Ride of Wuling, Taiwan

Eight of us have been planning to ride the brutal Wuling peak since early 2014. With the help of "Howard's Bike" in Taipei, Johnny has lined up 8 riders from Hong Kong and 7 from Taipei to ride both East and West sides up the big mountain. Sitting high up at 3,275 meters elevation across Hualien and Taroko Country Park in Taichung, Wuling could be a tricky mountain to climb without the support of a vehicle suppling energy food, water, spare tubes and tools.

We hit the shop "Howard's Bike" in Taipei right after landing. After getting the bikes ready, two vans took us through the long and winding Suhua Highway to a guest house in Taroko for the first night.

In order to time our lunch 60km away from the guest house at Pilushenmu(碧綠神木), we had to have breakfast and head out at 8am. The air was heavy and everyone was hoping for a day with less brutal conditions at the top.

Once we started the ride into the valley, we knew the worry was unnecessary. 20k down the road, we were well lit by the sun. We constantly looked up to the mountain tops at an angle that was unaccustomed to all of us from Hong Kong, we rarely needed to tilt our heads this way to see the peak back home. 

The first 60k were pretty easy and enjoyable. We finished our lunch and then added supports from the vehicle, and went on to ride the remaining 25k. Four bananas, four gels, two Hammer bars, and bottles of water downed for me during the ride. The fatigue accumulated in the legs and it made the final 10k very excruciating. We arrived in an area where plenty of hairpins and gradients as much as 20% were frequent. Yeung, riding a vintage Pinerello steel bike with standard chainrings and 11-25T cassette, was paying the price. Yet he managed to follow Jerry, the wonder boy of the trip, right to the finish point first and second. The Hong Kong group was in a good form and finished early at the Wuling top. Hugs and high-fives exchanged, without further ado, we put on dry jersey and hardshell and got ready for the 25k descend to the guest house on the West side at Qingjing. 

The second day's plan was to climb 25k (about 1600m) back to Wuling and then descend back to the first guest house in Taroko. The sun was shinning even brighter than the first day and the mountains looked handsome and stern. Wuling usually welcomes people with windchill, fog and mist but today it's obviously making an exception.

After lunch we started to go downhill to Taroko, which turned out to be a 1.5 hours grand descend - a non-stop 60k fast ride pushing a Mazda for almost an hour. The driver must have hated our guts that he couldn't shake us off. Four of us finished the grand descend faster and the first thing we wanted to do was to down a can of coke.

We were so blessed with the weather. many nice photos were taken. Just check #智破武嶺 on Instagram you could see all our photos. Wuling is definitely a rider's dream route. We shall be back.

Hong Kong riders:
Brian Fu (Wraith), Eddy Cheung (Firefly), Eric Lee (Esoteric), Jerry Lo (Cervélo), Johnny Au (Colnago), Louis Lo (Cyfac), Raymond Yuen (Crompton), and Yu Ho Yeung (Pinerello)