In Hsinchu: a short day ride by the sea - A Month in Taiwan - CycleBlaze

December 20, 2018

In Hsinchu: a short day ride by the sea

I woke this morning about 8, when I heard rustling from Rachael.  I was startled to hear she had already been awake for an hour and a half, and had done the laundry at our hotel’s facility.  I’m usually quite a light sleeper, so this was pretty amazing.  A sound night’s sleep - probably the best therapy for a cold.

We have a flat, lazy ride planned for today - west to the coast, and then north along it for as far as we feel like like going.  It’s showering lightly this morning, so we wait around until noon before leaving the hotel.  When we start out it’s misting almost imperceptibly, not enough to matter.

We have about a forty mile ride in mind when we set out - 20 north, and then just backtrack - but we end up only going half that. After the first three miles we leave Hsinchu behind and enter a broad, flat river delta - great for lazy cycling on the narrow paved lanes that crisscross it.  

Once across the delta we planned to follow the coast north, mostly along lanes and a coastal bike path.  These plans terminate though when we come to a mile and a half long scary-looking tunnel - not something we care to bike through, and certainly not twice on our out and back.  There is a small road or path that skirts it, but not for us today - it disappears into a large construction site so is at least temporarily closed.

So, we just turn back the way we came.  Pretty short ride, not much beyond a rest day really.  A bit disappointing, but it’s nice to get out and get some fresh air and to feel my health come back a bit more.  We’ll do more tomorrow.

We’re staying in a nice place in Hsinchu. It includes a book of inspirational or insightful words from Chinese works. Here are the good words for today.
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Ready to ride, just waiting for lunch to walk out the door.
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If we feel the need for a quick nap, we could book a room for three hours here.
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Bruce LellmanSo that's what those places are for - quick naps.
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5 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Bruce LellmanWell, a rest actually - it says so right there. A quickie shuteye. Wink, wink.
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5 months ago
Image not found :(
The view east across the rice fields that blanket the delta of the Touqian River.
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Once we get out of Hsinchu, most of our short ride is on lanes like this, alongside the river or canals, surrounded by rice fields. I’ll bet it’s really lovely once the rice grows out.
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The delta feels like a big bird sanctuary, with herons and egrets constantly taking flight as we bike along. I really like the coloring on the grey heron, which looks very similar to our great blue but with bolder markings.
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Mangrove swamp
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Walking catfish? A segment of a long mural lining one of the dikes.
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Sue PriceThis looks like a thing we saw on the ruins at Chichen Itza!
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5 months ago
Paddle wheel aerators are a common sight in the ponds here.
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I remember this bike path along the coast from our first tour here.
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Still the same path, but with a bit more difficult surface - slick brick interspersed by breaks filled with rotting blocks of wood, some deep and wide enough that you’re better off dismounting.
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Magpie and rice stubble
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Steve Miller/GrampiesGood shooting. I have found that the maximum time a Magpie stays in one place is one second shorter than my time to get out and focus the camera. Consequently I have never achieved a photo like this.

Steve
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5 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Steve Miller/GrampiesYou too? That’s so funny. While I was taking this photo I was telling Rachael how rare it was. I can never get a shot of magpies either - they really know their distance. My theory is that the rice fermented and the bird is drunk in sake.
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5 months ago
A closer look at a sacred ibis.
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Ride stats today: 20 miles, 100’; for the tour: 301 miles, 14,500’

Today's ride: 20 miles (32 km)
Total: 217 miles (349 km)

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