Lifeday 25,691 Surprise tour by car

With the bike safely packed I had the whole day free as the flight isn’t until 11.45pm. By an amazing coincidence, LingLing who owns La Maison Du Steak Restaurant in Cambridge and is a longstanding friend happened to be in Taipei to visit her family and attend a wedding over the last weekend.

So this morning she appeared with her sister in a posh car to take me on a little tour of President Chiang Kai-shek House & Mausoleum, Daxi Tea Factory & Daxi Old Street and of cause a lovely vegetarian restaurant 🙂


A pat on the head from Chiang Kai Shek

Of cause now I’m leaving it turned into a gorgeous warm sunny day with no wind, perfect for cycling, but good for tourist pics too 🙂 Interesting to see the pics of the Taroko Pass being built with picks & shovels. Even more amazing is the park with all his various statues that have been removed, on the New Governments Orders apparently, from all over Taiwan and now parked in the park! Quite bizarre. We also took in the changing of the guard at the mausoleum which I’m afraid just so reminded of Cleese in Ministry of Funny Walks 🙂

Afterwards, we drove down the Old Street in Daxi where totally amazingly I spotted fellow cyclists Graham & Frances out for a stroll! our third such meeting 🙂

Then time for lunch in a real Vegetarian Restaurant where the food is sold by weight and incredibly cheap then LingLing took me to an ice bar from the days before ice cream where a blog of ice is scraped into a bowl, you pop in the fruit you want (sold by weight) then more ice and goo is spread over. Quite good although the fruit should be in smaller chunks.

A great morning and good to have the “local knowledge” from a real knowledgeable bi-lingual person. So many thanks, LingLing & your sister!

Around Daxi

A more ‘in depth’ take on the park is here

Lifeday 25,690 Taiwan bike ride finished & bike reboxed

My 2017 Taiwan bikeride

My 2017 Taiwan bikeride

Oh dear no posts during the Taiwan bike trip 🙁 and the bike is all boxed up and ready to fly tomorrow. I’ve had an excellent time apart from my wretched cold and the daily rain showers with occasional strong winds but it’s lovely and warm so those discomforts didn’t matter 🙂

I did one complete clockwise loop of the island reaching both lighthouses at each end. Plus straight across the island to the Sun & Moon Lake and then up to the highest mountain pass in Taiwan at Wuling, 3,275 metres above sea level quickly followed by the awesome 10,700 foot descent down the renowned Taroko gorge, the highlight of the trip even though it was pouring rain and I ended up riding for two hours in the dark; although the amazing Qingshui Cliff section on the East Coast Suao-Hualien  road was a close second. I was very fortunate as there had been a very recent landslide which blocked the road, although I snook across 🙂 so I could zig-zag across and get loads of cool pics.

I like Taiwan a lot relatively cheap, my accommodation averaged out at £36 a night with quite a few ‘fancy’ places, food is inexpensive and plentiful with 7-Elevens seemingly around every corner street markets everywhere. The drivers are courteous but watch out for the zillions of scooters in the towns. Roads are well marked for cycles with many super duper special cycle paths. Although the Route 1 cycleway fails to use them! Its more set up for folks who want to bomb around the island in 9 days 🙁  the route manual is here!

All the route details are on Strava and pics are all on Flickr, hopefully, the links will appear in the spreadsheet below:

I met some interesting folks and hope to be able to introduce Sally to Graham & Frances on our next little UK tour.

My basic stats for the trip are 926 miles biked with 51,500 feet of climbing, 106 hours riding time in 19 days plus 8 rest days. Amazingly 144GB of internet data used, well it was an unlimited SIM. 🙂


Cycling around Taiwan – arriving on LifeDay 25,665

Sat 11 Nov 2017 My first post on Cycling around Taiwan written after 9 days & 431 miles of biking.

Under the stairs on a A380-800

The 15 hours of flying to Taiwan then a 8 hour leap into the future took its toll on me leaving me a bit of a wreck on arrival although discovering I could have UNLIMITED mobile internet for a month at  NT$1000 (£25) cheered me up no end 🙂 ( as I write this I’ve used 39GB and service coverage has been 100%.

Battered bike boxThe Ty Motel picked me up and my badly damaged cardboard box with the bike and took me to their room complete with integral garage to reassemble the Schwinn bike, fortunately, no bits were missing although I’m left with trying to get a box for the way home. The night was marred by torrential rain and the room leaking over the bath area 🙁

Hopefully, more posts to follow soon…..

For the confused, the Day number above is the number of days since I was born.



Our cycling trip to Edinburgh

Our Great North ride ended in Edinburgh a full 444 miles from Sally’s back door. places we stayed at and distances travelled are:-

  The whole trip was very enjoyable with reasonably kind weather a bit blowy in Yorkshire where I’m sorry to say the Esk Valley 30% hills, after the first couple, rather defeated us so we detoured onto the main A171 into Guisborough a surprisingly lovely market town with a good choice of eateries, unfortunately, the Gisborough Hall Hotel was very disappointing for Sally’s birthday. Another market town of note was Horncastle and the delightful refurbished Admiral Rodney Hotel.

Our stay on Holy Island was excellent too, so quiet when all the day trippers leave 🙂 another highlight was remeeting John & Charlotte over a lovely home cooked meal in Newcastle ( I first met them when I was biking around Cuba). Standing in front of the Angel of the North was inspiring too.

After a very cross-country ride from Holy Island we bumped into Sally friends  Cheryl & Ash whilst we were watching the live action of Netflix making the Outlaw King film in  Berwick. Amazing to see all the detail to convert the quayside back a few centuries, fortunately, we found the last remaining b&b room in the town, winners of the TripAdvisor awards last year too! The final days ride to Edinburgh saw our first punctures of the trip, one each.

Edinburgh was excellent once the rain stopped and we managed a good walk up Arthurs Seat and a visit to the cornucopia of middle Eastern rugs etc in the aptly named Nomads Tent shop. My nephew’s recommendation of Mothers India Cafe was excellent perhaps the best-organised restaurant I’ve ever been too.

The trains home worked well and I think Sally is now sold on the idea of multi-day biking carrying your own stuff!

Some pictures are here, please note more will be added later.

Up The North We Go

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