In 2016 we have started to share with you many amazing adventure trips with our XPDTN3 (eXPeDiTioN 3) program. So far we have done more than 35 trips around the world, and there are many more to come. More recently we started the RIMBY project (Ride In My BackYard) where we share your stories of 1-2 day rides in your area starting from your home. We have received many great stories from you, and we continue to share these stories in our monthly RIMBY blog.
But like many of you, I don’t have always time to go for 3 days adventure trips or all day long RIMBY rides. Often, especially during the week, I ride for 2-3 hours after work, a great moment to clear my head and get some exercise done. And when you have only a few hours to ride, you can only ride near your home, which is for many people in or near a city. So in the ‘City’ series, we are going to share your stories of your short road or gravel rides in your city. Today: City Strada Taichung!
If you want to participate in the ‘City’ Series, please send us the following information:
|Best period of the year:|
|Best time of the day:|
|Favorite stop (optional):|
|One sentence that sums it up:|
|Story (100-1,000 words):|
|GPX file or link to your Strava/Komoot route|
City Strada Taichung
|Best period of the year: all year|
|Best time of the day: all day (winter), early morning (summer)|
|Total ascent: 400m|
|Favorite stop (optional): Temple at the Top|
My starting point for my 1.5-hour ride around Taichung is at the National Hotel, a landmark for those of you working in the bicycle industry. The hotel is located in downtown Taichung, conveniently surrounded by restaurants and shops and in a short distance from the 3T Taiwan office.
It was not only my first ride in the ‘City’ series, it was also my first ride on our new bike, the Strada Force AXS 1×12 bike, which is the more economical version of the Strada Red AXS 1×12 and 2×12 bikes we launched in February of this year. To get out of the city, there is no other way than to navigate through the busy city traffic with buses, cars and scooters and an occasional cyclist.
But after a few kilometers, the road improves, I notice less traffic, and a dedicated bike lane emerges. I just wish they made that bike lane all the way to the center. It also starts getting greener with more trees along the road. In the distance, I can already see the beautiful mountains waiting for me. Once i leave the city and enter the mountain area (around 10km from the starting point), riding conditions improve dramatically: empty roads, no noise, few cars, and lots of green around me. Here the fun starts: climbing this mountain is going smooth on my new 12-speed Strada.
The road here is in good condition and that ads to the joy. Further up in the mountains the road is getting even better. The sound of birds, the smell of fresh air, the green surrounding, it’s all a very pleasant escape from the noise and smell of this city, and it is yet so close by. After climbing for some 7-8k, I arrive at the highest point of this ride, where you can find one of the many temples of this area. Here you can fill your water bottle, and for that reason, it is probably a very popular destination for cyclists in the area.
The view from the temple is also stunning, worth the climb! When you leave the temple to return to the road, you have to conquer a very short but very steep climb: it is probably only 80 meters, but the inclination must be between 15%-20%! From here onwards, it is mostly down or flat, the easy part of the ride. But the views are stunning, and hardly any car to see, although you do meet some fellow cyclists along the way.
At several points, I saw some cool side roads, and I wished I had brought my Exploro bike, so I could have discovered some off – roads in the mountains. Next time! The road on the descent is also super smooth. I make a short stop at the Family Mart for a bottle of water before I continue my ride back to the place I am staying at. On the way home I encounter a major roadblock: it seems like they are trying to stop some heavy tanks from passing by! To meet the unexpected is the fun part of exploring a city. After 1h40m and 36km I arrived back home. I had a great spin and I will ride here again!