How was your ride today?

Thanks ranlee, I suspect I need a few more easier climbs and descents, but will take a peek with Google street view to see how intense it might be.

Last night I was on the brakes going down much more than I should have been. I’m still figuring out the limits/handling of this steel frame, but certainly I need more practice on descents looking forward through the turns.

Couple of descending tips:

when you descend, make sure to have your hands in the drops, not on the hoods, for much better brake control. you get more power and more modulation that way.

and either lift the inside pedal, or if you have a leading leg preference, keep your pedals horizontal with your preferred foot forward. There’s nothing like clipping a pedal on the road mid-corner to mess up your day.

and wear gloves! Just in case, because that’s what hits the ground first when you scrub out the front wheel.

most of all, be confident, pick a line early and keep to it (no sudden adjustments), keep your weight inside the corner (by leaning over the inside handlebar end), and initiate turns by counter-steering (push the inside handlebar as you want to start the turn). you do a lot of this anyway when you corner, even without noticing it, but if you are aware of the body weight shift and so on you can initiate it much better and control it to your advantage.

you would be quite surprised just how much G-force a good bicycle tire on a straight and true rim can handle, and how much lean you can get away with.

but beware of moss, sand, dead snakes, and grease on the road of course.


Take it from the master himself, @urodacus 's tips are 100% on point!

I will note that ^^^ this tip is by far the most important. If you feel uncomfortable at first, that’s normal, but if the feeling does not go away after awhile, it can have something to do with bike fit.

On a more, nontechnical side, I would advise doing the same route a few more times to get used to the road conditions and how traffic flows. Take them slow and you’ll slowly build up confidence to tackle descents without having to do homework first.


wow thanks, great tips here!

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Yup, that worked. It was a month later, not a week later, but I did Ranlee’s Tour of Taipei for the second time (with extra mileage accessing it from Danshui). Equaled the achievement tally above, with 37 achievements: yay, best or second-best time on plenty of segments, now that today was my, um, second time doing them. Funny how that works. There would have been a few more except the near-inevitable criss-crossing from riverbank to riverbank was different this time.

However, I think it was a mistake for me to do this in the summer heat. First three hours or so were great, but the last hour, god I was beat (got home around 1pm). And desperate for water. All the vending machines I checked were working, but I saw none with simple water. I had more bottles of sports drinks than I’d like.

Morning-Me thought “Hey, I know this route is around 93km for me, so how about I just do an extra seven or eight km at the end to finally break that dumb century mark?” Afternoon-Me decided that Morning-Me is a friggin’ idiot and nope, I was getting out of the heat.

I really want to be doing more rides out of other parts of Taipei, but the catch for me is the hour+ on the riverside paths to get to the start of those routes - and even more, the time on the paths to get home afterwards. But hey, progress.

@Incubus, don’t you sometimes take the MRT to access different locations? I think you’ve mentioned that for Danshui. But on weekdays I guess I can only do that from 10am on - which is too late in the summer.


That route is best done in the evening or on a day with overcast. Especially NanShen/ShenNan road which has zero shade! You live and learn, but Kudos for champing it out.

If you are not familiar with the area outside of the exits, you may get stuck with using the vending machines, which, thanks to you, we now know are not very reliable source for bottled water :laughing:.

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Yeah, the weather gods smiled upon me a bit - I had cloud cover for most of the one climb. The scattered clouds were one reason I opted to do this today - but they’d mostly disappeared for the final third.

Evenings don’t currently work for me because I’m trying to get up regularly around 5:30am, in order to be able to get up for rides, but then if I go for an evening ride I’ll get to sleep way too late, and still wake up early.

Someone upthread said there was water available at some of the vending machines, so I opted not to look for a convenience store at the different gates when I had the chance. By the time I realized, nope, I was on the Sanzhi / Guandu / Danshui stretch, and convenience stores would have been too far away. (Or maybe not … I suppose they were pretty close from Guandu.)

There is sparkling water available in the vending machines, but I don’t like that.

What about Zhu Yuan? If you go under the underpass and across the main road, there’s a bunch of convenient stores.

Unless you feel like you’re pretty much home, but I have actually stopped in the 7-11 about 50m from my apt to down one of those medium size sport drinks bottles because I was so thirsty.

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Zhuwei? Yeah, as you say, at that point I’m basically home. I just need to remember to pop through a gate earlier, probably around Dadaocheng. Where I screwed up was believing there would be water at a vending machine, and I knew there were tons of vending machines (as indeed there were).

Or when this stupid COVID stuff is over I could use one of the many shut-off water fountains I rode by.

I was sensible enough to stop at a convenience store after the one climb, and refilled on water then, before getting on the riverside paths. But one more water (and not just sports drink) stop later on would have helped a lot.

I’m idly curious if my energy collapsed after about three hours of riding due to the heat, or just because that’s when my energy collapses anyway. There’s also the psychological factor of being back on the now-dull-to-me rather long home stretch.

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How do you remind yourself not to be dumb and put on your helmet? I seem to forget till I’m halfway to work :woozy_face:

I hear ya. I live on the south side, but I want to ride all over the greater Taipei area but don’t want to traverse the city and deal with city traffic, so I’ve made good use of the MRT. For northern Taipei routes like Balaka, I take the MRT to Hongshulin and switch to the light rail so I can be at my freshest when I do the climb. To get to Taoyuan, I take the MRT to Tucheng and start riding from there. Another option is to ride your bike out and use the MRT/train for the return trip. I recently rode to Keelung, but the weather got too hot by the time I got there (and truth be told I got lazy and felt bored taking the same riverside route back to Taipei), so I opted to take the train back to Songshan. The train is quite pleasant, but obviously it’s not as frequent as the MRT. You could be waiting for up to an hour if your timing is bad.


Yeah me too, sadly most days at work for me are bad days, but they give me the necessary frustration to get me out on my bike which is the only thing that ‘resolves’ it. I don’t quite have the fitness and recovery speed yet to not have a hangover the next day though.

Gave myself hypothermia the other day as it turned cold and rainy and the day was so bad I didn’t think to prepare or wear appropriate clothing.

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I use my helmet to store my house keys.


Hot caught out with heavy cold rain last 10k but some great countryside views even though cloudy.


You’ll get used to it and remember. Not to make the subject all gloomy, but all it took was one story from a friend saying he lost a friend in a crash due to not wearing a helmet. That was enough for me to never forget my helmet when walking out the door.

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or you can hang your helmet on your saddle. Hard to forget that when you can’t sit on the bike properly.


On a whim, last night I drew out a route that included a sarcastically named segment called “wimp climb” and two other smaller climbs just as a cherry on top. The last time I tried strava category 2 climb, I was spanked, had my diaper changed and the descent ended with a flat tire. So I hoped my luck this time would be better.

Going to the climb, I took it extra easy. I practically walked my bike there. It would crush my average speed stats, but sacrifices had to be made.

Things went better this time around, probably due to being 1.5kg lighter and yesterday I didn’t do any leg exercises. Fresh legs are always appreciated.

On the early stages of the ascent I did see a dad with his kids, all on those smaller (foldable?) bikes…Dad was pretty chill…the two boys were maybe 8 and 12…were pedaling through pain it seemed, but I’m sure within 2 years they’ll drop me like a hot potato. Only saw two other road cyclists on the climb and descent. On the other climbs I saw no one :laughing: I guess most cyclists are in the 5am club and not the “let me roast my nuts off” club.

The descent was pretty technical (for me) and thanks again to @urodacus on those tips. The counter-steering and staying really low tips makes all the difference. Although there were quite a few hairpin turns that I guess you just have to go through slow. Overall I took it kinda slow since I never been on these roads before.

Putting in two other climbs on the way home was probably not the best move. But I really need to get some endurance strength in these legs.

(edited typo)


Nicely done, hardly a wimp climb! The eastern-most section of your route is actually part of the Xizhi Pigeon. It’s just a matter of closing the bird’s chest by going toward Nangang Exhibition Center by way of Academia Sinica.


With a name like Wimp, I had to try it.
Thanks for the link to that Xizhi Pigeon route, I will definitely build that route out and give it a go.

From the top of the graveyard just when the dead were waking


After countless rides up the graveyard from Liuzhangli, I finally rode up from the Muzha side. It’s definitely a steeper climb, but nothing too difficult. The road condition is much better and wider (2 lanes) than the dangerously narrow Chongde St. The one big drawback is the garbage trucks. I went up at around 5:30 p.m. just when the trucks were coming down the mountain from the incinerator to make their rounds. There’s nothing worse than sucking in the stench in big gulps as you’re panting for oxygen behind a mask. But that’s just ignorance on my part. I’ll certainly ride it again, but won’t be doing it when the garbage collectors go to work.