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Old 05-16-09, 01:37 PM   #1
billmagee
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Northern Tip of Taiwan - Photos



I am a 59 yo clyde living in Taiwan. Returning to cycling after 25 years. Got my bike about 3 weeks ago: Giant Yukon with disk brakes. Michelin Country Trail tires are too heavy for my needs, since I do not go off-road, but in other respects it is a sweet entry-level bike. I have been working out on my mountain since I got it.Pretty steep. Having some progress, so I went off on my first longer ride: about 24 kilometers. Here are some pictures from the northern tip of Taiwan: the stone gate is a tourist attraction. The wind farms are up on the hill. The old goat is yours truly.









Whoops. Pictures supposed to be here. Maybe you just can't link to any old web page?

Please give me some advice and I will repost them.

Cheers,
Bill

Last edited by billmagee; 05-16-09 at 02:04 PM. Reason: no pix
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Old 05-16-09, 01:41 PM   #2
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Welcome bill, glad to have you here. I can't see your pictures for some reason.
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Old 05-16-09, 01:42 PM   #3
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trying it as an attachment

Hi RoMad!

I seem unable to link to pictures on my server here in taiwan. What the heck, I will attach them here.

Cheers,
Bill
Attached Images
File Type: jpg stone_gate.jpg (52.1 KB, 57 views)
File Type: jpg north_tip.jpg (41.3 KB, 58 views)
File Type: jpg windmill.jpg (42.4 KB, 50 views)
File Type: jpg cyclist.jpg (5.3 KB, 176 views)
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Old 05-16-09, 01:46 PM   #4
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Send the pics as an attachment- this can be done from the page you post on.

Giant Yukon-- My mate nearly got one a couple of weeks ago but went for the Terrago instead. So far he is happy but as he is a Clydesdale- he got a better spec wheel built up. He is over 100kgs and only rides offroad.---Reason for the new bike? He broke the frame of his Giant Boulder after 9 years of enjoyment on it.

So good choice on the bike.
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Old 05-16-09, 01:53 PM   #5
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Thanks stapfam, I really love this bike.

The attachments worked. Cheers!

ps Been wondering whether to post here or over in clydes. I figured, one day I will no longer be a clyde, but I will be over 50 as long as I can ride.

So I will post pics here from my rides around this beautiful island

All the best,
Bill
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Old 05-18-09, 07:05 AM   #6
Ken Brown
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A way to post photos is to join a site such as Photobucket, which is free. Upload your photos to Photobucket then link to your posting.
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Old 05-18-09, 11:20 AM   #7
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Hello Bill. I'm glad you posted.

Great pics and nice bike. I'll be looking foreward to more ride reports.
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Old 05-18-09, 03:44 PM   #8
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Brings back memories. We used to live in taiwan. My son and I rode down the east coast all the way to Kenting. It is still one of my favorite bike memories.

Thanks for posting.
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Old 05-19-09, 02:03 AM   #9
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Thanks guys. I will join photobucket. It is raining now or I would be out with my camera. There is a weird seaside place called Yeliou with bizarre mushroom-like stone formations. I will ride there when the weather lets up.

Jandnvh, don't you miss this country? It is so great for cycling.

Cheers,
Bill
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Old 05-21-09, 11:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billmagee View Post
Thanks guys. I will join photobucket. It is raining now or I would be out with my camera. There is a weird seaside place called Yeliou with bizarre mushroom-like stone formations. I will ride there when the weather lets up.

Jandnvh, don't you miss this country? It is so great for cycling.

Cheers,
Bill
I am curious about your choice of bike. The vast majority of Taiwanese that ride have ATB-type bikes but never get anywhere near being offroad. They seem to be spooked by 2 things:
  • They think road bikes get a lot of punctures
  • They think that if your bike has drop handlebars that you have to ride in the drops
However, neither is true. If you are a little thoughtful about watching chuck holes and keep the tires inflated properly, that will kill the majority of reasons for flats. For the second, people don't realize that the top of bar hand position for drop bars is often about the same height as flat bars. Plus, you get 3 to 4 positions with drop bars as opposed to 1 for flat bars.

To my way of thinking, the only advantage between the 2 kinds of bikes is the gearing. Even an average ATB has very low gears for climbing hills, then again I've seen a lot of people (who ride for transportation) walk the bike up relatively low slopes.

One thing is for sure: this is a great time to be biking in Taiwan. The industry and the government are trying to get more of the populace out riding. A friend who runs a mid to high end bike shop in Taichung (~1,000,000 population) told me that 500 new shops opened on the island in 2007. When I first met him in 2005, his place was the ONLY mid to high end store (selling DeRosa, Pinarello, Bianchi, Cinelli and Colnago) in Taichung. When I left 3 months ago, there were 4 or 5.
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Old 05-21-09, 02:13 PM   #11
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Thanks for posting. I love the seaside pictures! More pics of Taiwan would be welcome anytime!
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Old 05-21-09, 11:50 PM   #12
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Hi Flatlander.

You are right. I got the Yukon because of its wide gear range and strong wheels. But now that I am riding up this mountain every day, I see that I need drop bars and a lighter bike (low gears a must for now)

But the Yukon is so cheap here, that in the Fall when I return from vacation in the states, I can afford to buy a somewhat better road machine.

Two pictures from the Jinshan harbor. Those are Squid boats behind my bike.

Cheers,
Bill
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Old 05-22-09, 01:40 AM   #13
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Hi Flatlander

Just notice you're from Elmira,N.Y. I used to know a lot of people who worked for a machine tool company there
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Old 05-22-09, 04:49 AM   #14
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Here is a trial link to photobucket:

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Old 05-22-09, 04:55 AM   #15
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Great, that worked. here are a few more shots of my daily ride from the mountain to the ocean and back up to the mountain:

This "road" goes between 2 rice paddies. Notice my mountain in the distance:



The harbor at Jinshan:



The ocean and the mountains to the south of where I live:



A nice little Taoist temple half-way back up:



Beyond this gate it gets steep:

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Old 05-22-09, 08:33 PM   #16
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Hi Flatlander

Just notice you're from Elmira,N.Y. I used to know a lot of people who worked for a machine tool company there
I assume you mean Hardinge Brothers? And actually I don't live in Elmira, only near it...
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Old 05-23-09, 06:12 AM   #17
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You can try a pair of these. Kenda Kozmic Light II. In the 26x175 size they weigh 375 grams and will liven up your bike dramatically. Minimal tread and the ability to operate at slightly higher pressures. Good on pavement and still good on light cross country.
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Old 05-23-09, 02:40 PM   #18
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Thanks Maddmaxx. I will see if I can order a set from my LBS.
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Old 05-23-09, 04:57 PM   #19
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Thanks Maddmaxx. I will see if I can order a set from my LBS.
I wonder if you even need a tire with as much of an offroad tread pattern as the ones maddmaxx suggested. If you are only riding on roads, why not go for something with smooth tread like a road tire? The best tires for pavement have smooth surfaces with little or no tread. Knobs offer less traction than slicks on smooth pavement. For dirt roads, a little tread helps, but you don't need much.
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Old 05-23-09, 07:44 PM   #20
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I wonder if you even need a tire with as much of an offroad tread pattern as the ones maddmaxx suggested. If you are only riding on roads, why not go for something with smooth tread like a road tire? The best tires for pavement have smooth surfaces with little or no tread. Knobs offer less traction than slicks on smooth pavement. For dirt roads, a little tread helps, but you don't need much.
The Kenda tread is reasonably minimal but the real advantage is the weight. They are silly light for MTB tires and make an MTB feel sort of like a roadie.

Blues Dawg is right about riding just on asphault though. There are several good smooth tires out there that are similar to big fat road tires.
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Old 05-23-09, 09:09 PM   #21
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Went offroad

Well, I thought I was not going to riding totally offroad, but today they opened up the mountain above my place (closed due to construction previously) and I found myself offroad on some very broken ground. Those paths are abandoned roads and the concrete is all busted up with pieces tilted at angles. So now I am thinking 90% smooth road 10% ancient road gone to weeds and ruination.

Some pictures of today's ride, once around the ridge of Dharma Drum Mountain (about 300 meters), down into Jinshan at sea level (for some tasty Taiwan breakfast) then back up to my place.

Picture: me and the Yukon posing for an artsy-fartsy shot.



Some suspicious water buffalo. Notice the Mama has an egret on her back.



Down at sea-level by the canal:



Another shot of that canal but from higher up, where it is more of a mountain stream.



Here you can see the main college buildings and the road I climb every day.

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Old 05-24-09, 04:56 AM   #22
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I see what you mean about the serious hill climbing where you ride. Not the Alps, but up and down everywhere. Very pretty, keep those pictures coming.
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Old 05-24-09, 07:22 PM   #23
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I will definitely keep the pictures coming. Thanks for your encouragement.

I am interested in determining how high this mountain is and how steep the various stretches of rode might be. How does a person go about gauging that? No one who lives here seems to know for sure.

[EDIT: Chuckb provides the answer to this in his Mountains of Misery thread: a GPS.]

Cheers,
Bill

Last edited by billmagee; 05-25-09 at 02:32 PM.
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Old 05-25-09, 05:26 PM   #24
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May 26 - morning ride

When I can, I extend my morning ride to about an hour and a half. If I am rushed for time I just head down the hill and climb back up: 22 minutes personal record.

This morning I had time so I took the Olympus digital 600 and returned with a few good shots:

Here is a small road leading to a notch in the mountains:



A zoom on that nice house. Next time I will ride out there:



This is a statue of Guanyin in the back yard of a friend's house. In the distance is Yangmin Shan. On the other side of Yangmin Shan is Taipei. One day I will climb it.



And here is my ride. Going on one month now, totally trouble-free. Giant has done a fine job will this entry-level MTB.

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Old 05-28-09, 01:59 AM   #25
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Heading up Yangmin Mountain

Behind my area is a mountain range topping out at 1000 meters. Some day I want to ride over it into Taipei, but I ain't ready to do it today. I got a few miles up the lower hills though. here are some pics from the ride.



This dog peed my wheel!



I cycled past a group of Taoist immortals.



The Chinese says something like, "This is a nice mountain, enjoy the views."

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