I find the roads in Yangmingshan are some of the most versatile cycling routes in Taipei. The course from Xingyi Road to Xiaoyoukeng is a well-known cycling route, and a further ride from Xiaoyoukeng to Macao is what I would like to recommend. Just remember to avoid the bridge and take the path underneath. It’s worth turning left down a dead end where Lujiaokeng Nature Reserve is located on the way to Macao Flower Village.
In summer, I tend to stop for the herbal jelly on shaved ice in the Flower Village Hot Spring Resort.
Elevation gain: 1,430m
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I’m just a restless full-time mother. I started to cycle only a couple of years ago when a vintage steel bike was given to me by chance. That 30-year-old bike, with its down tube levers, old brake pad, toe clips, and difficult gear ratio, was what I thought a road bike should be, since I didn’t know a thing about them at that time. With little preconception, I would go cycling on a road with a gradient of over 15% by wiggling my body and dancing on the pedals to reach the highest point. Later, I got to know some cycling pals and I’ve trained for racing since then. I began to participate in some events and raced occasionally. To my surprise, I performed well enough to make it onto the third step of the podium in several local races.
Why are you so obsessed with cycling? What makes you sustain your passion for this sport? What’s your motivation?
My first time climbing on two wheels was literally breathtaking. My heart beat so fast, as if it wasn’t my own. The sense of self-fulfillment I experienced at the top was superb, and that’s when I fell in love with the sport. I enjoy setting goals and working hard to achieve them. I also like to get on my bike to climb some hills when I feel down, I find a way to let off steam when I make my way up. Solo rides allow me to concentrate on listening to my inner voice. Cycling has become an essential part of my everyday life.
My impressions of Taipei
Taipei is not so big and has various elements. There’s all kinds of fusion happening in the city, including architectural, cultural, and social fusion. All the elements collide chaotically to form Taipei’s own kind of charm.