Yonghe -> Bali -> west coast -> Taoyuan -> Tucheng: Feasible?

Long-timc cyclist, but rarely go more than twenty to fifty kilometres/two to three hours, mostly since I like to get back in time to take the dog out for his walk. That said, I’m looking at longer rides, including one which would take me north to Bali District, then down south-west along the coast to Taoyuan, then cut east-ish through Taoyuan and onto the riverside trail leading back north and home: 100km, give or take, so quite feasible, or at least it is according to Google Maps.

My big concern is Taoyuan and whether cycling through it is really feasible. Is there any route through that city on a bicycle that mostly avoids roads with heavy traffic?

You can weave through the small country roads, but you’ll eventually hit big roads with traffic when in the city. The connected bike path to Taipei starts a bit passed Sanxia, so you’ll be doing a lot of city riding in order to hook onto the river.

If you can climb, I would suggest cutting in near the Transcontinental Bakery from the west coast:

Then taking the 108 up to Linkou and then up through onto Guan Yin Shan via the 108.

You can also try this route if you want to get in a bit extra than your normal 50km on the riverside. You can extend the ride and head further east into Xizhi upon descending from NanShen Rd and turn around when the path ends.


They question isn’t if it’s possible but it should be done, and I think you know the answer.

If your longest normal ride is 50km, you may want to try rides in the 70-80km range first before hitting 100km. This year my regular rides have been in the 40-60km range; 70km is fine. But the couple of times I’ve done 90km have been really, really hard on the butt. The legs are fine - it’s the seat that’s the limiting factor for me.

I did a variation on Ranlee’s route above a few months ago - I found it a really good one for a longer-for-me route (I was coming from Danshui, so the 67km was more like 90km). Mostly flat with a nice hill in the middle.

I’ve done longer routes in the past, known as ‘the time before I had an awesome dog’, like the one circling Taipei. That’s probably the longest, or one of the longest, I’ve done. Achievable in an early morning. I also have no problem cycling from Yonghe to the top of Bali District and then back again the same way, which is a not bad distance for me.

I’m not heading straight into this - more like something I want to build up towards. I typically ‘research’ a route, making shorter trips to different parts of a route since so much of the time what I expect to find isn’t what I find. It took me three separate trips to finally figure out a route to the top of Maokong, for instance, that wouldn’t drop me in the middle of a motorway or someone’s chicken farm or whatever.

So, I might first cycle down south to Taoyuan first along the riverside, which is easy enough, then explore west towards the coast, then head the same way home, and on another occasion see how comfortable I might feel with the 108, as Ranlee suggests.

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OK, sounds great! Apologies if I sounded condescending - I misunderstood your cycling background, and thought you were newer to longer distances (um, longer for me anyway, if not to others on the forum!).

If top of Bali District is Guan Yin Shan, there’s a bunch of routes that loop down to the west coast. You can start by climbing to the visitor center, descend to the coast, then heading back along the west coast.

I know that’s kind of torture with the wind direction right now, but it does beat having to navigate Linkou and maybe Taoyuan.

A word of advice when riding through the countryside, wear cycling goggles and cover up your mouth and nose if you don’t want bugs in your face. I found out the hard way while riding in late afternoon in the boondocks of Taoyuan once.


That sounds like a pretty good trip, depending on how steep it is - the steepest I’ve been is Maokong, and that was some years ago now. I’ll definitely check that out, thanks.

It’s nowhere near as bad as Maokong! But be prepared any way you roll to deal with the Taoyuan traffic, whether in the city or the surroundings, which is a different beast to Taipei traffic. Far more heavy vehicles for a start, and scooter behaviour is a grade worse too.

your first route is mostly flat, the Linkou and 108 more hilly. Hills are OK in the wind: you’re going much slower!

Let me know if you want someone to ride with.

The main road up that most people take is Ling Yun Rd Section 3, that tends to have a fair amount of cars dodging the Bali area to get to the west coast or to the top of the mountain to do some hiking.

Word of advice. No matter what your route ends up being, start early!

Someone suggested above to use mask and glasses for the insects. I don’t think mosquitoes and others are a problem now, however dust and smoke in that area make mask and glasses recommendable.

However the glasses must be fucking awesome to hide the overall ugliness without being totally opaque.

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It’s comforting to hear that coming from you! I still can’t ride up Maokong without putting down my foot at least a couple times.

Try exploring on the western side of Wulai! Turn right across the river just before the busy area. Lots of middle to hard options there and great scenery

That’ll build some thigh muscles!

Probably best to drive your bike there and park. Tourist busses really suck.

I’ve been down towards the direction of Wulai as far as Jiajiuliaojingguan Bridge and back. I don’t drive, unfortunately, so that’s not an option for me.

I should probably add that while I’ve been up Maokong, I had to stop many, many times on the way up.

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I’m familiar with the great scenery there. Once upon a time I mountain biked from Yilan to Wulai.

Oh. That’s the hard way!