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Destination Everywhere: 4 Days in Taiwan

Earlier this year, a group of riders embarked on a four-day trip from Taipei to Hengchun. The group traversed the West Coast of Taiwan from north to south. The plan was initially to visit the lush mountains of Taiwan, but the earthquake that hit the Hualin province in April made that plan impossible. Here are the things Jenny Park learned on her four-day journey with the group of riders from the Taipei community.

Words by Jenny Park

Day 1: Taipei to Lukan 218 km

The weather can be unpredictable in Taiwan. The thought of riding in the rain is - “character building”. I learned that from the girls on the first day. Also, as we rode out of busy Taipei, I noticed that Taiwan feels like some kind of 7-Eleven heaven. And that Pocari Sweat will quickly become your best friend. At our first lunch stop, we left our bikes outside the restaurant. Unlocked. Not really something I’m used to in the US.

Day 2: Lukan to Kaohsiung 203km

Before we embarked on another very long day on the bike, we started with a - considering the distance we were about to ride - pretty small breakfast.

But at our lunch stop it all started to come together for me. We stopped at a seaport in what felt like the middle of nowhere. And then the crew started ordering their lunch and the dishes came rolling. At first, I was sceptical. It seemed to me that they might’ve overdone it a bit. But with the thought of having to complete a 200km day, I dug in.

Day 3: Kaohsiung to Kenting 117km

On Day 3 we made it down to the south of Taiwan. As the distance was a bit more friendly, we made the most of the day with a few landmark visit - including a cat sculpture exhibition- and a few extra café stops.

Day 4: Hengchun 120km

The last day was a reminder to me, that ultimately riding my bike is all about enjoying the moment. We are too often concerned about the destination, keeping us from being present. On a hot summer day, ripping down a descent to be greeted with ocean views and a cooling ocean breeze was that reminder.

I don’t know if I’ll ever come back to Taiwan, but I made the most of it on the last day. I felt like I paid respect to my body for enabling me to travel across the globe and ride my bike with new friends. It is a privilege I don’t take for granted.