RSS Feed

Taiwan Ti Bike Pickup Trip: Day 3

Day 3 Route

Map courtesy of Ride with GPS

The Just Sleep Hotel has a Japanese feel to it.  There are Japanese-style rooms where the beds are low, and the robes are in the style of kimonos.

Day 3 Bed

That Japanese-ness extends to timekeeping.  A few of us were downstairs for breakfast a few minutes before 7.00am.  Everything looked ready,  but we weren’t allowed in until 7.00am.

It was worth the wait though.  The breakfast at Just Sleep is very good.

Day 3 Breakfadt Pai

Photograph courtesy of Hsing C Pai

We had hoped to start riding at 8.00am.  W didn’t get away until 8.30am.  Perhaps the kaoliang drunk the evening before had something to do with it.

Our first stop was just 8km / 5mi away at the Lanyang Museum.  The design of this museum about the local area was inspired by the cuestas (hills or ridges with a gentle slope on one side, and a steep slope on the other) commonly seen along the Beiguan Coast. The building emerges from the ground in a similar fashion to those cuestas.

Day 3 Lanyang Museum Huey-Ling

Photograph courtesy of Liew Huey-Ling

It is a stunning building.

Day 3 Lanyang Museum Pai

Photograph courtesy of Hsing C Pai

6km / 4mi further on we came to Wai’ao Beach.  It was a very windy morning and the waves were crashing onto the rocks.

Day 3 Waiao Beach 2 CK

Photograph courtesy of CK Lim

Day 3 Waiao Beach 4 Douglas Jackson

Photograph courtesy of Douglas Jackson

Day 3 Waiao Beach 1 CK

Photograph courtesy of CK Lim

We hugged the coast riding north for a total of 30km / 18mi.

Day 3 Coast Douglas

Photograph courtesy of Douglas Jackson

We left the Binhai Road at that point and entered the Old Caoling Tunnel.  The tunnel was built in the 1920s to connect northern Taiwan with the eastern coast by rail. A new tunnel was built in the 1980s and the old tunnel was closed until 2008 when it reopened as a tourist-friendly bikeway.

The tunnel is about 2km / 1.2mi long and is decorated with mock railroad tracks on the ground.

Day 3 Old Caoling Tunnel 1 Douglas

Photograph courtesy of Douglas Jackson

I didn’t notice this as I was riding through the tunnel (I was preoccupied with how cold it was) but there is an underground border crossing between Yilan County and New Taipei City.

Day 3 Old Caoling Tunnel 2 Pai

Photograph courtesy of Hsing C Pai

A few kilometres from the New Taipei City end of the tunnel is Fulong Station.

Day 3 Fulong Station 1 CK

Photograph courtesy of CK Lim

That was our last chance to buy food and drink and to use a restroom before our first climb of the day.  About 500 metres / 1,640 feet of elevation over 10km / 6mi.

The tables and chairs behind us belong to a restaurant.  The 7-Eleven at Fulong Station provided us with this step!

Day 3 Fulong Station 7-Eleven CK

Photograph courtesy of CK Lim

We crossed the Shuang River four times on the way to the fifth crossing at Shuangxi.  That fifth crossing of the Shuang River marked the start of our climbing up to Buyanting.

Day 3 Climb 2 Pai

Photograph courtesy of Hsing C Pai

Day 3 Climb 3 Pai

Photograph courtesy of Hsing C Pai

Day 3 Climb 4 Pai

Photograph courtesy of Hsing C Pai

At the summit is this pavilion.

Day 3 Pavilion

It is known as the “Not Tired Of” pavilion, in reference to a poem in which the poet Li Bai says he is not tired of the view of Shuangxi District.

Day 3 Pavilion View CK

Photograph courtesy of CK Lim

Day 3 View 1

We stayed a long time enjoying the view (and catching our breath.

Day 3 Pavilion 2 CK

Photograph courtesy of CK Lim

Day 3 Pavilion 3 CK

Photograph courtesy of CK Lim

Day 3 Pavilion 6 Pai

Photograph courtesy of Hsing C Pai

Lunch at Jiufen was next of the agenda.  Thankfully it is mostly downhill to Jiufen.

Day 3 to Jiufen.png

With a stop at the Shumeiping Lookout Point.

Day 3 Shumeiping Lookout Pai

Photograph courtesy of Hsing C Pai

Jiufen is known for the narrow alleyways of its old town, packed with teahouses, street-food shacks and souvenir shops.  The town has a history as a mining hub during the Japanese-era gold rush.

Day 3 Jiufen.png

After a lunch of beef noodle soup and dessert of taro balls and tau fu fah (beancurd jelly) it was time to head off to the second, and steeper, climb of the day.  We had a 7km / 4.3mi downhill run before the left turn onto Jing’an Road.

Our goal was the Wufenshan Meteorological Radar Observatory, 12.2km / 7.6mi away and 673 metres / 2,208 feet upwards.  The intermediate goal was to get to the Wufenshan Gate, which is 4.5km / 2.8mi from the observatory.  Xiao Ger would not be able to drive our support van beyond that point.

Day 3 Climb 5 Rabbit KS

Photograph courtesy of Rabbit KS

Day 3 Climb

The climb to the Wufenshan Gate averages 5.4%.  From the gate to the meteorological observatory it ramps up slightly to average 6.0%.

Day 3 Wufenshan 9

Photograph courtesy of Daniel Lim

Day 3 Wufenshan 10

Photograph courtesy of Daniel Lim

Day 3 Wufenshan 11

Photograph courtesy of Daniel Lim

Day 3 Wufenshan 12

Photograph courtesy of Daniel Lim

Day 3 Wufenshan 13

Photograph courtesy of Daniel Lim

Day 3 Wufenshan 7 Daniel

Photograph courtesy of Daniel Lim

Day 3 Wufenshan 8 Daniel

Photograph courtesy of Daniel Lim

The last few kilometres were a real slog.  Fortunately, the meteorological observatory becomes visible from about 2 kilometres away.  Having the final destination in sight definitely helped.

IMG_0636

Delighted to have made it all the way to the top!

Day 3 Wufenshan Top 7 Daniel

Photograph courtesy of Daniel Lim

Day 3 Wufenshan Top 8 Pai

Photograph courtesy of Daniel Lim

The view was quite spectacular.

Day 3 Wufenshan View

None of us hung around very long enjoying the view though.  The sun was setting and the wind had picked up.  It was 14°C / 57°F up there and we were damp and not dressed for the cold.  It was a fun but very chilly hairpin descent to the Wufenshan Gate.

We had planned to end our ride 6km / 4mi or so further down the road at Shifen but the cold and increasing gloom of the evening put paid to that plan.  We waited at the gate for the last of the riders coming down from the observatory.

Day 3 Wufenshan Gate 3 Daniel

Photograph courtesy of Daniel Lim

Day 3 Wufenshan Gate 4 Daniel

Photograph courtesy of Daniel Lim

Day 3 Wufenshan Gate 5 Daniel

Photograph courtesy of Daniel Lim

Day 3 Wufenshan Gate 6 Daniel

Photograph courtesy of Daniel Lim

Once everyone was back at the gate we loaded up the vans (we had a second van just for this last road journey) and drove back to the City Suites – Beimen in Taipei.

Day 3 Wufenshan Vans Pai

Photograph courtesy of Hsing C Pai

The first order of business after arriving in Taipei, even before taking a shower, was to pack bicycles into bike cases.

Only then did we take showers and polish ourselves up for a Japanese-influenced traditional Taiwanese dinner.  Don’t ask me what that means.  All I can tell you is that every one of the thirteen dishes that Pai ordered was delicious.  We were so hungry that no one took photographs of the food before diving in!

There was more shopping to be done by some after dinner.  It was all I could do to stay awake during the taxi ride back to the hotel.

About alchemyrider

I left Malaysia in 2008 as a non-cyclist. I am back home now with two road bikes and all the paraphernalia that goes with being addicted to cycling.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: