I haven’t ridden them, but I’m aware of the trails listed on Formosanfattire.com. None of them seem to be easy trails. I’m looking for something for a beginning mountain biker somewhere around Taipei. This could be old dirt roads, underutilized hiking paths, etc. Few hills are ok, but nothing very technical.
in my experience as soon as you head off road the trails are difficult and unless you jump on in and give them a go you are missing out. the FFTA and the folks on the forums are solid people. we have all been where you are now and are very patient of new comers to the trails around taipei.
my advice would be to hook up with alen from alans x bikes (on the FFTA site) for a weekend ride. he is a lovely guy and always helpful with new riders.
There are a few areas in Maokong that you could use to practise on.
This area has short flat runs with short steep downhills if you care to try them. It’s a small area with many levels of trails so it may be a good place to start. Only a few kilometres from Zoo Station Mrt.
There is also a nice steep rough dirt road a kilometre down the road that goes up about a kilometre to a communication station. Ride up and down. Also small trails branching off if you want to practise a bit.
This trail runs 20km from Wulai all the way to Sanxia. I don’t know if it is all this nice and wide and clear but I’ve walked on about 5km (one direction) and it looked easy to ride on.
By the way, AWOL, I found a great ridge trail out near Shifen that looked like it could be ridden. Nice natural trail. About 3-4km of uninterupted riding up and down the crags with a dirt road ride up and then another 5 km where you could ride 80%. Well, maybe you guys could ride it all.
Hmmm, thx MM - will have to catch up once I am back and check these trails out. There is a Wulai trail that can be ridden all the way through to Ilan which is on my list of things to do once back on Formosa.
Maokong is a nice area to get into MTB in Taipei… especially if you live in the area. Again, Alan from Alans X Bikes is the man to contact for guided rides.
I would really recommend getting in touch with Alan. As it says on FFTA website, his wife speaks excellent English. I went out one Saturday morning with him just after buying a new MTB, he took us around Maokong - excellent couple of hours riding.
AWOL - I tried the Wulai to Ilan but never got over the mountains. Got as far as the end of the road about 20 miles from Wulai, the track then entailed alot of carrying and as it was about 5pm, I didn’t relish scrambling around in the dark so camped out near the ford at the trailhead. Beautiful road, stunning scenery, swimmable river there. Let me know if you ever do it as I’d love to know if it’s doable.
i am back in australia right now but moving back soon, we will have to hook up and tackle the wulai trail…
[quote=“wangdoodle”]I would really recommend getting in touch with Alan. As it says on FFTA website, his wife speaks excellent English. I went out one Saturday morning with him just after buying a new MTB, he took us around Maokong - excellent couple of hours riding.
AWOL - I tried the Wulai to Ilan (Yilan) but never got over the mountains. Got as far as the end of the road about 20 miles from Wulai, the track then entailed alot of carrying and as it was about 5pm, I didn’t relish scrambling around in the dark so camped out near the ford at the trailhead. Beautiful road, stunning scenery, swimmable river there. Let me know if you ever do it as I’d love to know if it’s doable.[/quote]
You can drive right up to that ford now on ashphalt, after which its singletrack. Its a nice not particularly technical ride (well, there’s a good bit of bedrock shaded by trees so its slippery as hell) with one very steep and fairly long carry, after which there’s a bit of fairly level single to the top where you get stunning views of the sea. That’s as far as we got. We went back the way we came, but it looked as though you could continue on down the Ilan side on a nice muddy 4-wheel drive road.
you mean this trail?http://www.formosanfattire.com/trails/wulai2.htm ? if yes then this one does go through ilan and is the trail i am talking about. its an oft slippery climb, but goddam the turn around and downhill is so much fun.
you mean this trail?http://www.formosanfattire.com/trails/wulai2.htm ? if yes then this one does go through Ilan (Yilan) and is the trail I am talking about. its an oft slippery climb, but goddam the turn around and downhill is so much fun.[/quote]
I’m not sure – I don’t know about any national park you have to pay to get into up there. The trailhead is about 20km further on from the police checkpoint. You just drive up the valley on asphalt, following the river all the way to the ford, where the car road ends.
There’s another much closer one that starts from just above a tiny hamlet and is actually an old overgrown road – its now singletrack, too, but every so often you pass old roadsigns and such, which is pretty weird. You’ll know this is the one if you suddenly come to a bridge over a very deep gorge – the bridge is still the original asphalt – just the bridge – with dirty singletrack on and off it. I’ve only ever been as far as this bridge but there are hiking trails radiating from there.
BTW, the police checkpoint for this one is set back from the road on a bend, so if there’s a few cars waiting to be processed (the drivers have get out and to go to the office) the cops have no idea who belongs to which car. So if the waiting cars are parked around the bend, you can just drive straight past them and breeze on in without paying your NT$10. If you’re a complete bastard, that is – I, of course, would NEVER do such a thing.
nope - different one. the trailhead starts a short ride from the cop shop. said cop shop is off the road and there is a small section where you can park the car. you have to give ARC details and pay the NT$10 to get in… will take you there when i get back
Its the same cop shop at least – the only onther one is on the road to Fushan and is right on the road.
The one we’re talking about gets congested at the weekend, the parking area gets full and the cars have to wait on the road all the way around the bend, hence you can just pass them all by and pretend that you’ve already paid. Or so I’ve heard.
There are actually several rides up that road.
I am sure there are numerous rides up there but the one we ride is nowhere near 20 km past the cop shop, its maybe 500m at the most. trailhead is quite hidden. its probably a good 5 hour ride
I was out in Pinglin today hiking on some trails at the end of the bike path/road. Starting talking to an oldtimer who lives right at the end of the road. He said the trail I was on led to Ilan or back to Wulai. Must be the same ones you are talking about. Looked rideable. Any idea how long it would take to hike back to Wulai? The old guy said it would take all day to reach Ilan.
they are all old trade trails and aside from a few spots hike a bike the tea farmers, sorry the lovely gentlemen just walking the trails for fun, said the trail was easily ridable the whole way. anyone up for trying?
I’m getting together with Alan and his group on Saturday for a ride at Maokong in Muzha. Provided I don’t slide off into the netherworld, I’ll let you know how it goes.
BTW, I’d be up for that long ride to Ilan at some point. Sounds pretty good.
Thanks for all of the pointers.
Definitely be up for that. Sounds great.
Have to be a Sunday though.
For anyone who hasn’t ridden this trail, some info:
The whole ride took about 2-1/2 hours +/-, including time to replace a blown tube.
The meeting place was the local National University in Muzha.
From there, the first 1/3 was uphill on pavement, varying grades. Then there was an off-road section on a trail. Not too bad with two comments: lots of rocks on the trail and right side of the trail is about 12" from the edge of the hillside. This trail is a blend of pavement and off-road trails. Not many hikers or walkers. Did I mention lots of rocks??? Yeah. Some climbing of stairs while carrying bikes. Great views in the mountains above Muzha. A few nice temples.
Alan, who led the group, was very informative. Overall, a good ride.
nice one seeker… Alan should have you trained up and full of confidence in no time. I owe a lot of my early Taiwan ride experiences to Alan.
by the time I get back you will be well ready for the gnarly stuff!