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Saturday, March 27, 2010

From Far And Away--Miaoli 130

Normally we don't get new folks visiting these parts to ride, and it is no wonder. Most people's experience with Taiwan centers around the metropoles, which they deem to be crowded, chaotic and deadly for cyclists. As a cycling destination Taiwan could really become a blip on the map if law and order was established in the cities and if visitors on bikes could figure out how to get out to the countryside, which is ideal. Screw Tuscany and Napa Valley... I want Rift Valley, Wuling and Taroko.

Nathan Poses By Reservoir

This Saturday Michael T. and I were joined by Nathan M. from Taipei. For some reason folks from Taipei forget to come to Taichung, so it was really great to have him come down. Nathan is an excellent rider and a student of the sport.

Patrick and Nathan See The Sights

We were also joined by Patrick M., an established mountain bike racer from San Francisco, California. Patrick is an engineer who is working on a device that will allow people who want to take nicotine, to inhale it without the carcinogenic smoke; a device that will change the area behind high school tennis courts forever. Patrick in only in Taiwan for a few days, but managed to make it for a ride with us.

Contemplating The Surroundings

We thought an introductory trip through Miaoli County and over the Miaoli 130 hill-climb would be perfect. It was sunny and warm so we hit the rolling hills of Miaoli.
Climbs Like A Goat

As usual, we chatted our way along the Highway 3 with a 7-11 stop for coffee and then hit the road for the climbing.
Patrick Sares Out Over Miaoli County

The Miaoli 130 is a good climb with grades between 11% and 13% in most parts. The hill peaks at just under 2600ft. We hit the hill and made good time climbing. Michael set a personal record.
Elevation Gain

At the top we stopped for lunch at the Mile High Cafe, which is a "Hakka" restaurant with scenic views and bowls of fat.
Coffee Stop (Well... he IS from San Francisco)

We made our way off the hill at a good clip. My fastest speed of the day was posted on this descent: 39mph. (62.7kph).
Michael T. and Patrick Storm The Bridge

On the way back we took some back roads and passed the old Broken Bridge before heading out for Feng Yuan. It was a really nice ride and even better to ride with new faces.

Thanks guys!

On a final note:

I had been feeling a little sick all day. The kind of sick where you feel your eyes and lips are dry and there's nothing you can do. By last night that had developed into a head cold. So I need to take a couple days off the bike and recover. I am just glad we did this all Saturday before I really knew I was sick.