Today was a cloudless sunny day, but was a cool 10 degrees and colder up in the mountains. I definitely rate the route I took today as one of Taipei's best loops that is accessible to the city and boasts two decent 30 min plus climbs amidst some brilliant scenery. Part of this route was also used on the way to Yilan and coming back into Taipei with the Columbus boys - Epic Training Ride with the Columbus Team
To get there, you take Route 106, past the Taipei Zoo, out of Taipei and turn right onto the road that takes you to Shiding. When you reach Shi-ding, you take the left turn onto 47-1. You ride on a narrow road to begin with and the climb rises steeply out of Shiding for 8kms to an elevation of about 650 metres. The descent on the other side drops through tea fields and whole line of Buddhist golden statues. The road ends up in Pinglin and you now get onto Route 9 that will climb steadily for nearly 7 kms. As you leave the valley, you will have great views of the river down below and then as you climb higher you'll see layers and layers of mountains in the distance. Definitely some inspiration for photographers and artists alike.
The down-hill from Helen's Cafe at the top to Xindian provides good practice for fast twisty descending. You'll find yourself back into the thick of Taipei's traffic competing for space as you ride home - becareful! A safer alternative is to take the River Path back at the Bitan Scenic Area. Allow for about 2.5 hours for the complete circuit. The climbs are great for doing 20 minute plus hill intervals if you are looking to improve your climbing.
During the second climb, I caught up with couple of my clients who are following my training program and I slowed down to ride with them and offer some tips.
One of many tea fields during the ride