Alishan, April 12 - 13, 2010. Click pic for album

Taroko to Kending

Taroko Gorge to Kending, Feb 14 - 19, 2010.

Northern Cross Island Highway

Northern Cross Island Highway, May 19 - 21, 2008. Click pic for album
26th May, 2008

The Pinglin loop from Taipei

handlebar3.jpgDid another ride down to Pinglin and back yesterday, so now I’ve been to Pinglin on the bike twice in five days. H, X and four other friends were going all the way down to Jiaoxi because they hadn’t biked there yet and they wanted to take a look at the “9 turns and 18 bends” section of Route 9. Since I had to be at the paper by 3pm, I decided to go with as far as Pinglin and then turn back from there after a cup of coffee at Vanilla Sky. D stayed home, and N called the night before to say that he had to finish an article off Sunday morning, so he had to drop out, too.
The CWB had promised thunder storms, but the weather looked good at 6am, so I met up with H and X at Linguang MRT station at 7am as agreed. We picked up the others in Muzha, and then in Shenkeng, we went up the 106A as last time. It’s less steep than the 47, and the rest of the group wanted to save their strength for the 20km climb from Pinglin up to the high point of Route 9.
It turned out to be a great ride, and regardless of what the CWB said, we had a mostly sunny and cool morning with the sun weaving in and out of the clouds.tree.jpg After a cappuccino and a smoked chicken sandwich at Vanilla Sky, I did the 11.5km up to Helen’s Coffee at Xiaogetou in 39 minutes, and after a mango sorbet to cool myself off there, I made it back home in just below one hour for the 28 km or so from Helen’s to Sogo on Zhongxiao, making it there before the thunder storm hit.
H and the others were less lucky, and in the end they spent almost two hours in a pavilion somewhere along the 9 waiting out the storm before going down to Jiaoxi for dinner and a long traffic jammed bus ride back to Taipei. Just like we did on Wednesday, however, they really enjoyed the beautiful ride from Pinglin up to the high point of the road as well as the view of the Yilan plain that suddenly opens wide after you pass the high point and begin to roll down.
I‘ve had a couple of pretty active weeks, and have covered 450km in the two weeks up until this Sunday, which puts me just above 1300km for the year so far. A bit less than expected, but not too shabby.

Facts Here’s an earlier post about the same ride with a Google map and a detailed description of the route.

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2 comments to The Pinglin loop from Taipei

  • Hi there! I really enjoy reading your blog, and I also noticed you’ve got an Single Shot Plus on the handlebar. I’ve got one too, and I think it contributes greatly to (a sense of) traffic security. I always have it lit in flashing mode, even when the sun is glaring from a cloudless sky. By the way, I think you might be the Perry Svensson that taught me Chinese history when I attended Östasienlinjen at Stockholm University during the mid-1990’s. One thing I remember about you was that you hade problems providing your home phone number at one occasion (in case we students had any questions). I happened to remember that when I saw the word “theforgetful” in the URL 😉 Could that be you?

  • tbv

    Glad to hear you like the blog, fanks!
    I studied at Stockholm University some 20-odd years ago, but never taught there. I think you’re probably talking about Perry Johanson, who does teach there, and Chinese history at that. He seems to just have written a pretty interesting book about Swedish sinologists, BTW (