28 Dec 2008
more pictures (courtesy of Black Serow and fserow)
This morning me and my partner had the honor to join the local biking club; Formosan Serow Biking Club for a ride from Kaohsiung to Tainan. The whole ride had covered a total distance of 105.7Km. This was far by any long distance ride we had ever taken in a day.
At the rendezvous point we met the group leader Ah Mao (Hat) and he later introduced us to Ah Gui, the legendary rider which I had read much about him over the internet. Ah Gui is one of the club leaders from what I understood. He had many years of riding experience and at the moment he and the club are trying hard to promote and save Gaia for a Greener Earth.
We started our ride at 815am from the rendezvous point. The group of about 10 bikers had a mix of off-road, road and halfway bikes. During the start of the ride I thought this was to be a casual ride. I was surprised the group had sped off during the first 3Km. Being out of form and my partner entree level to biking, we had a hard time catching up with them. I did an average speed of 22 to 24km/h on our MTB but it was an endless battle to catch with them. I had to pace with my partner as she does not have the stamina to ride that fast pace. Gradually we fell far behind, not until some distance we met one of the biker; O-Yang. He waited for us and later assisted my partner by give her a push on the back. O-Yang was riding a road bike and while he had assisted my partner, they were doing like 27 to 28km/h at some point. Instead I was the one who fell behind. I was able to keep up with his speed not until some point I ran out of juice and my old injury on my right knee started to hurt...hehehe.
Finally after two and a half hour and 41.5Km, we managed to meet up with the group at Tainan Train Station. At this point, more bikers showed up. Some came by train and others by car. There was even a kid, I think he is around 7yrs old and he was riding a 20" bike and joint us for the city tour. Hat as the leader of the pack took us round the city of Tainan, he showed us some of the Historic site and local delicacy.
We ended our tour around 5pm and started to head back to Kaohsiung. We told O-Yang not to wait for us as we will take a slow ride back. It was really a slow ride back as my partner started to show sign of weariness. At around 6.45pm we decided to stop at Gangshan Township for our dinner. My partner told me that at Gangshan Township they serve very good mutton hotpot so we decided to stop when we saw the first restaurant serving it. And I must say the mee-sau was really good.... By the time we ended our dinner it was almost 730pm. Slow and steady we rode the last 21km and arrive back home just 5mins after 9pm.
I had never joined any group rides before but I must say the FSB Club is one of the nicer club with friendly bikers. I like to thanks the Club for allowing us to join them and my first historic ride in Taiwan. We will look forward for more activities with the club and hope we can be their member one day. They had invited me for another ride this coming Sat 3 Jan 2009. It will be somewhere in Pingtung and I understand it will cover 30 to 40 Km off-road around the mountain. I wish Singapore had such off-road distance. Now my only fear is that I am not able to catch with them on such distance….sigh! Let see how it come next week.