Wednesday, September 26, 2007

"Howard's" Ride and Bike Shop

Howard's Bikes, is between Ba De Road and Civic Boulevard on an east-west lane which runs near Yan Chi Street.

1F, No. 27, Lane 22, Gunagfu South Road
Tel 2579-3357 FAX 2579-2126

Howard Chen - 0922833525

They ride Saturdays. Meet at the shop in the 6:30 range and depart about 7.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Customized Maps - for Taiwan CYCLISTS only!

As a service to my riding buddies, if you're looking to get from point A to point B anywhere in Taiwan(maybe to join our group ride and you're new to the area) and want a customized map with detailed directions, send me Point A and Point B - detailed addresses. I'll use my Garmin GPS pc software and you'll be all set. Alternatively, if you only know the name of a major landmark (e.g., Palace Museum - in English is fine if you don't know the Mandarin name), send me that - I can search in that manner as well. Please don't send me "7-11 in Taipei" however, the search will give me all 7,425 of them! :-p
dave -

Rides In/Around Taipei and TienMu

With respect to maps, good maps of Taipei can be obtained at Page One, the bookstore on the 4th floor of the Taipei 101 Mall.

Not sure where you live, but there are lots of riding opportunities in Taipei, and here are some suggestions:

1). Downtown - there are at least two bike shops which run weekend rides. One is Boutique de Velo, which is in the Hsin Yi District on the lane which runs behind Agora Garden. They have a list of their Saturday rides available and will ride as scheduled unless it is raining.

The other is Howard's Bikes, which is harder to find. It is between Ba Teh Road and Civic Boulevard on an east-west lane which runs near Yan Chi Street (I can provide more detailed directions if you need them). Howard's group rides on Saturdays at about 0730. They sometimes have Sunday rides, too. This is also a hydrophobic group.

Both these shops ride all over the Taipei area. Sometimes they head north, sometimes they head south. Pretty mixed groups in terms of speed and experience. The ride leaders make sure nobody gets left behind. Both groups are co-ed.

You can also hook up with Andrew Collins, who has already responded to your message and who also lives downtown. Peter Baiamonte also lives downtown.

2). Between downtown and Tien Mou: if you want to ride level, there are bike paths that run along the three major rivers in Taipei Indeed, it is possible to ride all the way from the Mucha Zoo to Tam Shui (which is where the Tam Shui River meets the Taiwan Strait), a distance of about 75k, and never leave a bike path. The most popular paths are the ones that run through the Kwantu Bird Preserve, and the ones that run on either side of the Keelung River near the Grand Hotel. Not recommended for an afternoon ride on weekends, however, as they can be quite crowded at that time.

There are bike rental kiosks along the paths and you can get a bike path map at any of those kiosks.

3). Tien Mou/northern Taipei: lots of options here, and almost all start from the Taipei American School. The group I ride with rides at 0500 on T/Th/Sa. 32k on weekdays, 90-100k on Saturdays. Speed and intensity varies with who shows up and whether or not there is a race coming up. There are sufficient numbers of rally stops, however, to make sure newbies do not get lost. We also collect cell phone numbers so we can check on people who do not appear at the rally stops.

There is another group that favors an 0600 start time, and there are groups that ride on other days of the week. People who are on the above list and are familiar with the rides can give you details about those rides.

There is also a Boutique de Velo in Tien Mou (on Cheung Chen Road, just east of the BMW dealership), and they also ride on weekends. Have not ridden with them for a while and it helps if you speak Chinese, but they ride all over northern Taipei. The last time I rode with them, they rode to Taichung.

All of the above groups are co-ed. There is, however, a group of women riders who ride at 0500 on Tuesday and Thursday. They start from the Welcome store on Tien Mou West Road. This is just slightly north of the American School.

Another group of women ride at 0815 on Wednesdays. They start at the American School.

Well, that is pretty much what I know. Hope to see you out there sometime.

Best regards,

Bill Bryson

Bryson on "What YCC is all about"

The following email was posted by one of our fearless leaders. It was sent out to help us all at a time when yours truly lost what few marbles he has for a few minutes. If you're new to the group or will be soon and curious what we're about, no one could put it better(thanks Bryson):

The group of riders on this e-mail is one of the friendliest and most supportive groups I have ever had the pleasure to ride with. We ride for a variety of reasons - some race (road races, triathlons), some want to stay fit, some want to lose weight, some like the camaraderie and fellowship of the group ride or paceline, and some just enjoy the taste of a Venti iced latte at the end of a long ride. For most of us, it's a combination. For all of us, it's an opportunity to get out of the house and onto our favorite carbon/aluminum/steel/titanium steeds for a few enjoyable hours before we have to return to the reality of our day jobs.

As with any group of riders, there is friendly competition among the regular riders, but in the three years that I have been riding with this group I have never seen weaker riders derided in any way, nor have I seen or heard anything which could be called browbeating.

What I have seen is strong riders who will hang back with someone who is struggling, or a large group of riders who will wait for a comrade to repair his punctured tube, or give him the spare tube and CO2 cartridge he or she needs to get going again. What I have heard (when we are riding below our lactate thresholds) is advice freely given by experienced riders, debates about the best bikes and components for different riding scenarios, general friendly chatter within the group and lots of very engaging and funny observations about life, Taiwan and life in Taiwan.

No rider is ever discouraged by other riders, and those who feel discouraged by their performance on a particular ride are likely to receive an almost embarassing volume of advice and encouragement from other riders in the group. I have learned a lot from my YCC friends and teammates and we have had some really great rides together.

In any event, I hope that, notwithstanding the northern latitude and ungodly hour at which we ride, you will be able to join us for a ride sometime.

Best regards,

Bill Bryson

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Li Shan Race - 71km UP!

From the start we rode 17km flat - then 54km up. It's quite a ride. Awesome views and the weather was perfect for riding. Our trip down on the high-speed rail was nice - about 285km/hr, just slightly faster than we averaged on our bikes.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Taiwan Mountain Biking - September 21-23 - Taiwan East Coast

Dear all,

Great seeing all the photos and reading about all the news and events posted
on the website.  Fantastic to see so many people enjoying the rocking summer
we have been having!

I run an outdoor adventure company call IN MOTION ASIA which organizes a number of adventure tours throughout the year here in Taiwan and overseas.

I have a fantastic MTB tour coming up from Friday September 21 - Sunday September 23
A superb 3 day / 2 night tour based on the East Coast of Taiwan that takes in the mighty Taroko Gorge and the rugged Feitsuei Valley.  An exhilarating tour through one of the most beautiful regions in Taiwan!  This riding is a mixture of old off-road Aboriginal and Japanese era trails, orchards and farm land, deserted mountain roads, and the Central Cross Island Highway.  This is fully supported trip with all transport, accommodation and food provided.   All you need is a good mountain bike and a sense of adventure!

There is around 4-5 hours riding each day which I would grade as moderate to challenging.

If you would like more details, drop me an email and I can send you the complete itinerary and everything else you need to know. Hurry - Only 2 spots left

Looking forward to a fantastic trip!

Many thanks
Cam McLean

Thursday, September 06, 2007

New Taipei Cycling Regulations

As of Sept. 1, there are new regulations for cyclists in effect. In short, wear a helmet, have running red lights, ride with traffic. If you get pulled over and have no ID, you may be in trouble. We should each probably have some sort of ID in our seat bags.


Thanks for the article, Brenda H.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Riding for Mon 3rd - Sat 8th

5am from TAS on Tues and Thurs - heading up XingYi Rd. to the saddle.
6am from TAS on Sat. - heading out for a long ride, a few climbs - where? tbd by those attending

see you there - dave