Round the Island - Huan Dao - 2019

Hey guys, so I finally got around to do the round the island tour. Here’s what I learned and I hope it helps out you guys on planning.

Preparation:

Pack light! This is what I brought on a 6 day (5 days riding) trip

  • 3x jerseys
  • 2x bib shorts
  • 1x cap
  • 1x arm warmers (should’ve also brought leg warmers)
  • 1x gloves
  • 1x sunglasses/glasses
  • 1x heart rate monitor/strap
  • 2x tshirts
  • 1x shorts
  • 1x hoodie
  • 4x gels/granola bar
  • 1x external battery and cords (veeeeery important for those long days in the sadde where your cyclo computer can’t handle that many hours)
  • 1x Rapha Rainproof Small Case (I bought this last minute and it was worth every penny)
  • 1x GoPro (which I ended up having no time to use)
  • 1x helmet (not pictured)
  • 1x ear plugs (not pictured)
  • xx toiletries

Not pictured is my backpack which is this one:

So I do not make a monster post. Next post will be itinerary.

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Good advice.
5 days :open_mouth:
I will do it myself one day in future when more settled here, I’m still doing the rivers, done Xindian, Daan, Tamshui and started on Keelung. I’m based in Yonghe New Taipei, Yong Fu Bridge my starting point and using a basic very heavy giant bike. (pushing up the steps ramps is hard work)
Hope to bring my Santa Cruz Light over from UK in February.

Awesome :+1:
How was the weather? I don’t see any rain gear in there.

A dozen condoms for five days? :salute:

Roughly how much did it cost including hotel bills, food, train tickets etc etc - I’m curious as to how to compares to the Giant 9 day one price wise which I did earlier this year:

Sorry to but in on your thread but since I’d done the Giant one it makes some sense to jot some notes down on that in case anyone is curious about it as an alternative to your 6 days one.

My equipment list for that was:
2x cycling shirts
2x bib shorts
2x gloves
2x socks
1x rain jacket - only used for ~ 1hr
1x gillet - used on ~5 days until it got warm enough to take off
1x cycling sun glasses - this is something I realized could have been an issue if they broke, if I was doing it again I would get a v cheap NT$ 100 plastic sunglasses as backups as it was v bright and windy on days
1x arm warmers - not used - suggest you get this as a light color so they can double as sun protection
1x leg warmers - not used
2x small sun creams

Other Clothing:
2x thin T-shirts and
2x parts of shorts
1x sandals

One of the big changes I made for my 9 day tour was I swapped my road pedals for mountain bike ones. This was huge benefit and lots of people on my tour wished they had done similar because on the Giant 9 day tour there is lots of standing around and waiting.

We used this Google map for reference https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=1JFI4BJEylUe0hrqKHgHS8fmCbqk&hl=en_US&ll=23.62742487221179%2C120.57036106537817&z=11

Day 1
Taipei :arrow_right: Chia Yi
Distance: 280km
Route: Da Dao Cheng Wharf :arrow_right: No. 3 :arrow_right: West Coast Highway
Cost of accommodation per night: 550NT/persion https://goo.gl/maps/NJDqfSR7wzW3hvzh7

We ended up making a mistake of riding the mountain road and then cutting to the west coast highway which took up a lot of our time. Final destination ended up being Lu Gang, where our distance was a bit over 200km, but we stayed at a very nice back packer spot. It was a Sunday evening, so the place had one other customer aside from the three of us.

Day 2
Lu Gang :arrow_right: Kenting
Distance: 300km
Route: West Coast (61 :arrow_right: 17 :arrow_right: 1)
Cost of accommodation per night: 250NT/person https://goo.gl/maps/CqWQ5QXy887WSxEb7

To make up for the previous day, we had a looong day ahead of us. We planned that it would be roughly a 10-12 hour day, but that slowly turned into a 15 hour day. We didn’t get much help from any tail wind, but we luckily didn’t meet any wind towards Kenting. We ended up arriving in Kenting near 11PM. Exhausted, we thought we could grab a bite, but everything was closed! 7-11 it was.

Hostel we stayed at was hidden in a small small alley off of the Kenting old street. The amenities were kinda meh and we ended up having to hand wash our kits. Luckily, they had places to hang our clothes. I guess if it was busy season, those hooks would be full of surf suits.

Day 3

REST DAY! Did a lot of nothing and eating. My legs thanked me.

Day 4
Kenting :arrow_right: Taidong
Distancee: 150km
Route: 26 :arrow_right: 200甲 :arrow_right: 26 :arrow_right: 199甲 :arrow_right: 199 :arrow_right: 9
Cost of accommodation: 500NT/person

We made our way down to the southern most point and looped back over to Taidong. This was the most relaxed day despite a long climb to Shouka. We took our sweet sweet time while enjoying the view before Taidong. I highly suggest taking the southern point route instead of heading up the 9. Less cars and much better views. I’ll let the pictures speak for themsevles.

We made the mistake of booking our hostel near the train station, which ended up being DEAD. So the money we saved for booking, we ended up spending on a taxi towards the busier part of town. In which we hit up Uncle Pete’s Pizza (https://goo.gl/maps/94pk9ggmk1ns2ZXv8) , which had awesome reviews on Google and everywhere I looked.

Day 5
Taidong :arrow_right: Yilan
Distancee: 200km
Route: 9 :arrow_right: 30 :arrow_right: 11 :arrow_right: 9
Cost of accommodation: 500NT/person https://goo.gl/maps/9WoUKD5obmFumjCVA

This day we completely miscalculated the distance by a good 20km, we don’t know what happened, but we noticed super late that we had 6 hours to do 100km. Which was fine, but then one of our party members got injured and arranging transportation on the 11 to get them to the 9 to take a train took up 1.5 hours of our time.

The two of us left Feng Bin at around 5:30PM to try to get to Hualien train station before 8:10PM to catch the final local train to Yilan. Of course, we had the climbing section as well as the hardest head wind section ahead of us, but…at full pace, we made it.

Day 5
Yilan:arrow_right: Taipei
Distancee: 95km
Route: 9

We finally got to sleep in (until 8AM) and take our time in the morning. We knew the road back to Taipei like the back of our hand. We also specifically stayed at the hostel in Luodong because we knew the owners, who came by and chatted us up.

I cycled straight to the shop for maintenance as my bike took an epic beating. Next time, I won’t ride the race bike on this kind of ride.

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We got lucky with no rain up until day 5 from Taidong to Yilan. It came down super hard after we left Feng Bin and when we arrived in Luodong. There’s a few items I brought that weren’t pictured like my Garmin, tire repair, tools, water bottle and a rain jacket that could be packed up into a ball.

Always have to be prepared. Always.

I spent roughly 1000-1200NT a day on my trip. We were also staying at pretty cheap accommodations in major cities where I think Giant, you do not do too many KMs a day and end up staying smaller establishments between cities. They also provide support all 1000+kms, this is something we did not have.

I would spend a little more on sunnies than 100NT as sometimes those are prone to break and/or actually do not protect your eyes! However, it’s never too safe to bring your extra pair!

I learned on this trip that as long as you pick good accommodations with a washing machine, you can actually bring one pair of bib shorts and 1 jersey. Of course, if you wanna be a fashionista, 2 sets would suffice.

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Yes the support is something they do well. Most days we were 80-110km, longest day was 128 I think and shortest was around 75. One big thing is that you stop by 5pm (6pm once) so on the 2 nights they don’t organise the food it’s not an issue to get it yourself.

Agree

Yes I realised this but my concern was if one night I couldn’t get things dry, if I was doing it again I would certainly pack 2 sets just in case.

Your write-up is excellent.

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Awesome ride report :+1:

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I did not meet such a nice police officer on my trip, but this is pretty awesome.

This guy does a great vlog of his trip around the island as well.