This past Sunday was pretty much an excuse to go out and bask in the glory of Dom's new bike. We still managed to do a fair bit of riding between glamour shots, but nothing epic. Dom has been suffering some of the same IT band problems I have been struggling with, and believe you me... the last thing a fella' with a new Seven needs is to be laid up nursing injuries.
Dom, Michael Turton and I decided to ease into the riding season with 100k of Baguashan.
Aside from Dom's rolling display of welded steel pornography, the ride was a pretty uneventful affair. What really stood out were the ordinary displays of cycling life in central Taiwan.
The weather was nice, so hundreds of riders were out as individuals or with clubs.
Few seemed to be racing to win.
The best part were the numbers of families out biking.
We took a few minuted to pick up some of the water they leave out for cyclists at the Fengshan Temple above Nantou.
We descended the 139 into Nantou City. It was my first time actually taking the 139 into Nantou as I prefer the screaming descent into Songboling.
The 139 is not a technical descent by any means and the potential to hit 70kph is always there... without the headwind. It has few turns, so it is not the most challenging ride, but it is not un-fun.
We stopped for some lunch and were joined by a large family that could think of nothing better to say after an awkward introduction and meal where the foreigners were suddenly the entertainment, other than to implore us to be sure to drink water.
The wanna-be military baddasses were out in costume... says the guy in tight pants and jersey. I just wonder how many of them had deferments when it came time for conscription.
These are just some of the typical sights on a lazy Sunday over Baguashan.
- An exciting race on Ta Ta Jia (The Back of Alishan). The Changhua-based Canadian national, Fraser Young, took top honors for CCN Cycling Team. It is good to see Fraser in good form after his brief retirement. RIDEA from southern Taiwan finished with four riders in the top 10. I am also happy to see Nantou's John Tonks and Taichung's own Inigo Gisbert just edged out by William Zhuang from Primavera. Racing season in Taiwan is underway.
- The Hualien-Taidong Cycling Series is open for entry. The Taidong Government wants you to come and ride.
- A Taiwanese couple on a sponsored trip around the world will be riding the USA. Since it is America, it gives them some sort of newsworthy validation that the rest of the trip failed to garner.
- Cycleture has an interesting photo-essay on his travels around Taiwan to check out the cycling industry and culture.
- Over Taiwan's highest pass... on a folding bike. Check out Small Wheel's story and photos.
- Taiwan's Hsiao Mei-yu is back to her winning ways in El Salvador.
- Cycling I.Q. takes a deeper look into Merida's quest for glory in Le Tour.
Don't try this at home... Actually... don't try this EVER!
Brazing Hell: A look at the art of fillet brazing.