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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Bikepacking

Découvrir Taïwan

It’s my second time visiting Taiwan. I was invited here 4 years ago by the tourism office, in an initiative to spread the world about Taiwan’s bike culture. We were all convinced, Taiwan is awesome for cycling, so I had to come back. The previous visit was fully organized, this one is not. I am actually not prepared at all! I packed my bike and luggage the day before the trip and didn’t even work on an itinerary.

For the first time I am travelling overseas with my partner. Brad doesn’t camp and enjoys more reasonable adventures then what I usually get into. Luckily for him, Giant has a tour company in Taiwan and we are embarking on a guided tour of Taiwan for the first 10 days of our vacation.

It will still give me lots of time to get lost and torture him

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Bikepacking, Californie, USA

I miss the coast!

The countdown to San Francisco has started, the signs on the 101 indicate that we are now less then 200 miles from destination. Even if we are still enjoying the ride, I can’t wait to arrive.

Yesterday was supposed to be an easy day, we had it all planned out; 100km from Klamath to Eureka have fresh legs for a longer stretch of 150km to Leggett, then 400km to San Francisco split in 3 days. Simple, but we had some issues.

The day started with a great ride through Redwood state park, but I pushed a little too much on the downhill and slipped, no big deal, hurting a bit 😦 Then head to the hotel I had booked in Eureka (Econolodge), just to find out it is home for drug addicts and sketchy people. We didn’t even stop it was too scary, even for Heidi who is the tough one. We rode a few blocs away, I entered the name of the next town in my super Garmin computer and we rode away as fast as we could, following the directions. NOT A GOOD IDEA! Garmin doesn’t want you on the freeway, even if it is the bike route. We ended up climbing a never ending hill of over 10km at grades varying between 10-20%. AAAAAHHHHHH….. I love climbing, but that was insane. We finally asked for direction and got told we would never make it to Fortuna taking that road.

We turned around back to Eureka and made it to another hotel (Comfort inn) with an amazing hot tub, where we could recuperate from that 140km day.

We saw a lot of poverty on our ride, but Eureka and Garberville were the worst. There were a lot of homeless people in the city and even on the sides of the freeway.

Today we spent 100km riding the 101 and an amazing 50km through the avenue of the giants. It’s not the first time I ride through that forest, but I still find it impressive to ride on there surrounded by these 1000+ year old trees. We made it to Leggett staying in a weird looking motel, but clean, nice people, hot shower and comfy bed 🙂

We will take highway 1 tomorrow, a big climb sitting between us and the coast. I can’t wait to see the ocean again!

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