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
24th July, 2009

Jiaoxi and back

Bamboo with wishes written on them in Jingtong
We really did get on our bikes this Monday, for a ride down to Jiaoxi, a dip in the hot springs, and a couple of really fresh seafood meals. We left at 7am and rode through early morning Taipei down to Muzha and then on to the 106 toward Pingxi. We arrived in Jingtong (菁桐) too early to get a cup of coffee there but I still had to make a short turn in to the old Japanese era train station building because I think it's so cool. And there are more and more of the pieces of bamboo with wishes written on them next to the station house every time we go there. highpoint.jpg
A view from the highest point of the road from Pingxi to Daxi
After Pingxi (平溪) we took the 2C (2丙) down to Shuangxi (雙溪) before we took the Shuangtai Access/Industry Road (雙泰產業道路) down to Daxi (大溪) on the coast. It started raining halfway to Shuangxi, but only a drizzle that kept going until we got almost to Daxi. But that was cool, because it meant that the sun was covered by clouds for the rest of the day and we got to do the ride in something like 25 degrees instead of 37.2 (which really was the high in Taipei last week). daxi.jpg
The beautiful serpentine road down toward Daxi and the Pacific Ocean
There are a lot of climbs along this road. First we reached just below 300m before the road dropped to about 50m and then climbed up to around 500m. It then went up and down between 375 and a high of 517m before finally rolling down to Daxi on the Pacific coast, where we had some good fresh seafood. All in all we climbed 1293m Monday, and when we reached the hotel, we had done exactly 100.0km according to the Garmin, not a meter more and not a meter less. We promptly bought a lottery ticket that won us NT$400. The hotel we stayed at turned out to be a bit worn down and it had Taiwanese- style beds - no mattresses, just a hard board. However, it did have three outdoor hot spring pools, which was what made us choose it in the first place. And we had them all to ourselves, just the two of us. I've always loved the feeling of sitting in a hot spring pool staring up at the skies, it just feels great. Anyway, we were both pretty tired, so we ended the night with a beer and some more seafood. tired.jpg
Diane didn't sleep well on the hard bed last night so she decided to take a nap on the soft wooden floor at Vanilla Sky in Pinglin
We slept a bit too late the next day and didn't get out on the road until 9am, which really was too late. No rain and no clouds meant that it was really, really, really hot around noon and the early afternoon. But that's OK. We'd rather drink some more water and stop a bit more often in the shade somewhere simply because we're too lazy to get up at 4.30am to be on the road at 5am, which probably is what you really should do to beat the midday heat. vanillyasky.jpg
Vanilla Sky
The way back from Jiaoxi was more familiar, and the "9 turns and 18 twists" (九彎十八拐) isn't as tiring as people think. It does climb and ends at 537m after climbing from about 25m over abput 12km, but it never feels that steep. The climbs on the Shuangtai access road were more tiring. In Jiaoxi we had some coffee at Vanilla Sky because you are supposed to when you're there. Again, we were all alone, apart from Matthew Lien who had ridden there on his BMW 1100, so D decided to lie down for a nap on the floor. iceOn the road again, we fought the heat and made it up to Xiao Getou (小格頭) in Shiding (石碇鄉), and then decided to return to Taipei by rolling down the 9 to Xindian because we had never done that before. We always take the 47 or 47 B down to Shenkeng (深坑) instead, because either of the roads are great. But since it is now possible to go along the Xindian River all the way up to Gongguan and a plate of our favorite shaved ice with strawberries, mango and milk, we did that. So, the Garmin GPS bike computer. It was everything I hoped for. It is great to be able to see altitude and slope gradient as you go, and on a couple of occasions it helped us take a right turn after a quick look on where we were headed on the map. I also liked seeing heart rate and cadense, and will probably start looking more at that than speed when I go biking in future. And uploading the data to the accompanying software and look at the ride afterward was something I really liked doing. The only thing I don't like is that the 705 does not export files in the gpx format, but since you can click a button in the program to see your ride in Google maps, you can then export it in kml format from there if you want to upload it somewhere else. I found that if you upload it to, it is then possible to export it in gpx-format from there.
Facts This is a nice ride with a lot of climbing for those who don't like to do all their riding on the flats. According to the Garmin, we did 175km and climbed almost 2400 meters over the two days, with the highest elevation being 557m at Xiao Getou. It's a nice way to get out of the city for a couple of days and get some really fresh seafood on the coast and spend a night at one of the many hot spring hotels in Jiaoxi. The only thing I don't like about this ride is all the big trucks going to Taipei on road 9. Most drivers do leave a lot of space between themselves and people on bikes, but the road is narrow so if there is oncoming traffic, they can't do that. Tour bus drivers are the worst. Anyway, you hear them coming so what we usually do if we see oncoming traffic at the same time is that we stop and pull to the side as far as we can.

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6 comments to Jiaoxi and back

  • This looks like a great ride –
    From Danshui it would certainly take two days if not a bit more. I am trying to plan my first trip around Taiwan – perhaps August or Sept. Thanks for posting your ride.

  • Looks like a fun trip! I recently bought a large bag for the back of my bike but haven’t taken it on a 2-day ride yet.

  • tbv

    It was a great ride because it’s not all on the flats. I like getting out in the mountains because there’s always less traffic and people there, and this was especially true about the part between Pingxi and Daxi. There is more traffic between Jiaoxi and Taipei, but as far as biking goes, it is a great ride. The view down toward the Yilan is beautiful (if it’s not enveloped in a hze, which it always seems to be).

  • you may want to check out a program called Easy GPS. it converts between several different formats, including the Garmin format to .gpx. makes life easy for GPS users.

  • tbv

    I’ll do that right now, thanks.

  • […] the Shuangtai industrial road (雙泰產業道路) in Shuangxi and going through the mountains (a previous ride) because there is no traffic, it is quiet and the air is good, and there are mountains to climb. If […]