Hey guys, so it’s been awhile since I posted, so I thought I would share some knowledge about a very popular cycling route towards the end of the year in Taiwan.
The Taipei to Kaohsiung challenge and like it’s evil twin brother, the Twin Towers Challenge (northern lighthouse to southern lighthouse), can be somewhat of a right of passage for cyclists in Taiwan. Covering 360km within 24hrs is quite the feat.
Here’s some information from the organizations that host a yearly event
Here are the stats from my last trip
Start: Song Shan District, Taipei
End: Kaohsiung City (Zuoying HSR station)
Moving Time: 12:57:50
Route from Taiwan Bike Association: 2021北高360【TBA】 - 路線 - Xplova - 探索,, 記錄, 分享
Here’s what I suggest for on the bike
- Saddle bag and/or tool bottle (two spare tubes, 2-3 CO2 cartridges or mini pump and tire levers)
- Top tube bag (food and external battery for your cycling computer and phone)
- 1 larger water bottle is enough as you will be stopping often (bring two if you tend to consume a lot of liquids)
In your pockets
- Food like gels or some granola bars, these are for emergencies! You will be stopping every 40-60km to eat/refuel, so no need to bring too much food on you!
- Phone (in a Ziploc bag if does not have high IPX)
- Photo ID + credit cards + cash (in a Ziploc bag)
- Suggestion: Water resistant wallet (I bought the Rapha Essentials Case and it has been going strong for 3 years now.
Tips and tricks:
- DO NOT wait until last minute to have the bike shop check your bike! You are about to embark on a long ass journey, you want to have the shop check for any issues you may have.
- DO NOT attempt this ride solo unless you have experience! Shit happens and these kinds of rides are more fun with a group
- On the subject of group riding, something between 4-6 people of the same skill level is my suggestion.
- Buy a light bike bag (Suggestion: Giant )
- Pack light and send your change of clothes and bike bag to this FamilyMart 2-3 days head of time. This is also a way for you to have no way back, but forward because your bike bag is in Kaohsiung!
- Keep your rests times to a max of 15-20mins. The longer you rest, the more likely you’ll fall asleep and your body will go cold! Fight the sleep!
- Start time is key! If you value your sleep, sleeping a bit early and heading out at 4-5AM works as you will be arriving in Kaohsiung at around 10PM-12AM, just in time to catch the last few HSR trains.
- Buy USB lights! With your external battery, you can easily re-charge them during the day, as you will need them when entering Kaohsiung! Safety first!
Here are your rest stops.
- FamilyMart in Bali (the start) Google Maps
- 7-11 in Yong An Harbor Google Maps
- 7-11 in Nanliao Google Maps NOTE Can skip if you are feeling good. Try to cover as much ground as you can while you still have a lot of strength in you.
- 7-11 at Bai Sha Tun Google Maps
- 7-11 at Tongxiao Google Maps
- 7-11 at Taichung Harbor 1 Google Maps
- 7-11 at Taichung Harbor 2 Google Maps
Below stops are suggestions. At this point, you will be pretty f-ing tired, so best to rest when you need to! Convenient stores will be a bit scarce after you leave Taichung Harbor area, so do plan ahead!
- Hi Life at Lukang Google Maps
- 7-11 at Fang Yuang Google Maps
- 7-11 at Kou Hu Google Maps
- FamilyMart at Bu Dai Google Maps
- TAINAN CITY, you will be riding through the busy area of Anping, so there’s a lot to choose from. At this point, anything but convenient store food is good. I have had McDonald’s, some local eats and even stopped at Louisa for coffee.
- FamilyMart in Nanzhi, Kaohsiung Google Maps
How to dress for the occasion. It will be cold when you start in Taipei, but do not go too crazy on the layers! The more you wear, the more you will remove as you head south and the more you have to carry!
- Thin base layer
- Short sleeve jersey
- Arm warmers
- Packable wind jacket OR thin water resistant gilet/vest
- Shorts/bib shorts
- Sunglasses (photochromatic if you have a pair)
- Options: cycling cap and leg warmers
A good form fitting rain gilet and packable jacket will go a long way. Invest in these! They will be good for everyday riding as well as this trip. Here are my suggestions:
To be very honest, it’s really tough to actually train for this kind of ride. However, make sure you are doing long rides prior to get the bum used to being on the saddle and making sure your bike fit is comfortable.
This is also a good time to test if the bibs/chamois you have are good for long distance! I have ridden with people that halfway through the ride they could not go on not because their legs gave out, but their bums were hurting. A good pair of bibs and chamois can go a really long way.
Other than that, do your homework and make sure you are riding.