We recently started riding next to the rivers in Taipei. The government has done a fantastic job in making the cycle paths and ensuring no motorcyclists are allowed to ride on them.
Today we woke up early and left the house around 8:00am. We called our friend Peter to see if he wanted to bring his daughter for a ride. He was keen so we decided to head off to Bitan along the river.
We first rode through Tai Da (Taiwan University) as we always do. We then headed out onto Keelung road and over the Fu He bridge to the Yong He side of the Hsin Tien River. Of course the Saturday morning market was in full swing by the time we arrived and everyone was busy buying and selling. These markets are always fun to watch.
We met Peter near the market and then followed him, as he was our leader, along the river paths. What a great day it was for a ride. The first part was just so refreshing. On the way we saw a lot of volunteers cleaning up the riverside park. They were dressed in special outfits picking up trash. However, although there were green patches on the riverside, a lot had been washed away by the recent rains. Peter says this happens a lot.
We finally got to the end of the trail and then crossed over the Sioulang Bridge to get back on the other side of the river. The views of the mountains on the south side of Taipei were spectacular. Clouds were hovering over them making a stunning view.
On the other side of the bridge was a wonderful park with lots of the greenest grass we had seen for a while. We pedalled on along the trail, passed some kids playing a baseball game and passed some people flying remote control helicopters.
(Queenie Riding Hard Uphill)
After an hour of slow riding we arrived in Hsin Tien. We locked up the bikes and found the quaintest of breakfast shops. Apparently the owner used to work for the Regent Hotel in Hualien but had moved back to his home. He decided to build this small store on his mother property and created a truly remarkable breakfast store. Of course all the attendants were friendly and even willing to be in some of our pictures.
(Queenie Outside the Breakfast Store)
(Inside the Breakfast Store)
After staying there for an hour or so we headed back home. On the way we stopped to play in the park with Christina. That is to say, we stopped so Peter could play with Christina and we could sleep on the grass in the cool breeze flowing down from the mountains. We must have been there for about half-an-hour.
(Peter and Christina in the Park)
(Queenie Crushing Paul)
We then headed off home. Once again the ride was wonderful. We parted ways with Peter and rode through Tai Da again. We went a different way through the university and noticed that the leaves on some of the trees on the road were a spectacular yellow.
(The Trees in Tai Da)
We ended our trip in Starbucks. A worthy reward for a great morning's ride.
See http://picasaweb.google.com/durbanbay/CycleTripToBitan for more pictures.
See our Taipei and Taiwan Travel Guide for more cycling tours