Feiren who told you that you can't do anything at Taipei Main? I see cyclists there and know friends who have started there. Also every inquiry I've made confirms it is okay.
Just checked the TRA website and it seems that now it is accessible to bagged cycles. That must be new. I remembered you weren't allowed to board with a bike in a bag at Taipei main or disembark either??. I had to get off at Sungshan a few times when I wanted to get my bike serviced or repairs done after a tour.
I don't know about whether bagged bikes are allowed or not, but last time I checked, Taipei Main Station didn't offer any kind of baggage service. If you want to send your bike somewhere for a trip, you have to do it from Wanhua or Songshan. Same goes for when you're coming home, of course.
Another great thing about the baggage trains is that they're so cheap! It's like NT$400 or 500 to send your bike all the way to Taidong.
that was the policy last november when i was looking into an eadt coast trip. There were also two freight trains a day to Hualien and Ktown where you could check in an unbagged bike at the bsggage area outside the station an hour before and ride the same train. Kind of like shipping it but you get to travel on the same train. Maybe they have cancelled this or maybe not everyone is aware. I had to ask a few tomes and a few people to get all the options
Also if people don't know the English website does not show all the trains you can take a bagged bicycle on. And even the Chinese gives you the option of folded and unfolded when they should mean bagged (and front wheel off) and not bagged.
Not a serious roadie, so no probs there.
If I'm riding the Luo Ma road, I try to get up to Fuxing before the tour buses, so I'm usually there by 7:30 this time of year or earlier on really hot days. I won't be riding it this weekend, though.
We may run into each other on Sunday, if you're extra early, when I'll be riding the back roads between Guanxi and Neiwan. I usually take a break at the 7-11 by the gas stn. on the #118 and #3 intersection.
I do ride in Taipei, up Yang Ming Shan, with a couple of Forumosans I know, but for now people are scattered and we won't start up again till October. I'll PM you when we restart.
That's right. There is no baggage service at Taipei Main Station, so you can't shop bikes from there.
As for rolling on and rolling off (i.e. unbagged), the Chinese-language page for taking your bike on the trains says this
Bicycles are not allowed to exit and enter the station at Taipei Main Station. Therefore, no tickets are sold from Taipei.
A riding buddy was just denied entrance to Taipei Station a few weeks ago when I failed to explain this to him.
Possibly he could have gone on with the bike in a bag--you couldn't the last time I tried about 5 years ago. But you have always been able to take the HSR with your bike in a bag from Taipei Main Station, so go figure.
It seems that the rule is that you can take a completely bagged bike at least on any local train and that most if not all of the west coast express trains have a Car 12 where you can put your bagged bike.
It's not just us. Here's a recent thread where a bunch of Taiwanese people are bitching about the rules are impossible to figure out and the TRA staff all have different versions.
Here are the service numbers
臺北運務段（基隆—香山間各站） 李少宜 小姐 (02) 8969-1108
宜蘭運務段（暖暖－漢本間各站） 王一涵 小姐 (03) 937-2973...(恕刪)
Whatever. I go all over Taiwan with my bike in a bag or not on the correct local trains and I avoid Taipei Main Station, which has always been highly bike hostile. It's actually easier to do it than it is too explain how the system works!
The overnight shipping service is generally the easiest and most reliable way to get your bike around Taiwan. I've been using it for 20 years. A good trick is to get on with your bike at a really rural train station with no staff and then ship your bike from the next secondary station with shipping service.
When I took my bike (boxed) out of Taiwan 2 years back, it wasn't allowed to be shipped to Taipei Main, only Songshan.
But I was then allowed to retrieve it from Songshan baggage place, tape wheels onto the bottom of the box, trundle it back into Songshan, down the lift, and onto a train to Taipei Main. :s
I also didn't know all this stuff about local trains. Down here (that's generally between Hualien and Taidong), I show up 10 mins before the train, pay an extra half-fare for the bike, and on it goes.
Rode up into Taroko today for the first time in a while, see that one of the August typhoons took down some serious quantities of stones near the gorge entrance. Rode up to and then into the Baiyang Trail, and all the way to the end. They've done a good job up in that area, the main road is all repaired now, and the trail is fully open again to the Waterfall Curtain.
Oh, that reminds me of yet another wrinkle. I saw signs about 18 months ago down there saying that you could roll your bike onto any local train between Hualein and Taidong at anytime. That makes sense too since ridership is so light that you are not likely to cause problems for others. In any event, I have NEVER had any problems between Taidong and Hualien with bikes on any train. The last time I was down there I even saw a kid with his fold up bike on the express (Ziqiang train) not folded. I asked him if this was allowed and he said that 'no one cares down here.'
The problems start in Hualien where they are waiting for cyclists and will kick you off the train. I have generally been pretty lucky and after a stern talking too and many Paiseis on my part, I have been allowed to pay an extra fare (sometimes half, sometimes full) for the privilege of taking my bike back to Taipei.
So you see, I use the trains all the time to get around with my bike and it generally works out pretty well. But I strongly recommend against it for visitors to the island and I think that even for most residents it's probably simpler to just ship the bike in advance. There is just not a clear set of rules that are applied consistently. The whole thing is a metaphor for Taiwanese society in general.
Today's ride was a FAIL. Left at 6:30 to hit the Luo Ma gong lu and make a loop around the resevoir but as soon as I hit the big Wuliao-Sanmin hill my BB started barking like a sea lion. So I finished the hill and headed back. I wonder if I just got water in there from the heavy duty washing I gave it last night or if it's shot already. Seems like every time I plan a really long ride either my family keeps me up until midnight, the weather is shite or something like this happens! I guess I'd better take it in to the shop before I take another crack at the 100km barrier next weekend down in Chiayi.
Yeah I'd be down for that when you guys start up again!
Bummer, dude. If it makes you feel any better, my pedals have been creaking incessantly all month. Lucky for me, though, I don't really hear them through my headphones, and they don't seem to slow me down.
Yesterday I ended up riding up Wuzhishan (五指山) from Xizhi. For some reason I really struggled up the last part of the climb, but I was rewarded with a fantastic view at the top.
I'd hoped to go all the way to Wanli, but I prudently decided not to go all that way in the dark and came down via Fengguizui (風櫃嘴) and Zhishan Lu (至善路) instead.
Great ride today. Has both kids out. Daughter with her single gear had to work hard on these backyard Gaoyuan paths. Yesterday was grand, out with the lad on a 12km trip, first time I was more worn out.
Nice! I've been up there on my motorcycle (Wanli to Fengguizui and Zhishan Lu) but haven't cycled it yet. I say that about a lot of places, dont I? :aiyo:
Oh and that awful squawking was my pedals. One of them needed to be tightened. I felt dumb because in hindsight I probably could have continued on that long ride I got up so early for. So I punished myself by riding up a stupidly steep hill before dinner!
Didn't get out on Thursday. Then last night I got on the turps in a big way but managed to drag myself out this afternoon. Actually felt alright after an hour or so. Just did the Shizaitoshan loop again. Took my camera along reasoning that if I felt too buggered and hungover climbing the mountain I could stop and do a little photography. Felt surprisingly strong though. There was an unusual amount of traffic today and dogs galore, for some reason - I got chased twice, although without any menace and both gave it up when I slowed down.
There were so many people out on the riverside paths that I was pretty happy to get over this bridge and out of the crap riding. At least when it's 35 degrees everyone stays home.
Pretty hazy today.
Lots of new landslides in the area (top left).
Acceptable traffic conditions.
Quite a bit of muck on the road today. Stones like this on a bend would not be very nice on the descent.
Landslide from the last typhoon to bring torrential rain. Getting near the top here. Oh, and I saw one other cyclist out on this road, just as I began the descent. Seems almost criminal considering how close this is to Xindian and the MRT. And he was a foreigner, too, so double shame Taiwan! (Just kidding, I prefer the roads to be empty and besides, I can't really bitch about the riverside paths being too full and then complain about the mountain roads being too empty in the very same post, can I?)
I love how stuff like this is not signposted.
One of the well-mannered doggies. Pretty big landslide downstream a few clicks from this spot but it was too dark for me to photograph it
Nice set of pics. I think you could have bunny-hopped that hole 4 from the end .
Very nice pics, antarcticbeech! I've ridden that rode a few times but never bothered to take pictures of it. Seeing other cyclists there is really rare. Have you ever hiked the trail at the top? That's one of my favorite hikes around.
My ride today was really frustrating. I spent about fifteen minutes adjusting my rear brakes and didn't get out of the house till 5:30. Later, between Sanxia and Shulin, my odometer suddenly stopped registering the rotation of my rear wheel. It was still recording my cadence, but my distance was stuck at 26.79 km. I would have liked to get it fixed, but I had no money because I forgot my wallet. I also had no way of finding a Merida shop (the odometer is a Merida, and it's under warranty) because I also forgot my cell phone. And I didn't want to see if another shop would fix it for free because I was too damn hungry because I couldn't eat because I had no wallet. So, yeah--I guess they can't all be great rides, can they? :s
Cheers. Oh, I bunny hop that hole every time. :liar:
Thanks. No I've never hiked that trail. How long does it take and what can you see? I only carry a very flimsy little cable lock with me, and a pair of flip flops just in case I need to walk my bike some distance for whatever reason. But I saw something online recently about an old Japanese POW camp somewhere in the area. I'd love to know where that is. Have you seen it?
Did the same ride again this morning and the weather was superb - beaming sunshine, a stiff breeze and a scattering of fluffy white clouds speeding overhead. Took my camera again to photograph the big landslide I saw on Sunday and a couple of buildings I've been meaning to do for a while. Completed the climb without stopping to faff around with my bag and camera but coming down I slowed to a tortoise's pace with my camera out on its strap. I was hoping to surprise the monkeys I sometimes see but no cigar.
Big-Eyed Ratsnake? You can follow its body right round the pic.
Poor little fella.
I passed someone bicycling along with a grey parrot perched on their shoulder, squawking away. That was new. And odd, since another post this morning about a missing grey parrot was the first time I'd ever heard of a grey parrot in Taiwan, and not three hours later the second time happens.
(Note to owner of missing grey parrot: you're in Kaohsiung, and I'm in Taipei, so I really doubt it's the same parrot.)
The start of the good part of the hike looks like this.
There are lots of ropes and ladders.
If the weather is clear, you get an awesome view from over 800 meters up.
The trail roughly follows the old aiyongxian (or aiyusen in Japanese), the first line of defense against the aborigines. A few skirmishes were fought there. Here's a tablet commemorating the dead and wounded.
If you want to do the hike, you should probably ride a scooter or drive to the trailhead. It's not THAT long, but you wouldn't really be able to enjoy it if you didn't have hiking gear and you were worried about someone stealing your bike.