Bicycle ride down to Taroko from Hehuanshan

Any fit, experienced riders with a folding bicycle and bike bag interested in a day ride “downhill” from Hehuanshan to Taroko or Hualien? The general idea is to take a mid-morning HSR (with folder in bag) to Taichung, take the afternoon (1240) Nantou direct bus from Taichung HSR direct to Cingjing Farms, overnight in Cingjing, then book the morning (0830) e-go tour bus from Cingjing to Hehuanshan, and go down Hwy 8 to Taroko instead of returning on the e-go bus on Hwy 14.
ntbus.com.tw/5-24.htm
e-go.com.tw/web2010/cht/tourbus_1.php

We would pick a weekday in the week of 20 May 2013 with a good weather forecast as of the preceding day or days. Weekends are out (weekend traffic). Bright blinkies and headlights, toolkit, rain gear, wrenching experience, and good legs (it’s not all downhill) required.

No go if the WX is bad, ergo, public transportation…

Sounds really fun. It is an astonishing drive down (in a car). Just did it a few weeks ago with perfect conditions.

Btw, all the tunnels in Taroko now have lights so that bit of danger is mitigated.

Lighted tunnels = much safer, not just for reducing the chance of being rear-ended, but to see potholes, cracks, puddles, and the usual Taiwan tunnel gotchas.

must it be a folder?

check your brakes before you go! and I mean new pads, or new cables, or straightened rims, or all of the above. Very necessary!

sounds like fun.

beware mid-corner ruts and potholes, and proceed carefully around blind bends. Stop for breaks before your hands get cramps. This is the voice of experience talking.

If you can get a non-folder to Hehuanshan at the start time … no, doesn’t have to be a folder. I suggested folders since a bagged folder is accepted on board HSR and buses without problem… it’s just a big blob.

[quote=“urodacus”]check your brakes before you go! and I mean new pads, or new cables, or straightened rims, or all of the above. Very necessary!

sounds like fun.

beware mid-corner ruts and potholes, and proceed carefully around blind bends. Stop for breaks before your hands get cramps. This is the voice of experience talking.[/quote]

Roger that. I plan to take my Dahon Cadenza with 9 speed Alfine IGH, disc brakes, and Schwalbe Big Apple tires (26"). Big contact patch, lots of braking power. And “I brake for photo breaks”.

you’ve got many places there of several km with multiple steep, blind, “over the edge and you’re dead” kind of corners. it’s a fabulous ride, and I wish you the best of days to do it!

have a ball.

(catching the bus up kinda seems like cheating, compared to riding up from Yilan…)

Yes… “best days” is the key. I will wait for good weather. If not in May, then in November; if not this year, then next. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender until the sun shines on the downhill vistas of Highway 8.

As for cheating on the ascent… I totally agree, but the highest 7-11 is in Cingjing, and there’s a hydration vs. weight issue through the higher elevations.

The other option to the bus is to hire this guy in Xincheng who takes bikes up daily (has racks on his van) to Tienxiang or Wenshan. I’m sure you could pay him to go all the way up to Hehuanshan.

[quote=“maunaloa”]Yes… “best days” is the key. I will wait for good weather. If not in May, then in November; if not this year, then next. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender until the sun shines on the downhill vistas of Highway 8.

As for cheating on the ascent… I totally agree, but the highest 7-11 is in Cingjing, and there’s a hydration vs. weight issue through the higher elevations.[/quote]

If you are only doing the descent then you can go during the summer. There is a lot of good weather and usually rain is forecast well ahead of your trip. may is actually a fairly wet month with unpredictable rain.

the other concern I would have about this long descent is overheating your brakes/rims to the point that the tubes melt. This is more of a theoretical concern for myself since it hasn’t happened to me but I have read about several that have had this happen on long descents. The smaller tires of folding bikes make it worse.

MM, can you post or PM the name of the “Xincheng bike van guy”. I’m not sure if he would be Plan A or Plan B (he may charge if I have to change for cancelling the res at the last minute for weather reasons). The Xincheng bike van guy could be important in another scenario… connecting the ends of Hwy 14 in a bike and hike.

Abacus, I have disc brakes on the Cadenza.

rihang.wordpress.com/

MM, mahalo.

He me iki ia