How was your ride today?


#461

Noice @squall1 and thanks for sharing.

Mad props for doing a Rapha Prestige, they never seem to make those routes easy. The sheer amount of hairpins and little detour of a loop at the most northern point in your route make it seem like they purposely didn’t want to give you guys the most direct route up the mountain.

Presitge was always something I was interested in doing, but could never find a girl that was willing to go through the sufferfest. Riding has been a bit meh lately and really want to mix it up after my Hualien to Wuling next month.

Will keep an eye out if they open registration for another Prestige. My understanding is RCC gets first dibs, then “international” teams and then the general public? Or just RCC get priority?


Certainly a different way to share rides there @flatlandr

Went out on Sunday? You still alive?


#462

It’s a pretty good time…there’s a comradery that is lacking in other larger organized events.

I believe there are slots reserved for RCC members (having at least one per team counts), so if you can find a team with one member that needs an extra that would pretty much guarantee entry. I don’t think internationals have any kind of leg up but maybe since there’s not much time between being notified and the ride itself.

There is only one per year in Taiwan and they seem to alternate North and South, we’ve done the last two southern ones. My wife applied to ride with another team last year with no RCC members and they weren’t selected. They opened it up to 40 teams from 20 two years ago and 30 last year. 40 is probably the max imo without it getting unwieldy and impersonal.


#463

Yes, that’s one of the main reasons why I want to give it a try. The guys I ride with are all much much stronger than me and despite going out on rides together, we really don’t physically ride next to each other. The Prestige event will be a nice change.

It sucks that I gotta wait a year, but on the bright side, gives me plenty of time to wait for a sale and pick up a nice Rapha kit, which I lack.


#464

There are plenty of people not wearing Rapha stuff… particularly if you are part of another group already.


#465

Probably the smarter of the bunch. You can easily lose a teammate wearing the same thing and riding a similar bike as others if the teams behind you catch up haha


#466

I mean to convey some people wore other club kits or whatever, regardless no need to worry about losing a teammate.


#467

I was waiting on @okonomiyaki to write something about this weekend’s ride, but it seems like he is still sleeping after the epic.

It’s Saturday morning and my alarm goes off at 3:30AM. I was in such a deep sleep that I forgot for a split sechond why the f I had set an alarm for and quickly realized I had to be out the door in half an hour to meet my friend for breakfast. I shook off the drowsiness as I brushed my teeth and put in my contacts, threw on the kit and was out the door in 25 minutes.

As I rolled to the meet my friend around the corner house, I was thinking, 10 years ago I was still up at this time drinking Mountain Dew, playing video games with my friends and waiting for IHOP to open back home. Times have surely changed.

We decided to grab something along the way to the team meet up since we both had eaten a mere 5-6 hours ago before sleeping and the food hadn’t settled yet. From Song Shan, we rolled down Keelung Road and then turned left onto Roosevelt towards Xindian where we saw more traffic than expected. Nonetheless, it was still very peaceful and if you can’t sleep, I would recommend you taking a slow joy ride when the city is asleep. It is quite the experience.

Today…we would attempt Double North (雙北). To be very honest, I don’t really know why it’s called that since we regularly ride in and out of Taipei and New Taipei City, but this ride had us start in Xindian and then roll into Taoyuan and through the Northern cross passed La La Shan, down to Ruo Dong in Yilan and back up to Xindian via BeiYi.

If I told you how lucky we were with the weather, you wouldn’t even believe us. We had some sunlight as we headed out of Taipei and into Taoyuan, but by the time the temp started rising, we were deep into the mountains and had plenty of trees to keep us cool.


My Roxycle was buried in a sea of TCR Advanced SLs. This was probably the only time I saw these bikes because they slowly disappeared once we took off from each rest point.

The worst case of weather was the rolling hills from the bottom of the Northern Cross down into @IbisWtf land where we had major headwind, sun and 34C temps. Luckily, it was breezy ocean wind, so as long as we were moving, we kept cool.

What was most interesting was we picked up a stray cyclist from Switzerland doing her round the island tour. She was almost burnt to a crisp wearing sleeveless, short bike shorts and a huge backpack on her back. I chatted her up while the group pulled the speed to 30-35kph. I chatted her up and found out that she had skipped Suao Tunnels and opted to ride up Wuling and roll down to Luo Dong instead. I quickly translated and shared this with the group and they were in shock. “Wuling? With that pack on her back?” She said she was had a blast doing her tour and we were the first group of riders she met along her tour (aside from the old Taiwanese couples). We stopped at a 7-11, took a picture and she headed off towards her destination for the day, Toucheng. I hope that us bumping into her made her experience a bit more memorable. I’ll definitely never forget it since it was my first time meeting someone with that kind of backpack doing a solo round the island tour…who detoured up Wuling.


As I was walking out of the 7-11 I noticed this pup…definitely has the right idea.


I made my way up the BeiYi switchbacks just as the sun was creepin’ down and got a chance to get a shot of Yilan before there was no natural light left.

All in all, despite getting 4.5 hours of sleep, my spirits were high and I was able to finish the ride without collapsing at the finale that was Helen’s Coffee. @okonomiyaki finished with 10 hours of moving time on top of his 3 hours of sleep, but was ready to collapse at any moment. He claims he’ll never do it again, but he knows he’s only lying to himself.


#468

Well, that’s impressive. It’s too much. And only in 10 (15) hours?


#469

Total elapsed time was closer to 16 hours. I left home at around 5AM and stopped my Garmin at around 830PM. Let’s just say it took a long time for the profile to save.


#470

The climb in number 7 is not horrible but it’s still a climb. Even the ups and downs in Yilan county when going to Jiaoxi were annoying after that climb when I did Hsinchuang > Jiaoxi… in two stages. I can’t image how reverse BeiYi feels after having climbed number 7.


#471

Despite nearing empty for Beiyi and having more energy for the 7, I thought the 7 was much much tougher than Beiyi.

No.7 is kind of endless because you’re deep into the mountains and can’t really see the end. Whereas Beiyi, you get farther and farther up and know you’re almost there because Yilan gets smaller and smaller.


#472

Great writeup! Not a lot to add.

I guess my overall impression of the Double North was that it’s hard, but doable. You really do have to commit like 15 hours to it, it’s just so much climbing and (like almost everywhere in Taiwan) there are precious few opportunities to get in a paceline and quickly crush out some miles.

Very impressive how many of us finished on the day, and not just finished, but did it with decent pace. Would have been a lot tougher without such great weather.


#473

I “doable” is not the word I would use.


#474

No one said you had to do it in one day.


#475

Well, I assumed he was talking about the ride you did, in the way you did it.


#476

He was, but I’m saying it’s doable.

Ideally, if I had zero obligations, I would ride down the 7, up to Lala Shan and stay a night. Down to Yilan on day 2, stay a night Then ride back to Taipei the 3rd day.


#477

This is the biggest let-down for me after 5 years riding out here. Almost impossible to get in a cohesive unit working a steady pace-line/through-and-off/bit-and-bit/whatever you want to call it. Tried it on team rides and in races and other events, but very few seem to understand the basic principle. Wonder why that is? (Invariably riders get to the front and accelerate, causing the inevitable break down of any potential sustained effort.)


#478

SOP in Taiwan businesses. Just like at work, you can only work with people you already know, so if you don’t have a bunch of mates riding it’s not going to work.


#479

I suppose, up to a point, but my team ride with each other every week, and they all know each other. They just get to the front, smash it for a bit then peel off. Repeat ad infinitum.

I think there’s a problem with a lack of any history of the sport here. i.e. there are no senior/experienced riders mentoring the newcomers (as would happen on the UK club scene, for example). I suppose many don’t watch racing either??

I’ve tried posting images and Youtube videos to illustrate the technique (i.e. visuals better than language)*, but nobody cares. It’s really odd, as we could do so much better as a team with people working together - surely the most fundamental aspect of cycle racing(?) - rather than riding their own races

*See also ‘descending on the hoods’ :wink:


#480

Well, you’re talking about training, not riding races… right?