Bikepacking, Taiwan

Fresh air and everything else

Day 5 out of 9. To cross to the nice side of the island we had to climb a mountain 🙂 a beautiful hill with switchbacks, views, short steep grades,…perfect! But them everything else happened, rain side and front winds, construction, traffic, tour busses,… I had a great day, but it wasn’t an easy 110km.

It was great to ride through small villages in the mountains or smaller cities around the coast. Even if there was traffic, it feels a lot calmer on the east coast then the west. We are now in Taitung enjoying a night at a resort with hot springs, not bad at all after a long day on the saddle!

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Bikepacking, Taiwan

Made in Taiwan

4 Year’s ago, tourism Taiwan invited me to visit the country and participate in a few cycling events. It was a great experience, I saw so many lush forests, incredible scenery, historic neighbourhoods,…but they never took us through the industrial side of Taiwan. Imagine the biggest industrial park in your area and multiply it 50. It’s impressive, but scary too.

The crowded cities made way to a quieter road running between the coast and the mountains today. The day ended in Checheng , where we got to see fisherman empty their boat filled with today’s catch and relax to the sound of the water.

Looking forward to a ride across the mountains tomorrow and leaving the hectic , busy coast behind.

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Bikepacking, Taiwan

A group ride around Taiwan

We embarqued in a 9 day fully supported tour of Taiwan, the Formosa 900, organized by Giant cycling tours. I am totally out of my element, not used to follow someone’s pace and ride with 29 unknown people.

It all started with a big reunion outside the Taipei City hall, a gathering of cyclist s with shower caps, helmets worn backward, sandals with wool socks,… quite scary for the bike snob I am! What did I get us into?!!?

The pace isn’t fast, but the goal is to have a guided tour of the island and ride our bikes. A few helmet fitting and group riding lessons later and everyone is on the road. I am learning to be a better group ride cyclist, but also meeting awesome people and discovering Taiwan in a way I couldn’t do on my own.

As long as we can run away for some cool coffee shop hunting or get a few kilometres to ourselves for some fast pace riding, it’s perfect! It couldn’t be better organized, an awesome team leading and supervising, very tasty traditional food and a good selection of hotels.

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Bikepacking, Taiwan

Cycling in Taipei

Why not cycle in that crazy city? Scooters everywhere, incredible amount of cars and buses on those streets, make riding in this city quite intimidating. People are polite and well behaved, if you pay attention to your surrounding you will be fine, scared but fine!

The riding is actually awesome when you escape the city center and just ride on quiet, well maintained bike paths that run along every river surrounding and crossing Taipei. Not sure how many kilometres of paths there are, but there is enough for more then a day of riding.

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