Brompton Bicycle Touring in Taiwan, 2017. Post # 02

Picture of a side street in Taoyuan, Taiwan

Side Street in Taoyuan

After spending a day in Taoyuan City just walking around and observing my surroundings, my first impressions were: Taoyuan is busy; there are mad scooters and traffic; the air quality is horrendous.

I’ve never been to Taiwan and I’m eager to find out about these beautiful places that I’ve read about, and the next day my destination will be Daxi District and Daxi Old Street.

Riding out of the city was not very pleasant with many cars, scooters, and exhaust fumes. It would remain that way all the way to Daxi on route 112 and highway 3.

Picture of Brompton bicycle leaning on a heart-shaped structure

Stumbled across this park in Daxi

Picture of a suspension bridge in Daxi District

Bridge in Daxi District

Getting here to the District required riding across a bridge with a scooter lane packed with scooters. The picture above was not that bridge.

Picture of an arch with two animal sculptures on each side

Some sort of entrance

Picture of Daxi Old Street

Daxi Old Street

A little bit of Daxi Old Street. Nice place for some food and refreshment.

Picture of a temple in Daxi Old Street

Temple in Daxi Old Street

I cruised around the area for a bit to take in the sights, but now it was around that time to find a place to sleep. I rode around and checked Google Maps for a hotel but came up with nothing. Didn’t help that I can’t read Chinese. I stopped in a store to ask the shopkeeper if she knew of a hotel nearby; unable to communicate she called for her daughter and she came down with a laptop to help me find a place to stay. She typed some stuff in and found a place a few kilometers away. I thanked them profusely, bought some water, and was on my way.

Going to the hotel required me to backtrack over this bridge which had some interesting rocks going under it.

Picture of interesting rocks under the bridge

Interesting rocks under the bridge

There was a steep climb on Route 4 with little shoulder and lots of traffic. Buses aren’t shy with getting close and there are plenty of them. I was suffering up this hill, and I realized that the Brompton is ill suited for what’s ahead. With a lowest gear of 29 inches I’m not strong enough to pedal this thing loaded with gear and with sustained effort.

On my rear view mirror I see a roadie behind me. He was kind enough to keep his distance and just watch me suffer up this hill, while at the same time thinking: Ha, look at this noob trying to ride this on a folding bike.

After sweating buckets and my skull pulsating from boiling plasma, I make it to the top and pull over to the side to make sure I’m not dead, and also congratulate myself. I gave the roadie a nod when he cruises on by but he doesn’t acknowledge me. I probably screwed up his Strava results for the day. Sorry, my roadie.

I found the hotel; it was actually a “Love Motel” with a parking garage right under the room so nobody will see you rolling in with your partner for the evening. I roll in with my bike and called it the day.

Some ride information for the day:

31 km (19 miles) ridden; 4hr 22m moving time

Route 112; Highway 3; Highway 4

Picture of route taken going to Daxi District

What a mess. Got lost a few times.

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