Monday, May 29, 2006

Weekend: Riding & Racing

As the rain poured down Sunday morning, I wished I could snuggle into bed- a ride was the last thing on my mind. As I headed down the hill in the drizzle, I had no idea what to expect. Needless to say, I was surprised to find a group of cyclists waiting at the front gate and amazed as this group grew to 18 riders, including three young passengers.

We rolled away from TAS and the rain stopped. For the next two hours, not a drop fell from the sky. Cyclists took the hill at varying paces; I was surprised how quickly everyone made it up. I was particularly impressed with the Earley Clan, complete with running commentary from the boys on the hook-a-bikes...

Helen's Coffee wasn't open due to the questionable weather, but a small group continued back to the Starbucks at the Palace Museum. We all agreed that we will have to arrange another ascent in August.

A small selection of the riders after coffee.

Saturday was a great day of racing out at Fulong. The 55 km course snaked along the coast at a controlled pace before ascending 10 km to the mountain above Jyoufen. After a quick drop back to the valley, the ride meandered back to Fulong before finishing on a wicked 2.5 km clim to the finish.

The pack of 409 cyclists was dominated by Team Columbus riders. Craig Johns, fresh off his recent triathlon victories, proved why he is the dominant rider on the tri circuit by finishing a very impressive 7th place, just behind the Elite Category riders. He took out first in the M25 division. Luke took 2nd in M20, just behind Craig. Leon blasted up the hill to finish 17th and 2nd in M40. Maximus Reedus finished just behind Leon in 3rd in M40 and Peter rounded out the top 6 in M40. Henry had one of his best races, finishing 5th in M30. Eric, Yamada, and Barry also placed in their divisions. In her first race, Kate earned the 3rd spot on the podium. All in all, the Team Columbus results were strong enough to earn 2nd in the team competition- impressive!

Speedy Reedy

The Captain Ascends

Full results are available here:

Age group

If you take a look at the times from the race, you will see that you don't need to be super fast to compete. Consider coming out to a race in the fall...

I depart for my summer holidays on Thursday, so I probably won't be publishing much to the blog until then. Please remember, though, that anyone is welcome to post using email.

See you in the fall!


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Helen's Ride Sunday Rain or Shine

Don't forget- the Annual Helen's Climb is this Sunday, May 28th. Meet in front of the Taipei American School at 8 am- mountain bike, road bike, touring bike, whatever! Ride will go rain or shine.

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Giro d'Italia - Live feeds and TV

For those of you out their interested in following the Giro d'Italia -
LIVE, here are a few links I think you would like.

First of all my preferred link comes courtesey of the premier Italian
sports newspaper: La Gazetta dello Sport (articles in English).
Through this link you will also have access to live video feeds!!

Another favourite of mine is through the internet homepage of the
Eurosport TV channel. Close to the end of each stage their will be a
live Audio feed, with Sean Kelly as one of the commentators. The link
is found here:

Good luck!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Posting to the blog

Hello all.

As some of you may have noticed, we've received a few spam posts to the blog. I've changed the email address for making posts. If you'd like to post directly to the blog, the new address is at blogger dot com. Any cycling related posts are welcome.

Hope to see you out at the May 28th Helen's ride. 8 am, Taipei American School- all welcome!


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Riding and Racing in May

My last three rides have been just beautiful. On Sunday, Leon and Reedus and I headed out through Tamshui and up the 101. While Tamshui was as crowded as ever, the 101 was beautiful, quiet and cool. We finished the ride off with a coffee on the steps of Starbucks and a caffeine rush on the ride back into Tienmu.

Yesterday afternoon, I went for a spin on my own up the Temple Switchbacks. If you haven't done this ride before, you don't know what you're missing! The loop is a 20 km, 1 hour spin from Tienmu. While the Switchbacks themselves can get a bit steep in places, you shouldn't have much trouble if you take them slowly. I didn't see a single car on the way up or down.

This morning, Reedus and I spun our way up to the Saddle. As we climbed, the air cooled, and by the top, we were enshrouded entirely in mist- a beautiful way to start the day.

If you'd like to check out these rides (and others), download the Google Earth file using the link at right. Right click (or CTRL-click for Mac users) and save the file to your desktop. If you have Google Earth installed (free download at, you can just double click the file to open it and view the landmarks and ride paths on the satellite maps of northern Taiwan. Don't be intimidated by all the markers; you can turn them on and off by clicking the check boxes under Places at the right. If you select a ride path under Places, you can click the Play button at the bottom to go on a virtual spin through the mountains. It's a great way to see how all the rides connect and to figure out finally just where a ride like the Temple Switchbacks is located!

Remember that the annual Helen's climb is coming up on Sunday May 28th. The ride will leave TAS at 8 am (after a late Prom night for some) and climb up to Helen's coffee stand. Elevation, map and more details are in the blog post of April 13th. We had 50+ riders of all abilities the last time I was out on this ride. It's a great chance to say goodbye to those leaving Taipei at the end of the school year and to meet new riders for the summer months if you're sticking around.

There is also a 57 km road race out by Fulong and Shuangsi. Race information is available here and race map and elevation details are available here. If you'd like to do this race, registration closes May 5th. It is the 4th stage in the Taiwan Cycling Club Championships, but don't be intimidated- cyclists of all riding abilities participate in races in Taiwan.

Hope to see you out on the road!