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
6th May, 2009

Zhitan-Xintan Rd

We got on the bicycles to go down to the 9B which splits off the old Yilan Road toward Wulai yesterday, but not with the intention to go to Wulai. Instead of going through the city, we went along the Xindian River for the first time. Halfway you have to cross a tributary, but the bridge inside the river park is not yet finished, so we had to follow the tributary toward Muzha for a bit. At the second bridge we crossed the tributary and took a right turn back toward the Xindian River and the Xiulang Bridge (秀朗大橋). There is a side walk that begins at the foot of the bridge on the opposite side, with the oncoming traffic coming off the bridge. Get on that sidewalk and onto the bridge to reach the ramp that brings you back into the river park. We didn’t know the side walk was there, so looking for a way to get back into the river park, we crossed the bridge over to Zhonghe and then back again to get into the park.
D biking

Xindian River Park

They are building a bridge across the tributary so it will not be necessary to leave the river park at all. It was almost finished yesterday, and someone told me that will be opened before the end of this month.

The aliens have arrived, Xindian River Park

Once on the Wulai Road, we were looking for Yongxing Road (直潭路) to bring us down to Zhitan and then onto Pingguang Road (平廣路) because Vincent had told me it’s a beautiful area with climbs up to about 400-500 meters on lush green roads with an almost total absense of traffic. Yongxing Rd is at the beginning of the Wulai Rd, just after the first descent through a couple of bends. It’s a small asphalt road that goes off the main road. We followed that road for a few kilometers until we connected with a road coming from the lovely little residential area on the river. Take a right and go straight through the community and then take a left, with the river on your right and a wall on your left. Cross the bridge at the end of the road and then take a left to get on the Xintan Rd (新潭路). A bit down that road, just after it starts going into the mountains, there’s supposedly a split that brings you back toward the river and onto Pingguang Rd. The road is clearly visible on Google maps, and I’ve marked it on the map below, but we managed to miss it. We went on for a couple of kilometers until we realized that we’d missed it and decided to turn back to Taipei.
D biking

Diane riding along Zhitan

Missing the road was no big deal, because the weather was beautiful with sunny, blue skies and 25 degrees C, and we were going along a river in a cool breeze and not a car in sight. You can’t ask for much else.

The reward: Fresh strawberries on ice with milk

On the way back, something weird happened. We’d stopped because I wanted to take a pic of Diane biking down the road, so I parked my bike in the shade somewhere and chose the camera angle. After about five minutes, and all of a sudden, the tube on the back wheel exploded with a loud bang. Weird. The bike was just standing there, in the shade, and all of a sudden the tube exploded.

Facts This is a leisurely ride with almost no climbs. The whole ride as we did it was 57km from the Zhongxiao/Dunhua intersection in Taipei down to the spot were we turned back on the Xintan Rd toreturn to where we started. I’ve marked the place where the Pingguang road beings, and which we missed. I’ve also marked the sidewalk on the bridge to get back into the river park, but that won’t be needed once the bridge in the river park is completed. Check out the whole area in Google Maps, because there seem to be lots of potential cycling roads here with climbs around 400-500 meters. We’re definitely going to explore the area in more detail.

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6 comments to Zhitan-Xintan Rd

  • Feiren

    Here’s a map of the Pingguang Xindian loop over Shitouzaishan.

  • Good looking ride. I’m moving up from central Taiwan to Taipei next week so will be looking for some rides. No climbing will be especially good as my wife wants to get a bike and start riding with me – no climbs will suit her fine.

  • tbv

    Then that’ll be a good ride. The river parks in general are good places to get started, and the ride to Danshui is long and flat and with a great destination – the coffee shops/restaurants in Danshui. Then there is the Fudekeng ride for a first taste of modest climbs – an interesting ride that takes you through the huge Taipei municipal cemetery.
    I visit your site quite often, btw, great photos, and I really like the design.

  • pip

    Hi, I really like the blog and photos, thanks. The strawberry dish looks amazing too. About the ride to Danshui–can you suggest where in Taipei I could hire two bikes and ride to Danshui with my strong 10 year old? Is it possible? Flat sounds good, but would it be too far?

  • tbv

    Hi Pip, glad that you like the site, thanks!
    The Taipei city government has just started a bike rental system. There’s more info at the YouBike site, the official site for the service. You apparently get the bikes down in the Xinyi Business District around 101. Don’t know about other possibilities for renting. It’s something I’ve been wanting to look into, but haven’t had the time.
    The Danshui ride is about 60km both ways from where I live in the middle of Taipei, but if you think that is too far for your 10-year-old, you can do one way by bicycle and one way by MRT on weekends/holidays. Here’s a map of the MRT system marking the dsignated stations where you are allowed to bring a bike on or off the train.