I thought my Wuling rides were epic, but I don’t think either of them are as epic as the one I embarked on this past Saturday.
Taipei to Kaohsiung…in one ride. I’m not one for long distance on the flats and also not getting any sleep beforehand, so this tested my limits.
My prep for this ride started a full 1.5 weeks in advance. I knew I needed a better front light for the west coast road. We were planning to leave at 12AM, so we would be riding in darkness for a good 6-7 hours. My dinky little 3 year old 40 lumines Giant light I bought for a ridiculous 600NT wasn’t going to cut it. I spent a few days researching and bought the Moon Meteor for 1100NT in a shop up in Beitou. Luckily, the mount that came with it is comptable with my Garmin/Gopro mount. Winner winner chicken dinner!
Next up was sending down my bike bag and a change of clothes 3 days in advance. I packed everything into a large backpack and shoved it into a used PCHOME box that I had sitting at home.
Walked into 7-11 and the employee gave it one good look and said, “We can’t send this, it’s too big”. So…I went back home and swapped to a draw string back pack and a smaller box to send. 60NT. Done.
We left Shilin at around 12:15AM on Saturday and took the west coast highway in darkness. We saw first sign of light in Miaoli at around 6AM.
We did not intend to stay too long, but we got rained on for a good 60-70km through Hsinchu. So…we bought newspapers to soak up the wetness in our feet (and shoes). An ol trick that lots of long distance cyclists use in Taiwan.
From there, it was all pretty much a blur. By the time my Garmin told me I had ridden 200km, I was fighting falling asleep on my saddle. I fought sleepiness with some Clif Bloks all along the ride. So glad I didn’t leave those at home.
Our final stop before Kaohsiung this bridge outside of Kaohsiung where we saw the sun beginning to go down. At this point, we were trying to get to the HSR as quickly as possible because we did not want ride at night with weak spirits.
After picking up our parcels from the 7-11 and took the last 3KM to the HSR, my Garmin was showing this…
Friend and I took the fastest HSR train back to Taipei. It took 1hr25m. Taiwan is awesome.
Conclusion: Don’t do this without someone who knows the way. You don’t want to spend the extra KMs getting lost because 30km will feel like 100km once you are in 100km from your destination.
If anyone plans on doing this, I highly suggest leaving in the wee hours of the morning. If you have tailwind going all the way down, you’ll arrive in Taichung just as the city is starting to wake up. So, not too much traffic. If you leave any later, you’ll just be stopping at every single traffic light and caught in traffic.