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Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Great Northern Cross Island Tour: Join Us May 22-23

*CANCELLED!* Sorry folks! Due to weather concerns and other issues, we will have to postpone this event.

I have been conspicuously absent this weekend and sadly I couldn't do any riding. I was judging speeches (yuck!) and attending my sister-in-law's wedding... therefore I earned myself a full weekend of cycling this coming week.

May 22-23 we are planning a great social ride over the Northern Cross Island Highway. This is a fantastic trip for cyclists of all levels and abilities. For these social rides it is not about suffering or competition, but rather about spending time with good people. It is often like sharing a conversation over a beer with friends, but instead of a beer it is over a bike. I am really looking forward to seeing and riding with some great people and I am looking forward to meeting some new ones. I hope to see you all there. There is room for everyone.

* Here is a report Michael T. has posted from a previous trip. Northern Cross

Michael T. has passed along a little info on the trip for anyone interested:

1. Map of the route here.

2. Schedule
Day 1 we start at the Yongning Metro station at 7. On Saturdays certain metro stops accept bikes, please check on Friday where you can put yours on in Taipei. We'll end up in Baling at around 3, approximately 70 kilometers from Yongning. The pace will be leisurely, with stops for lunch and afternoon coffee and slushies. Plenty of time for photos, conversation, or just plain gawking. The ride consists of climbing to 400 m, dropping 200 m, then a long climb of 400 m to Baling at 600m. Dinner and sleeping at the Youth Hostel there, which has washers and dryers and room inside for the bikes. If not there, the hostel across the street.

Day 2 starts in Baling at 7 or so, depending. There is NO breakfast on this day, so breakfast must be purchased the night before in Baling. Ditto for water. If we leave much earlier, like at 5:30, we can make the $300 buffet breakfast at Mingchih Forest Park. Frankly I don't see the need. We should arrive in I-lan around/a little after lunch, plenty of small eateries there. Those of you returning to Taipei for work on monday can take train or bus from I-lan town. A small group of us will push on to Jiaoxi where we will spa, eat ice, and graze our way through the eateries of that tourist town, sleeping over to ride on Monday.

Day 3 (Optional) on Monday we take a leisurely ride up the flat, truck-choked but lovely northeast coast back to Keelung or Taipei. You more sturdy types can take the mountain roads like 9 back to Taipei.

Non-Taipei people: I will be staying in Taipei on Friday night so I can pick up your bikes if you ship them there to me, or perhaps carry them up to Taipei in my van on Wednesday. Contact me (or through Drew from Taiwan in Cycles) privately about that.

Weather up in the mountains this time of year is as changeable as an incumbent facing electoral anger. Be sure to bring a light waterproof jacket/gear and front and rear lights in case we find ourselves riding in the dark. Long riding pants and long-sleeve riding shirts might also be a good idea. Light energy snacks are also good as there is not much food on Day 2 until we reach the outskirts of I-lan.


PS: M O'C, let people know in your organization if you like. Would
love to have you and/or compatriots along.