Liu Family Shrine
After two weeks off the bike, I met up with Michael Turton for a looper around the Tri Mountain Area of Bagua, Hu, and Xiang mountains in Changhua County. They're really more like various parts of one really long hill, but it makes for a nice day of pedaling.
I have spent a lot of time over the past several weeks preparing for the Wuling Challenge, so now that that is over, it was just nice to have a lazier day in the saddle to poke around and find things. The purpose of this ride was more historical than fitness oriented.
We headed out down the ugly part of Highway 3 into Mingjian, where we hooked right toward the town of Ershui. The roads on that end are absolutely wonderful. Lots of fruit farms and treelined lanes.
I was interested to make it back to Ershui as I am interested in its history as an indigenous "refuge" village, where the people of Davale (Beinan) would withdraw to in times of war or during headhunting season.
On this occasion I think I may have better located the former bamboo palisade. There are numerous other clues around if one just takes the time to look for them.
We continued along the Route 137 at the base of the hill and stopped to check out the Liu family compound.
There are still several fine examples of mid and late Qing architecture and artwork.
Although the family shrine has been "restored", a few things remain from earlier days when this large Hakka family was trying its best to eke out a living and negotiate with other local power brokers.
There are still Liu family members living in the compound, but mainly from older generations.
We failed to find one of the old kilns near Huatan, but it was a good ride nonetheless despite the steady headwind from all sides.
We headed back to Taichung, but not before witnessing another amazing display of thinly veiled innuendo.
On my way back I ran into a rider named Paul on his classic Colnago Conic. What a beautiful looking bike. We rode a couple kilometers together to shoot the shit about bikes before I was off for home.
It was just a real nice day for riding despite the heat.