do any drafting off him. One of these days I’m sure I’ll get passed by someone I can’t keep up with, even with the benefit of drafting. I see on Strava that there are some speed demons out there.


#54

It’s weird - these minor violations bother me much less in Taiwan. I just kinda shrug my shoulders and think “This is Asia, things are different. People move differently, haven’t internalized eurocentric concepts such as ‘lanes’ and ‘right of way’. I’ll just adapt.”.

But back home, I get as angry and annoyed as the OP does. Walking on the wrong side of a shared path? Massive road rage.

That having been said, I’ve never driven in Taiwan and don’t want to. I can deal with pedestrian and cyclist antics, but I want to limit my interaction with cars as much as possible.


#55

From what I hear about motor vehicle aggression towards bikes in EU and the US, I would gladly trade bike path issues that gets your blood boiling rather than getting in an accident with a car.


#56

I ride on the Golden Riverside bike path in Danshui every other day. There is a path along the river that is barely wide enough for 2 people to pass each other while walking and signs every 50 meters prohibiting scooters. However no one enforces it despite there being some type of officer posted in his little hut. When asked why he did not enforce the regulations he said the scooter people threatened to hit him. Only in Taiwan!


#57

Well, I think there are less scooters now than before, and some bikepaths are shared with local destinated traffic ( to remote houses etc), so they are not always wrong.

That said, I cornered a scooter who came at me some 2 weeks ago on the path between beitou and guandu.
Turned out to be a police guy …
I still had an big argument with him, cause I was pretty pissed, and he turned around at the end :).
Not sure why, but I guess he was in the wrong and wanted to prevent a youtuber …


#58

Police do patrol the paths in the evenings for other scooters or blue trucks. I would gladly give way to policeman patroling because that means they know that scooters or cars are on the paths is an issue.


#59

99% drivers I encounter are pretty good. I actually encounter more stupid behavior from fellow cyclists - which is painful for me to write as a card carrying cycling commuter dork.

Of course if I ever do have a serious accident it will be a member of the 1% that does it.


#60

I know they patrol, which is good.
But I also know this guy was not there for a patrol.
I should have profoundly apologized to him if I was on the wrong, no problem with that.
However, I can guarantee you from the discussion, and his retreat, that he was not supposed to be there, and was probably just taking a short-cut.

Having said that, I did a round-Yangminshan yesterday, using the bike-way from Danshui till Xizhi, and did not encounter a single problem again.
Much in favor of them!