How was your ride today?


#361

I thought my Wuling rides were epic, but I don’t think either of them are as epic as the one I embarked on this past Saturday.

Taipei to Kaohsiung…in one ride. I’m not one for long distance on the flats and also not getting any sleep beforehand, so this tested my limits.

My prep for this ride started a full 1.5 weeks in advance. I knew I needed a better front light for the west coast road. We were planning to leave at 12AM, so we would be riding in darkness for a good 6-7 hours. My dinky little 3 year old 40 lumines Giant light I bought for a ridiculous 600NT wasn’t going to cut it. I spent a few days researching and bought the Moon Meteor for 1100NT in a shop up in Beitou. Luckily, the mount that came with it is comptable with my Garmin/Gopro mount. Winner winner chicken dinner!

Next up was sending down my bike bag and a change of clothes 3 days in advance. I packed everything into a large backpack and shoved it into a used PCHOME box that I had sitting at home.

Walked into 7-11 and the employee gave it one good look and said, “We can’t send this, it’s too big”. So…I went back home and swapped to a draw string back pack and a smaller box to send. 60NT. Done.

We left Shilin at around 12:15AM on Saturday and took the west coast highway in darkness. We saw first sign of light in Miaoli at around 6AM.

We did not intend to stay too long, but we got rained on for a good 60-70km through Hsinchu. So…we bought newspapers to soak up the wetness in our feet (and shoes). An ol trick that lots of long distance cyclists use in Taiwan.

From there, it was all pretty much a blur. By the time my Garmin told me I had ridden 200km, I was fighting falling asleep on my saddle. I fought sleepiness with some Clif Bloks all along the ride. So glad I didn’t leave those at home.

Our final stop before Kaohsiung this bridge outside of Kaohsiung where we saw the sun beginning to go down. At this point, we were trying to get to the HSR as quickly as possible because we did not want ride at night with weak spirits.

After picking up our parcels from the 7-11 and took the last 3KM to the HSR, my Garmin was showing this…

Friend and I took the fastest HSR train back to Taipei. It took 1hr25m. Taiwan is awesome.

Conclusion: Don’t do this without someone who knows the way. You don’t want to spend the extra KMs getting lost because 30km will feel like 100km once you are in 100km from your destination.

If anyone plans on doing this, I highly suggest leaving in the wee hours of the morning. If you have tailwind going all the way down, you’ll arrive in Taichung just as the city is starting to wake up. So, not too much traffic. If you leave any later, you’ll just be stopping at every single traffic light and caught in traffic.


#362

Wow: that’s impressive. But Strava says you had an average speed of 30.2 kph over the thirteen hours? Is that right? (I.e. am I that slow?!)

Don’t care what your average speed was, that’s still an impressive ride.


#363

If you had ridden a few extra kilometers, you could’ve completed the double tower (lighthouse) challenge that Mayor Ko did.


#364

Thanks! Yeah, we had pretty heavy tail wind going down. When there wasn’t tail wind, it was side wind. Never head wind. I was pushing the pedals at a steady pace and it was easily at 35-40kph.

A few? I would hardly consider 200km+ a few haha.

The final 30km from the most southern part of Tainan into Kaohsiung felt like 100km.


#365

Sounds like you’re in pretty good shape, son. Maybe it’s time to report to your nearest recruitment office. Your country needs you!


#366

Shoulda let me know - I would’ve come and given you a push :wink:

PS: can’t see your ride on Strava, so my kudos is waiting to be applied


#367

I got lucky and had off for Christmas yesterday. So, I did what I normally do on days when I don’t have to work.

At first, I was going to head in the direction of Banqiao to attack one of @Throwaway 's segments that he frequents to see how I matched up against him and a few others in the club. However, I was so focused on my game plan that I had no clue I had passed the necessary bridge to cross and ended up in Xindian/Muzha. Oops.

I ended up riding an extended tour of Taipei and stopped up in Maokong to have a cup of coffee and waffle. The view wasn’t great, but there was a sense of eeriness to it.

As a Christmas present to myself, I went up the hill towards Ah Rou Yang to tackle one of the steepest stingers in the city. Probably not the best idea after a waffle and coffee, I’m lucky to have not puked that up when attacking that segment.

The picture doesn’t show how steep it is, but it’s quite scary.

Any who, hope everyone had a good Christmas!


#368

Not today’s ride, but it was this week.

I’ve been hoping to do a “long” ride around my mother’s village for a while. For years actually. This Christmas I thought that the time for this ride finally had come, and although I did ride into the unknown, it wasn’t exactly what I had in mind (a loop), but a go somewhere and back ride instead.
!

The thing is that it was a nice ride. The location was right in the Middle of Nowhere, which happens to be one of the coldest areas in Spain. I had to climb over a mountain range (a low one) that separates two very different lands: the starting point side is more like cereals crops, and the other one is a bit more… forests and hills. My destination was a little medieval village built up in some mountain like rock, with a fortress partially conservated which draws some tourists… apparently even from France.

The landscapes there are very different from the ones I’m used to nowaways. Well, Europe and Spain are very different from Taiwan. Spain, being one of the most mountainous countries in Europe still has very extense flats-planes-lowlands, so that you can see much, much, much farther than anywhere in Taiwan. That alone gives you a totally different feeling. Then the vegetation is also different; apart from the crops, there are more Mediterranean low bushes, ferns and just different types of trees from the ones you see in our junglish forests in Taiwan. Different tones of ochre, and other green colo(u)rs, and more sand here and there makes it different too.

So as for the ride… apparently I didn’t perform all that well, if Strava should be taken in account. When I usually rank somewhere in the first third of the time tables, this time I was more in the third one. Not really impressive times, BUT I must say that there aren’t many riders in the Middle of Nowhere, and it seems that all of them ride roadies, whilst my ride was a heavy 2008? mountain bike.

Anyway… I woke up to a horrible cold and a misserable weather (it was drizzling a bit), and took my time for starting breakfast: no way I was riding until the sun was located in a more life friendly angle. After breakfast, I checked the thermometer on my GPS: 10ºC in the entrance of the house. Inside the house. Hmmmmm…

Opened the door and checked outside: COLD. A pack of semi wild cats were bunching up at the door of the house. Don’t try to pat them, for they will try to eat your hand to the bones.

Reconsidered the situation: I was visiting some relatives, who live (?) bored in the Middle of Nowhere. Maybe that was it.

Reconsidered it again. I would regret not riding that day.

So I did it. I dropped the idea of doing the loop (I didn’t even have checked what road was taking me back home after Frías), and asked my uncle how many kilometers to Frías: he said about 15. Perhaps closer to 12. The cheeky bastard is still the same than 20 years ago: he still enjoys pranks the day of the Santos Inocentes (Dec 28th) like a kid. It took me a bit more to get to my destination: 25 kms… very funny!

Anyway, it doesn’t make sense to make this story much longer. It was a different type of ride for me, not only because of the bicycle and the landscapes, but also for the feeling of being doing something different in a land where I could easily get lost despite the boards and indications. And you don’t want to get lost in the cold when there are few cars and people around.

Highlights: in addition to the middle age architecture, I could briefly see the asses of a couple of roe deers. There are other beautiful wild animals like foxes, wolfs and boars, but I guess I’m lucky that at least I saw those white asses in the day time.


#369

Nice post.

What’s the name of the river spanned by the bridge?

I’m no architect, but that bridge is terrific. Anyway, nice pics. Your uncle, he sounds like a fun lovin’ guy.


#370

Ebro river


#371

Thanks for sharing J.

I often wonder what it would be like to ride anywhere except for Taiwan. I know for sure we are spoiled with convenient stores and public bathrooms at every corner. Which sometimes makes cycling have a lack of adventure, but it definitely keeps us sane (and alive).

There’s a lot old western buildings up in the mountains in Taiwan, but almost guaranteed they are at the top of a 1km climb that averages 10%.

Seems like you had a really enjoyable vacation! Sorry to welcome you back to…pollution.


#372

I know one, probably not very “old”, but still maybe the same one you had in mind: on the way to HHS from Puli, no idea at what altitude. But other than that I can’t think of any other “old” western looking house or building anywhere. Well, the Mr Brown café near WaiAo xD

Not yet!


#373

I rode twice this weekend, both YMS rides and both in glorious weather. Both days were sunny, but a bit on the cold side. Not complaining really. Seeing blue skies, sun and zero to no pollution is like heaven on earth here in Taipei for anyone who enjoys the outdoors.

I’ll pick Sunday to recap.

It was actually 12 degree in the morning when I left at around 630AM and did not really pick up until noon.

I went up to the peak and it was a pretty frigid descent from 1000m elevation down to 0.

The highlight of my ride wasn’t the great weather, but a crash on my way to coffee after the descent. A bus was coming into the stop and I got stuck in a weird spot. I slowed down to see if he was going to give me space to pass and was not paying enough attention to the road conditions. Boom, I got caught in the small gap between the drain cellar and the street and went over onto the sidewalk at roughly 20kph (according to Strava).

I got some bumps and bruises, overall ok. The bike is also ok and got away with some very minor scratches on the shifters. 250NT to order new parts for the shifters, no harm done. It could’ve been 1000x worse if I wasn’t wearing my helmet…

Helmet was 5000NT and only 6 months old too… nonetheless, definitely saved me from something worse. What hurts most is this model isn’t sold anymore and a rare find for the price I bought it for.

Anywho, whether it’s a 800NT helmet that makes you look goofy or a 8000NT that makes you look pro, wear your helmet!


#374

Sorry to hear you came down, and glad to hear nothing too serious on the damage front.