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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sunny Day On The Miaoli Route 130

Old Building in Jhuo Lan

This Sunday was a big day for me as it was my first attempt at getting back into a solid ride schedule.

The original plan was for a short, but hilly, 50k around Nantou. Unfortunately, plans fell through and so I met up with Dominic A. to take advantage of some beautiful weather on a ride up the Highway 3 to Miaoli Route 130 and back. It seemed a little ambitious for me after my long rehabilitation with leg troubles, but I have been having some good results and decided to give it a try.

Jhuo Lan Market

I met Dom in Nantun Dist. and we slowly warmed up through the city before snakign our way out to the Hou-Feng bike trail. I abhor the trail, but it leads to a great back road that completely bypasses Dong Shih and goes right to the base of a little that separates Jhuo Lan from Dong Shih. The hill serves as a wake-up call for any rider as it is steep enough and long enough to make it a pain.
Dom Poses

We capped the hill and plunged into the wide Daan river valley before stopping in Jhuo Lan for the first coffee of the day. My legs were a bit out of shape, but workable and I wasn't feeling any discomfort. After coffee we made a brief spin through Jhuo Lan before climbing into Miaoli county.

Looking Out

The water level in the reservoir was looking depressingly low, so I didn't take any decent pictures, but the dive off the hill was an absolute thrill.

Looking At Low Water Levels

Ginger Is King

After a few more undulating hills we hit the turn-off to the Route 130. I was happy to get off the Highway 3 as it seems I was not made aware that it would be turned into an F1 motorcycle race way. I am sure those guys all get home and bitch about how they were pushed off the road by careless drivers.

Menace On The Roads

The Route 130 is quick with introductions and immediately starts at a 12% grade. No easing in or fore play on this hill. It just gets more and more vertical. I was trying to save my leg and working hard to push on a 39 to 27 gear choice after being so badly out of practice.

Another One Of Taiwan's Generous Strangers

As we made our ascent under the full heat of the sun, a random stranger on a scooter stopped us and invited us to share some freshly picked plums. The boost in blood sugar was welcome before continuing up the mountain.

Half Way On The 130

Although the weather was not its clearest, we could still look out over southern Miaoli.

Steep Enough?

The final third of the climb starts to get pretty rough and I was trying to ignore a growing "awareness" of my knee. It became clear to me that I might be over doing it.

Hey... This Isn't The Mile High Club!!!

Near the top we stopped for another coffee at the Mile High Cafe, which offers views and an assortment of cooked fat. My recommendation is to stick with the beverages. The wait staff is friendly and accommodating. They invited us to bring out bikes into the restaurant.

Crazy Man Pedals Folding Bike To Top

The Final Push

Soon, we were off again to make our final push to the top.

Ride To Eat

When we got there, a round rider with legs and a Pinarello Dogma accosted us and asked if he could take our picture. He then produced the biggest camera I have ever seen a cyclist carry and snapped a couple photos. His jersey was priceless. It read, "Ride To Eat."

Great Road

I was really looking forward to the descent. My bike felt like it was working telepathically as I flew through the corners. Then, just as I was settling into a thrilling set of switchbacks, a silver Honda Civic saw me coming and made a last minute jump into the road to get in front of me, where he promptly rode his brakes all the way down the hill with me firmly planted on his ass. It was soooooo stupid. "I better jump out and get in front of that bicycle because bikes are slow." Grrrrrrrrrr!!!!


At the bottom of the hill we snaked through the freshly paved back roads and punchy little hills before a rest stop at the Long-tan Broken Bridge.

Dom At Bridge

My leg was beginning to bother me, but the pain strangely subsided when I increased my effort and stood on the pedals. The discomfort would come and go.

Heading Home

Before long, we were on our way to the Highway 13 into Houli and Fengyuan, before meeting back up with Taichung.

By the time I got home I was feeling a lot of discomfort, but not as bad as before. I think I will continue to massage and ride to get back to 100%.

It was a lot of fun riding with Dom today and I was glad to be there for his longest ride to date. We ended just over 100km.

No it is time to ice my knee and continue with my muscle work. Splendid ride with a wonderful bike and good people.

Cheap Bicycle Insurance


  1. Their vegetable dishes are good. The tomato tofu is excellent and so is the cabbage with tofu skin.

    Good pics. The guy with the camera is fantastic. Rare to meet other riders there.


  2. Drew, glad to hear you're riding again. Go easy please. I'm having to do a bit of the same as I get my rear and back in shape for the long kilometers again. I quite enjoy "ride to eat". Michael

  3. Hope that the leg has held up in the aftermath. I like the captions under your photos. Thanks for a fun ride!

  4. I hope you enjoyed it. I am a little gimpy, but not too bad.