Saturday it was time for my monthly Century (100 miles) ride. Drew suggested we ride down 3 in central Taiwan and ride 149 just to see what was there. The result was a rewarding ride through the tea, coffee, and betel nut district of south-central Taiwan.
Along the way Drew took me on a nifty little diversion along 141 and 152 to Mingjian where we picked up 3 again.
Alas, it was back to dull, betel-nut-girl-and-auto-repair Rte 3 in Mingjian. Both Drew and I consider missionary proselytization a great evil, and in Mingjian we ran into a couple of Mormon missionaries spreading their centralized authority worship and securing new income streams for their organization. The encounter with that peculiarly Mormon combination of smug colonialism and arrant ignorance left an ugly taste in our mouths, but soon afterward we fell in with a group of Taiwanese guys on mountain bikes. The switch from the loony authority-worshipers to a bunch of sane, rational, good-humored intelligent Taiwan folks out for a Saturday ride was a life-affirming one, and we-renergized for the long ride home with a good-natured race down 3.
A wonderful ride! I'm a slow rider, but despite the climbs I kept up a good speed for me, averaging 20.2 kms/hr over the entire 166 kms. The entire area from 149 on south through Meishan and down to Alishan is surpassingly lovely and is highly recommended. Looking forward to spending more time there this fall, and hope to see you on the road soon!
ADDED: Drew's post on our ride.
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