Monday, July 26, 2010

Giant Cup DH

Despite the organizers being somewhat confused about start times, the races went off reasonably well. Since I participated in most of the events, I was unable to get many photos. A couple of friends of BikeMosa were entered in various races but were unable to race.

One of our friends did the downhill race and I was able to get some photos of him.

Here The Lens practices for the race.

The organizers decided to try to make the downhill a spectacle and many riders were sent to hospital due to an almost impossible-to-ride wall ride. Luckily, The Lens did not join the wounded at the hospital.

In fact, The Lens was so cool that he had time for a nap between runs.

Here, The Lens is ripping it up in the final on a hardtail.

The most of the other racers had big full suspension bikes. The Lens did an awesome job and finished 6th in the elite category. That means he got on the podium and got prize money! Great race for a guy who was just out for fun.

Monday, July 19, 2010


You should never wear headphones when you ride, especially ones that block out the sound of traffic.

I like to wear headphones but I find that the cord pulls down and irritates me. Of course a lot of things irritate me, but I digress.

To solve this problem, I zip tie a small safety pin to the cord. I can then attach this to my shirt (jersey) and they ear buds stay in my ear without any problem.

I also use a twist tie to tie up the extra cord so that it doesn't whip around in the wind (and irritate me).

Finally, I put my MP3 player in a plastic Ziploc bag so that no sweat can get into it.

For the past few years I have been using Sony headphones, but recently they have been failing after only a few months use. (I assume it is because sweat is getting into them and corroding the wire). I just bought a pair of lower end audio-technica headphones and the sound isn't as good as the Sony ones but I want to see how long they last before getting nicer ones. I assume that the more expensive ones will have better sound quality.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Group Rides (Taichung)

It can be difficult to find people to ride with here. Often group rides are slow or end up stopping for lunch, snacks, tea houses, special attractions, 7-11s and so on. If, however, you are looking for something with a moderate to fast pace, there is a group that might suit your needs.

If you are interested in riding with this group, they meet at the corner of Wenshin Road and Taichung Gang Road (WenXin and TaiZhongGang on the Google map) at the Family Mart. On the map it is the green, white and blue icon.

View Larger Map

They meet at 6 am, Saturday morning in the summer and 7am, Saturday morning in the winter. Lately they have been doing 90km rides but I have been promised that the distances will increase to 140km. As these are group training rides, you should bring your road bike and be ready to ride.

If you want more info, contact Attie at (886) 0922 495 511.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Stuff That Is Awesome #1

You may be wondering why I started with a photo of ratty shoes. The reason they are ratty is I used them to death. I used these shoes for years, meaning that they have undergone tens of thousands of kilometers of riding before I finally replaced them. The only reason that I replaced them was that the toe was falling apart.

These shoes are:
-super durable
-very comfortable
-fairly priced
-super stiff
-easy to adjust

I have tried many different kinds of shoes and these are among the best. The newer versions look even nicer. These ones should fit even better because you heat-mold the insoles to the shape of your foot.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

In Progress

Once upon a time there was a burgeoning dirt jump scene in Taichung. The riders were happy because they had a great place to jump. It had amazing views and it was out in the open so it was easy to take good photos. Then it was decided that the jump spot was the prefect place for a road. Never mind that there was another, underused, road about 500 meters away. The jumps were destroyed, along with years of hard work. This angered the riders and they vowed to find a new place to ride.

(Cue triumphant music). Thanks to the hard work of one fellow named Doc, a place was found! This place has deep dirt, just waiting to be shaped. Thanks to DoubLe, Doc and some others, the shaping has already started. (I would say who but I was not there to help out). In the end, the riders built and amazing place to ride and jumped happily ever after.

The Englishman has helped out as well.

There is more to be seen but the light was not great but due to blood loss from mosquito bites I left without taking more shots.

If you want to know where this is, or want to help out, leave your contact info and someone will get back to you.

Monday, July 12, 2010

What I Have Broken #1

One of the problems with living in Taiwan is that summers are really, really hot. This wouldn't be a problem, if it weren't for the sweat. Some riders ride without gloves which I thought was worth trying. This is the result.

At the time they broke, I had just stood up to go up a little rise in the road but I wasn't pulling too hard. One side broke off but luckily I didn't crash. I broke off the other side about two minutes from home (but this time I tried to do it).

Presumably the salt from the sweat went onto the bars and since one doesn't remove the tape after every ride, the salt built up and oxidized the bars.

Tips? Check your bars often for signs of oxidation. Replace aluminum bars every year or so. Use carbon bars. Wear gloves.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Neng Gao and Chi Lai South Peak

Lots of pixels have been published about the Neng Gao trail in Nantou. You can find articles here in English and here in Chinese. Most people ride from the entrance up to the Tian Chi cabin then bomb back down. I decided to hit the Chi Lai South Peak for a look. It is about 4.5 km of hiking/pushing and it takes a while to get up there.

This is part of what you are facing.

Once you get up there the oxygen is pretty thin. The peak is 3350, or so, meters above sea level. Apparently there is only 70% of the oxygen available there, compared to sea level. This site gives you a calculator to figure it out. Despite this, or perhaps because of this, the view from the peak is amazing. One of the side effects is that you can't get as much oxygen to your brain and you can't make decisions as clearly or ride technical single track as well.

The reward for all your pushing is this descent.

As seen below, the trail is much narrower than the main Neng Gao trail but it is a lot more challenging and fun.

Is it worth it the hour or two of pushing and carrying? Depends on your fitness and skill level. If you are fit enough, and technically skilled enough, it is.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Taiwan Riding Videos

One of the guys we ride with makes some great videos. Here is one with a cool vibe to it.

This one is the most recent one.

Giant Cup Race July 24-25th

There is a race coming up on July 24-25th in Daja, Taichung county. Here is the link to the info. There is a road race and hill climb on the 24th and a DH and XC race on the 25th.