Saturday Cycling – Jiufen Ershan

Sign
After months of waiting, the time had finally come for another attempt up Jiufen Ershan [九份二山].  My last attempt in May ended in failure when I turned around after it started raining.  This time the weather called for sunny skies.  I also took a different direction up also this time, taking a road from Qingshui Village [清水村] up rather than Hexing [和興].

This stretch of road is one of my favorite views on a couple different routes I frequent.  All these banners must mean there’s an election coming up soon.  Thanks for ruining the view!Elections coming up
I’ve gone through this stretch of town several times.  Teenagers on bikes will occasionally initiate impromptu races with cyclists when they see them coming.
Fork in the Road
The very colorful Xinfo Temple [心佛寺]:
Temple
Now the real climbing begins.  These traffic mirrors will come in handy on the way down.
Mirror Mirror
The way up was mostly farms.  I didn’t see a single cyclist outside of central Qingshui Village.  I was beginning to worry that I may have taken a wrong turn somewhere.  Luckily, after about an hour of cycling in the mountains I saw a sign pointing me in the right direction.  After that the signs became more frequent.
Going up
With a vertical climb of 1040 meters, this ride was my most challenging climb yet.  Thankfully, many residents gave me encouraging words on my ascent.
Going up
At 1:47 am on September 21, 1999, a powerful 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck central Taiwan.  Jiufen Ershan was just one of many areas that were reshaped by the 921 Earthquake [九二一大地震].

The earthquake caused a massive landslide on Kandou Mountain [(崁斗山) pictured below].  The landslide area was about 102.5 hectares and the volume of the landslide deposit was estimated over 30 million cubic meters.  The landslide blocked the Jiucaihu River [韭菜湖溪] and the Sezaikeng River [澀仔坑溪], forming two landslide lakes.
Kandou Mountain Landslide
Kandou Mountain Landslide
Here, you can see where the strength of the earthquake absolutely mangled the mountain’s landscape:
921 Earthquake
A small note to observers:  those posts are vertical.  Walking around in this house is a lot more difficult than it looks!
Slanting house
A 921 Memorial:
921 Earthquake Memorial
Finally, the lakes that were formed as a result of the landslide:
Lakes made from landslide
I used Bikemap.net to map out this route.  The site was suggested to me a couple months ago and I finally got around to trying it out.  The site is a lot more useful than Google Maps for mapping out routes because it also makes an elevation chart for you and you can easily search for routes made by other cyclists.  I’ll be putting my favorite routes on there over the next few days.

For more information on the 921 Earthquake be sure to check out Taichung County’s 921 Earthquake Museum of Taiwan.

7 thoughts on “Saturday Cycling – Jiufen Ershan

  1. The ride was absolutely spectacular MJ! I left the house around 7:30 and got to my destination a little after 11:00. I rested, made conversation, and took pictures in the area till I left to take the same route back around 12:30 and returned to Jhongsing Village at about 3:00.

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