Taking advantage of a fine day on the eve of Typhoon Jingmi’s arrival I decided to do some cycling on the Chingcing Bikeway [長青自行車道] along Baguashan [八卦山]. The weather was nice and cool when I set out at 6 am on Saturday. After a quick stop at Family Mart and another stop for breakfast I began my journey through Nantou City [南投市]. Along the way, a van was being overtaken by nature:
At this point, Route 139 is all up hill and provides some interesting scenery and farms along the way.
In addition to interesting there are also unusual sites along the way, like this helicopter: the latest in Taiwan’s defense package:
The area is dominated by farming, seems to be mostly tea farms and fruit farming:
Where this photo was taken is close to the exit of the Changcing Bikeway’s Challenging Line. Some cars travel very quickly along this road so care should be taken. Luckily, I saw more bicyclists than cars:
I believe I was on Route 150 at this point, Tianjhong Township [田中鎮] offers a very nice, picturesque rural landscape, however I feared being stuck cycling uphill when the midday sun hit to stop and take many pictures on this portion of the journey:
At the entrance of the Changcing Bikeway I received an odd look from a hiker for taking a picture of my bike in front of the sign:
One thing I learned very quickly is that the path is very popular amongst hikers. So if you go on a weekend, you better be sure you have a bell on your bike, also be prepared to not take the path too fast because many seniors and young children walk the path. I think I made a complete stop on no less than 6 occasions because groups of people were taking up the whole path walking past one another or simply did not [or could not] move over quickly.
I took this picture because it was the only stretch of path that was free of hikers, by the time I got my camera out someone had already walked into the frame:
The path offers a great view of the Changhua Plain [彰化平原], if you look closely here you can see a Taiwan HSR train zooming by:
After taking a couple wrong turns when the path meets up with a parking lot I finally found the next portion: the path’s Challenging Line, an uphill wonder back to Route 139:
I saw plenty of insects and birds along the way, this Graphium sarpedon connectens visited me while I was taking a break from the rigors of uphill cycling:
It was here that I made the panorama featured on yesterday’s Daily Photo:
There’s a coffee stand at the exit of the Challenging Line, I took this opportunity to rest and enjoy a Black Tea:
On the way back I hopped on the Yongsing Bike Path [永興觀光自行車道]:
It was shortly after this portion that I saw a sign which indicated that the rest was closed due to the danger posed by possible landslides, I think you can see why:
On the way off the trail I stopped at Nantou Red Soil Coffee [南投紅土咖啡]:
I chatted with the owner, Huang Long-fa [黃龍發] over tea and coffee. Like many Taiwanese, he is very friendly and generous. He has a blog, too. If you’re in the area definitely stop and see him, you’ll be glad you did.
For a map of the route I took, check it out here [note: I don’t have any GPS enabled gadgets so where I drew the Changcing Bikeway is approximate].