Cycling the island - cycle taiwan - advice/maps? etc?

Has anyone ever cycled the island or a large part of it? I am considering doing that over my spring break. I can take my bike somewhere on the train and just do it. I am a fairly experienced rider (can do like 60-80 miles a day, or a few more, have done centuries before) and have a good road bike (trek 2300 with ultegra). I just want to see the scenery and want to be outside and it would be nice to not keep riding around Taipei or in the suburbs/nearby. Any advice on E and/or S Taiwan rides would be cool too. Maybe I could get on the train to Hualian and ride around there? I just don’t know where to start or where good routes might be. Appreciate any advice…!!!

amanda: no bikes allowed on intercity trains. a big PIA, but that’s the law. from next month they will be allowing bikes on local trains whcich will still get you out of Taipei, but not very far, furthest would be Ilan or so, but only AT A MINIMUM GROUP SIZE OF 6. this is to allow transport for cycling clubs, but stop grandma getting onj the bike with her shopping and going one station.

there are plenty of rides out of Taipei that will take you all day that start and finsih from the city, or two day rides if you want to ‘camp’ in a hostel some where. Now that summer’s here again I’ll be riding many of them. Winter sucked after two accidents in a space of two months.

failing that, a car rental is the next best option. some buses will allow the bike on board or in the luggage area at the discretion of the driver, but this cannot be counted on and should be used only as a last resort to save cycling the last 50 km in the dark back from FuLong or wherever you end up after a longer-than-expected day in the saddle.

What a downer! Ah well. I have been trying to do some exploratory rides from Taipei over the last week, including Saturday around North and Yangmingshan… today to Pingxi, other day to Wulai but those are really easy, more like walking in the park than riding. Would love to hear your ideas about rides further away and overnights etc. Also just heard Cycle E Taiwan might be up my alley at the end of April… sure is a bummer I have a week off Mar 16-24 and absolutely nothing going on ugh

I have written up a number of rides:

rank.blogspot.com/search/label/cycling

You can put a bike on as freight, but you’ll have to do it a few days in advance. You won’t get to travel on the same train as the bike, but it’ll be waiting for you at your destination station. I’ve never done it, but I’ve been told all that there are no forms in English, so you’ll need to take someone who can read/write Chinese to do the paperwork for you.

UNLESS you bag your bike. THSR included.

true. but then you can’t easily go point to point, just a loop ride, 'cause no one wants to lug the bag with them, do they?

i did once try the “No, I’m carrying four wheels, and he’s carrying two frames. These are not bikes.” but i did not get very far onto the platform.

[quote=“urodacus”]true. but then you can’t easily go point to point, just a loop ride, 'cause no one wants to lug the bag with them, do they?

i did once try the “No, I’m carrying four wheels, and he’s carrying two frames. These are not bikes.” but i did not get very far onto the platform.[/quote]

You can go to 711 or another pickup point and send the bags home once you arrive. This is very useful when you bag the bike and take the THSRC to the first point. Then put your bike on the freight train and ship it back to Taipei while you travel by regular train. Note that you can only put your bike on the freight train at major stations. The baggage dept. closes at 8pm and usually open at 7AM. I have done this many times. It’s a great service. In northern Taiwan, your bike will arrive the next day. The forms are in fact in Chinese but I’m sure you can find someone to help you fill them in.