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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Recovering on the Cobbles? Rehab Ride #3

Instead of hammering my legs into brutal submission on a 258km hell ride, I was merely satisfied with a slow tour around Taichung's Dadu Mountain to take a took at some of the area's listed bike routes.

I made my way down Wu Chuan West Rd. for a slow rolling warm-up, and turned down Anhe Rd. before the road could really begin climbing up to the Taichung Industrial Park. At Taichung Harbor Rd. I took a left until the Route 125 to Daya.

I was happy to be on the bike and two wheels under my ass felt fantastic after two weeks off. I deliberately kept the pace slow, but still managed to pass a few guys on mountain bikes.

It was at Daya on Chung Ching (Zhong qing) Rd. that I hit my first bike path, which consisted of little more than bicycle markings and roughened up concrete on the sidewalk. Some shops along the way had brought their wares out onto the path as well. I quickly retreated to the safety of the street. This road is also known as the Highway 10.

I had a wonderful descent into Ching Shui, a little town on the coastal plain, where the market was really too full of people to safely ride and take pictures. I didn't know how much longer I had on my leg, so I got moving south on Chung Shan (Zhong Shan) Rd. This makes for a nice alternative to the busy Highway 1 and it was on this stretch I was able to ride at my normal pace. After massaging my injured leg for so long, I could feel how much tighter my uninjured leg had become. Note to self: Achieve Balance.

Chung Shan (Zhong Shan) Rd. hooks back up with the Highway 1 in Long Jing near the base of Dadu Shan, where I met up with another bike path. Finally, I could hit the cobbles.

It was a raised pedestrian and bicycle path, which often means trouble, as we see above with a woman preparing to dry her garlic on the path. The rough brick is less than ideal for biking, but not too rough.

I stopped for a stretch and took in Changhua's bicycle infrastructure.

There are several spurs that break off from the main trail and go on up to the Zhushan-Nanliao Old Road, in which cyclists can chug up the hill to a dead end, where they can walk along an old rail line. Unfortunately, I didn't see any place to lock a bike. I returned to the Highway 1 and plugged along through Dadu. It was not long after this that my leg started to get sore. I was sure not to torque on it too hard and gingerly made my way home.

Unlike earlier rehabilitation rides, I was able to walk up the stairs to my house without any pain. A few minutes of stretching and 20 min. of ice, and I felt great.

Better, but not perfect.

The whole ride was about 40 miles, which I completed in a humbling 4 hours. Sometimes it takes a little discipline to hold back when you need to. I will keep working on this.

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