Journal Comments - Taiwan - CycleBlaze

Journal Comments

From Taiwan by Graham Smith

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Graham Smith replied to a comment by Scott Anderson on The End

Thanks Scott. Yes I feel we sampled what Taiwan offers for cycle tourists but also left plenty to go back for another tour. I was careful not to push Joe too hard on his first tour. He’s keen to do another tour, and he is now talking about doing a ride in Europe with a friend.

Ah yes. The fires. They are still burning but the weather has provided some respite here in the south. Further north, the opposite is happening. Extreme rain. The weather swings are definitely getting wilder.
https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-18/flash-flooding-on-gold-coast-brisbane-weather-warnings/11879432

6 days ago
Scott Anderson commented on The End

Thanks for taking us along with you and your son, Graham. It reminds us that we hope to make it packto this special place again some year. Sorry you didn’t have better luck with weather at Taroko Gorge, but it’s still there waiting for you for next time.

Best of luck with the fire situation. We’ve got you all in our thoughts.

6 days ago
Graham Smith replied to a comment by Gregory Garceau on The End

Thanks Greg for the comment. It’s a while since I’ve done a cycle tour journal so it’s been good revision. I hope the pics and writing convey that Taiwan is an excellent country to cycle tour in.

And yes Joe does look like my younger self before I faded. He’s far more sensible than I was at his age though.

6 days ago
Gregory Garceau commented on The End

Good job with the tour and the journal, Graham. I enjoy reading about father/son trips. They remind me of the time my own son rode with me for the first week of my Seattle to Minneapolis trip. He had been living 2,000 miles away for a few years so we didn't get to see him all that often. That week of touring together provided some very memorable bonding time.

By the way, Joe sure looks like you. He might even look more like you than YOU look like you . . . if that's even possible.

-Greg

6 days ago
Graham Smith commented on The End

Kathleen thanks for the comment. I appreciate it.

We’ve just arrived home and the fire and smoke situation here is much better here, but the bushfire emergency isn’t over yet. There are still uncontrolled fires gradually moving toward Canberra. May be rain will arrive in time. May be not.

We are entering uncharted times as climate change causes the weather swings to get wilder, and the atmospheric/ocean systems recalibrate to different averages and extremes. All we can do is expect the unexpected, and expect the weather to be wilder than it used to be.

Canadians and Australians share many similar cultural histories, and we obviously share experiences of weather extremes; but at different ends of the temperature spectrum. Your extreme cold weather is unimaginable to me.

If nothing else, these extreme weather events are character building, and good preparation for cycle touring which always has a few surprises.

6 days ago
Kathleen Classen commented on The End

Thank you so much for your journal. I loved reading it and appreciate the effort it takes to write each day. Best wishes on your return to Australia. We have been following the situation there closely-we have a beloved Australian daughter in law. We are on the west coast of Canada and wished often we could send some of our rain (which is currently snow) your way. Happy trails!

1 week ago
Graham Smith replied to a comment by Steve Miller/Grampies on a photo in Over the Hills to Hualien

Steve we didn’t see any more like it. So I’m now calling it unique, not just unusual.

1 week ago
Graham Smith commented on The End

You are welcome Angela. I had fun doing the journal so I hope a few people enjoy reading it.

1 week ago
Angela Naef commented on The End

Thanks for sharing you journey, I really enjoyed following along!

1 week ago
Steve Miller/Grampies commented on a photo in Over the Hills to Hualien

An unusual house for any area, I would say.

1 week ago
Graham Smith replied to a comment by Bill Shaneyfelt on a photo in It’s a Tad Windy

Thanks Bill. Mystery solved.

2 weeks ago
Bill Shaneyfelt commented on a photo in It’s a Tad Windy

Dragon fruit.

https://www.gardenloversclub.com/ornamental/cacti-succulents/dragon-fruit/dragon-fruit-plant-care/

2 weeks ago
Graham Smith replied to a comment by John Saxby on The Other Bike

Thanks John. It’s great hear from you.
Taiwan is turning out to be an excellent cycle touring region, especially the eastern side. It feels and looks very similar to the NZ South Island west coast.

And yes it is very grim at home for exactly the reasons you mentioned. I suspect we are living through some sort of major ecological tipping point. It’s hard to imagine that South East forests will ever recover from these mega fires. It might be a transition phase to major new ecosystems of more drought and fire tolerant vegetation as climate change dries and heats the continent. I’ve visibly noticed the changes in local bush land over the past decade.

A few friends have lost houses in the NSW South Coast fires. Many more farmer friends and colleagues are struggling because of the prolonged drought. There’s no sugar coating it. These are hard times in regional Australia. That said, I’m am grateful my own family are well, and able to enjoy life, and I’m especially pleased I’m doing this current tour with my eldest son.

All the best to you and your family.

2 weeks ago
John Saxby commented on The Other Bike

Thanks for your splendid story and photos, Graham -- especially liked the description of the monastery and spa in the hills. Nice contrast to our -18 windchill last night.

Thanks too for the info on your bikes. Good choices of machines and gear -- they seem to do the job very well.

We are watching the catastrophic fires from afar, all too conscious of that the fires mean for people throughout Australia. The areas we drove through in January 2018, from the great Ocean Road to Canberra and Sydney, are now either engulfed in flame or threatened. Of course we are anxious about our family in Gold Coast, but--so far--they seem to be in a corridor of relative tranquillity, with moderate temps and rain.

And, we think of you and your family, and other cyclists we know at a distance, such as Mike and Mary in Vic, and Sam and Kat in Newcastle. With too few exceptions, governments around the world seem unable to act with the imagination, creativity and scale of resources that the catastrophes and science demand. We have in Canada a comparable combination of political inertia, vested interests in fossil fuels, and stasis-cum-denialism that seem to afflict Aus as well. The interviews with Canadian firefighters, which we hear daily on the CBC, underscore just how how fierce and unprecedented these fires are.

I hope your family is and will be OK, and I can only imagine your own feelings just now.

Take care, John

2 weeks ago
Graham Smith commented on New Years Eve Taipei style

Thanks Scott. The bikes fine and I’m OK, but it was a surprise to be hit side-on in a bicycle lane!

The driver was highly apologetic with lots of bowing and fussing. He simply didn’t see me even though I was in high vis with a flashing light on.

The front left side of the bike took bit of hit, but the quick release folding mechanism saved it by not being too tight. The wheel and front fork were pushed 180° out of alignment to the handlebars. Easily fixed because it’s a quick release tightening mechanism.

3 weeks ago