Monday, August 29, 2005

Ride Tuesday, Aug. 30th 5 am

I will be out Tuesday morning at 5 am from TAS Main Gate. No
particular ride in mind. Satellites? Somewhere flat? I'm flexible...

-Bill O'B

Thursday, August 25, 2005

YCC Riding Notes: Blog, early rides, the weekend and more

Hello cyclists!

Another wonderful week of riding. For me, it all started with a visit Sunday to the Dutch Territories over the back side of Helen's with tour guide Lucas. What amazing roads! Lucas led us up and down through bamboo forests, along creeks, past psycho dogs- with nary a house in sight. Leon, Steve and I agreed that the only thing that could have made the ride better would have been having Tom Hart there to appreciate the vistas. It was great to have Craig, Corey, Vicki and Jeff out there as well.

The early morning rides have been joined by masses of riders. At 5 am this morning, I counted around 11 or 12 women along with 7 or 8 men! Four rides headed out on different routes and at different paces- the ideal situation! There were a number of riders out Tuesday as well for the Satellites- nice to see so many non-TASers, too.

The Blog:

Don't forget to bookmark Highlights from the past week include weekend and Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday ride posts and a first-hand description of the Taipei bike paths.

If you'd like to post a ride or a message to the Taipei cycling community, just send an email to with the post title in the message subject and the posting in the message body. 

Weekend Rides:

Bill Bryson is taking two beautiful and long rides this weekend, departing TAS at around 5 am each morning. He writes:

I am contemplating a 90-100k, 4-5 hour ride on Saturday.  Two possible
routes, but both end with a climb from Wan Li to the Helen's saddle (with
coffee at Helen's, if time permits - I have to be home before 1115), and
then the ride down to Tien Mou.  Route 1 (around 100k) is to ride through
Tam Shui and then take the coast road to Wan Li.  Route 2 (93-94k) is to
take the 101 (Bailaka) ride to the Saddle, then down to Chin Shan and over
to Wan Li.  Route 1 takes less time, but has only one downhill and much of
the coast road riding is likely to be into a moderate headwind.  Will
decide the route that morning.

On Sunday, I will be riding the Linkou Loop, which is a ride out to the
Linkou Power Plant on the coast road, and then a left turn onto 106, climb
up to Linkou and then come back down to the Coast Road on 120.  This ride
is 84k, with a moderate climb up 106. 
He welcomes company, but points out:

I don't mind company, though these are not novice rides.  Pace will be
moderate, and rest/rally stops will mainly be dedicated to re-filling water
bottles and (on Saturday's ride) munching energy bars.  Since Saturday and
Sunday are expected to be sunny and hot, that probably means up to three
stops on Saturday (depending upon the route taken) and one or two stops on
Sunday.  Sunglasses are a must, as a substantial amount of time will be
spent riding into the rising sun (particularly Sunday).

I'll be heading up to Helen's from TAS at 6 am Sunday. I plan on meeting Lucas there and riding out to the coast for a nice long 4 to 5 hour ride. I welcome company, even if only up Helen's, but as Bill says, it won't be a novice ride.

Look for other weekend rides posted to the blog.

Other Notes:

Aaron Gray writes:

PowerBar products are now available.
The PowerBar Beverage System, Energy gels and Protein replacement bars are in stock at the pool office.
Below is the price list per box.
Please check out information on the PowerBar range and suggested use here
Performance Bars        Vanilla, Cookies & Cream, Choc Peanut & Cream, Banana, Raspberry Cream       $920/Box of 12 (to be ordered approx 2 wks)
PowerGel                    Vanilla, Lemon-Lime, Tropical Fruit, Raspberry Cream                                                $1425/Box of 24
ProteinPlus                   Fudge Brownie, Peanut Butter                                                                                     $1120/Box of 12
Endurance                   Limon Lime (Pouch & Canister)                                                                                   $770 12xPouches, $1240/ Can
Recovery                     Orange (Pouch & Canister)                                                                                         $770 12xPouches, $1240/ Can

Kathy Cutler writes:

I have a TCR 1 for sale if you hear of anyone interested.  It is yellow, hardly ridden. Also have riding shoes and clips.

Brenda Huff writes:

If you’re interested in an online place to record your miles, etc. check out  Not only can you keep track of every little thing, but you can join in an active forum and “meet” cyclists from around the world.  

If you'd like to get in touch with any of the riders above, just email me and I can put you in contact...

See you out in the hills!


P.S. If the pattern of rain stops on Friday, I'll be doing a short TGIF spin from the TAS gate at 4:10 followed by a cool down in Wendell's Beer Garden.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

5 am Ride Thursday, Aug. 25th

Great to see so many riders this morning at 5 am- 14 by my count and
two separate rides.

I'll be heading out from the TAS main gates at 5 am Thursday morning
for a ride up towards the Saddle. I expect to get back down the hill
by around 6:30 or so. Moderate pace on a road bike. Please come along.

-Bill O'B

Monday, August 22, 2005

Ride on Wednesday

I will be riding out to the Pali Incinerator (the first smokestack on the coast road heading out towards the airport) and back on Wednesday.  I will start riding from the TAS main gate at 0500.  Average speed for the ride will be around 30kph for 42.5k, so I expect to be back in Tien Mou before 0630.  No big hills on this one.  Anyone who wants to join is more than welcome.
Bill Bryson

Start your day with Yahoo! - make it your home page

Sunday, August 21, 2005

5:00 a.m. Thursday Ride for Women

It was great to see so many bikers Thursday morning.  Our next ride will be this Thursday at 5:00 a.m. in front of TAS.  We will have two riding options:


Beginners:  ride out to Tamshui

Intermediate:  ride up to Horse Stables


If you know of anyone else that may be interested in riding, please encourage them to join us.  See you Thursday!





5 am Ride Tuesday, Aug. 23rd

I'll be heading out from the TAS main gates at 5 am Tuesday morning
for a ride up to the Satellites. I expect to get back down the hill
by around 6:30- nothing too hard. Please come along...

-Bill O'B

Friday, August 19, 2005

Cycling Paths


Here is the description of bike path routes I sent to Bill earlier in the

I have done a fair amount of riding on the new bike paths. There are some
good family rides along the paths, but opportunities to travel fast along
the paths are non-existent (with one exception). The path to avoid
entirely is the path that runs across the river from the American Club,
through Ho Ping Park. Because of traffic, pedestrians, unleashed dogs,
motorcycles (which the police do little to discourage), soccer balls, and
even kids with remote control cars, that particular bike path is less safe
than riding on the roads and streets of Taipei. Unless, of course, you
want to do that ride at 0500, in which case the only problem is the large
patches of river silt left behind by the flooding during the last typhoon.

One other note: bike paths are for your second bike, not your main road
bike. I ride a 25-year old touring bike when I go out on the paths, mainly
because it does not have clipless pedals. With one exception, you will
never go fast enough on a path to justify bringing your Ferrari; your VW
is a much better option. In addition, paving conditions vary and some
paths are wood, not concrete. Leave your 700x20's home for those rides.

The best sections of bike path are:

1) Kwantu: If you are riding out to Tam Shui, the Kwantu Temple
turn-off is a left turn at the top of the hill at the end of the really
long, flat section of Ta Tu Road. If you go to the parking lot at the
Kwantu temple, you have two viable options. One is to ride the old bike
path along the east side of the river to Tam Shui. There is a Starbucks
there, plus pony rides, and other fun and games opportunities. The other
is to take the bike path over the big red bridge and then take the new path
to the right to the Ferry Terminal or the Anthropological Museum. If you
stop at the Ferry terminal, there is a donut shop there, and you can take
the Ferry to Tam Shui and then ride back to Kwantu for a nice loop ride.
The ride out to the Museum is longer, but more scenic and at a reasonable
hour of the morning you can get coffee at the museum. Traffic on either
path is bearable (probably because of the absence of a convenient rental
kiosk), and people are much more astute about the effects that their bike
handling has on other path users. Kwantu to the Ferry Terminal or Tam Shui
is about 8k, and add another 3-4k each way if you go out to the Museum. If
there has been torrential rain within the last week DO NOT take the Tam
Shui side of the path, as it will be flooded.

If you turn left onto the path after the bridge, you can ride along
the river in San Chong. I have not done this, though it looks like a nice

2) American Club: Just over the wall from the American Club is a
bike path that runs on the north shore of the Keelung River. It is far
less well-travelled than its brother on the south bank (in Ho Ping Park),
but goes all the way out to Nankang (the land beyond Neihu). There are
parts that are a little crowded at times, but in general traffic is about a
tenth of what it is on most paths. The city is also in the process of
connecting this bike path with a bike path that runs through Shih Lin and
will ultimately go all the way to Tam Shui through Kwantu. From the
American Club, take the sidewalk on the south side of Pei An Road until you
get to the steps that lead to the path. Construction of the new path is to
the right, so you need to take the path to the left. Distance from the
access point to Nankang is about 11k, making the round trip around 22k.
Watch out for river silt deposits if a typhoon has passed through recently.

3) Min Sheng West Road: The only place where you can get up a
reasonable head of steam along the bike paths (or at least along the ones
on the Taipei side of the Tam Shui River) is where Min Sheng West Road
meets the river. There is a car-accessible gate and parking lot there. If
you take the path to the right, you will follow the levee (ride on the
levee, actually) along the Tam Shui river to where it meets the Keelung
River across from Kwantu, and then follow the path up the Keelung River to
the Pai Lin Bridge. Round trip is about 30k and the scenery is very nice.
The map also shows that the path has been completed almost all the way to
Youth Park, but that the final section connecting Youth Park to Ho Ping
Park has yet to be completed. It has been a while since I took this
particular path, so I have never gone all the way to Youth Park. If it is
actually connected, you can add another 4-5k each way.

If you follow the path to the left, you will be able to ride all the
way to the Taipei Zoo in Mucha, at least when the final section is
completed. For now, you could ride down to Shin Dian. I have not gone
that far, but it looks like another 20k on the map. There are also bike
paths in San Chong and Yong He, but I have not explored them, either.


Bill B.

6 am Ride Sunday, Aug. 21st

I'm going on a 3 hour road bike ride this Sunday, departing the TAS main gate at 6 am. I haven't chosen a route yet. I expect the pace to be moderate. If you'd like to join me, please come!



We'll have to see how this works, but the idea is that anyone can post a ride to this blog. To post, just send an email to If you are making a ride announcement, include the date, time, difficulty level and departure location.

Anyone can leave comments on a posting as well (you might want to indicate whether you will be joining a particular ride, or perhaps you'd like to comment post-ride...).

Hope to see you in the hills!