Sunday, January 06, 2013

Taichung 46

Gorgeous day yesterday, so I headed for the Taichung 46, a magnificent little loop south and east of Dongshih, right off the 8. Accessible, lovely, and a great workout, I highly recommend this road (map link for map above). Click on READ MORE to see more.

The weather soon cleared. Under blue skies, we ran into a couple of local riders at a 7-11 on the way and they decided to come with us. We had a great time riding the loop together.

The opening section is quite easy. The road runs into a river valley. Very relaxing.

Up you rise through the area's numerous orchards.

The government has set up tourist-style maps and road indicators, but we saw only local farm traffic, and precious little of that. Past this point, the road becomes much steeper, a series of 12-20% grades.

The brutal final grade, front-wheels-off-the-ground steep. After this you still climb, but up more reasonable 8-10% grades.

Steve takes a break after a nasty incline.

The road flattens out in places....

...yielding excellent views over the river to Hsinshe.

Taking a break for photo ops and cigarettes.

Still more climbing awaits.

The summit is in the trees just before this collection of buildings. The road goes downhill slightly and then cross the ridgeline.

We took a break above the last series of switchbacks near the summit.

Steve got a pinch flat.

The view just before you cross the ridge....

The view just after you cross the ridge.... this looks northwest over Dongshih to Miaoli.

Hsiakeng Hsiang, marked on the map as a serious road, is completely unmarked at the top. Unless you know what it looks like, you'll never find it. Here is a picture of Taichung 46 on the right with Steve heading up Hsiakeng Hsiang on the left. This is looking back the way we came. It looks like nothing, but it is the main thorofare along the river here.

A brutally steep set of downhill inclines opened the route. The edges were slick with moss. The grades were easily 25-30%. Our hands ached from braking, and I ended up walking a couple of inclines where it seemed like one twitch would put us over the edge.

Letting our overheated rims and sore hands take a rest.

Eventually the bumpy brutal concrete becomes smoother, flatter tarmac.

Hsiakeng Alley comes out on Dongkeng road, the road out of Dongshih up to Dahsuehshan, and returns to Dongshih. Gorgeous day.

Highly recommended. A great workout with climbs up to nearly 1000 meters, but lets you get back to Dongshih by lunchtime. Excellent views. Just be careful on the brutal downhill inclines on Hsiakeng Hsiang.

Hope to see you on the next ride!

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Michael Fahey said...

That looks really good. I wonder whether it would be possible to connect to that ride coming out of the Daan river.

Our ride today was a bit cold and cloudy but mercifully no rain. We ended up not riding on the Luoma Highway because we were a little slow and had two flats and a broken chain to deal with on the way.

Here's the route

Michael Turton said...

Nice route. NExt summer... we need to write that book.

There are all kinds of roads that connect through the hills there. Shouldn't be a problem.