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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Taichung to Lugu (140k)

Sunday seemed like a good day for a ride. Still no word on my camera, so I am stuck with these awful Nokia images.

My plan was pretty simple. I need to put some miles in the legs and I need to build back into climbing.

The best way to do that from Taichung seemed like a little trip up to the tea farming areas around Lugu. Aside from the workout, I felt like getting up there to take a look at the Spring harvest. The Spring teas should be ready by the end of May and many of the lower elevation teas are already being rolled.

I love spinning along through some of the small villages in the area when the air is filled with the smell of freshly processed tea.

I had the most inauspicious start to my ride with a piece of tissue paper flying up off the road and into my rear derailleur. After picking the pieces out and getting things back to normal, I sluggishly took the Highway 3 out of Taichung toward Nantou.

Just between Nantou city and Mingjian I came upon the scene of an ambulance carting off a fellow rider. He seemed pretty banged up, but not in serious condition. His teammates ambled idly by over the demolished Bianchi frame, which sat in three pieces, held together by the brake cables.

It appears he may have swerved into the path of a passing scooter.

I normally don't take pictures of wrecks, but I thought I would just post a reminder that this could be any one of us on any given ride. Ride safe and be careful.

I took the bridge at Jiji over the river to the Nantou Route 131. This is a nicer way to bike up to Lugu. The grades are not as severe or as crowded as the larger Route 151, and there are plenty of pleasant scenic surprises.

As I reached the Route 151, I decided to simply cross the canyon to Hsiao Ban Tian, which is another tea producing area near Lugu. I really saw no point in continuing up to Sanlinxi in weather that looked just shy of rain.

I thought I would swing through Hsiao Ban Tian and see how the tea harvest a was doing. A few farmers seemed to be getting ready for the big Nantou tea competition, which is abut a month away.

The town was mostly still asleep. I continued off the hill on the exciting Route 55 and made some good time on the Highway 3 back home.

Just after Nantou, I decided to get off the three and hook up to the Highway 14 on the opposite side of the Wu River. As I exited I passed a wedding banquet that was being held in the space under the viaduct.

My legs felt pretty good all the way back and I kept the speed up so I could get home early and see my daughter.

I was home just after 1:00pm... with plenty of time for play and then a trip to Caffe Terry for a beer and the Amstel Gold Race.

Nice day!

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