With the Lunar New Year vacation upon us and no bicycle, things were looking bleak for any vacation riding. I have been sitting around for a few weeks getting soft. I had become so weak I was entirely unable to prevent one chocolate after another from jumping into my mouth.
I really needed to ride and I finally was able to make that happen.
Rocky Huang fron T-Mosaic bikes took pity on me and was kind enough to loan me his custom aluminum Kinesis bike, which is some kind of triathlon trainer. It helps that Rocky and I are pretty similar in size, so we really didn't need to adjust anything.
The bike is a compact little ride wet up with a mix of Campagnolo Centaur and Record 10spd. Oh my! I secretly think this was a sales ploy to convince me to buy a Campy gruppo in the future. The shifting is so crisp and sure... I love it.
It was another cold morning, so I bundled up in my cold weather gear and ventured out into the chill. Luckily I was only cold for a few minutes until my legs could wake up.
My down time had taken its toll on my legs... a sensation compounded by the standard 53/39 tooth chainrings as opposed to my compact set-up.
I met up with Michael Turton with the simple plan to ride to points North.
We took it easy for the first part of the morning with breakfast and coffee... before stopping in Zhuolan for another coffee.
It was at this second coffee stop a plan actually materialized (and I just love it when a plan comes together).
We decided to take Pinglin Rd. a.k.a. Miaoli 55. I had never taken this road all the way through and neither had Michael, so we leapt at the chance to try something new. I just hoped I wouldn't beat myself up over a bunch of steep hills with unconditioned legs and a maximum 26-tooth rear cog.
The road took up into the foothills behind Zhuolan where the fruit orchards fall down onto more orchards. The entire landscape is dotted with fruit trees, which, I am sure, is absolutely stunning in the sunshine. Unfortunately, we were stuck with the grey palette of a mid-winter's day.
Just up the road there is a river valley with a popular waterfall down below. We decided to skip the sight seeing and continued out climbing.
The road was a series of dips and rises in the landscape, but there were plenty of occasions to buy water if we wished, so this would make a great ride come summer.
There were also plenty of people out busily tending their gardens and preparing their orchards for the next crop.
A few of the hills were pretty steep, but we could always see the tops, which is great for the morale in the midst of a climb.
We finally reached the highest point and found we had several options for an exit to Zhuolan. We decided to drop out of the hills into Nanhu, near Dahu Township. Unfortunately, the high speeds and low temperatures robbed us of a few great photos that will have to wait until next time.
After a lunch break in Nanhu we headed home back up the Highway 3. With a tailwind and a day to get used to the new bike, I found I was making good time up over the rollers back to Zhuolan.
We passed the dam and rolled on home. I am sure I will be feeling it tomorrow, but for now it was just great to get back on the bike. It was also great to be out riding with Michael again after his return from Sabah, Borneo.
Just a really nice day for a ride.