I had a fabulous weekend cycling the Northern Cross Island HWY [北橫] from Sanxia to Yilan with Michael T., his son Sebastian, Michael C., Michael F., Jeff, and Kenji. I met up with Michael, his son, and Jeff in Taipei on Friday evening in Taipei’s charming Wanhua District. On Saturday morning we took our bikes on the MRT to Yongning Station where we met up with Michael F and Kenji. In Sanxia we met up with Michael C. and began enjoying a rainy morning along the Northern Cross. Shortly before getting to a beautiful pair of bridges in Fuxing, the sun came out on cue. Right in time for photos:
Once I got home and checked all my pictures I found out that unfortunately Michael F. was only in one of them. To top it off, he had his back to the camera:
From left to right: Kenji, Jeff, Michael C. (with Michael T. standing directly behind him), Michael F. with his back to the camera, and Sebastian.
The climb up wasn’t really challenging [although I probably wouldn’t have said that if I rode this route only a year ago]. I’ve done more challenging climbs in recent weeks. It was also helpful that we had very cool weather.
Welcome to Ronghua! There’s an excellent coffee stand right before this sign and sculpture:
One good thing about the rain is it kept a lot of motorists at home. Those that were driving were all very cautious and courteous.
Here’s the hotel we stayed at in Baling, a four person room, dinner, breakfast, and hot spring for $2,000 NT.
The climb on the second day was a little more challenging than the first day. Despite this I was comfortable on the middle front gear the whole trip.
Two Michaels make it to the top:
On the way down there was a lot of fog, which means I’ll have an excuse to re-ride the route on a fog-free day.
Towards the bottom of the descent down a few monkeys ran across the road several yards in front of me. Unfortunately, they were long gone by the time I hopped off my bike and took my camera out.
On our way to Yilan City:
After splitting away from the others with Michael C. and checking out a bike shop and buying some tea, I shipped my bike on the train and caught a bus to Taipei to later catch a bus back to Nantou.
Luckily I packed a change of clothes:
I have a few more photos of the ride on my Flickr and Michael C. has posted some great ride photos from the weekend.