Taiwan is rapidly becoming known as “The Island of Bikes”. The mountainous island has plenty of diversity in roads to offer and has been producing world famous bikes (eg. Giant) for a long time. Giant is the biggest bike manufacturer in the world based on revenue. During the past decade the attitude towards cycling next to only producing bikes has changed. What can this country offer to cyclists? In this guide you’ll find all information required to make most out of your cycling trip in or even around Taiwan.
After the long and wet rides of the previous days, we had to be compensated. Day 7 surely was breathtaking. The last three days of the trip were taking place on the East Coast, slowly rolling back up north into Taipei fighting rain and headwinds. Luckily there was always the #snackvan to cheer everyone up!
Day 4 would take us from Chiayi to the city of Kaohsiung. A scheduled 117km route would make it the longest ride of the trip. When we woke up at 05:45 it was already 25 degrees Celsius outside so that was a first sign of a long and hot day on the saddle. We raided the extensive breakfast buffet again knowing that we would need some energy today.
As I always do at the beginning of the winter season, I went away for a few days of cycling in a warmer country then the Netherlands. I do not mind a bit of rain and cold, but going to Mallorca or Tenerife to finish the year is preferred more. This time no Spanish, since I was invited to ride around Taiwan! An amazing opportunity that turned out to be one of the most memorable rides I had in the past few years. I even slept in hotels the whole trip…
Completely done with the rainy weather in the Netherlands I booked a last minute trip to Mallorca in a quest for some climb training and some sun to keep my training spirit as high as possible. Mallorcan roads are well maintained, cyclist are really welcome and I really enjoyed it last year. My flights to Mallorca where horror, my first flight to Madrid was delayed so I missed my connection. The next available flight had a situation with a broken plane at the gate so on the end I spend 6 additional hot hours at Madrid Airport in the worst lounge I’ve ever seen. Crappy wifi and the food & coffee were even worse. To make it even more fun, my throat got sore and I was not feeling particular well.
Once I made my decision about the new bike I would be buying, I made the agreement to save shipping costs and meet the people that build the bike by picking it up myself. That also meant I wouldn’t order a bike in the United States 🙂 The choice was finally made and I scheduled my trip from Brighton to Utrecht: the original route would take me across 480km of unexplored roads along the coast lines of the England, France and Belgium.
Friday, 19th of February: at 06:00 I woke up to take the train to Schiphol. Unfortunately the only flight that was reasonable priced and scheduled was a flight with Easyjet. As you can expect, things went bad. My flight was delayed 1,5 hour, the crew was wining about my helmet that was attached to my small backpack while I paid for additional luggage already. No flying with Easyjet again for me this year, I’ll work a few additional hours to pay for a decent experience.
Continue reading Trip report: Brighton (UK) – Breskens (NL) – 325km
After spending a week in Mallorca earlier this year, I was curious about Tenerife from a cycling perspective. Pro riders from Team Sky and our own Dutch hero’s Kelderman and Kruijswijk seem to enjoy the island and the weather (almost no seasonal influence) so I booked myself a nice apartment in the small fishers village El Medano in the southern part of the island. Had two great flights (via Madrid) with Air Europa in business class and after picking up my rental car at the Tenerife North Airport it was an easy 45 minute drive to the southern part of the island via the TF1 highway. Clearly this highway was not suitable for cyclists and I got to learn that later on during the week again…