Monday, December 24, 2012

LCSG Taiwan Cycling 2012: Day 1 & 2

Some of us at LCSG had the chance to cycle in Taiwan recently. Led by George aka "Encik" or "Commander", we had a really unique cycling experience that cannot be found outside of Taiwan.

For this trip, the logistics were rather challenging as we planned to cycle at different parts of Taiwan, without lugging along all our baggage. This meant support vehicles such as a lorry to transport our baggage and vans to transport the people around.

Another unique arrangement that we have is that some of the riders even brought their families along! This includes the wives and kids, who are mostly non cyclists. This is actually a good idea as the whole family gets to tour Taiwan, while still allowing the riders to cycle and explore the different parts of Taiwan. Again, more tricky logistics as the wives and kids have a different itinerary from the cyclists. Without George's experience and contacts to plan these, this trip would not have been possible.

Day 1: Taoyuan Airport to Sun Moon Lake

Traveling by van from Taoyuan Airport to Sun Moon Lake.

A total of 21 of us left Taoyuan on a Saturday morning. This includes all the riders plus the non-cycling wives and kids. There are 14 riders and 7 non-riders. A total of 3 vans and 1 lorry were used to transport everyone around Taiwan. If we include all the drivers and the tour guide, it means a total entourage size of 26 people!

The photos below are only from my own camera, there are many more nice shots from others' cameras!

Taiwoon's account of Day 1

Our super local tour guide 国哥 on the left, Encik George in the middle

Me and Bernice's bikes loaded onto the lorry! Dahon Boardwalk and Vitesse

George being super popular with the kids!

Along the way to Sun Moon Lake, we stopped at a local wine brewery and also at a beef noodle stall for lunch.

Some exhibits at the wine brewery

Mouthwatering food! No lack of great food in Taiwan

We arrived at Sun Moon Lake late in the afternoon, and it was drizzling. At that time, I had a fever and did not seem to be able to join in for the Sun Moon Lake ride the next day. As such, I did not unpack my bike from the bike box. Meanwhile, the others unpacked their bikes enthusiastically and rode around the carpark to test their bicycles.

The next morning, the rest of the riders went for a short ride along the perimeter of Sun Moon Lake. Due to the perpetual drizzle, the ground was wet and it was not really safe to cycle on the slippery ground. Therefore, they only went for a short tour and were back before noon. Meanwhile, I took a short walk and went to the shore.

 The planned route around Sun Moon Lake. Actual cycling distance was much less.

Some beautiful shots of Sun Moon Lake

There is a rather big Giant (捷安特) bike shop at Sun Moon Lake. We thus decided to visit this bike shop before leaving for our next destination.

 Bright and spacious interior

 Lots of cycling apparel!

Well stocked shelves

Special V brake shoes with anti brake locking feature

Want to rent an XTR bike?

 Or you can try out a Dura-Ace equipped bike

Some bike rental prices. Check out how good the rental bikes are!

Day 2: Sun Moon Lake to Kenting (垦丁)

We left the Sun Moon Lake area in the early afternoon, and traveled by van to the southern part of Taiwan.

Taiwoon's account of Day 2

Taking the van from Sun Moon Lake to Kenting

More beef noodles for everyone! 
 Famous and delicious Tao Suan

 We will never pass up a chance to visit a bike shop!

Chain lube in a special travel pack. Each tube is only as thick as my finger!

We reached Kenting in the evening. As the sun sets rather early (4+ PM) in the winter, the sky gets completely dark by 5 plus. We brought our bikes up to the hotel rooms and went for a walk at the night market.

 Bustling night life! Strong winds at Kenting too.

Eating ice cream even though it is cold and windy?

 Marcus: So many, how to choose?

Gigantic corn dog!

After that, I went back to the hotel room and unpacked both our Dahon bikes. We are getting ready for the ride the next day!

Day 3 here 

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