The Road crew have struck back! Yes, the Global Dirty Cycling Platoon have provided another guest report while I am holed up in Desert HQ. This time its from the land where pretty much everyone’s bike has come from: Taiwan! T Tap has hit us with a report from not only the land of bikes, but also a debut of his new Cervelo S5, which he did with a 100km spin from Taipei:

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That’s quite a debut for a new machine…

I will now pass over to the Iron Tap for the low down on riding in the land of bike manufacturing:

If you ever get the chance to ride in Taiwan, hit it! After months on a TT bike and awful socks (DN Ed note – cold shiver), today was a chance to head back to the hills and on a new machine, the Cervelo S5. Of course with no riding in the last few weeks, the bergs around Taipei were going to cause me a bit of trouble. Out the door and straight into it. To get out towards the coast you need to do some climbing as Taipei sits in a basin (mmmm, not a hole). The weather was perfect:

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I have no doubt there will be a call to SLAM that stem…

A new bike, damp and shady roads and the first time using Shimano in about 15 years had me descending like the 3rd Schlek sister (DN Ed note – I will have words with T Tap offline if I find out he has changed from Campy…):

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WTF to the people making the signs… You live in the land of bikes, improve ASAP

I had to stop and ask for a bit of divine intervention from the cycling gods, who seemed to ignore me:

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Offering a Cervelo as a sacrifice…

Whilst we don’t have the ‘angry man in a van’ or the cranky tradie in the bosses ute, we do have the little blue vans and utes (DN Ed note – AKA Cuntmobiles). They are generally not malicious but a combination of driver age, eyesight and beetle nut/Taiwan beer consumption provide the opportunity for a lot of random behaviour:

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Luckily there is not ‘smellovision’, this one had today’s catch on board…from about 3 weeks ago!

One thing the Taiwanese love aside from eating, shopping and air conditioning is a 7-11. We have more per capita here then anywhere else in the world. They are everywhere and are more like a mini market, very convenient. This one, is very popular with cyclists, there is always a lot of money leaning against the windows here:

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There is always one fucker that pulls the peace sign…

Standard Asian refuelling…

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One day we will really find out what goes into this shit

The coast road is fantastic, smooth, minimal traffic aside from the scooter Grand Prix that goes on, today even better with sunshine and a tailwind (DN Ed note – There are no excuses for not ripping it to shreds along here):

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Everyone loves the coastal run…

The road is pan flat, with only a single bridge in about 25k to tackle. Check out the wind farm, don’t look left though… that’s where we hide a couple of Nuke reactors, they’re totally safe, trust us…

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Bridges: Shoulder seems to be in short supply…

Goodbye to the coast and taking to 101 back into the hills. Apparently, I have Q rings, which “make you muchly faster boss” (DN Ed note – they say that to all the Triathletes). Right at the start of the last climb and I’m pedalling squares not ‘Q’s’. The best excuse all day has been that I need to stop and get some photos, even though my skill in this area is pretty poor, love the DN!

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Its an angry pussy/lion/dragon thing – Looks upset at the underseat pack situation

There are some interesting sights along the way… Aside from the blue sky, typically Chinese the cemeteries are in pole position around these parts:

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I’ll pass on having a crack at that KOM thanks…

On the home stretch now, thankfully… the hills have definitely won today (DN Ed note – they love the taste of fresh Triathlete in the morning). I grovel back past Danshui and hit the bike path for the last 5k’s. The bike paths are pretty good in Taiwan, the only downside, more random behaviour. For a population that loves cycling and makes a ton of bikes, the ability to control them needs a lot of development:

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We don’t usually condone bike paths, but this one appears to make the grade… Almost Dubai levels

Eventually home and where else to stop for the end of ride latte but the local, uh hum, 7-11. Surprisingly good latte, for a only about $1.50 aud… leaves more to spend on… (DN Ed note – Porn?)

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Not the most orthodox post ride coffee, but better than nothing…

And it wouldn’t be a decent Chinese ride without a mythical rainbow dragon getting amongst it, get a dose of attention seeking beast:

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Everybody loves a flashy dragon

DN Ed note – Given my penchant for uniformity and correctness, take a gander at Iron Tap’s stable here, this is how its done… I can’t endorse the army of attachments on the P5, but you have to love the matching quiver of gear here. Makes me feel warm:

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Could easily be the back of the Garmin Sharp team truck…

A massive thanks to Iron Tap for another unique guest report – Good to see the road honour being defended, its now 3-1 in the guest report stakes… But, I know there is a bit of Sunday MTB shredding going down globally so that could soon blow out even more. Still the theme remains the same:

There are a shit load of great places to ride, so get out there and nail it

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2 Responses

  1. Tony Tapsall

    Cracka…..you’ve worked your magic beautifully!

    Enjoy the sandpit…..

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Reply

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