How was your ride today?

I don’t know where Datun or Balaka is. I keep going until I end up at the family grave sites.

At the end of the GPS is where the road leading up to Datun begins.

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Has anyone done this route before? It leads to a burial site at the top with a pretty good view.
I have no idea how difficult this one is, but it sure kicked my ass.

Okay so from the “how was your ride today?” thread, I figured out that starting on the left is the 北2 and starting on the right is the 北101.

I have started on the 北2 which links to the 北101 and done a “lap” like that, about 28km.

When I start on the 北101 and try and do a “lap” I get to the viewspot I posted in my second pic and turn around to go home lol. It kicks my ass starting on the 北101 first.

@lostinasia Do you cycle a lot? I saw in the other post you mentioned the 北101. There is some shitty temple with a bunch of cars and people trying to get cars to park in their parking spots on that route which is annoying as hell!

Oh, I know that spot! For several years that hill basically broke me, and I often needed to walk up the final stretch. In retrospect I was an idiot: I kept riding lots on the flat riverside, trying that hill, not quite making it, thinking “Oh, I need to ride more on the flats before I tackle this again”. That was wrong - all I needed to do was ride that hill with some frequency, and then it quickly got easier. (Never easy, but easier.)

Map with crude circling below! The blue circle is roughly where your picture is, on the 101 / 北新路 / Beixin Road: as I’m sure you’ve figured out, that’s pretty much the summit of that road. It climbs just a little bit after that, and then has a long descent into Sanzhi. When I was still new to hills that descent actually made me rather nervous, although now it doesn’t feel like a big deal.

The purple circle: that indicates the start of Balaka / 巴拉卡 / 101甲. You must have noticed the intersection where that road goes up from the 101: there’s usually a bit of congestion there. It climbs climbs climbs climbs (and climbs) up into Yangmingshan park. Eventually it gets to a parking lot at Erziping. From there, another road goes up to Datunshan / 大屯山, one of the main peaks at Yangmingshan (and perhaps the highest one you can actually bike to?). The first time I went up Balaka, 9-10 months ago, there was no way I was doing any more climbing after that. But the 2nd or 3rd time I got halfway up Datunshan as well, and the next time I got all the way. Fantastic views!

Note: I think the 2-300m stretch to your picture is actually harder than any 2-300m stretch on the Balaka. To get to that cemetery area, I’ll often be in lowest gear, but that’s not usually necessary on the Balaka Road itself. (Datunshan, totally different. That’s friggin’ steep.) Balaka is a long long long climb (it takes me a little under an hour), but it’s not really that steep; I’ll take a break or two because I’m bored or sore, but never because my legs just. can’t. do. anymore. The steepest part may be right when it turns off from the 101. I say all this because I put off the Balaka longer than I should have, and when I finally went up it, it was a heck of a lot less difficult than I anticipated.

If you’re up around that cemetery area: I’m not sure how much you’ve explored yet. The 101 down into Sanzhi is nice; the red circles, for Dahu Road (大湖路 / 北7) and 北12 are also good up-and-down routes. I feel like the 101 is easiest, then 北12, then 北7. Right now it’s cherry blossom season and the 北7 in particular looks really nice.

Most of my rides are up the 101 (out of Danshui), going somewhere in the mountains (Balaka, or roads up in the Sanzhi and Shimen mountains), down to the coast, Qianshuiwan, and then up either the 北7 or 北12 before coming home back down the 101.

Was it you who posted about an annoyingly busy temple? That’d be the Tianyuan Temple. Right now, yes, there’s lots of traffic for those 2-3km: I definitely unclip from the pedals when going through there. But it’s only like this around cherry blossom season.

Huh - when I made the post above I hadn’t seen this post of yours. Yup, that was my most common hill route for a few years, if I wasn’t going on the riverside paths. These days I usually don’t spend much time on the #2: I get sick of the lights and the traffic. Instead I head up the 北7 or 北12 for one last hill before coming down the 101.

When I was mostly riding on the riverside, yup, that route wiped me out. Now that I spend a lot more time in the hills (something that I’ve only been doing for about a year!), it’s relatively easy and short for me. I do NOT want that to sound like bragging - just to remark on how quickly I got stronger once I started regularly doing climbs.

Have a look on maps of Sanzhi for Qingxi Road and the 北11 - if you’re descending into Sanzhi, it turns off to the right. It leads to a good little loop that also takes you back into Sanzhi. Lovely countryside and a hill that doesn’t geometrically “make sense” to me: it’s a long gentle descent, and there seems to be just too much darn descent for the amount of climb that’s been done.

That’s awesome! When I first went up the 101 I couldn’t even make it to the hi-life before I turned around and flew down my first big descent. After that I was hooked. I try climb higher and higher because the descent will be longer.

I usually do walk up to the top of that hill. I call those last two climbs “time for those two mother fu$&er climbs”

The last time I went up I thought screw it, I’m going to stand up and power through this hill. Well that depleted all my reserves and I was resting only to have a man and his wife/gf come past me and he was taking a selfie!

So I got on my bike to ride and keep up with them and made it to that view spot and got off my bike to get sick (I fought it back) and a European man was taking some pics and saw me and kept offering sugar or water (I had both) and I politely declined. I seriously thought I would have a heart attack lol. Anyways, I sat down and rested for 5 minutes and then flew down the 101 in pure bliss and forgot about the sick feeling I had a moment ago.

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Yup - but if you keep riding up that hill regularly, soon you’ll be able to make it. I remember making it to the top without getting off the bike was a major achievement for me at one point, not that long ago; it still sort of bewilders me that now it’s … well, not easy, but not that hard either.

FWIW, soon after I was getting to that overlook without getting off the bike, I was also going up the Balaka route without much issue. (Datunshan took a bit longer!)

As you remark, other cyclists can be a great source of positive peer pressure!

I’m around Daan. I’m currently looking at areas around Xiangshan MRT Station and the northern Brown Line stations.

Chonged street (崇德街), a.k.a. the graveyard, is right up your alley, literally. It runs parallel to Heping (on its north) just east of the Keelung-Heping traffic circle. Just follow Chongde up into the graveyard. Very easy climb with hardly any traffic thanks to the locals’ aversion to ghosts. At the top you can go left and descend down to Nangang or go right and descend down to the zoo.

For something more challenging and a bit farther away, go to Xizhi and ride the 北33. You can even draw a pigeon with your GPS track for fun. Just google 汐鴿.

The pigeon I drew:

If you’re willing to take the MRT, then definitely ride up Balaka as discussed above. Get off at Hongshulin station and start riding, or if you’re lazy like me, switch to the light rail, get off at Danjin Beixin station and start riding. It’s the best Taipei has to offer.

BTW, the Brown Line is off limits to bikes.


Yes, it is. I think part of the allure of Datun is you earn the bragging rights: riding up to the highest point in Taipei that’s reachable by road! And then there’re the views. I’ve seen pictures of some amazing sunsets taken at Datun, but then you’d probably have to risk riding in the dark coming down.

The steepest part may be right when it turns off from the 101.

That’s why you always take a rest at that new rest stop with the tank, a full minute after you set out. :joy:

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I do appreciate the big washrooms and the water stations there - it’s a nice facility! I keep meaning to check if people have tried to rework the Strava segments due to the moving of the “obvious” take-a-breather spot a couple hundred meters up the hill.

So, so many people who don’t know that road must still stop at the junction - which is no longer a particularly good place to stop - and then set out again a few minutes later, and wish they’d known about the much better rest stop that they soon see.

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The police station at the junction used to be the pit stop one would make before heading up Balaka. The new facility, which used to be a military base, is definitely a step up. Now it’s nice to see all the cyclists congregating and fraternizing, taking selfies in front of the tank.

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I went riding today in the rain, was good and bad. Thanks a lot for showing me these alternative routes. I would just go up the 101 every time I went riding and it was awesome to mix it up today.

I started on the 2 and then at hi-life turned right onto the 12. Some decent climbs and not as tough as the 101 but a few of them had me out of my saddle and tired as hell.

When the 12 ended and I could go down the 101 that is when the “bad” happened. My shoes clogged up with water at an exponential rate and it felt gross/weird to be peddling after that. Luckily it’s all downhill from that point on.

Got home, googled how to dry my shoes and shoved two sets of newspaper in them. Blasted the buggers with the Dyson Supersonic on low heat and they feel dry now. (Always knew the missus nagging for the damn thing would come it handy one day)

Salesman told me the white shoes clean easily but they didn’t. A bunch of scuff marks on them and parts I can’t get white again… why did I buy white shoes…

On the way down the 101 was awesome on the TCR, it’s really responsive and quick. Took a corner at 42km/h and it felt really solid even in the wet.

Climbing in wet conditions always feels harder, I guess there is less traction.
I can’t wait to do it again in the dry, it took me 1hr over 19km. I use a Bryton Rider 750. It pauses when I stop so that is all ride time.

How fast do you usually do it in?

Wait, what about the bike? I would’ve been worried about the bike, no my shoes after I got home from a wet ride :laughing:

@kael Plug this into your Google Maps.

Jiannan Road.

25.09700044, 121.5542089

start from the end near the National Palace Museum (there’s a right hand turn over a small bridge) and then you will end up near the Miramar Wheel and have to shoot back down FuXing road (if you’re sneaky you can use the tunnel, which technically does not allow cyclists, otherwise it’s a bit of a schlep around the end of the runway).

a small light residential road with moderate gradient, about 45 minutes all up from Daan district.


When the tunnel/underpass was first built, some cyclist got killed after taking a spill inside, and it’s been off limits to bicycles since. It’s one of the few places that allow motorcycles but not bicycles. I’ve never ventured inside, not because I’m a law-abiding citizen, but because the lane just looks a little too narrow for me to ride comfortably. You can either go around the runway on the east side of the airport or go around the opposite side next to the Lin An Tai Historical House depending on what part of Daan you live in.

The only time I tend to venture through tunnels, that isn’t Zi Qian from Dazhi to Shilin, is early in the morning.

To get to southside of Taipei, I take the tunnel on Keelung Rd connecting ZhongXiao and Xinyi that goes under City Hall. There’s no scooter lane, but most of the traffic is scooter anyways and it’s not that bad as there’s just a short 3-5 meter low gradient ramp to get out. I have never, nor will I ever take the tunnel coming back from Xinyi to ZhongXiao, the ramp out of it is longer and gradient is too high. I’ll be riding 10kph while scoots will be zooming by me at like 70 since there’s no speed camera down there.

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My ride today was… non-existent

This rainy weather is depressing. It’s also hell to clean a bike after you ride in the rain with it. I think my degreaser was a bit low-tier so I’ll def buy something else.

How long should I leave the degreaser on for?

Do any of you just power hose your bike at the car wash places??