Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Cycle Mountain, Cycle Sea

I'm now back from the Lunar New Year holiday, at work for the second day after an 8 day trip around Taiwan by bus and bike. It was a two part trip. The first half was spent with about 30 fellow riders from the Ironman Bike club in Ilan. For the second half, Brett "I'll have cabbage and white rice" Ratchford and I jumped off the bus to spend four days biking through the interior of Taiwan.

We started off crazy early Monday morning at the bike shop for a 300 km drive down Taiwan's east coast to Taidong. We planned to get to Taidong in the early afternoon and spend a few hours biking to our destination, but there was a hold up. Apparently there was a little 4.4 earthquake directly under us that blocked the tunnel ahead just north of Hualien. We were stranded in a tiny coastal town for about 3 hours while they fixed it up. You can see the tunnel and a few bored families in the pic above. That's our bus on the right.

An old structure on the edge of town.

Back on the road, I shot this pic shot through the bus window near the Chingshui Cliffs. Below are the train tunnels, and above the car tunnel. Like most days this time a year in the north east of Taiwan, it was cool and drizzly.

Anyway, solid traffic and the long delay meant we didn't get to our Shanzhuang until 8 in the evening. It was late, but we were happy to see the stars as the clouds broke up later that evening.

We woke up the next morning in our mountain dormitory to blue skies, a hot sun, and an amazing view. We were now south of the Tropic of Cancer and ready to ride.

More tomorrow.

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