How was your ride today?


#81

[quote=“PaddyB”][quote=“Feiren”]No two days. Most people are exhausted by the time they get to Yulao. I’ve made it to Baling a few time on the north cross, but anything beyond that would be very early indeed.

Can you ship a bike to Zhudong? That’s a spur Don’t think the baggage train goes there[/quote][/quote]

Sorry, I meant ZhuBEI. I know that hill up to Yulao is stupid long but are there any major hills between Yulao and Baling? I know there is a big descent after you turn left toward Sanguang at the big wooden sign but other than that I dont remember much about that road (other than it’s in poor condition in spots, feels very remote and is very scenic).


#82

If you tale the Mamei Rd. Unpaved, recommended) you go about 300 meters up to 1600 meters or so and then it is 1,000 meter drop to Baling at below 600. The Yufeng Rid. (paved) is pretty much all down hill as far as I can remember.


#83

That’s a wild road and well worth the effort. I did it once on my mountain bike, and ran into locals (aboriginals) who had never seen a foreigner. Memorable. I’ve never cycled the distance from Neiwan to Sanguang, but I have cycled from home through Neiwan and up to Mountain # 85. Tough climbs–even for an MTB.

Many years prior to that me and a couple of friends rode through on our motorbikes. That was when Jianshi was a restricted area and way before they even started the paved lower road that runs on the other side of the river from the 7 to Sanguang. That was also wild.


#84

We need to revive this thread! I like reading about people’s rides.

Earlier today I picked up my bike from Songshan station and rode over to this great self-service car wash I recently discovered on Binjiang Street (south side, near the airport) to give the trusty steed a much-needed cleansing. After the bike wash and dinner, I rode east to Xizhi and Keelung for no particular reason. Ended up getting all the way to the 79.5k marker on the 106 in Ruifang before turning around, deterred from climbing any further by the utter lack of streetlights ahead. On the way home, I passed a Taiwanese dude on a road bike on the fast stretch of Zhongxiao East Road by all the software companies. Apparently he was slacking off, because a couple lights later, he rocketed forward so fast I had no hope of catching him even at 40 km/h.

My bike was at Songshan because I sent it there after riding the Luoma highway last Friday. What a terrific ride! I was pleased to find the climbs not as hard as I remembered–maybe I really am getting into better shape!


#85

[quote=“haokaiyang”]We need to revive this thread! I like reading about people’s rides.

Earlier today I picked up my bike from Songshan station and rode over this great self-service car wash I recently discovered on Binjiang Street (south side, near the airport) to give it a much-needed cleansing. After the bike wash and dinner, I rode east to Xizhi and Keelung (Jilong) for no particular reason. Ended up getting all the way to the 79.5k marker on the 106 in Ruifang before turning around, deterred from climbing any further by the utter lack of streetlights ahead. On the way home, I passed a Taiwanese dude on a road bike on the fast stretch of Zhongxiao East Road by all the software companies. Apparently he was slacking off, because a couple lights later, he rocketed forward so fast I had no hope of catching him even at 40 km/h.

My bike was at Songshan because I sent it there after riding the Luoma highway last Friday. What a terrific ride! I was pleased to find the climbs not as hard as I remembered–maybe I really am getting into better shape![/quote]

Nice to hear you finally made it out to Luoma Rd again. I don’t have much to contribute to this thread right now. Between the relatively shite weather and my schedule, I’ve had no time to ride. My last longish ride was to Danshui and back on the bike paths a couple of Sundays ago. The weather was nice but Erchong has to be the most horrible stretch of bike path in all Taiwan. I had to put up with Hell-on-[training]Wheels on the way up there and on the way back, at night, I almost got killed by teenagers on scooters. I didn’t even know I was crossing a road until they came screaming around the corner at 80+ km/h. I didnt even have time to clip out and got a nasty little gash just below my ass from falling into the street. Bastids!

On a more positive note, I rode out to Daxi on the bike paths after work recently. It’s spectacular at night - nothing but quiet marshes, rice paddies and onion fields with no traffic - spooky and serene. I only passed other bikes a couple of times (one was a pack of road bikes actually) and I only got chased by dogs once! The only down side is riding through a veritable blizzard of gnats in the marshland just before Daxi. Anyone who wants to come along some (usually Monday) night is welcome to join! I’m going to be making a habit of it.


#86

I had my “that’s why they called it Ihla Formosa” moment on Friday.
I live in Hsinchu, so most of my rides start from the Hsinchu / Zhubei area, and on Friday I started from HoSin (Hexing) station on the Neiwan line. From here I rode up route 120 past Neiwan to Jianshih. Not a great road during the tourist season, but pretty quiet on a December Friday. Then at Jianshih I turned right across the bridge onto Meihua Rd, Then left onto jinping Rd. Once past the village of Jinping, the road steadily climbs the mountain upto 1515m. For such a long climb, it doesn’t really feel too bad, or at least not if you take it easy. It took me 3 hours from HoSin to the summit 28km away. There are some good views on the way up. This one shows Jinping in the foreground, and Hsinchu in the far distance (you’ll have to take my word for that - only had a camera phone with me)…


This bamboo truck passed me shortly before the summit - it appeared to have water cooled brakes judging by the steam coming off them, and the wet tracks it was leaving behind…

There was more bamboo waiting to be collected at the summit pass here. Note the new surface at the start of the descent. Unfortunately it didn’t last very far…

Once I got a view of the valley on the east side of the mountain, my Ihla Formosa moment began. Not sure how much of that was down to the scenery and how much was relief at having finished the climb.

The road (now Yufeng Rd) follows the river, sometimes close, others about 200m higher on the side of the valley, for about 25km, until it reaches the North X highway near Baling. This bit of road was near deserted, and offered some good views along the way.




By the time I’d reached the North X highway it was about 3:30pm and the light was already beginning to fade, thanks to the shadows cast by the mountains, so I didn’t bother with photos from there-on. I took the turning onto Luoma Rd and followed that West. Originally I’d planned to cut across straight from there to the 120 again, but having tried that before and taken several wrong turnings, I decided to go straight to the highway 3 this time, since it was pretty dark.
I suffered several front punctures on this ride, starting with a slow puncture just after the rides main descent. I then got several pinch flats as the road surface changed quickly from good to bad. Once on the North x and Luoma Rd, the surface is much better, but I still got another flat after hitting a bump I didn’t even see in the dark, though I sure felt it.


#87

Well done! :bravo: I’ve wanted to ride that road for a long time. I did the part up to Yulao several years ago and camped on the summit, but I’ve never done the road to Baling.

My Sunday ride was fantastic as well. About 3/4 of it was on roads I’d never ridden before, which doesn’t happen to me often. I started from the Miaoli train station and took the 6 out of town, through Gongguan and up the Houlong River to Highway 3 in Shitan. Despite being a provincial highway, the 6 was a very nice road, great for casual weekend cycling. At the end of it there was a village called Wenshui (汶水) with a typical “old street”.

I rode down through Dahu into Zhuolan before realizing I had overshot my road. “Oh well,” I thought, “at least now it’s late enough for me to have lunch in Dahu and get some food in my system before starting to climb.”

The Hakka restaurant I ate at was across from a beautiful temple whose name I’ve unfortunately forgotten. I asked the owner about the Miao 61 to Syuejian/Xuejian (雪見), the road I intended to ride, and she said it was closed after Erbensong (二本松). According to an article posted in the restaurant, the Xuejian road had only just opened in 2008.

I’d like to go up there sometime once it reopens. Apparently it’s called Xuejian because in the winter you can see snow on Snow Mountain and the Holy Ridge.

Anyway, the Miao 61 climbed gradually into the shadow of the mountains of Taian. You always know when you’re passing into aborigine territory because there are statues like this.

Right after that, I arrived at the Zhongxing checkpoint (中興檢查哨). The officer there informed me that parts of the Simaxian forest road (司馬限林道) were closed due to typhoon damage, and he drew me a map of the roads to Erbensong that totally came in handy later on. When I asked how the roads were, he said they were all paved, but there were some steep hills. He rode up there sometimes on his mountain bike, though, and he claimed to be able to climb them all without having to get off and push.

The next three kilometers were OK, but then I ran into the NASTIEST HILL EVER. It was so steep I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. In my mind, I nicknamed it BCH: batshit crazy hill. I had already had to get off the bike for a couple earlier sections, so I didn’t even try to ride this one. “I’d like to see ANYONE ride up this hill on a bike,” I thought. “No way that guy at the checkpoint was telling the truth.” I should have taken a picture, but it’s a pain to take out my SLR from my front pannier and I wanted to keep a decent pace.

I found the first fork on the map the officer had drawn for me at 4.8K. I missed the fork after that, though, and soon my road turned into a rideable but increasingly rough strip of tarmac in the process of returning to a state of nature. The grade was nice (for a change) and the view was fantastic, so I kept going, hoping I would emerge from the jungle at some point, even though there wasn’t a soul around–all I could here were monkeys in the trees and the sound of a distant chainsaw. But after I plowed into a massive cobweb stretching all the way across the road, I figured it was time to turn back.

The road I was supposed to take was a strip of cement that for me was mostly too steep to ride. Maybe if I’d been on a road bike without racks and a full pannier, I’d have been able to get up it, but I’m not making excuses. Mercifully, it wasn’t too long. I finally made it back to the Miao 61 and continued on my merry way as best I could in a place that apparently doesn’t believe in posting road signs.

About ten kilometers from Erbensong (according to the car drivers I asked), there was a scenic overlook.

A few kilometers later, I passed through a little town and my road ended in a T. At this point it was after 2 pm, so I figured I’d better start heading out of the mountains. So I took the right fork and descended precipitously to the Daan River, the one flowing through the picture above. Below was another Atayal village, Tiangou/Tengu (天狗部落) with another memorable statue.

The rest of the ride took me over lots of small hills but nothing like the BCH–luckily for me, since I wasn’t up for much more climbing! Contrary to the forecast, the sun shone brightly for the rest of the day. It amazes me that in Taiwan one can ride over 100 kilometers in December and get up over 1000 meters above sea level without ever having to put on a jacket. As the sun sank over the river, it treated me to views like this.

I passed through a few more Atayal buluo before climbing over a hill from Heping into Dongshi. From there, it was just an easy descent on the 3 into Taichung.


#88

I need to start getting out of the city for my rides but I’m usually busy every weekend. Right now I get a nice 30km in a couple nights a week but hopefully I can start adding in some 60-80km weekend rides with a little hiking involved.


#89

Yes, that Miaoli ride is great. Go left at the T next time. It joins up with the road down to Tiangou or you can go on the Xuejian for great views of the Xueshan Range on clear days. There can be a lot of cars on weekends though. December is often one of the best month for riding inTaiwan.


#90

Great ride and pictures, march! :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

I know every bit of that road, but haven’t ridden the length of it like you have. One of these days, with weather like yesterday’s.


#91

4 days into the Huandao 環島

Hualien Ruisui - 101km
Ruisui Guanshan - 94km
Guanshan Taidong - 64km
Taidong Dawu - 67km

Day 3 was especially awesome, and there’ll be a separate #197 thread appearing some time soon, the road deserves it. Here’s a couple of pics from each day.

Old '#11

Ruigang

Paddies

Yard

Wheel

Kite

Taidong

Coast


#92

Some thoughts and pictures from the last few days (second half is the cycling bit…):

fiftyyearsandcounting.wordpress. … -and-twoc/

Other musings from a recently-arrived Englishman can also be found in there.


#93

My ride today was pretty terrible. I got my new road bike a few days ago and today was the second time riding it (first time was riding it home from the shop). I have not ridden a bike in about 5 years so there was a lot of awkward moments. This being my first road bike, I was not use to having such a high seat and having to lean on one side while idling. There were many awkward failed attempts on starting up on a red light and many angry motorist behind me. I also learned that you should lift your foot right away otherwise the peddle will mess you up pretty bad. The back of my left leg has a gnarly scratch from the peddle. Also my ass hurts, I think its bruised…does your ass get better the more you ride or do I need a new seat? Its not painful but gets uncomfortable.


#94

If you have a mt bike put your pedals on that until you get used to them. You might need a new seat or you might need a different angle. Padded shorts help also. The thing to remember is that your seat was probably optimized to be light with comfort as a distant criteria.

I did a 160km 2 day ride out to Maolin last weekend on my old mt bike. I’m probably getting a new Surly built in the next month or so but I’ve only started talking to bike shop so there is a lot of work to do on that front. I wanted to see the famous purple butterflies but I slept in Sunday and by noon they were elsewhere but it was good to start building up some bicycle strength.


#95

Nuit, I love those pics. And you even make Taitung look good.


#96

If it was the first time in 5 years, then most of those things are normal par for the course.
I just switched back to riding my road bike after using my mountain bike for last few years (slicks and clipless pedals) due to taking my boy around town and on a long trip, and I had to also get used to leaning lower for the dropbars and using a different gear set-up (old-stlye, levers on the down-shaft of the bike’s frame). Just a part of relearning everything. Your butt will get used to the saddle after a few times. You can always try wearing 2 biking shorts both with pads for the first week or so.
All this is the same as when a person lift weights at the gym for the first time in their life. Your muscles aren’t used to the new torture they’re being put through until you’ve tortured them enough times that they learn to accept their fate, so to speak.


#97

Started off today’s ride with the sun in and out of the clouds, before it got a bit cloudy at the top of the hills behind Nei-Hu. Road up Nei-Hu Road, Section 3, which is a good 6+ km climb, mostly in low gear (road bike), with a gnarly nearly walking pace peddling around 3.4km marker. At the top just cloudy. Looking past the mountains towards the north coast and the sky was very gray, ominous.
Cruised down to Zhishan Road Section 3, took a right turn and rode up Zhishan Road to the right turn (can’t miss it) that is the start of another good 6.5km climb up to 風櫃嘴. Up near the top, visibility fell to about 30-40m with a good wind in one’s face, very intermittent rain (more likely just moisture from all the fog), but not a nuisance at all. Right turn at the top to go back to Nei-Hu, mostly downhill. A bit chilly up there, so two bike shirts (at least one long-sleeve) needed. Saw less than a handful of riders and about twice that for cars on the hilly roads.

Originally thought Taipei today was gonna be all smogged in from ChiComm pollution that is blowing across the strait into Taiwan and Japan (news this morning saying Japan got it bad yesterday). Didn’t feel it at all.

Total about 30+km with 13km of that very good hill climbing.


#98

I haven’t done much riding this month, partly because of the weather but mostly because I haven’t managed my time well. But this afternoon I really wanted some fresh air, so I threw on my rain jacket and shoe covers and headed out to do the 106 all the way to the end. I was expecting chilly weather and light rain, but what I got on the pass from Pingxi into Ruifang was a full-on storm: heavy rain, gusty wind, thick fog, the works. It was wild up there! On the descent, I had to keep my speed at around 20 km/h so I wouldn’t lose control if I hit a bump in the road (whose surface I could hardly see) or got going too fast for my wet cantilever brakes.

Normally I prefer riding in dry weather, but every once in a while a ride like this reminds me of the pleasures of the rain. On the approach to Shifen, before I hit the storm, I got to soak up the view of the rain-washed, mist-crowned mountains at their most majestic. I was starting to get wet, but I didn’t mind a bit: I was in a groove, cruising along a pace that felt right, not feeling cold or sweaty at all; there was no place on earth I would rather have been. At moments like that, everything seems perfect. Even after the sky grew dark, my shoes filled with water, my jersey got damp all over, and my odometer started going a little haywire, I felt glad to be out riding my bike.


#99

Do some of you have one day rides around Taipei ?
Or do you know websites/facebook groups that organise such things ?


#100

[quote=“Raphael2”]Do some of you have one day rides around Taipei ?
Or do you know websites/facebook groups that organise such things ?[/quote]

Don’t use FB myself, so don’t know the answer there. Plenty of foreigners on weekend meet around TAS or at the entrance to the climb up Yangmingshan for an early-morning ride.

Lots of one-day rides around Taipei.
From Gong-Guan along the river bike path to Tamsui, it’s about 70km round-trip. During the week, little traffic to worry about (weekends are a madhouse). Going towards Tamsui, when you have the choice of following the river (along SheZi Peninsula) or cutting across the streets to take the big bridge that gets you back onto the bike path again, take that left turn and follow the river around the Peninsula. Adds about 8km one-way.

From Gong-Guan, can follow bike path towards Cheng-Chi University in Mu-Cha and climb the hills around the tree farms and gondola. Can easily find a 40-50km trip.

In Nei-Hu or Yangmingshan, there’s plenty of roads up into the hills that make your thighs burn for 5-7km at a time. One famous one is 6+ km climb up to 台灣新北市風櫃嘴 (copy/paste into maps.google.com)

Plenty of other rides towards Ping-Xi or TaiPingLin south of Taipei, just google and should see a host of blogs that have written about them.

This husband and wife’s blog have some interesting rides in N.Taiwan: http://www.bikingintaiwan.com/