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Mountain Biking (off-road) in and around Taipei

Taiwan is a cyclist's paradise, and here's the place to share your experiences, questions, and pictures!

Re: Mountain Biking (off-road) in and around Taipei

Postby greenmark » 07 Mar 2010, 09:41

Wookiee wrote:
RoelC wrote:...I saw a big taxi waiting and just couldn't resist :whistle:
Taxi cost was about 250NTD and that takes you right up to the trailhead.
Later on I was really glad that I made the decision to skip the gruelling 15km climb...
See pictures in my album


You put your bike in a taxi to get up a hill????? :roflmao:


Now, Wookie, no need to be so patronising. You know that this new-fangled MTB sport is still young so most of them haven't had time to develop the leg strength to ride over a bridge - give them a little more time.

That's if the sport ever catches on. Passing fad, I say
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Re: Mountain Biking (off-road) in and around Taipei

Postby RoelC » 07 Mar 2010, 16:25

normZurawski wrote:Cool stuff. I don't suppose you have any GPS links of any of these trails? I hope to be in Taiwan later this year and I'd like to start putting some ideas together for some rides. I'm really interested in the 2 day journey :)

If you give me your email... I've got GPS tracks of the Wuzushan (Skilift) trail and the Gasplant trail.


@ 2dcurb: Will do.

@ Wookie, greenmark: Yes, I used a taxi. I can get up there by myself, I did the climb once before, and perhaps will do it again sometime when I feel like it. However the whole purpose of downhill trail riding is enjoying the downhill, ride down as fast as you can, and try staying on your bike on the technical sections. Contrary to common belief, downhill riding is very demanding on your body, so wasting my energy on the uphill means less performance on the downhill. Furhtermore I just don't see the fun in riding up a steep hill with a bike that is not meant for going uphill. Same reason why you don't go riding downhill (offroad) on a road bike.
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Re: Mountain Biking (off-road) in and around Taipei

Postby 2dcurb » 07 Mar 2010, 16:31

Roel how long did it take for you to get down?
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Re: Mountain Biking (off-road) in and around Taipei

Postby RoelC » 07 Mar 2010, 17:02

Including a few breaks, stopping at every junction to check where to go, stopping for pictures and checking the trail it took me about 2 hours. Don't expect too much fast downhill. There are only few sections where you can really let go. The rest is mostly technical downhill, lots of roots and rocks.

btw, it's not only downhill. There is some uphill too, even some sections that are impossible to ride, so that you'll have to put your bike on your shoulder and climb up there.
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Re: Mountain Biking (off-road) in and around Taipei

Postby 2dcurb » 08 Mar 2010, 00:04

cool cant wait until I hit the trails :D
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Re: Mountain Biking (off-road) in and around Taipei

Postby Incubus » 08 Mar 2010, 15:08

RoelC wrote:@ Wookie, greenmark: Yes, I used a taxi. I can get up there by myself, I did the climb once before, and perhaps will do it again sometime when I feel like it. However the whole purpose of downhill trail riding is enjoying the downhill, ride down as fast as you can, and try staying on your bike on the technical sections. Contrary to common belief, downhill riding is very demanding on your body, so wasting my energy on the uphill means less performance on the downhill. Furhtermore I just don't see the fun in riding up a steep hill with a bike that is not meant for going uphill. Same reason why you don't go riding downhill (offroad) on a road bike.

Good defense, RoelC, but save it. Most roadies can't appreciate offroad riding and can't see the fun of negotiating terrain with roots and rocks without putting down a foot. Besides sheer speed, there's something to be said for staying on your bike and coordiating your fingers with your leg muscles on unpaved surface. The reason Skilift was thus named is that a couple of offroad enthusiasts wished there were an actual ski lift to take them up to the trailhead to save pedaling up the mountain. I'd be happy to share a cab with you next time.
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Re: Mountain Biking (off-road) in and around Taipei

Postby dirtrider » 09 Mar 2010, 20:31

RoelC wrote:
normZurawski wrote:Cool stuff. I don't suppose you have any GPS links of any of these trails? I hope to be in Taiwan later this year and I'd like to start putting some ideas together for some rides. I'm really interested in the 2 day journey :)

If you give me your email... I've got GPS tracks of the Wuzushan (Skilift) trail and the Gasplant trail.


I'll appreciate the GPS tracklog data of the trails to email np8125(at)gmail.com. Thanks in advance.
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Re: Mountain Biking (off-road) in and around Taipei

Postby GC Rider » 26 Jul 2010, 12:19

Hi! I thought it's a good time to revisit this thread. I went on the Tonghou trail yesterday for some mixed terrain riding. My buddy and I started out riding in Wulai up to the entrance of the trail which is all road. It's not a long distance to get to the trailhead from Wulai if you're used to riding on roads in the mountains. I think the distance was 20 something km. I'm actually thinking about starting from Xindian next time which adds another 10 km of uphill road and which is a good option because of the MRT station there.

The off-road trail was really fantastic. I rode on my fully-rigid old-school mountain bike with 40mm road/offroad tires (I use Conti TravelContacts 1.75) and it was perfect for the trip. Too bad though that we only got in a few km into the trail before we had to turn back (my biking buddy sadly is not really a great fan of off-roading).

So I'd love to explore this trail more in the future, but I'm having a difficult time finding people who are (a) into off-road trails, (b) into riding on mountain roads on their MTB (or whatever bike), and (c) into (relatively) long distance adventure riding. As I said, I'm thinking about riding the Tonghou Trail again as I believe it offers a lot of adventure and at the same time is relatively near to Taipei which is quite unique. Btw, I'm also preparing for this year's Never Stop 200K event and I think this route would be a good training route. If anyone here is interested in joining me next time, pls let me know. Thanks.
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Re: Mountain Biking (off-road) in and around Taipei

Postby Incubus » 26 Jul 2010, 14:38

Congrats on finally making it to Tonghou, GC Rider. If you want a true adventure, you should do the loop I mentioned earlier (Taipei -> Yilan -> Tonghou -> Wulai -> Taipei). That way you'll be able to enjoy the entire trail, albeit hike-a-bike when you come over the pass. Make sure you go in a clockwise direction so that you'll be able to include the Running Horse Trail (跑馬古道) as you descend into Yilan and ride downhill as you make your way toward Wulai.
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Re: Mountain Biking (off-road) in and around Taipei

Postby GC Rider » 26 Jul 2010, 15:32

Thanks, Incubus, for suggesting the Tonghou Trail in the first place. I would have gone there much earlier if I had found someone willing to join me, ha. I also read again your ride report here on forumosa and the clockwise trip sounds very tempting indeed. I will have to try that one day when I can take a full day off just for myself and provided I can find the right people.

My current plan for my next expedition is to make Xindian MRT station my starting point as I will be arriving there from Xizhi (via train/MRT). I would then ride the approx 30km road up to the trailhead and explore as far into the trail as time permits and return the same way back, mostly downhill then. If I chose your clockwise variant, how long would it take from Taipei to get to the trailhead in Jiaoxi? How's the traffic on that road (better or worse than the Xindian to Wulai road?) In any event it would be a whole-day trip at least which currently is not an option for me. But I might consider it for the future.
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