body{background-attachment: fixed ! important; }

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Back Roads: Nantou San Ceng Lane to Nantou Lane 12...I Think


The hills of Nantou are alive with the sound of cyclists screaming down gnarly grades and I wanted to get in on the action. The area around Jiufen Er Shan is covered with small lanes and farming roads that can lead to euphoric adventures or a long day of grumbling in the saddle over humidity and climbs to no betel nut farm in particular.


I chose San Ceng Lane (三層巷) to climb and then I thought I could explore the neighborhood or loop on to the Caotun side of the mountain and coast back on Nantou Route 14 a.k.a. Gukeng Ln. (股坑巷).


A funny thing happened as I followed a tourist trap to the God Tree of Ping Ding (坪頂神木). I sat around with no real inspiration and then got bored and left. I was slow rolling down and passed a small road that disappeared from my periphery in a flash. Inspiration had suddenly struck and I was soon climbing back to the little road. It had a white sign that I think was marked the "12", but I can't recall. It all happened so fast.

IMG_4272 IMG_4281

Soon  I was surfing some of the finest switchbacks in Nantou. I am not sure what the map shows, but this thing is nasty. A pretty road with some flowers and okay pavement... but NASTY!

IMG_4284 IMG_4287
Eventually the road settles down into some smooth, shaded one-vehicle paths that are alive with the chirping of insects and the clatter of birds in the trees. It was all quite serene.

IMG_4291 IMG_4305

Eventually the road glides into some pretty agricultural area of the kind that is disappearing from Taiwan all too quickly.

This is definitely a road I would like to try biking in the opposite direction after a dry spell.
It just looked painfully delicious going down.