Early Sunday morning, I decided to head out on my bike in the direction of Jhongliao’s Dragon and Phoenix Waterfalls [龍鳳瀑布]. It had been a long time since I headed out in that direction and my usual route was leaving me wanting more since my last couple of outings.
I got done all my pre-Chinese New Year cleaning early on Saturday to leave Sunday open for cycling. I woke up well before my alarm yesterday in anticipation for my first century ride. I originally planned a shorter route that would have put me at nearly exactly 100 miles / 160 km, but I penciled in a few changes on my map which inadvertently put my route at 125 miles / 202 km. An interactive map of the route, which passed through parts of Nantou, Chiayi, Yunlin, and Changhua Counties can be found at Bikemap.net.
With 2009 coming to a close I thought I would take a moment to highlight some of my favorite posts [in no particular order]:
- Growing up a short drive from Sandusky, Ohio, I’ve never been too impressed by amusement parks in Taiwan. The rides at the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village were really nothing to write home about, but the cherry blossoms sure were nice.
- Skip the Sitou Forest Recreational Park and go to the Wangyou Forest instead. It’s a real gem and almost deserted [for now].
- I visited the Old Taichung Winery with blogger Mark Forman in October and had a great time. On this trip I learned to love my 50mm f/1.8 all over again.
- My trip to Kaohsiung with my wife was a blast. It’s hard to choose one post to highlight here but the one featuring shots from Formosa Boulevard MRT Station’s the Dome of Light really stand out for its panorama goodness.
- I wrote a short little article about Reverse Lens Macro Photography that you may find helpful. The examples in the article are fairly dull, but the subsequent Daily Photos came out nice.
- Surprise! Nantou had a flower festival!
- I never knew a ceramics museum could be so interesting! Now I need to find time to visit Yingge again!
- Cathy and I had a great time walking around the Gold Ecological Park in Jinguashi. Check it out to learn about Taiwan’s intriguing mining history!
- I’ve written a few posts from our honeymoon to the Czech Republic and Austria. Unfortunately, I’ve experienced quite a delay getting pictures online due to my pre-Intel processor iBook G4 showing its age. Out of the posts I have made, the one of the Old Jewish Cemetery is my favorite.
- Can I pick just one cycling post? Of course not. My trip on the Northern Cross Island Highway was the most fun I’ve ever had cycling in lousy weather, mainly because of the great people I went along with. My recent solo-ride to Xinshe was great because it was more challenging than any other ride I had done before.
This year I started doing Weekly Links as a regular feature on the blog. I hope my readers have found this useful for finding interesting content. The Daily Photo feature began last year and unfortunately posting has been sporadic at best. I usually post a Daily Photo if there wasn’t a long post and usually only post a photo on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday [and technically Thursday if you count the Weekly Links header photo]. Regardless, here’s my 10 favorite Daily Photos [sorted by date]:
January 22 – Anping Tree House 
Notice anything missing? Yeah, no people. I’ll try to work on that in 2010.
In personal news, Cathy and I just celebrated our one year anniversary! I’m looking forward to plenty more anniversaries and travels with my beautiful wife!
Have a Happy New Year!
From 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.
This morning, cycling buddies Michael T. and Drew K. came down from Taichung for some cycling around Lugu [鹿谷]. The route was about 50km long and tallied up over 900m in climbs. I packed my bike in Michael’s van and we traveled down HWY 3 to Zhushan [竹山]. We parked the van at the 7-11 on Jishan Road [3丙], unpacked, and were off!
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:
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].
On Sunday I headed out to Jhongliao for some cycling. The forecast called for a rainy afternoon so I set my goal for the base of Jiufen Ershan [九份二山] with the intention of turning around after I made it that far.