There’s a dinosaur, but no Pokemon…yet?
Gorgeous skies this morning. One of my more common routes: up the 101 / 北新路; at the summit of that road, turning up the 北7 / 大湖路, across 青山路, down what I think is the 北15 (although Strava and Google get confusing about that) to Fugui Cape; back along the coast, and then after Sanzhi turned up the bottom part of the 北7 to reconnect up with the 101, and downhill home.
As is now normal, a stupid amount of yellow tape in places where it has no business being. Seriously? Taping off some silly little platform that looks out over the water? Across stairways that descend to the rocky shore?
I set out at 7am and that was an hour too late. My final climb up the 北7 (Strava segment) was HOT. New thing for me: the sweat dripping in my eyes started stinging, a lot - enough that I had to stop for a bit. I don’t understand why: I’ve had a little of that before with sunscreen, but today I wasn’t wearing sunscreen. I was, unusually, wearing normal glasses rather than contacts + sunglasses, so I’m wondering if I was somehow getting too much full sunlight. Or stuff leaching up from the buff pulled over my nose?
I only saw 7-8 cyclists total over the day. This was mildly surprising when I was descending the 101 back into Danshui: I saw a total of one pair of cyclists climbing. Normally at 10am on a weekend morning I’d see dozens, often in groups. I’m glad the groups aren’t out - I don’t think anyone should be doing things in big groups at the moment - but I’m surprised there weren’t more individuals or pairs out. In terms of people staying home, good I suppose; in terms of people recognizing what’s actually risky, well, I’m once again shaking my head.
I just did almost the same route clockwise, but left ~11 … got 42 degrees on the bike comp … a bit too much …
Saw ZERO other bikers …
Wow. I don’t know how you could do this midday right now - maybe clockwise there’s a bit less sun exposure on the climbs, but I doubt it. Plus that way you’ve got a monster climb, whereas counter-clockwise it’s broken up more.
I was quite surprised how few other cyclists I saw. Sure, I expected fewer, but not close to none. I hope it’s because of people staying home, rather than people traveling the island for the long weekend.
I wanted to challenge myself a little more, so headed out today to take on datun mountain.
The highest I did before was fengguizui (about 600 meters)
50km, 1050 meters, counterclockwise datun circle:
tianmu → shamao road → zhuzihu road → balaka → datun peak → balaka → road #101 → guandu → tianmu
4 hours total, 3 hours riding time
time: 2:30pm - 6:30pm (actually, I like enjoy afternoon rides, because I can enjoy the mornings with my family. Although I’m dripping with sweat, I like the heat!)
All viewing platforms and parking lots were closed off, parking lots also all had a guard watching.
On my way up, I didn’t see any cyclists until the rest-stop below the final datun peak stretch.
I took a rest there and lucky I brought my own water, because all the vending machines were turned off. Restrooms were still open though.
The road up to datun peak was also closed, so no scooters or cars could go up there but it said it’s open for hikers. Although I was already a little tired, I wanted to complete my datun challenge and started pedaling up. Going up I saw some hikers, and also a couple mountain bikers.
View from the top:
This road is quite steep and perfect now because it is empty. It wouldn’t be much fun when lots of scooters and cars go up there.
As I came back down, all of a sudden the road next to the rest stop was full of parked cars, I guess they all had to use the bathroom!
After that I rode down balaka road, not quite sure why this road is mentioned so often, it didn’t seem so special?!?
On balaka i also saw a couple single bikers on road bikes coming up. I like the Taiwan style where everyone of them waved with their hand very friendly. But because I was going down quite fast, I couldn’t wave back and only nodded. So my apologies to them
Initially I wanted to go the direct way from balaka to beitou and then tianmu, but that would have been an additional 250m climb, so decided going back down to the riverside. That was a little frustrating, because it was packed with families riding their bikes. I knew that weekends are packed and today was no different.
Gotta check the strava heatmap for a more direct route.
Sunset over guanyin shan near the shezidao bridge:
That sunset picture is absolutely beautiful.
Congrats! Riding up Datun is a rite of passage, as it’s the highest point reachable by road in Taipei. The road up Datun has been closed off to motor vehicles since last summer, which is great for cyclists. Still, you need to watch out for cyclists bombing down the mountain as you slowly wind your way up the switchbacks. Since you descended down Balaka, you probably didn’t appreciate it as much as you would going up it. The grade is consistently gentle, it’s shaded, and you can often spot wildlife (just ask @lostinasia ). The best part is it’s got little traffic. (I guess the traffic is light everywhere these days). Interesting that they turned off the vending machines. The ones in Taipei’s riverside park were operating today.
yes sounds like good advice, I definitely will do a clockwise up balaka next time.
Back in the home Country had short ride on my lold steed. 2009 Santa Cruz Superlight. XT group set, Hope hubs, hope 4 pot hydraulic rotor brakes, Fox rear air damper front carbon fibre pace AC38 stealth oil & spring lockable shocks.
All in good working order.
Can share this to our “Show us your bikes” thread
Can anyone take that water trolley?
Does anyone else get low blood sugar from biking? Does it get better the more you bike? I feel miserable right now and I didn’t go far.
I went out yesterday and this is what I noticed…
Taking it extra slow leading up to your big climb is crucial to not gas out. Also, I’ve been eating oats and fruit right before I go out and that helps a lot.
Cycling glasses are a huge game changer. (I was using my prescription glasses previously)
Giant PR2 wheels are satan’s spawn. If you can upgrade then do it! Seriously!
Lastly, I did my first descent using the drops. In the past I would just use the hoods. I had more control, it’s easier to apply pressure to the brake levers and my neck isn’t conditioned for that position at all
I couldn’t go ride today because my 3 cycling outfits are in the wash. Now I’m wondering if I need some more……
Kind of had it with riding in the summer. It’s not the masks and it’s not even the heat (mostly). Where I’m at, I get chased by these big mean birds called 烏秋. They’re super protective of their nests, so they’ll chase you for like 50-100m if you get ANYWHERE near it. But you can’t see them coming and their nests are everywhere, so you’ll get chased all the time. They’ll even nick my helmet!
Anyone have experience with these things and how to get them away? Are they actually dangerous or should I just ignore them? Is it my red helmet? It’s seriously anxiety inducing. Can’t outrun them.
Speaking about snakes, I saw one of these yesterday behind Shihsanhang Museum of Archaeology, north of Bali:
So be careful around tall grass! (not a Pokemon reference)
I shower with mine on 2 times before they go in the wash, straight away still wet with sweat.
I’m still trying to figure this one out. I keep thinking “why?” and then “why two times?” Personally, I can’t wait to get the hell out of my shorts and shirt and into the shower (the shorts and shirt stay outside!).
n+1 rule can be applied to almost all components and apparel too.
On Saturday I did my first ever climb with that ‘Graveyard’ segment and as a noob still mostly just riding and then turning around. But I inadvertently drew an arrow on strava . One of these days will try to ride in a ‘circle’.
One positive for riding in 36 degree weather is I won’t get dropped by people on uBikes, 6 yo’s on tricycles and that old dude on a unicycle as they have the sense to stay home.
The mask became an issue getting to the section where there was no tree cover and so I pulled it down under my nose. I saw two joggers and one cyclist also embracing the heat.
Looking forward to trying a climb again…the descents made it worth it.