Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Sep 24 2006

It’s been a while since I took the Crazy Bike out …

It’s been a while since I took the Crazy Bike out for a spin, due to weather and various engagements. As Saturday dawned I still hadn’t gone to bed, having gone out drinking to celebrate Dean’s return to Taiwan and consumed a long line of rum and cokes. The coke kept me up and the rum kept me drunk, not the best combination. I went home and spent hours posting inane messages all over the Internet and chatting until 7am before the buzz and wakefulness finally died.

When I got up at noon, the weather outside was fine, not too hot, and only slightly cloudy. I took the Crazy Bike across the street to pump up it’s flat tires and set out up the river. The wind was at my back and I made good time, reaching the Xinhai Bridge across the Dahan River at about 4pm. I decided to explore some unfamiliar territory and crossed the bridge, heading upstream. The path ascended the floodwall and continued, interrupted by sporadic crazy dips around floodgates. Markers set in the pavement read “Yingge-Danshui Bike Path” and had kilometer markings that indicated Yingge was about 10km away from the bridge.

The path passed through residential sections and a park, and then past a recycling complex that featured a huge silver dome as well as a range of foul odors. Beyond that, the developments thinned out, with nice new apartment buildings and parks. The path followed the train tracks, which skirted the edge of the hills to the north. The kilmeters on the markers counted down as I cycled past fishing ponds and tumble-down embankments dotted with fishermen, nearly crashing as I watched an express train pass me up.

The path ended abruptly at a construction fence, apparently just short of Yingge, along the river. (see this picture for satellite location map). There was no way around or any other path to follow. I got off and took the above picture, then turned around. It was 5pm and the sun was starting to set, the shadows of the hills spreading across the path.

The reason for my speedy progress quickly became apparent as I pushed against a fairly strong wind. The going was a lot slower. After dark the path lights came on, but certain sections were completely dark, so I strapped on a headlamp I’d brought along for just such an occasion. Then it started raining, so I hurridly stowed my iRiver and donned a convenience-store plastic raincoat.

The rain lasted until I got back across the bridge and well on my way back down the Xindian River. I don’t usually ride that late, and there were fewer people out and about, which made for nicer riding in general.

I got back home at about nine wanting a big hot meal, so I ordered a couple of pizzas. Remind to never again eat that much pizza in one sitting. Urgh.

posted by Poagao at 4:10 am  

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