Taidong County - the #197

The #197, 59km from Chishang 池上 to Taidong 台東. An excellent ride, worth coming all the way down for. I rode it N to S in January sunshine and the road was bone dry, except on one corner. It would be different (and poss. dangerous) in the wet. At 4.5km in is the 4.5 Cafe, one laid-back coffee-shop overlooking the Chishang rice fields. Bit early, but a nice stop. Then the road is paved and rolling until the crossroads at 23km. Although the signs are misleading here, the #197 goes the way of the warning sign – rough road for the next 14km.

23-37km is the non-paved part, hard-pack overlain with loose gravel in many places. There seemed to be so much that I was regretting my choice only 400m in. But it soon gave way enough to make this a great section. One where in many places you’d rather be going up than coming down, just for the extra control you have over placing your front wheel. I went down once, ploughed into a deep gravel bed that I thought I could ride my way out of. By the time I realised I couldn’t, it was a slow cleated fall. The only accident on my huan-dao.

Saw 2 vehicles the whole 14km, which winds its way around the back of 錐圓山 (Zhuiyuan Mtn). Not for road bikes. Mountain bikes might be the thing, although the Surly handled it fine. Tarmac resumes on schedule at 37km, and the road dives down to meet the bridge over the Beinan to Luye. But carry on, and the last 22km has more fine climbing through aboriginal country, with views of the Liji Badlands and finally the Pacific itself at the southernmost tip of the Coastal range.

Taidong could be an anti-climax, so it might be an even nicer ride S to N, ending at the 4.5.

Non-paved timings
23km at 9.30
37km at 11.30

A lot of this

A bit of this

Post fall - shoe still in the cleat after I extricated myself


Great stuff. Riding the smaller roads seems to be so much nicer than following the Provincial Highways, even with gravel and dirt and all.

cool, can you please make a google map of the route, cheers

There’s this on mapmyride.