2020 Taiwan

25/11, ride around the Island, day 7, Alishan

Long day today. 102k ride with some 3000m of elevation gain, with the main climb over a length of some 66k. Climbing from 325m to 2615m. That’s quite lot more than I’ve ever done on my bike 😳 While planning my rides I always try to limit my max elevation gain around 1500m, because I know how much I hate climbing 😂 So today’s climb was a bit of a personal, challenge, pushing my boundaries and stuff. What helped in daring to take on this challenge, is that it’s quite a gradual climb, with an average incline of about 5%. While planning I figured that I would be able to keep up the uphill cycling a bit longer than when in would have been a really steep climb. But I managed 😊 Very happy with myself. It was a long day though. I left at 530, even before it was light. However it was really nice to see the light come up over the foggy mountains! The first 15k was downhill and after that started the long 66k ascend. I just took my time and frequently stopped to fuel myself and to relieve my bum from the saddle. The road was only two lanes with a lot of vegetation on each side, so I got to ride in the shade a lot, which was very pleasant and made the gradual incline very manageable. Next to that, with the increase of altitude the temperature dropped as well. At 2000m it was only 18 degrees and at 2600m it had even dropped to twelve. The top of the mountain was covered by foggy clouds, so the mist and the low temperature made the last 20k of descend quite chilly. Nevertheless it was a nice change from the hot Taiwanese weather. I made it to my hotel around 1630, meaning it has take me 11 hours to complete today’s ride (including breaks). It was a great ride though, with spectacular views, lots of monkeys, little other traffic, no exhaust fumes and many encouragements from locals, often rolling down the window of their car and then giving me a thumps up! As I already said, very pleased with myself 😊

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