Fisherman cluster in front of a water gate above Dongshih on the river.
There are two rides I do just for the workout, the 125 km run down to the Chiayi HSR station, and the 115 km climb and return to Guguan. Today I wanted to do it to test my healing leg (verdict: leg is good). The Guguan ride is pretty enough, but the traffic makes it painful. Today we found an alternative that saves much pain. Click READ MORE for the story...
Google map link) you cross a suspension bridge (star) and then ride through the aboriginal village. In the rear of the village there's a small black tarmac road that takes you in miniature roller coaster style to the dam. At the dam pick up the flat road that runs down the center of the riverbed. Don't believe Google maps -- look at the satellite pictures. It goes all the way to Dongshih, 17 kms, downward with one tiny incline, and completely flat. The surface is awful in places, heavily cratered, with long stretches of hardpack gravel, and irruptions of bad concrete -- be sure you have good tires and spare tubes -- but it's easy, mostly decently paved, and avoids the traffic on the 8. Bring plenty of water as there is no place to stop. You experience the valley in a new way on that road, which is always nice.
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