Friday, February 24, 2006

YCC Riding Notes: Spring Racing, Internet Resources and More

Hello cyclists-

The weather is warming and the mountains are drying- time to ride! If
racing is your thing, you should really consider the March 12th North
Coast race. It's about 45 km of flat riding along the coast, followed
by a 5 km climb. It might be tricky to stay with the fastest riders,
but there are usually a variety of ability races at Taiwan races. Pre-
registration is 500 NT to Sean Huang by tomorrow, February 25th. Race
day registration is available. Let me know if you'd like more

There's also the two day Tour of East Taiwan coming up April 15th and
16th. The first day is a 130 km ride from Hualien to Taidong and the
next day is a 160 km return ride. In the past, there has also been a
non-race challenge ride over the same course at the same time. See
Sean if you're interested in doing this.

I'd also like to organize an end of school year ride from TAS to Helen's in May. I believe our record for riders is around 46; it
would be great to beat that this year. Although the ride to Helen's
is not easy, past experience shows that if you've got a bike, a bit
of courage, and you don't mind possibly walking a stretch or two, you
can make it to the top. More info on this ride to come.

I've found a few internet resources that may be of interest to Taipei riders. First of all, if you haven't checked out Google Earth ( for Taiwan, do it! Now that there is a Macintosh
version, I've been zooming in and circling around all of the local
peaks. I was thinking of putting together a few image maps of some of
the local rides- let me know if you think that would be helpful...

I've also found some weather sites.

The Central Weather Bureau ( is
always good for current conditions.

I usually complement this with the National Weather Service's 24 hour summary (

And the coolest- weather cams! Check out
webcam/english/scenery/main.jsp?who= and select Taipei City and
either Yangmingshan or National Palace Museum. The images are in real
time and the temperatures are fairly accurate. The Yangmingshan
camera is at the final corner on the way to the Saddle (just above
the Switchbacks).

Were you interested in Jesper's report of a 22% gradient and 1000's
of meters of climbing? If so, an altimeter might be the gadget for
you, and you're in luck- Claus has an extra one. He writes:

I recently ordered a VDO MC 1.0+ computer (identical to Jesper's) with altimeter online at They send me the old model MC 1.0!
When notified, they immediately shipped new model with lots of apologies. Came back next day and asked whether I could sell the old model locally at good rate instead of the hassle of shipping it back to them...

Long story short - I have a brand new in box VDO computer for sale @79 USD/2.600 NT - new model retails at 139.90 USD. The two models are showcased at

I'd take it myself but new model already shipped when they send me price - and I was ready to pay 140 USD anyway...

If you're interested, you can contact Claus via the comments on this page, and I'm sure he'd be happy to send you his email address.

And finally... Peter Langslow is back in Taipei this weekend, and so
Steve, Steve, Leon and I will ride with him at 10:45 from the TAS
Main Gate on Saturday. We'll ride out through Tamshui, along the
coast to Jinshan, and then up the March 12th race course hill, coming
out at Helen's Pagoda. It should be about 3.5 hours riding time. The
pace should be quick, but all are welcome.

See you in the hills!


Thursday, February 23, 2006

Sunday 6:30am-from-TAS Ride

heading out to the March, 12th course – few of us on road bikes going at a comfortable pace/no hurry – ride up the back of Helen’s before coming down past the Palace and home.


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Hazards of Roof Bike Rack in Taipei

I will keep this brief. Imagine you had just taken your bike in to Sean’s shop for a tune up, strapped it back on the roof and took off, daydreaming about the next climb. It’s a beautiful February day on Taiwan, and the furry, blustering grass of Chi Xing Shan (Chi Hsin Shan) is in full view, nothing but green and blue as you look to the skies around Taipei. Well, as I thought to myself, it looks like a great day for Bailaka (101). I turn the corner through an alley, all the sudden; BOOM I hear a sound that makes my stomach drop. I look in my rear view mirror; all I see is broken glass. I then look in my side view mirror, all I see is my bike dangling from a power line. The good news is, the weather held, my back window is repaired and me and my bike had a nice ride up Bailaka yesterday evening just in time for a splendid sunset over the Taiwan Strait. Sorry, no picture, the driver behind me was in a hurry, so he got out and pulled my bike off the power line. Any one interested in an on the roof bike rack???


Jack Whiteford

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Bike Stolen: Front of Yangmingshan Starbucks

Hello riders-

A woman had her bike stolen from the front of the Yangmingshan
Starbucks this morning. A group of three stopped for a coffee after
their ride and left their bikes parked outside. When they came out,
one was stolen.

Be very careful if you leave your bike parked anywhere- bikes have
also been stolen from the front of Sean's shop in recent years.

Bill O'Brien

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Race Date Change Yet Again & Saturday Rides

Argh! The race dates have changed yet again! According to, the March race has moved from March 4th back to
Sunday, March 12th. This race is a great one for racers of all
speeds- it's only 60 km, and it's in our back yard! Let me know if
you'd like more info...

The Hualien-Taidong race has moved from April 1-2 to April 29-30.
This is a big race, but there is also a challenge category which is
more of a ride than a race.

Leon, Steve and I are riding at noon from TAS on Saturday. I expect
the pace to be "tempo" and the time to be 3.5-4 hours.

Steve R. and Dave are riding at 6 am. If you are interested in that
ride, it would be a good idea to contact Steve directly (I can email
his contact info).

See you out there!

Bill O'B

Friday, February 03, 2006

North Coast Race Date Change: March 4th

Just back from Sean's shop with new information on the North Coast
race. It will be held Saturday, March 4th, not Sunday, March 12th. It
will be about 60 km, with all but the final four km rolling. The
finish is half way to Helen's from the back side.

A Couple Photos

Bill Bryson's photography: Tuesday's riders at the top of Helen's and
101 sticking out of the mist the other morning...

Regular Saturday Morning Ride

Susan Wu has written with information on a regular Saturday morning

We meet Saturday morning at 7:00am in front of Tien-Mou McDonalds.
We mountain bike for 4 hours most of the time.
We ride 27 gear bikes.

All are welcome- check out photos from past rides at http://

The two photos are from the top of Da Tuen Shan- an impressive climb!

Saturday Triple Crown Ride

Steve, Leon and I are meeting at TAS at 6 am for a Triple Crown Ride.
Pace should be brisk- back to Tien Mu by around 9:30 or 10.
Hopefully, Jesper, Eric, Dave, Steve and perhaps others will join- come!

Bill O'Brien

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Thursday Ride

We've decided to wait a little longer before attempting another epic
like Tuesday's ride. At this point, we may try again on Saturday to
head out near Joufen in the "New Territories."

I'm meeting Steve and Dave at TAS at 6:30 for a spin out somewhere.
At this point, I'm leaning towards Spider's Hill out past Nei Hu
which would get us back to TAS by 8:30ish. Dave says he's recovering
from an illness, and I know Steve's recovering from a whupping up
that last hill Tuesday, so I expect the pace to be quite mellow.
Please join us.