Pedal Taiwan have been running tours in Taiwan for several years now, but the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that for the first time they’ve been forced to take a break.
Before the break however, a lucky few from Sydney Triathlon Endurance and Multi-sport Club (STEAM) were lucky enough to get a tour in mid-March, just weeks before the borders closed. Thanks to Taiwan’s incredible response to the pandemic, it turned out to be a very successful trip.
The Hot Springs
Taiwan is known for its natural hot springs, and the team took full advantage of them throughout the trip.
Starting off in Taipei, capital city and home to the Beitou hot springs, the team recharged ahead of their big cycling trip. Next, at Ruisui, following a long day of riding down the coast the guys enjoyed another dip in some hot springs, this time having actually earned it!
The hot springs were especially appreciated after completing the KOM Challenge route - arguably the toughest cycle climb in the world. A well-deserved recovery, then!
The “Rest” Day
Pedal Taiwan makes sure to schedule in rest days, but cyclists can opt for some leisurely cycling if the group’s feeling up to it.
Needless to say the STEAM guys had no interest in resting, and instead opted for a 50km cycle around the incredibly beautiful Liyu Lake. This turned out to be one of the best days, and included a refreshing dip in the lake accompanied by a tasty barbeque in the sun - what more could you ask for?
The KOM Challenge Route
Notoriously the toughest one-day cycling challenge in the world, the Taiwan KOM Challenge is not for the faint-hearted.
A 105km route, starting at sea-level and continuously rising to peak at 3,275 metres, it also features some incredible views and the STEAM crew relished both the beauty and the challenge.
This part of the tour was especially difficult and a special mention goes to Mark, who got to the top first and absolutely smashed it. Despite the difficulty the sense of achievement made it worth the pain - a feeling any passionate cyclist knows only too well.
The amazing Taiwanese food is always a surprise for people on their first visit. A team favourite was the Reu Chou in Hualien, but it’s fair to say there were many culinary highlights.
Being able to settle down each evening after a long, hard day of cycling and be guaranteed some of the tastiest food in the world (yes, the world) is an absolute privilege, and is one of the many attractions of Taiwan. The beer also warrants a mention - a treat Taiwan isn’t necessarily known for, but still very much appreciated by the team!
There were many highlights of this awesome tour and it was great to see the team enjoy it as much as they did. To read the full day-to-day rundown of the tour head over to Pedal Taiwan’s blog page. They’re hoping to get tours running again by the end of the year and post regular updates on their blog page, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.