Tuesday, April 28, 2009

East Coast Bike Trip: Day 3

Dulan town early in the morning.

Jeff and I explored the factory the next morning while Michael and Huiling loaded up on coffee. It was only after a couple of days of riding with them that I realized that neither depth of experience nor quality of equipment was the source of their amazing biking accomplishments, but rather, a copious supply of coffee was their secret.

Plenty of equipment remained in the factory. I found it amazing that so much metal was never pillaged.

What was the purpose of this machine?

Vats for making molasses?

In Dulan, the shopping begins early.

In the morning we set off, not for Taitung city, whose border was only a few kilometers down Highway 11, but for some neolithic tombs a couple of kms away. Up a hill.

Huiling inspects a sarcophagus.

Hanging out near the site, just as her ancestors did centuries ago, was this lovely spider and her kids.

Right next to the archaeological site is a marker proclaiming the Amis popped out of the earth at this spot.

We also found this beetle clambering over the gravel.

The great bay on the way to Taitung.

Fishing in the morning off a rock far out in the bay.

The goal is attained.

Taitung town. We lunched, and then biked out to the train station, which, relative to Taitung city proper, is located in another time zone. At the station I gave my crappy bike to the first person I spoke to, and resolved to purchase a new one the next day.

The train carried us back to Taipei down the Rift Valley, surely one of the beautiful places of the world. I plotted bicycle rides with Michael, Jeff, and Huiling as the kilometers rolled by into the night.

The next day I stopped by the Giant shop in my neighborhood and picked up a 10kg, 27 gear bike made for long trips and happy memories (a Flight M1). Giant is having a 10% off sale even as we speak, so if you want to get that lard off your butt, get your butt down to Giant to purchase one of their world-renowned, locally made bikes. Maybe we'll meet on the road somewhere....

Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums!


Todd said...

Congratulations Michael! Looks like you all had a great time! Let me know next time you go out riding!

David said...

Great photos and very nice new bike! It's red so it should be much faster than the old one.

HeiShouDang 黑手黨 said...

Great photos. Just wish I could have joined you.
By the way, now you have joined the cycling 21st century, be careful not to leave your new bike anywhere it can attract the attention of the nation's numerous steal-to-order bike thieves.
Or it will be gone in a flash.

durbanbay said...

Looks like a great ride Michael. I am jealous. Would love to find a few days to do the same. Congrats on getting there. It seemed like you guys had fun and the pics showed how beautiful it must have been.

Just replaced my stolen bike with a Giant Yukon mountain bike and I am looking forward to some longer rides..

竹板凳 said...

that looks like a wonderful trip, eventhough it rained a bit in the first day. The rest must be comfortable with those clouds as shades.

You take some amazing photos of insects, I have never seen the orange beetle.

MiguelNunes said...

Nice pictures Mike....

I almost did the same before Lunar New Year, but my bike was easier to ride (Festiva brand....)

If you ever want to come (with family) to this part of Taiwan (Yilan that is), just let me know...

Jeremy said...

Great pics, actually I did the same trip but started on the Friday which was very hot. We stayed in a guest house shaped like a ship at Bagelang on the Taidung border. We got to Dulan on Saturday afternoon. Took a rest on Sunday and rode to Taidung station on the monday morning. Fantastic weekend.

comprock said...

An awesome looking ride Michael. Congratulations to you and the trio for making it.

What Giant bike did you get? I'm looking at the Iguana with street slicks for local riding. What accessories on the tops you'd recommend?

Michael Turton said...

Comprock, I bought a $16,800 Flight M1, 10.2 kilo, 27 gears, alloy bike. Regular, not disc brakes, since I can fix the former on the road, but not the latter. Iguana is great too, but my overriding concern was weight. I would buy lights, a front pack for the camera, a holder for water bottles, and a rear rack for clothing and other stuff. Go here for the specs/view:

Fili said...


I'm so jealous :$

reeb said...

Very cool and thanks for sharing your adventures.

I took the same route a couple of years ago on a scooter. The thing that stood out the most to me was the contrast in colors ~ The bluest sky, the greenest rice plants, the most crystal clear turquoise blue water, and the dark green mountains.

The Tropic of Cancer sign was spelled correctly when I was there. It must have been taken out by a typhoon hit or something.

Regarding that new Taiwan Malt beer, is it that bad? (the name alone is kind of goofy - Mine Beer?) Well, at least it doesn't have mushrooms or tea in it. I may give it a try. The last time I had Malt Liquor was in the Philippines where Colt45 is big for some weird reason.

Btw, I read a lesser known slogan from Deng Xiaoping that goes something like:

"It doesn't matter is beer is dark or light, as long as it gets you drunk

Geoff said...

Your calf muscles must be a quite formidable size Michael. I am envious of your trip and the fantastic photos which were so nostalgic. I hope soon to go there again. I was a little disappointed that there was not a picture of the bridge at Sanshiantai (where I proposed to my wife) and of Joki, that fantastic art gallery/ coffee shop where they make the stone and copper sculptures. Cheers, Geoff.

Melody said...

Wow Michael,
You really did it!!
Amazing! These pictures are so pretty.
I also believe you had a great time there.
Hopefully, I will have the chance to bike with you!!!
You know...I'm just kidding~~haha
I'm old! >"<

MJ Klein said...

Michael, job well done on that excellent fitness goal. you got yourself a nice new bicycle there. i have a 5 year old Giant Yukon that just keeps going strong. Taiwan made Giant bikes just cannot be beat. these days i'm rubbing 3 wheels, not 3 and loving every minute. we'll have to haul our bikes up to Yong An sometime.

Michael said...

Great photos and story! I'm hoping to do the same ride after I finish my finals. Looks fantastic.