Saturday, October 15, 2011

Miaoli 130 Redux

I haven't been out riding much recently, just too busy. After my last ride I was worried that the light riding I'd been doing all summer had reduced my endurance, so I decided to test myself on my favorite of my habitual local routes: Miaoli 130 over Yundong Shan. Cloudy day, drizzling when I left. Good day for a ride, I thought.

The bike gods cleared the way and I soon found myself in Miaoli peering out over Liyu Reservoir with good weather.

...but ahead, fog was blanketing the mountains.

I stopped at my favorite shop where I turn off 3 to take 130 over the mountain to slam a Supau and listen to the old ladies talk.

The it was up 130, where fog filled the valleys and wound around the peaks.

There's always a handsome lad waiting to meet you on the road.

At the top, lunch was tomatoes and tofu, a cup of tea....and fog.

Then it was downhill on slick roads, in the fog, in the rain, in high winds. Not fun.

At the bottom, I climbed above the broken railroad viaduct, a minor but popular historic site, to get a shot. Down in clear weather the tourists were congregating for the usual shots. From here they often hike back to Shenghsing Station, a kitsch historic spot overrun by the pleasure-seeking hordes. Avoid like plague on the weekends.

On the other side of the valley the other end of the viaduct quietly rots, but there's a pretty little path to it.

By the river north of Houli, all was light and fog. Here the mountain line crosses the valley on the viaduct in the distance.

Don't your knees hurt when you ride? I asked her. Yes! She replied. A lot! And so she got The Road Bike Lecture with a bonus Your Seat is Too Low lecture. She scowled at me, saying: my brother says the same thing.

The cement factory looks almost pleasant in this shot. After 90 kms of lovely mountain roads with 1100 meters of climbing, I felt pleasant as well. I've got a map of a number of my favorite local loops; this one is the light blue one.
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! Delenda est, baby.


Anonymous said...

I have a "micro business management" classmate that lives in those neck of the woods, she drives through those roads like a racer; none of us guys could stick with her in those hilly roads.

It's amazing how you catch those little critters on the rides Michael


ALX said...

How awesome is Supau? I love that stuff!

Jane said...

Great photos! I love the fog - and the snowless winters of Taiwan!

Anonymous said...

Have you given up your atheist beliefs in favor of the bike gods?

Michael Turton said...

The bike gods have convinced me of their reality by their constant intervention in my life.

Anonymous said...

Why do lots of women have their seats too low? Most likely women like to be able to put their feet on the ground while seated.


Gilman Grundy said...

Sweet memories of my time in Miaoli, I used to take my bike up on the highways and byways above the city to the west, and then down to the beach at Houlong and back. Up to the reservoir to the east and back was another good ride. Happy times, if I could return to live there and do anything other than teaching English, it would be hard to say no.