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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Weekend Rides

This weekend saw some breaks in the foul weather that were just right for some riding. I managed to get a couple rides in as I attempt to claw my way back into form and fitness after my vacation. This has really been a nightmare for riding as I took nearly a month off while on vacation, and then upon my return the weather is just rainy enough at the wrong times to interfere with some good solid training. The promise of sunny skies in the morning is dashed by rainclouds in the afternoons.

My first and favorite ride was with my wife, Joyce, who is starting to really enjoy her new Colnago. We did a beautiful 33km. up and around Dadu Shan, which was her first attempt at a little hill climbing, and she did excellent. We then cut through some rice fields down below to the HSR station and then back through Wuer.

The temps were pretty high and it was humid, but at least it didn't rain on us. The rains came about an hour and a half after we got home.

Every evening now holds the promise of another great ride with my beautiful wife. I love watching her improve and enjoy herself on the bike. Watching someone go through that is the most enjoyable thing about cycling.

Sunday was supposed to be something a little harder to help get me back into fighting shape after nearly two months of fits rest, fits and starts. I put the call out to see if anyone would like to join and had a few people interested. I just love it when a plan comes together. Alas, last minute plans and other changes saw the potential for a small group ride disintegrate.

I ended up meeting with one of Taiwan's most capable riders and racers, Virginia Xing, for a route on the 137 over Bagua Shan, in Chang hua.

The great thing about Bagua Shan is that it has relatively little automobile traffic (lots of cyclists). After climbing up to the ridge, the road becomes an undulating ribbon of roadway; perfect for working the legs out for a variety of conditions. We are also in the midst of pineapple season and the smell is incredible.

Upon leaving the mountain and a taking a hydration and calorie break, my legs refused to start back up again. My strength from earlier in the day refused the show up for Act II. Maybe I hadn't eaten enough earlier and my glycogen was low, maybe I had sat too long, or maybe it was a case like a heroin junkie who goes back to the regular dose after a lengthy hiatus and takes too much than the body can handle. I hope to get out in the next few weeks to bring my fitness back to pre-vacation levels. I got home and didn't feel "bad". Huh!

Regardless, Virginia is an excellent rider with some great riding skills and some real spinning chops in the flats. It was a good training day.


  1. I couldn't possibly thank you enough for the ride. I look forward to riding with you again!

  2. My pleasure! The ride over Bagua Shan is nice because there are several roads to take out if you need to manage your time. There are several rides like that around Taichung once you get off the main corridors. For a short route, the 129 to 136 route in Hsin She is great.

  3. I think I am going to enjoy riding more once the temperature drops some more. I will try to take 129 or 136 someday. I really loved 137 since I had enough climbing before that. 136 is climbing also, isn't it?

  4. The 129 to 136 (short) is a quick climb up the 129 to Hsin She. Then a descent into a valley and another steep climb out and a high plateau, before dropping onto 100 and the 136 back to the city. You could do a further climb up the 136 and come back through Caotun as well. It depends on the time you want to spend.

    Another good climb that isn't too far away, is the climb on the Miaoli 130 to Sanyi. That one is right after the reservoir in Zhuo lan and makes for great climbing practice. A beautiful ride too.