OK, here’s a classic route.
LaLaShan Yilan loop from Taipei.
Taipei-Xindian-Ankeng-Sanxia-FuHsing-BaLing-MingChen-Yilan-FuLong-ShuangXi-PingXi-SiJhr-Taipei. 220 km, 3,000 m climbing, 9-10 hours. No car needed, just patience and fitness.
Thats definitely the equal of any Tour de France day in the saddle, except they’re twice as fast.
If that’s too long for you, Taipei LiuZhangLi - FuDe cemetery via Chong Der Rd- Muzha- 106 to ShihDing- follow local road 47-1 over to the BeiYi Rd, turn left and roll down another 20 km to PingLin, turn onto the 106, follow the river 10k m, then along the 43 back over to PingXi- either climb back another 500m hill to SiJhr or cruise back to ShihDing along the other arm of the 106, then back to Muzha and Taipei.
that’s about 100 km, 1,500m climbing, 4 hours.
further north, let’s look at NeiHu-BiShan temple- industry rd- over WuZhiShan-WanLi via the 29 (i think that’s the number) or the 29-1 on the other side of the valley- JinShan-turn left at the 7-11 and roll up over YangMingShan via Macao hot springs and XiaoYouKeng, then down past ZhuZiHu to YangMingShan village , turn right and pass under the bus terminal, and follow XinYi rd down to TienMu or Beitou. That’s about 90km, 1600m climbing, and again about 4 hours.
and there’s plenty of roads that i haven’t even been on yet.
the heat is a killer until you get used to it, but the trick is to move as much as you can, and use the shady areas of the road as you go. even at 35 degrees, you get a lot of cooling from a 30 km/h wind. keep pumping that Pocari into you, at least 2-3 bottles per hour. (it is more tiring at high temps as your bloodflow is diverted from your muscles into your skin to cool you, so it is in effect an even better cardiovascular workout than riding at lower temperatures. ) most of my riding all year round is done between 9 am and 2 pm, so i guess i’m just used to it now.