Cycling – Xinshe and Back

Road SignsFrom left to right:  Provincial HWY 14, Township Route 6, County Route 136, Township Route 100 [I missed my chance to take a picture of the sign, hence the drawing], Township Route 95-1, Provincial HWY 21, County Route 133, and Provincial HWY 14 [again].

I would like to start off with brief 4 word summaries of the roads and thoughts I had during Saturday’s journey:

  • Provincial HWY 14 – Very few motorists, dreaming?
  • Township Route 6 – Satisfying distraction from #14.
  • County Route 136 – Everyone traveling opposite direction.
  • Township Route 100 – Deceivingly flat at beginning.
  • Township Route 95-1 – Following the mighty Dajia.
  • Provincial HWY 21 – Not bad from Dongshih.
  • County Route 133 – Charging fast through Guoxing.
  • Provincial HWY 14 – Just keep on spinning.

trip1
The Ninety-Nine Peaks [九九峰] looked great in the morning.  As did most of Township Route 6:
trip2
While on Provincial HWY 14 I met a few cyclists on their way to Sun Moon Lake.  The usually busy road was almost completely deserted.  Most of the big tour buses were traveling on the newly completed Freeway 6.  The chilly weather [by Taiwanese standards] may have kept a few people inside as well.  Before long I was in Guoxing [國姓鄉] and cycling up County Route 136 towards Taiping City [太平市].
trip5
The road was steep but not too challenging coming up from the Guoxing side.  There were many cyclists and people on scooters and heavy motorcycles traveling from the opposite direction.
trip6
The road offers great views and the surface is excellent.  Once on the Taichung County side there are a few cafes and restaurants along the way.
trip8

At times Taichung City is clearly visible, but when I was there the city was covered in an pale, yellow haze.

After coming down hill the road splits and you can take Township Route 100 [山田路] towards Xinshe [新社鄉].  The road is steep and very narrow.  Most of the signs point to flower gardens and restaurants.  I asked once if I was going the right way towards Xinshe and my reply was “Keep going up!”

trip9
There was a covered place to rest made out of wood followed immediately by a  left turn towards Xinshe.  Today the sky cleared up and offered an incredible view of Taichung City and the Pacific Ocean:
trip11
Once on Township Route 95-1 which runs along the Dajia River [大甲溪], I contemplated hopping on Provincial HWY 8 on the other side of the river and relaxing in a hot spring and hotel for the night in Guguan [谷關].  Will power prevailed and I continued on towards Provincial HWY 21.
trip13
I found a restaurant/resort at the base of the climb for lunch.  I’m glad I did because there’s no where else to eat until you get over the hill.  The owner’s dog didn’t seem too interested in me until my fried noodles and vegetables came:
trip16
After digesting for a moment it was back on the road.
trip18
Provincial HWY 21 offers splendid views.  That’s the Snow Mountains in the far background [雪山] and Baimao Mountain on the right [白毛山]:
PANORAMA
View the large.
It’s hard to race down when treated to such breathtaking views:
trip19
Entering familiar territory:
trip21
A map of the route can be found at Bikemap.net.  Stats for the day are 115km [70 miles] long and over 1,900m [6,400 feet] of climbing – a personal record.

10 thoughts on “Cycling – Xinshe and Back

  1. Ha! We just missed each other. On Saturday I went up 136 but didn’t go over because I didn’t have time to go back through 21 and I hate 14 through Changhua. On Sunday Drew, Michael C, and I went up to Hsinshe and then went on the back roads south of the town and came out on 100. Lovely ride, but I forgot my camera.

    Michael

  2. Stu – I left around 7am and got home a little after 4pm. I don’t have a cycling computer so I couldn’t tell you how much of that time was in the saddle versus standing around eating cashews and reapplying sunscreen.

    Mark – Thanks a lot, it took me a couple tries to get an exposure I liked. I’m pretty happy with the results.

    Michael – Shame we didn’t see each other on our trips. I found Xinshe absolutely gorgeous and can’t wait to do more exploring of the area.

    Craig and Andrew – Thanks, too bad you didn’t come along!

  3. Pingback: Favorite Posts of 2009 « The Daily Bubble Tea

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