Distance: 75km. Flat but windy. Uber Steep section at the lighthouse
Fulong- Ciao Ling Tunnel Coastal line – 三貂角燈塔 Lighthouse and Jiao Si
Route is here in case u like to do the ride http://tour.ntpc.gov.tw/page.aspx?wtp=3&wnd=314
Full set of Photos here
Full set of Photos here
Woke up and cannot believe that we are actually at Taiwan!
We assembled after breakfast at the lobby for Encik pre-ride briefing. It was raining lightly but still we were all eager to go.
|ready to roll!|
First spot was the Ciao Ling Tunnel. This was a disused Train Tunnel converted to a cycling path. I like the fact that they did not totally erase the former train tracks but sensitively added a new function – a 2 km long sheltered cycling path! It was fun and abit surreal to be riding with drafty cold wind inside the tunnel. As u reached the end, the sea, wind and sunshine greets you. Like they always say, there is light at the end of the tunnel!
|fun and full of energy!|
Mummy and Momo also did their first Taiwan ride with the rest of the riders. I was so proud of Momo on her first “overseas cycle ride!” Kim mentioned to me that Momo later slept like a log in the van. KO-ed from the effort... haha
|Momo with Teacher Esther.. zipping along the tunnel|
|Family shot at the sea side at the other end of the Ciao Ling Tunnel|
|Kim did very well too!|
We then followed Taiwan northeastern coastline via the Longmen-YanLiao Bike path to the San Diao Jiao Lighthouse. The rain came down and we had strong front/side winds.
|Ai Lim, Lisa on the back... rambling along the nice costal PCN|
|wet and moody weather. Good for reflection|
|happy just to be riding|
|Esther on her Dahon|
|Nice and quiet. Just the place to be riding|
My flag flapped around like crazy and flew off several times. I had to collapse and keep it in my pannier bag. It was quite an exhausting experience battling the strong cross/head winds.
|Not glam but makes u visible|
|One crank at a time...|
|Pierre welcoming us to the start of the slope to lighthouse|
Another challenge appeared before us soon, the short but super steep slope of the San Diao Jiao Lighthouse. This was about 20 percent gradient constant all the way up. I was on my compact crank and last rear 28 teethn gear. It was still painfully hard to crank up the slope. My meter read at times 4km/hr and I knew it was better to just push up the slope(some section). Esther joined me at the rear and tried as much as possible to crank up.. but it was impossible.
So we walked up, laughing at ourselves and enjoying the beautiful
|So tiring that I stop to take photos..|
At the lighthouse, the winds were even stronger. We trembled as most of us were wet with sweat with the howling winds. To make it even more interesting, we chose the spot to have our break and lunch. Some hid in the support vehicle to escape the winds and have a meal.
Marcus and myself wandered around and hid in the lighthouse personale
office. I chatted with Marcus
:”wonder how Tai Ping Shan would be like?” That will be tomorrow and today was
supposedly an easy/flattish day. Need to conserve and pace my knees. (Self
|Fang Jie was on the hilltop with our lunch and hot Soup!|
|Momo and me... getting blown by the sea breeze at the Lighthouse|
|Elisha speeding along the coast line|
|Beautiful sea view|
We decended the steep incline and rolled along the coastline. The view was fantastic. The fishing harbour/shelter which Uncle KC shared was design/built to keep the boats safe during typhoon season.
|A school by the sea|
|They gave boats eye so they can "see"|
The wet roads meant lots of splashes and if you don't have fenders, your jersey will have a nice road “rooster pattern”. I was really glad I prepared my Bike Friday Pocket rocket with the full fenders. It wasn’t the most beautiful thing to have on a nice bike but the fenders really made the ride so much more comfortable. Also the bike performed beautifully at flat coastal stretches, it was really enjoyable to put the bike thru the paces and have a nice pace without over exerting myself.
All this time, I reminded my self, “pace yourself. Only day one and supposed to be easy ride. Tomorrow will be the siong one… “
|George, Ride leader... capturing the moment|
In about 1.5hours we made it to Jiao Si. This is a place which is famous for Onsen. We were glad to reach the end and celebrated but having a foot spa at the town communal hotspring.
|Free and communal hot spring. Just the thing to end the ride!|
|Tiger and Pierre demonstrating diving...|
Desmond saw a long Q forming and sure enough he Q-ed too. It was Spring onion pancake and was the best I ever tasted. Maybe we were all hungry but the 8 pancakes was gone in minutes.
|Almost reaching the hotel...|
We then went to the hotel which was located nearby. To cater for our bicycles, they gave us a conference room so that we can have a more secure parking for our precious steeds. Encik used the meeting white board to show us Tai Ping Shan gradient. All the way up. About 2200 metres. Will be cold, prepare cold weather gear. Gulp… ... ready or not. TPS, here we come! Photo credits to Uncle KC, Ying Chan and Desmond Chia
|the hotel guy was shocked to see so many bikes forming up at the lobby... so he gave us a mtg room..|