Rain Riding to Fulong and Back

All pictures @ Rain Riding to Fulong - Please do excuse the picture quality, it was raining and difficult tot ake pictures.

Lush Vegetation on the way to Pingxi
On the Way to Pingxi

I chose to ride to Fulong today. Queenie was busy so I was free and decided to get on the bike and see how far I could go. It was an awesome ride and I made many new and wonderful friends along the way. The only trouble was, it rained most of the way and I was filthy by the end of the ride (no mudguard on the rear wheel threw all the crap in the puddles onto my back). It was a great ride and I had a tremendous sense of achievement at the end of it. It wasn't the longest ride anyone has done, but for me it was challenging and I am super pleased I got to the end. I left in the morning at around 10:15am and I got home at around 8:00pm: a full 10 hours on the seat of my bike.

The Route

Mucha Road.
The Beginning

My friend Peter has posted an approximate map of the route I took here (thanks Peter). The basic route is easy to follow. I headed straight down Hoping East Road until it changes into Wolong Street and then onto Jun Gong Road. From there I turned left onto Mucha Road Section 4 and followed the road until it became Route 106. From there I followed Route 106 all the way to Fulong going through Shenkeng, Shiding, Pingxi and Shi Fen. In She Fen I turned right onto Route 2 South towards Shuang Shi and Gong Lia0 township. From there I connected with Highway Route 2 for the final 500 meters into Fulong. From there I turned around and followed Route 5 all the way up to Keelung and then turned left onto Route 5 through Badu, Chidu, Shi Zhr, Nangang and finally home. It was an absolutely brilliant ride.

Keelung Harbour
Not Quite the End - Still needed to ride to Taipei

Starting Out

I knew Queenie would be busy on this Saturday for a long time and so in my mind I had planned a long trip on my bike. Although the preceding week started with some beautiful weather, as we got closer to the weekend the weather started to turn sour and by Friday night it was pouring with rain. I thought I would forget the ride. I had remembered my last disasterous attempt of riding in the rain that ended in failure in Tamsui (Cycle Trip to Tamsui, Via Keelung). By the time Saturday morning came around there was a slight drizzle which cleared up around 10:00am. I planned on going on a short bike ride in the beginning and just head out to the zoo. Once I got down to Mucha I pushed on to Shenkeng and saw the 106 and decided to follow it to Shiding. Once in Shiding it had already started to pour with rain and I was completely drenched so decided to push through to Fulong and back home through Keelung. What a beautiful day it turned out to be.

Near the Zoo



Election Posters
Election Posters were all along the route

Rain Riding: Advantages & Disadvantages

Empty Tunnel
Empty Tunnel from Pingxi

The huge advantage of rain riding is that the road is your own which makes it surprisingly safe. At least through the mountains. Traffic was minimal, there were few other cyclists on the road and it was very peaceful. It gave me the opportunity to enjoy nature without much disturbance and allowed me to be alone with my thoughts. Of course the views of the mountains in the middle of the route were outstanding in the rain. The low lying clouds made the views magical and mysterious: absolutely beautiful. The vegetation was a lush green and one could breathe all the fresh air in the world, which can only be good for you. The other advantage is that you don't get sunburn and don't dehydrate as quickly. The disadvantages are obvious: you get wet, the road is slippery, you cannot ride as fast and because of the wind, I started to get severe cramps towards the end of the ride in Shi Zhr in both legs. It was hard to carry on pushing on the pedals but I just breathed through the pain and made sure I got through to the end.

Temple Before Pingxi
Temple outside Pingxi

Lush Vegetation on the way to Pingxi
Looking Back into the Valley

Lush Vegetation on the way to Pingxi
Lush Vegetation

Misty Mountains

New Friends

New Friends in Pingxi
New Friends in Pingxi

Along the route I managed to meet a lot of new friends. I bumped into a group of riders in Pingxi and stopped to chat with them and take some pictures. They had also come from Taipei but refused my invitation to ride on to the North East Coast and back home through Keelung. We took pictures together, handed out facebook addresses (some of us are now connected) and I headed off on my own pushing for Fulong.

Fellow Riders in Fulong
From Tainan to Fulong in Five Days

In Fulong I met two guys who had ridden up from Tainan over 5 days. They were soaked and where overnighting in Fulong. They felt sorry for me all drenched in rain and mud and offered me their raincoat which I politely rejected arguing I was already soaked and it wouldn't make much of a difference anyway. They told me to get my ass down to Tainan as some of the best riding in Taiwan they believed was in the South. I might just do that and get my buddy Peter to ride with me. It would be a joy to ride with Peter again.

AMD Green Team Round Island Riders
AMD Green Team - Day 15/16 Around Taiwan

As I was heading back to Keelung I ran into a bunch of round island riders. They were on day 15 of day 16. They were heading for Keelung and asked me to join them. Since the North East road was really busy and they had three cars driving with them with one in the front and two in the back forming a safety pocket for the riders, it seemed sensible. They too offered a rain coat which I refused (since I was already wet) and we rode together all the way to Keelung. The only problem with riding with these folks was that they were really fast and I struggled to keep up with them and, very often, landed up behind them. In the end all was good and we managed to ride into Keelung together which is where I took my leave, turned my bike onto the road by myself again and headed along the No. 5 Road back to Taipei.

Abalone Farm Outside Fulong
Abalone Farm

North East Coast
Wild Coast

Small Bay Past Fulong
Fishing Boats

The Last Stretch

This part was tough. I had already been riding for 8.5 hours, I hadn't had anything to eat since I 11:00am in the morning and only a cup of coffee to drink in Fulong. It was cold, I had been wet for most of the day and when I was going up the final incline from Chidu to Shi Zhr both my legs started cramping badly. I knew I needed to eat and drink something. I finally made it to Shi Zhr and stopped at a McDonald's for something to fill me up. After that it was a pretty uneventful, but painful ride back into Taipei and home. All in all the ride took 9 hours and 45 minutes to complete.

Some Additional Thoughts

Dead Lotuses in a Pond
Dead Lotuses in a Pond

When I got back home everyone thought I was stupid to ride in the rain. I also thought it was a bit dumb but whatever. Was I cold? Yes! Was I wet? Of course! Was I tired? Yes! Was it dangerous? No! Why ride in the rain? Because I can! When I was out there on the road in the rain, especially on Route 106 in the mountains, there were hardly any cars, trucks, motorcycles or bicycles. It was very very peaceful. And I loved it. The mountains in the rain and low lying clouds are beautiful. The vegetation is so lush and green and reminds me of how beautiful Taiwan is. It reminds of how beautiful God's bountiful nature is. It reminds of where I grew up (the climates and vegetation is similar). But most of all it is peaceful and beautiful. When you want to stop, you stop! When you want to ride fast, you ride fast. And when you want to slow down, you slow down! It was fantastic and at the end of the ride I had a real feeling of accomplishment. As I said at the beginning, it is certainly not the most challenging ride one can do in Taiwan, but it was challenging enough for me given the conditions. That does beg the question: would I deliberately ride in rain like that again? Probably not. But if on the road the rain came, it wouldn't deter me: I would just carry on going.

One last thought: Over the past two months I have been doing a committed excercise program. I noticed on this journey my endurance was much better on the bike than before and pushing 10kg less up a mountain road with more muscles in the legs certainly makes things easier. When my speedometer was working I noticed on some mild grade inclines I was able to sustain 30km/hr speeds for significant periods of time. Of course, the steeper inclines made that impossible. Still, being fitter helped the riding and I am happy for that. The leg cramps at the end I believe were my fault for not hydrating and eating properly on the way. Next time I will prepare better.

The Final Damage

My odometer only worked intermittently: the final damage was 114km. But I believe it might have been closer to between 135 ~ 140km (maybe more). My legs were definitely sore the next day and my bike needs some maintenance (the chain kept slipping). Other than that, a brilliant ride and one that would be super amazing in the right, rainless, clear-day conditions. So get on your bikes and start pedaling.

All pictures @ Rain Riding to Fulong - Please do excuse the picture quality, it was raining and difficult tot ake pictures.


  1. Ha ha, the last ride post I read on your blog was through the rain as well...that's quite a trip though. Well done. Fulong remains one of my favorite places in Taiwan, although my preferred choice of transport was a slow train to the beach.

  2. Yes Richard - the last ride from home to Keelung and then Tamsui was also in the rain (that was unexpected) this time I kind of knew it was going to rain. I still went though and had a blast. It was great. Slow train works well to get there, but riding through the mountains was awesome. As always. Thanks for the comment.

  3. hi Paul. great ride and ride report. looked like fun despite the rain. photos are great!

  4. Thanks MJ for your kind comments - I really appreciate it - and for your kind words on my pictures - it was really tough to take any pics in the rain - and you are right, it was a blast.

  5. The rain really rocks if you can just get out (and if your bike doesn't fall apart :( like mine does).

    Also, don't look outside before you leave. Be ready to run outside and pretend you didn't see the rain.

    Great post, you've really been inspiring me to get out more on my bike recently.

    1. Cheers Peter - that was a couple of years ago that ride ha ha. Most times I just ride in the rain now - I have done it so much it doesn't bother me - I even bought a cyclists rain coat but I sweat so much inside it that by the time I am finished riding I am wetter than if I rode in the rain - lol.

      Anyway - you always ride more than me. I want to ride more too but just hard.


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