Monday, January 26, 2009

Ride success!

My third "first" day of my trip was a success.

I set out at bright and early at 6:40AM. Well I wouldn't say it was bright. In fact it teased rain for my entire journey, even managing to sprinkle a little on the way. Initially, I was going to stop at Miaoli, only (only) 108km from my house in Banqiao. But on Sunday I decided to go for it all. At least all of the way to Taichung.
The ride started out smooth. Cool, hovering between 15-16C, and overcast. Passed through Xinzhuang, Guishan, Taoyuan, Jhongli, PingJhen, Yangmei, Hukou... and on and on and on. I thought the trip would never end. After riding for 5 hours, I pulled over to piss. Legs and knees, aching, I pulled over and took a break. Step over step, km after km, I pushed on. I often found myself saying mundane things like, "I'm halfway up this hill, just keep going," or. "If I stop moving, I won't move again." Green signs, blue signs, white lines, over and over and over.
I noticed that Taiwan has a lot of red lights for no reason. The traffic would be sitting at a red, waiting for noone and nothing.
So I continued on my way 5, 6, 7 hours. Fortunately I had company along the way. Bikers also riding around woulg ride along side me and we would chat. "Where you goin?" Where did you start?" and the like. I would ask about distances and road conditions from them that seemed more knowledgeable. All the cyclers were very friendly, waving as they passed, or shouting some words of encouragement. This biking group is like a secret society, flashing the signs of recognition.
After finally reaching Taichung city, I headed to my friends place, who I had contacted the day before. Going to his house added another hour to my trip at least.

Final stats for day 1 Taipei(BanQiao) to Taichung:
Riding Time: 8hrs 51min
Total Time: 11hrs
Distance: 187km

Tomorrow will be even harder, not because the distance is further, but because my legs and ass hurt very much. The Trip is about 172km. Roughly the same distance. I hope I can do it. It is now 10:30PM and I should rest.
Wish me luck

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