Friday, April 26, 2013

14th April 2013 Sun, Day 2 of Taiwan Trip

Start of our Taiwan ride!!  Photo Credit Uncle KC 
14th April 21, 2013.  Sun, Day 2
Distance: 75km. Flat but windy. Uber Steep section at the lighthouse
Fulong to Ciao Ling Tunnel. 
Front of the Ciao Ling Tunnel
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
Full set of Photos here
The route 
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!
Planking V3
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
Chionnnnng ahhh
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 tiring that I stop to take photos.. 
So we walked up, laughing at ourselves and enjoying the beautiful scenery.
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.
Fang Jie was on the hilltop with our lunch and hot Soup!
Momo and me... getting blown by the sea breeze at the Lighthouse
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 reminder)
Elisha speeding along the coast line
Beautiful sea view
Sea produce
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.. 
Lecture by Encik George of Tai Ping Shan... "it is 2200 and all the way up.... very easy one. Just pedal.."


  1. What a special day it must have been Bro TW. Lovely! Good to see Momo on a bike for the first time.

    1. Hi Bro Al, it really was. Everyone was so enthusiastic and enjoying the moments. And yes, I was very glad to have Kim and Momo experience the fun of cycling in Taiwan! Hope can ride with u soon too!