Monday, June 18, 2012


I recently bought a trail-a-bike copy for my 5-year old son.
Summer vacation is just a few weeks away and I wanted to take him with me on some trips, so I thought I'd give it a try.

Adam's Trail-a-bikes in North America are fairly expensive; $245-320CDN, but this one cost $4,800NT ($165CDN). Mountain Equipment Co-op in Vancouver sells their own version for $190 + tax, but it didn't get very good reviews:

   I was surprised by how much the slack on the joint affects handling for the adult. As the kid pedals or moves, their body weight will shift position significantly and impact the balance on the front bike. I found myself "fighting" it all the time to where my hands and upper body were noticeably tired after riding. Having done a fair bit of cross country mountain biking, I probably have above average handling skills compared to a more novice recreational-riding parent, so I would encourage trying it out before buying. For occasional riding with the family, the trailabike still fits the bill and the MEC one is good quality and priced right.

    I definitely noticed that my handling was affected by weight shifts on this trailer and had to fight to hold my line. Found it best to try and keep my upper body as relaxed as possible and just let my line wander a little. Was really great to be out riding together with my son though. We took the long way home from his school and followed the bike path along the Love River. Got quite a few surprised looks from people we passed and lots of smiles.

Gonna have to go helmet shopping with him this weekend, and get a proper bike helmet that doesn't slip back on his head.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Good Reviews

More and more people seem to be discovering what those of us lucky enough to live and cycle here already knew; Taiwan is a great place to tour by bicycle.

The National:
Top 10: See the world on two wheels with the best cycling holidays
"Taiwan remains an unsung cycling destination"

Why Taiwan Deserves a Spot on Lonely Planet's Top 10

The Hungry Cyclist:
The Hungry Cyclist in Taiwan

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Amazing Photo Collection

Torrential rain all weekend in Kaohsiung - time to get busy in the workshop if I'm gonna make it to work on Monday.

 This photo is from Bangkok during the floods last year.

To see the rest of the amazing 48 photos in this collection go to

Monday, June 4, 2012

Kaohsiung Bike Shops

There are not many bike shops in KHH with English service, but I've had good experience with these:

John's Craft Cyclist's Bike Shop  
This is by far the best bike shop in town. Run by Justin Wang; an excellent mechanic and all around nice guy.
Located near downtown Kaohsiung in the Lingya district at #77 Szwei 4th Road
(A few blocks north of the 85F Tuntex Sky Tower building)
(07) 336-0734 / 0931-747-428  open Mon - Sat  1:30 to 9:30p.m.

Giant Bike Shop - Tsoying ( Zuoying)
I'm not a big fan of Giant bike shops as they just have ... well ... Giant bikes. But, the fellows who work here speak English well, know their bikes, and do good work. Plus, it's really close to the Tsoying High Speed Train station and my house.
(Head east out the front entrance of the station, past the 7-11 and Linda's Thai restaurant and turn right at the first big intersection (HuaXia rd) and it's on the right just past the Highway 10 overpass - 769 HuaXia)
(07) 341-6972  open 10a.m. to 10p.m. everyday

The closest bike shop to the main train station is also a Giant store. Exit from the rear (North) of the train station onto Juoru rd and turn right. It's a couple of blocks down Juoru on the lefthand side opposite a big BINGO place.

The only Giant shop in Kaohsiung that has touring bikes for rent is the one just south of the Wufu road / Love river bridge.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Highway 28 to Cishan

Left the house at 6:30a.m. and headed up past the Sugar Refinery to Yanchiao for breakfast.

Some classic wheels out for a Sunday drive pulled up in front of the Family Mart.

Was very nice weather for riding this morning in KHH - about 27 degrees with overcast skies.
The two moderate climbs on highway 14 and 37 flew by and I was feeling strong.

I was feeling so strong, that I decided to alter my route and finally ride highway 28 out to Cishan - land of the banana. This is a 4-lane highway with virtually no shade that requires a nice overcast day like today. The first couple of hills went by alright and then, just when the only way back was forward, the clouds suddenly disappeared - the trap had been sprung.

The "Cishan 7km" sign turned out to only tell the distance to the district line and several more punishing climbs still stood between me and Cishan. It's no coincidence that overheat and defeat form a rhyming couplet.

The closer look at the sights of Cishan will have to wait for another trip on a cooler day when I'm not a puddle of my former self.

1) Sugar Refinery MRT - Yanchiao : 8km totally flat
2) Yanchiao - Tianliao via road 14 and 37 : 12km with a couple of 6-8min. climbs.
3) Tianliao - Cishan on highway 28: 5 or 6 short but steep climbs; each a bit longer than the last.

To see this ride on Bikemap:
Ciaotao - Cishan