Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Day 9: Hualien - Yilan

Time: 6:45:49
Distance: 123.71km
Average Speed: 18.1km/h

Weather conditions were good so I decided to cycle on "The Most Dangerous Road In Taiwan". When it rains a lot of people take the train for a few kilometres (Due to rockfalls) but since it was sunny I thought it would be fine. The road out of Hualien, Highway 9 is very safe for the first 20km but after that it narrows as it moves along the coast. Trucks from local quarries go up and down the road which is narrow and hasn't got much of a shoulder. If cycling on the seaside there is only a wall less than a metre tall protecting you from plunging to your death should you get a nudge from one of the passing cars or trucks (or maybe even one of your friends). Having said all of that this is a very fun road to cycle. The views are amazing and there are a lot of climbs and probably more descents (If coming from the South). There are also a lot of tunnels on the route. I stopped and pulled in a lot of times today to let the traffic past especially while climbing for fear of getting that nudge. Most drivers are respectful of cyclists and will not honk at you to get out of the way. Because of all the quarry trucks there is a lot of sand and dust on the road so by the time I got to Yilan both me and the bike were covered in black dirt. We will stay in a hotel in Yilan tonight. Tomorrow we will start really early as we will try to make it back to Taipei in one day by the coast road.

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