This is the ride I’ve been doing lately in the mornings. 2-hour round-trip from the rental bike station on the riverside nearest to the Water Park on Shui-Yuan Road (closest MRT station is Gung Guan):
I rent a decent (considering it’s rental) Merida mountain bike. Adjust the seat higher. Fill up 3 water bottles for free. Take off, after handing over an ID.
Go south towards Hsin-Tien, but then take the left veer towards Mu-Zha. As you get near to NCCU, get off the bike path and get yourself onto the Heng-Guang Bridge 恆光橋 over the river. It’s easy to get to the bridge, as there’s a path up over that left wall that puts you in a neighborhood street. As you pass over the bridge, you’ll see the south entrance to NCCU. Go past that 1st street on the right after over the bridge (that parallels the river) and then veer to the right on the 2nd street (there’s only 2 of them). You’ll take a left turn quickly within about 20 meters. The road is 老泉街45巷 (Lao Chuan Street, Lane 45). In about 100 meters, you’ll start climbing and climbing and climbing. Views get better. You’ll come to your first and only “Y” to make a turn decision. Take the left turn (going straight looks like you’ll go slightly downhill). You’ll start climbing climbing climbing. Eventually at km marker 2500 or so (the marker starts at 000 again after the “Y”), you’ll hit a small temple where bicyclists stop as you’ll get the best view of Taipei 101, Shin Kong building by train station, and lately, all the way out to Tamsui. If you keep on going past the temple, the road starts going downhill quickly. You can ride those hills, too, but for me, I turn around at the temple, ride down that hill I just climbed to the bottom and climb it 1 more time. Gets you 8km of hard-core climbing on those 2 round trips. On second time to temple, I take a picture or 2 on a good day, turn around and head back to the bike rental station. Fill up the 3 water bottles again for free and drink til I’m full. Total cost NT$90.
Going up that hill climb into the tea hills, at most a few cars will pass you, and you’ll see 1 or 2 of those minibuses. You’ll see a few bicyclists, and after a week or so, you’ll see the same ones and nod your head, ha.
I’d do it with my own bike, but that’s a whole other story.