Central Taiwan has a great climate for winter riding, with clear days and mild temperatures. The foothills of the island's Central Mountain Range in Nantou and Chiayi Counties are covered in betel nut, tea, and coffee, and the roads in the area provide access to adventurous cyclists keen explore the area.
Five riders spent nights in three different guesthouses, with daily rides that featured some of the best scenery and conditions in the area. We started with an ascent from Puli to Wuling Pass, on Hehuan Mountain, at 3,275 meters in elevation. Although we started under sunny skies, we climbed into the clouds, where it was windy and very cold. At Wuling, the temperature was just 1C.
Over the next three days, we climbed and descended mountains rising to approximately 1,000 meters in elevation. On day 2 our route included visits to memorials to the earthquake that struck Taiwan on September 21, 1999. On day 3, we rode up to Xitou, a mountain resort where visitors walk in the verdant bamboo forest. Day 4 saw us ascend the 36 Bends to the village of Taiping, where an overlooks gives views of the sea of clouds covering the plains below. On the fifth day, we ascended to Tatajia, located at 2,700 meters in elevation, the trailhead to Taiwan's highest peak, Jade Mountain. Check out this video of Day 5.
For the last ride, we completed a loop beginning and ending at our guesthouse high in the mountains surrounded by tall betel palms and plantations of tea.
Over the course of the week, we cycled 500 kilometers with a total ascent of 11,000 meters. On future visits, we'll return to some of our favorite climbs and sample new ones that have attracted our attention.
Bike Monkey Tours will be organizing future Training Camps in this and other regions in Taiwan that offer world-class cycling experiences. Contact us for more information. We welcome you to improve your winter fitness while enjoying the amazing cycling opportunities available in Taiwan.