Wednesday, March 28, 2007

NCR Results and Coming Races

The Foreign Riders of Columbus Team

Sunday morning may have been grey and gloomy, but the cyclists lining up in Wanli for the 2007 North Coast Race were ready to go. A group of close to 20 expatriate cyclists from Taipei joined the 1000+ local riders in the various road and mountain age categories.

The first groups to set out at 8 am were the Elite and Elite Masters. Three teams fresh off last week's Tour of Taiwan- Giant Asia, PZ Racing, and e-Ma- led the field of Elite racers. Several of the riders had finished well in the Tour, including the winner of Stage 4. The rainbow stripes on one rider indicated his status as the 2006 UCI Masters World Champion. Leon and Craig rode well in the peleton and finished strongly on the final climb. Leon even managed to break away with one of the pros at one point before being reeled back by the field.

The age group categories followed at 2 minute intervals. Results were impressive. Mike pushed the 35+ age groupers with Simon and Rock helping out. On the final climb, Mike blasted away, taking first in M40. Barry and Peter forced the pace on the coast as well, with Barry taking first in M55 and Peter claiming another medal for his trophy room with 5th in M45. A number of the other riders were in their first bike race and rode very well- nice job, guys!

Age Group Results
Overall Results

Mike on the podium for M40

Barry on the podium for M55

Big thanks go to Dave and Craig for putting together the post-race tailgate. Craig went to great risks to procure Red Bull and sausages (including a run-in with the Kaioshiung police and Red Bull girls) and make it back from the Kenting Half Ironman in time to drive out to the race the next morning. Dave arrived home from a week with 100 ninth graders in Beijing (85% of whom were angels, 15% of whom were hellions) and 12 hour days on his feet and still had the energy to run out to Costco for food and beverages. You'd never know from the smile on his face after the race that the cassette on his borrowed wheel was skipping every second revolution. Thanks guys.

Thanks also go out to Barry, Bill, Simon and Craig for driving riders and bikes from Tien Mu out to Wanli. We really appreciated it!

Coming Races

The next race is the Elspeth's Hill Climb on Sunday, April 8th. Pre-registration of 100 NT usually occurs at Sean's with race day registration of 200 NT possible. The race goes off in age-group packs beginning at 9 am. Since it is only a 4 km race, it's a quick one...

Registration is now closed for the April 21st-22nd Tour of East Taiwan.

After that, set your sites on the Saturday, May 12th Gongliao-Shuangsi (Fulong) race. In addition to the NCR and the two days of the Tour of East Taiwan, this will be Round 4 of the Taiwan National Club Cycling Championships. The starting and ending climbs are brutes.

Round 5 of the Club Championships will be Sunday, May 27th with the Giant Cup down in Taichung. It will consist of a 11 km lap raced four times followed by a separate 3 km hill climb.

My final Taiwan race will be the Saturday, June 9th Datun Shan climb via the 101.

Hope to see you out at a few more races this spring!


Thursday, March 22, 2007

Exciting Weekend of Cycling

If you're looking to check out some bike related activities, this is the weekend for you!

This year's edition of the Tour de Taiwan started on Sunday down in Kaoshiung. English language results are available on The Tour finishes up Saturday morning with a criterium around Taipei City Hall. Below is a map of the course.

The course is easily accessible for the Taipei City Hall stop on the blue line of the MRT. There is a citizen's race on the criterium course of 20 laps of the 1km circuit from around 7:30 until 10am. At 11am, the pros hit the circuit for 60 laps. If the weather is nice, it's a great spectacle. Actually, it's a great spectacle even in the rain!

While you're down at the course, you may want to head over to the Taipei International Cycle Show held at the World Trade Center. Although the show is mainly for vendors and buyers, it's pretty neat to check out if you're into bikes. If it's similar to past years, tickets are usually sold at the door or they can sometimes be obtained from Sean by asking nicely. Young children are not allowed, however.

Sunday is the North Coast Race, a 47 km club race that runs from Wanli around to Baishawan and back, finishing on a 5 km hill. There are 801 road cyclists and 512 mountain bikers registered for this year's edition of the NCR. There are close to 20 local expats mixing it up as well. If you'd like to ride out to check out some of the race, the Google Earth file
can be viewed by right-clicking (control-click on the Mac) the previous link and saving the .kmz file to the desktop. It can then be opened with Google Earth.

Have fun!


Sunday, March 18, 2007

Tour of East Taiwan Sign-up ASAP

I know we haven't even had our North Coast Race yet, but entries have just been posted for the Tour of East Taiwan on April 21st and 22nd.

Information (in Chinese) is here:

You can use to get a very rough translation of the page.

Basically, it will be a big weekend. Riders will need to get to Hualien Friday evening, April 20th. In the past, we've transported bikes down with Sean in the morning and flown down to Hualien after work- I don't know if there will be room this year, though. We stay in Hualien that night and get up Saturday morning for the 130 km race to Taichung. We stay that night in Taichung and then get up Sunday for the 160 km race back to Hualien. We then head back to Taipei.

From what I can tell, race entry fees are 2000 NT. Hotels and transport are extra.

I've actually never managed to do the race weekend- this will be my first. Perhaps someone who's done it before can give a better description. I do know that it's the highlight of the Taiwan club racing schedule.

There's also a 350 km challenge ride held over the same roads (with a few extra thrown in for fun) over the same two days. Bill Bryson knows all about this one. Information (in Chinese) is here:

Registration for the race closes on March 30th, but Sean is collecting entries early, as spaces in the race and hotels are limited. I would like to get the entries to him by this coming weekend. If you would like to race, please email me ASAP.



Friday, March 16, 2007

Saturday Ride

Hi Everyone! Since the North Coast Race is fast approaching, a number of riders want to practice the last 5k of the NCR course, which is a variable (4%-18%) climb up to Ta Ping (home of Camp Taiwan). I therefore plan to follow the same route as Bill O this Saturday, which means I will also be returning to Tien Mou by climbing over the back of Helen's. This route will be familiar to anyone who did the Yangmingshan Challenge ride last year, as TaPing and Helen's were the second and third peaks of that four-peak effort. This being the case, the ride options for everyone on Saturday's ride would be:

1) Turnaround in San Jih for those who want to do neither hills nor 90-100k, or who are short on time (60k);

2) Rest stop and turnaround in Chin Shan, for a full metric century (100k);

3) Rest stop in Chin Shan and climb up YangChin Road (the "back of YMS") to the Saddle, and then down to Tien Mou (82k);

4) Rest stop in Chin Shan and climb up to the NCR finish line (TaPing) and return to Tien Mou over the back of Helen's (85-90k).

Depending on how long we stop in Chin Shan, and assuming we start on time, all of the above options should get people back to Tien Mou before or around 0900. We can discuss post-ride coffee venues during the ride. Hope to see everyone there on Saturday!

Bill B.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Weekend Riding &

Getting very excited for next Sunday's North Coast Race- and the tailgate party following! In preparation, Chris, Rock and I will be departing TAS at 5 am Saturday to ride the coast and the race finish. We will come home via Helen's- we must be back in Tien Mu before 9:00 for family commitments. Anyone up for a blast is welcome. The Bryson ride should be meeting at 5 am as well (although there is discussion of a different route for that ride- perhaps Bill will elaborate on the blog...).

I'll be going out for a shorter spin Sunday afternoon at 1 pm with Rock and Chris. We'll swing by TAS before departing- we will return by 3 pm.

Also, Craig is keeping the updates coming at He has information on Sean's grand opening Sunday and race reports on the Paris-Nice stage race. Check it out!

Hope to see you out.



I received the following from Bill:

Glad to hear you guys will be doing the longer ride. I would prefer to do the coast road and the race finish as well. So, I guess the Saturday ride will be a coast road ride with the following options:

1) Turnaround in San Jih for those with limited time or who do not want
to do hills or 90-100k (60k);

2) Metric century coast ride, with a rest stop and turnaround in Chin
Shan (100k);

3) Coast road, rest stop in Chin Shan, push up to the NCR finish, return
over back of Helen's (85-90k).

I will happily take the third option, though I do not expect to keep up with you guys once we start climbing to TaPing (though I may try to keep with you on the bridge breakaway).
FYI, Howard and his team will be joining us, as will Tracy and her friends, so it looks to be a pretty big group.

Best regards,


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Sean's New Shop Grand Opening

Word on the street is that Sean Huang's new Giant shop has been accepting visitors over the past couple of weeks. The official opening will be this Sunday, though.

Watch for details to be posted shortly at


Friday, March 09, 2007

Weekend Riding

What a rainy, yucky week. I got out a couple of times and was wet and cold each time. Blech.

Chris and I are away for a soccer tournament on Saturday. I believe the Bryson ride will be departing at 5 am unless it's raining.

Leon, Chris, Rock, Dave and I are riding out to the NCR course Sunday afternoon departing TAS at 12:00. We hope to blast out there pretty quickly. We'll ride the hill finish and then make our way back to Tien Mu by 4ish. If you're up for a push, come along!

Update: Due to wet, cold and family obligations, the ride will be shortened to just a 101 climb. Back to Tien Mu by 2ish. The group should be a little larger...


Sunday, March 04, 2007

Awesome Weather - It's riding time - Sunday recap

Well, I don't usually post ride recaps - but I just had to today. For family reasons I had to get out early - so I headed out Satellites from where I live in DaZhi. Oh my - what awesome weather. If you've been a dormant rider waiting to get back out, now is the time - great time to get back into things before Taiwan heats up and gives you any more excuses not to ride again.

Heading back down Satellites toward the Palace road I first met Brent Loken on his way up - he's getting back into the swing in preparation for "Test of Metal" this summer in Squamish, BC. This is one of the major such events - the event was sold out in 45 minutes (1000+ entries). If you're into x-country or trail mtb-ing style, then you have to do this type of an event once in your life. It's absolutely grueling - an incredible challenge (roadies who think they know what a climb is - give off-road climbing a shot and make your call).

Shortly after passing Brent, Tom Broughton was a few minutes behind Brent. Once on the Palace road, I then saw Brenda Huff heading on up. I didn't count, but on the way down Satellites and home through the DaZhi tunnel, I passed at least 100 riders on the way - it was inspiring. Just before getting to the tunnel, Bill O'Brien's gang of 4 was headed up Helen's (Simon M., Curt F., and Davy).
see you on the road - dave

Time Trial This Saturday

A note from Craig:

For those cycling and triathlon enthusiasts. If you know of anyone else who maybe interested in this event. Feel free to email them.

Cycle 40km or 60km Individual Time Trial March 10th

There is a 40km and 60km Individual time trial next Saturday. Time trial events are extremely rare if non-existent in Taiwan so don’t miss out (one in September also) Its out near the international airport. Entries close Monday 5th March. If anyone is interested let me know and I will get the entries to in. I will be taking a van out to the race. Entry fee is approx NT$500.

For those who are new to the sport an individual time trial is where you are sent off at 20 or 30 sec intervals and ride against the clock. No drafting allowed.

If you are looking for other information on cycling, triathlon, running adventure racing and a few other weird and wacky sports please check the following two websites



If you're interested in signing up, send me a note, and I can forward it on to Craig. Sounds like a blast...

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Sunday Ride Time Changed

Gorgeous morning! Sixteen riders at 5 am- more later as Howard's group met up with us. The climb up from the coast was one of the best- clear, warm and dry.

I will be meeting a new rider (Davy) for a Helen's climb tomorrow morning. I am meeting at the Starbucks by the National Palace Museum at 8 am, so I will swing by school at 7:45. This is 15 minutes earlier than I had previously said...

I need to be home by 9:45- please feel free to come along and ride a bit longer with Davy if you're available.


Friday, March 02, 2007

Bryson Saturday Ride

Bill has written with more details and options for Saturday's ride:

The Saturday ride has several options, depending on how much time you have
and how many hills you want to climb (note that ride times only include
time actually spent riding - it does not include the usual stops at
BeiShinChuang, San Jih and Chin Shan):

1) 60k: Turning around after the downhill to San Jih is approximately
60k. Good for those who are not confident they are ready for long climbs
or 100k, or who have early morning commitments. Ride time: Approximately

2) 80k: Going up to the YMS Saddle from Chin Shan provides an 80k ride
with a 16k climb and a screaming 16k descent to Tien Mou, with the
possibility of an intermediate stop at Starbuck's. Ride Time:
Approximately 3:00 - 3:15. Good way to be back to Tien Mou by 0900;

3) 85k: Going up from Chin Shan to the North Coast Race finish in Ta
Ping, and then up the back of Helen's (just like the YMS Challenge course)
and down to Tien Mou. Coffee available at either Helen's or any of the
Tien mou coffee shops. I understand that many of the riders who have
entered the NCR will likely do this route on Saturday, as NCR is three
weeks from this weekend. Ride Time: Unknown, but estimated to be 3:15 -
4:00, depending on your climbing ability;

4) 100k: The usual return to Tien Mou along the Coast Road. 20k of
flat terrain at a relatively easy pace from Chin Shan to Bai Shia Wan, and
then 30k of rolling hills to Tam Shui and Tien Mou. Coffee at Starbucks on
Tien Mou West Road. Ride Time: 3:20 - 3:45. Virtually guarantees a
return to Tien Mou by 1000, though recent rides have seen the group sitting
at Starbuck's by 0930.

Look forward to seeing everyone on Saturday.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Social with Cycle, anyone?

Anyone interested in riding that's heavier on the
social and lighter on the riding? I appreciate those
of you with families need to be back early, but for
those of us still seeking our SO (in pubs :) and/or
late evening classes, the pre 4am wake ups are a

Something along the lines of Sat or Sun 7-8am meets at
the palace museum for a spin up to Helen's and a nice
leisurely chat? Back for lunch or even lunch together?


Riding in the Rain and Weekend Rides

Last Saturday's Lucas epic was awesome- 6:45 riding time, 120 km of hilly roads, 3425 m vertical climbing and 4950 calories (according to Peter). At one point, we were a group of two Dutchmen, two Taiwanese, a Canadian, an Australian, a Brit, and an American. Curt (riding from Lujyo) gets the rider of the day award for adding 45 minutes to the 5 am start and 45 minutes to the end.

The Saturday Bryson ride was bumped back half an hour due to rain at 4:30, but a group still managed to fit in the 100 km ride. In general, the rain policy is that if it's raining hard, the ride is a no-go. Bill sends a text message to those on his riding group list if he cancels one of his rides. I post a comment to the blog entry if I cancel, but you're also welcome to text me if in doubt (093-014-4184).

This Saturday, I intend to start the Bryson 100 km ride departing from TAS at 5 am. Leon, Chris, Rock and I plan to climb up from Jinshan or ride the race course finish. We should be back to TAS by 9 am.

Sunday morning, I'm meeting Curt for a mellow spin up Helen's. I need to be home by 10ish.

My weekday rides seem to be settling into a routine:

Tuesday 5:15 am Saddle or Satellites with Dave, Chris, Mike and Rock. We meet at the Section 7 bus circle and pick up other riders at the Chung Shan North Road/Tien Mu Road intersection. 32 km. Back to Tien Mu by 6:40.

Wednesday 5 am Bryson Extended Wimpy Hills. Larger group of riders. Meet at TAS, ride the flats out to Guang Du, climb up to Four Corners, ride the ridge to Starbucks/7-11. 28 km. Back to Tien Mu by 6:25.

Thursday 5:15 am Horse Stable Road Intervals with Dave, Chris, Chris, Mike, and Rock. Again, we meet at the Section 7 bus circle and pick up other riders at the Chung Shan North Road/Tien Mu Road intersection. Two easier 2 minute intervals, followed by six hard 2 minute intervals- enough to make you ill. We stay on the same section of Horse Stable Road, so anyone is welcome to come out even if you just plan to ride a portion of the 2 minute interval.
Back to Tien Mu by 6:25.

I met a rider at Sean's the other day who said he'd love to come out with us, but he needs to get into shape first. I understand this sentiment, but the best way to get into shape is to ride with a group that pushes you and gets you up and out of bed! With the exception of the end climb on the Saturday and the brisk paced Tuesday morning ride, our other rides are really open to anyone with a road bike who wants to get into shape and enjoy some good riding company. There are also versions of the Saturday ride that are shorter and easier than the full 100 km.

Hope to see you out there!