Monday, October 30, 2017

The wonderful Hsinchu 37 out of Beipu

A horse passed us as we left Zhuzhong Station

I didn't ride Saturday since my bike was still en route from Taitung, but on Sunday a group of us met up at Zhuzhong Station in Hsinchu. We mapped the ride on the fly, and Drew suggested we do the Hsinchu 37 from Beipu to Nanzhuang. What a great route... take a look by clicking on READ MORE... (and click on Andrew K's lovely post on this ride)

ROUTE NOTES: The wind makes a huge difference on this route. We did it north to south since at this time of year the wind blows from north to south. From Zhuzhong find Kehu Road and follow that south to Shuixian Road and thence to Beipu. The signage is non-existent or confusing, so frequent GPS/Google checks will be helpful. In at least one place the sign had been struck by a vehicle and was pointing in the wrong direction. From Beipu go through town til you hit the 37/Dalin Road. Dalin Road is of course unmarked, but there is a Chunghua Telecom on the corner. On Dalin/Daping Roads the inclines are very steep but also very short. The road takes you up through cedar forests, farms, and bed and breakfasts along the ridge, with excellent views. Well worth the effort. It brings you back down to the Miaoli 21 approximately 5 kms from Nanzhuang, where there are plenty of places to eat. Bring water and snacks as none are available on that road.

We've done this area before, and vowed not to get lost this time. Fortunately we had five guys to check maps, and did not get lost. The roads dip along the ridgelines, offering excellent views. There are a couple of long climbs, but only one was seriously bad.

The occupant of this old tomb is described as "a man of the land" (之地的人), suggesting he might have been aboriginal in origin.

Resting before the first long climb at the turn to Beipu. There are two climbs before you reach the town...

A couple poses before a locally famed statue of twins.

The twins.

Enjoying a well-deserved descent.

In Beipu. Don't take the road with the red bridge there because (1) it isn't the Hsinchu 37 and (2) Drew and I are saving it for another ride, okay?

The intersection of Dalin Road and Beipu Street. No road sign for Dalin Road, either by name or number (Zhu 37). Streets in Taiwan are signed on a need to know basis. If you don't already know, you don't need to know it.

On the 37 out of Beipu we found this shrine to a female deity apparently associated with this grotto.

"Honey, I told you we needed to de-claw the cat."

After turning onto Daping Road (still Zhu 37), this is what you will see. It soon narrows to a single lane paved road under the ridge.

It was like this most of the way.

Hard to say for sure, but it seemed likely that the cedars were planted by the Japanese after they had logged out the area. The views were unusual, to say the least, as we rose into the cedar forest.

Several of us remarked on how strange (in a good way) the ride was, through different forest environments.

Here is the peak, marked by Buddhist swatstikas

Dom was lovin' it.

Miaoli is Taiwan's great hidden secret.

At Nanzhuang we split. Two of us went back to Zhunan to take the train home, while three sped over the 124 back to the 3 and home. Being slow and not wanting to hold them back, I went to Zhunan and the train.

We took the Miaoli 5 past the Yunghoshan Reservoir, pretty in the afternoon sunlight.

Lovely ride, about 80 kms in all for me, with over 1100 meters of climbing. Hope to see you on the next one....

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