Sunday, September 30, 2007

commute photo essay - exit #1, end

This is The Wall (downstairs to the right), arguably Taipei's coveted venue for indie and local bands. I haven't been there yet because, well, I'm too old. +/- (James Baluyut's post-Versus band) came to Taipei and played there, and I didn't even go to that for that reason. Anyway, I pass it on the way to school going this way. It's right at the end of the Fuhe Bridge, near Roosevelt Road.

And this is the last intersection before I reach the block that the Taida campus is on. It's actually a traffic circle with Keelung Road going off to the right, and Roosevelt road going off to the left on the other side of that overpass. The block Taida campus is on is directly ahead of me on the other side of the overpass. And that's my hand at the edge of the lomo. Better my hand than the camera strap, but no, that won't do either.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Peace Train (Cat Stevens)
2. Red Shoes (Throwing Muses)
3. Maxwell's Silver Hammer (The Beatles - Anthology)
4. Quadrophenia (The Who)
5. You Wanna Bet ("Sweet Charity")
6. Don't Leave Me Now (live) (Pink Floyd)
7. Buy Her Candy (Sleater-Kinney)
8. God's Children (The Kinks)
9. Clap Your Hands (A Tribe Called Quest)
10. Symphony No. 2, III. Andante espressivo (Hovhaness)

Friday, September 28, 2007

commute photo essay - exit #1, Fuhe Bridge

It's really just a short ride on the Fuhe Bridge down to the surface streets to get to school. And it's all on sidewalk which is nice when motor scooters flood the morning rush hour traffic.

The motor scooter lane is on the right. You have to imagine it cram packed full of motor scooters to get a sense of the global warming contribution of Taiwan. Oh, and note the bridge support on the right. If you're not careful, you can totally whack your head on it. In the U.S., it's a lawsuit waiting to happen. In Taiwan, it's just the way they designed it.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Behold! The Night Mare (Smashing Pumpkins)
2. When I See Red (Echobelly)
3. Failure (Alfie Remake) (Kings of Convenience)
4. Starting of the World ("Haibane Renmei")
5. 32 Flavors (live) (Ani DiFranco)
6. I'm Looking Through You (The Beatles - Anthology)
7. Life & Soul (The Sundays)
8. Winter (David Byrne - Music for "The Knee Plays")
9. Tonight's the Night (Part 1) (Neil Young)
10. Evacuation (Pearl Jam)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

commute photo essay - Fuhe Bridge exit

This abandoned motor scooter has been here for a while. It takes the authorities a while to dispose of abandoned motor scooters. You can still see the ramp leading from the riverside bikeway in this lomo.

The maze of elevated freeways immediately upon exiting the riverside bikeways is a quick reminder of how nice it is to be a cyclist, and not a fossil-fuel guzzling internal combustion engine slave. That's a drainage channel down there, and homeless people camp out in those concrete hovels at the lower left.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. For Your Life (Led Zeppelin)
2. Nagisa no Bird Watching (The Bubble Gum Brothers)
3. Stay (Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories)
4. Sunburnt (764-HERO)
5. Your Next Bold Move (Ani DiFranco)
6. Ajisai Dori (Spitz)
7. Super Bad (James Brown)
8. Funny Honey ("Chicago")
9. 1984 (live) (David Bowie)
10. Get Off the Internet (Le Tigre)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ping Xi 平溪 completed ride

This morning I headed east on Rte. 106 to complete that ride to Ping Xi that I abandoned a few weeks back. It was supposed to be an easy ride out to as far as Shifen and then back. I must have noted on the map that Rte. 106 continues on, but it ends out near Keelung, and I didn't think I could ride that far.

So the ride out to Ping Xi and then Shifen was nice, and as easy as before with mild climbing. It was a clear sunny morning and the mountain views were just gorgeous. I think for views in Taiwan, nothing beats mountain riding.

But then at some point in Shifen, I saw a map and finishing off 106 seemed doable, and just returning back on 106 seemed unsatisfying. Continuing on 106 beckoned invitingly, and I don't think I thought too much about it before continuing on.

I did get a sense that 106 heading north out of Shifen meant climbing, but I felt I could handle it, even though I hadn't eaten anything and hadn't seen any places to grab something to eat. And I was right, it was a lot of climbing out of Shifen, but not leg-busting like out of Pinglin.

I never went down to my granny gear, although I was tempted once or twice, and looking ahead at mountains I would probably have to climb was never daunting or discouraging. The climb topped off at over 1800', and I saw it coming, and no more climbing beyond that. It was perfect to be right (for once).

The downhill towards Keelung had great views of the Pacific Ocean, with tankers off shore. At the end of Rte. 106, I turned left on Rte. 2丁, but was almost disoriented since this part of the ride wasn't planned. I just knew generally to head west back into Taipei, and I also found that I was riding along the Keelung River, which curiously doesn't drain into the Pacific Ocean at Keelung, but flows all the way back into Taipei before joining the Danshui into the Taiwan Straits.

So I thought as long as I kept abreast of the river (and was right about it), I would end up back in Taipei. Also there was a rail line and what looked like a National Highway, which would have been National Highway 1, connecting Keelung and Taipei. All of these things pointed towards Taipei, so I thought I shouldn't have any problem.

The only thing I didn't know was how far away Taipei was. I was under the impression Keelung was like at least 20 miles from Taipei, which meant a pretty exhausting ride, only mitigated by knowing there was no climbing between Taipei and Keelung.

But I was wrong. There's only one town between Taipei and Keelung, and within a reasonable distance, I started seeing signs for Taipei at 8km. To be fair though, from getting on Rte. 5 in Keelung to getting home in Xindian was about 20 miles, so I'm not saying the ride was a walk in the park.

And that 8km to Taipei, was to the Taipei border, so there was all of east Taipei to go through, all ratty urban riding. In the end, the ride turned out to be my longest ride in Taiwan, and even in San Francisco, I think I only did one ride that was longer. The actual ride was 57 miles, but my total riding for the day was 100km. Not bad. If I'm setting my sights on riding around the island before heading back to the U.S., these kinds of distances will be necessary.

Monday, September 24, 2007

commute photo essay - exit #1

This is the top of the ramp (looking back down) from the previous post, where it hits the sidewalk along the Fuhe Bridge. One person at a time, I'm teaching Taiwanese cyclists, by way of example, that the easy way through these barriers is to pull up your bike vertical on its back wheel and maneuver it through. But not all cyclists are able to do this, since many old people use their bikes to carry various and sundry items, making it impossible without losing their load.

That's the Xindian River off to the right, and the periwinkle elevated freeways to the left.

And here's the update to the graffiti post, several posts ago. This is exactly where that lomo was taken. Since this was shot, the entire lower part has been graffiti-ed very amateurishly and looks terrible. I'm not sure what the sign says, but it looks like it says something about not graffiti-ing the wall, which of course is an invitation to graffiti artists, good and bad.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Big Business (David Byrne - "The Catherine Wheel")
2. Glass Onion (The Beatles - Anthology)
3. Kings and Queens (Aerosmith)
4. Imagine That (Ani DiFranco)
5. My Lovely Man (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
6. On My Hotel T.V. (Skunk Anansie)
7. Bernadette (The Kinks)
8. Coffee Homeground (Kate Bush)
9. Someday We'll Know (New Radicals)
10. The Way Back (Whysall Lane)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

commute photo essay - exit #1

Elevated freeways make Taipei go. Not that I would know since I rarely have been on them. I think they're painting them all periwinkle. I mean "light purple". I'm not in San Francisco anymore, so apparently, according to my sister-in-law's older sister, I can't get away with knowing colors like "periwinkle" and "fuscia" without some formal declaration that I'm gay. Or rather, outside of San Francisco, saying "periwinkle" or "fuscia" is a formal declaration that I'm gay. Or would be, since I'm not gay.

Why is it that saying one is not gay sounds more gay than not saying anything at all? In any case, if Taipei is painting all its freeways periwinkle, doesn't that make Taipei gay?

This ramp at the left, leading from the riverside area, is my first of three opportunities to get to school, and is slowly becoming my favored one because of the minimal exposure to car traffic, which is an issue since I have 8:00 class again, meaning rush hour traffic. It leads up to the Fuhe Bridge, and from there I ride on the sidewalk to surface streets, and with the crossing of a couple consecutive intersections, I'm on the campus block.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Conjugate the Verbs (Enon)
2. Yes (Black Sheep)
3. Hikaru Kaigara (Chitose Hajime)
4. Give Me Back My Name (Talking Heads)
5. Paradox (Kansas)
6. If I Ever Hear You Knocking On My Door (Southern All-Stars)
7. Going Under (Marillion)
8. Sunday Bloody Sunday (live) (U2)
9. God Is a Number (Sleater-Kinney)
10. Soul Survivor (The Rolling Stones)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

commute photo essay - graffiti

You'd think that miles and miles of levee wall along the riverside bikeways and parks would produce miles and miles of graffiti art. There's some graffiti, but I guess much of the wall is covered with ivy.

There will be an update to this lomo later. I thought this was a nice bit of graffiti art, but then the city white-washed the entire wall and put up a sign that I couldn't read, but it was something about graffiti. Predictably, that entire section of white-wash has since been graffiti-ed and not half as nice as this. Low graffiti art perhaps. At least this has interesting elements. What's there now is just a mess.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Crime of the Century (Supertramp)
2. Mayonnaise (acoustic) (Smashing Pumpkins)
3. Mary Had a Little Lamb (live) (Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble)
4. Yer Blues (The Beatles)
5. Symphony No. 41, IV. Molto Allegro (Mozart)
6. 3rd Planet (Modest Mouse)
7. Lullaby of Broadway ("42nd Street")
8. Classical Thump (Victor Wooten)
9. Less Than a Moment (Shannon Wright)
10. Cold Lampin' With Flava (Public Enemy)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

camera strap photo essay

RAAAAAARGGGHHH!!!!! I've been practicing roaring like Chewbacca lately, in hopes that when people are annoying me or getting in my way, instead of acting rudely, or getting mad and bottling it up on the inside, I let out a Chewbacca growl, which, to me at least, will be very funny. I'm also curious to see how Taiwanese people will react to that kind of randomness.

Anyway, damn lomo strap.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Tokimeki (米米 Club)
2. Be Good Johnny (Men At Work)
3. Johnny Thunder (The Kinks)
4. Waiting Man (King Crimson)
5. Company ("Company" - Sondheim)
6. Bury Me (Smashing Pumpkins)
7. Man In a Suitcase (The Police)
8. Hang On St. Christopher (Tom Waits)
9. Dancing in the Streets (Van Halen)
10. Fierce Flawless (Ani DiFranco)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Linkou-Bali (林口-八里) - Rte. 106 West

So I've gotten some mileage on Rte. 106 East lately. I'm also familiar with Rte. 106 West to Banciao, where the Taipei County Government Seat is, where I have to go to renew my visa. Today, I wanted to take Rte. 106 West further, because I noticed on the map that it kinda goes and goes, all the way out to the coast on the Taiwan Straits.

I didn't think I wanted to go quite that far, so I noted some cutoff routes to head back into familiar territory - meaning finding my way back to the Danshui River.

Out my door and turning right, Rte. 106 is all urban riding, crossing the Xindian River into Zhong He City, through Banciao, crossing the Dahan River into Xin Zhuang and then Taishan. All pretty ugly urban riding, following signs to stay on 106.

And then most of the way through Taishan, the urban stops and Rte. 106 starts climbing and looking like mountain riding. Passing buses told me I was headed towards Linkou, which turns out to be a town in the mountains at about 1000'.

Riding through Linkou, I looked for Rte. 105, which was my last cutoff route before 106 heads out to the Taiwan Straits. Rte. 105 was mostly a fun downhill into Bali, at the mouth of the Danshui River. I also had the good experience of a driver letting me pass on the downhill. So not all Taiwanese drivers are clueless assholes. Good to note.

Rte. 105 ended at Rte. 15 in Bali, and I turned right towards the Danshui River, and once there, I took a rest with a 7-11 Slurpee by the riverside. After all that ratty urban riding, it was the perfect setting.

Riding home, for the first time I rode down the left bank of the Danshui. I've always noted the riverside bikeways on the left bank, but nothing really compelled me to check them out. Access and ease of crossing bridges is probably the main reason, though. They were actually really neat, and definitely bear further exploration.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Yingge (鶯歌) - Southwest Taipei County

My ride this morning focused on going southwest of Xindian/Taipei to the far reaches of Taipei County. I've taken Rte. 110 southwest out of Xindian before, and after a few hairy miles of urban riding, it turned into pleasant countryside riding, which in a small country like Taiwan, means still having to deal with a certain amount of car traffic.

Rte. 110 is pleasant, but hardly picturesque. Out of the big cities, Taiwan has a lot of old, run-down, ugly little towns.

Anyway, to get to Rte. 110, I rode down Beixin Road through Xindian (Xindian's continuation of Taipei's Roosevelt Road), and then turned right to cross the Bitan Bridge over the Xindian River. That's Rte. 110, and just head west on that main road.

Rte. 110 eventually leaves Xindian Township and enters Sanxia Township without any fanfare, and Rte. 110 eventually ends with an option to turn left or right on Rte. 3. The previous time I rode Rte. 110, I turned right and Rte. 3 took me through Tucheng and probably to Banciao where I followed signs back to Xindian on Rte. 106.

Today I turned left, followed Rte. 3 for a bit, and then looked for the Rte. 110 continuation, turning right. The road goes over a bridge and through Sanxia City, which was actually very nice; clean and modern looking.

A bridge takes Rte. 110 over the Dahan River, out of Sanxia and into Yingge, which is apparently Taiwan's ceramics center. It's a tiny town on the western border of Taipei County. It looked interesting in an old, dilapidated way, and I think a return visit is warranted to look around that area.

Following signs, I took Rte. 110 and turned right onto Rte. 114, noting that the turn happens before railroad tracks. So I knew if I hit railroad tracks, I missed my turn. Fortunately, it was marked, and I headed north on Rte. 114, parallel to the railroad tracks.

Actually, I was headed for Banciao because today was Car Free Day, and there was going to be a mass bike ride from Banciao to Taipei City Hall at 8:00. So I headed north on Rte. 114, looking for Rte. 116 to turn right, back over two bridges over the Dahan River, and into Banciao. From there I turned left on Rte. 3 until I found the mass gathering of cyclists.

Taipei's Car Free Day was nothing to write home about. It seemed mostly like a political feel-good event enabling politicians to point out how green Taipei is, but there was little promotion of the concept or urging people to get out of their cars to see what it was like to have a day without cars.

Cyclists had their fun event, drivers had a little inconvenience that they could forget about the next day. I didn't complete the ride. I took it into Taipei and then just went home.

Friday, September 14, 2007

commute photo essay - reverse view


DOH! Damn camera strap! This is a curious footbridge. It goes over the bike path! There's also a flight of stairs on the other side. Alright, it also goes over the flood wall, but come on!


Double Doh! OK, I think I've gotten taking shots with the camera strap in the shot out of my system. No more!

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Silverfuck (live in London, 1994) (Smashing Pumpkins)
2. The Emperor's New Clothes (Sinead O'Connor)
3. Thunder and Lightning (Phil Collins)
4. White Gold (Metric)
5. After Today (David Bowie)
6. The Ballad of Guiteau ("Assassins" - Sondheim)
7. If God Will Send His Angels (U2)
8. Groovin' High (Dizzy Gillespie & His Orchestra)
9. Show 'Em Whatcha Got (Public Enemy)
10. Witch (Belly)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

commute photo essay - riverside bikeways VIII

Not sure why I'm numbering these, almost all of them are along the riverside bikeways. This is the marker that officially marks the end of the Jingmei River portion of the bikeways, and the beginning of the Xindian River portion, although I'm not sure it accurately marks where the rivers actually meet. The Xindian River portion runs about 10km before it turns into the Danshui portion.

Thick ivy along the flood wall and a double-decker freeway on top. Oh, and hey there's Mr. Fisheye Lomo Strap. I guess it had to happen that the strap would get in the way. Fortunately I'm not careless enough to let this happen often, and now that it has happened it'll probably never happen again.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Misery (The Kinks)
2. The Meeting Place (XTC)
3. 2:1 (Elastica)
4. Words and Guitar (Sleater-Kinney)
5. Boulevard Star (Delinquent Habits)
6. Monsoon (Enon)
7. Pick It Up, Lay It in the Cut (Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings)
8. Carpet Crawlers (remixed) (Genesis)
9. Indigo Chiheisen (Spitz)
10. Rickover's Dream (Michael Hedges)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

commute photo essay - riverside bikeways VII

Wheel shot, rolling slowly through standing water on a walkway next to the bikeway. Note the camera strap. It's not the last you'll see of it.

Along with basketball courts, there's no shortage of baseball/softball diamonds, and they are in use at all times of the day. Don't these people have work? And as I mentioned, different sections of the riverside parks have different names. I don't know what Fuhe is, but the bridge nearby is also the Fuhe Bridge.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Casual Conversations (Supertramp)
2. What's Your Rush ("Bounce" - Sondheim)
3. Broon's Bane (live) (Rush)
4. Seconds (U2)
5. It Needs Work ("City of Angels")
6. Roots, Rock, Reggae (Bob Marley & the Wailers)
7. Navigators (Casiopea)
8. Song of Complaint (Askarian & Khatchaturian - "Passion Sources")
9. A Very Nice Man ("Carnival")
10. Fuku (Rinken Band)

Ping Xi 平溪 abandoned ride

I wanted to ride this morning, but I want to ride easy after yesterday's climb up Yangmingshan. So I casually headed out to Pingxi, with no commitment to reach it. As long as it was easy going, I would continue.

The route to Pinxi is easy from my apartment. Just get on Rte. 106 east, which happens to be Fuxing Road in Hsindian which I live on, and head east. Of course, within a quarter of mile the road crosses into the southern Muzha district of Taipei, and continues on through and out of town.

After going past the intersection of National Highway 5, about 8 miles out, stay on 106 to the left, and don't take 106乙, which goes south to Pinglin. From there, Rte. 106 was pretty quiet on a Sunday morning, not a lot of road traffic, although motorcycle rides are in abundance.

And it's a pretty easy ride with a very gradual uphill. As I rode along, I set limits on the ride. I wouldn't go farther than 15 miles, I wouldn't climb higher than 1000', and I wouldn't ride longer than one hour.

When I reached 1000', I decided to ignore that limit, because as long as the road isn't steep, the altitude doesn't matter. I think I came upon the hour limit next, and decided to venture on just a little bit more to see what it looked like. At that point, the road was climbing a little more, and I have a problem stopping on a climb. I always want to see what happens around the next bend to see if the climb stops or not.

But I abided by the 15 mile limit. By the 15 mile mark, I hadn't reached Pingxi town, but I had crossed into Pingxi township. It also looked like the rest of the way was downhill, which meant I would have to climb it on the way back. So I turned around and Pingxi will have to wait for another day.

The reason I want to get to Pingxi is because that's the area famous for "sky lanterns", most prominent during the Lunar New Year. People set off lanterns with a lighted element that causes them to rise and fly away in the night sky. It sounds like a dazzling sight.

Also Pingxi is the start (or end) of a 12km branch rail line that I want to explore out to the coast. If getting to Pingxi is as easy as it seemed (no more climbing than I had done), then exploring the extra 12km is doable, including a stop at Shifen to check out Taiwan's broadest waterfall there.

I don't know if there are any variations to the ride. It might only be Rte. 106 out and back.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Yangmingshan - 陽明山

Well, I've had my road bike for almost two months, it's about time I tried climbing Yangmingshan, the highest peak in the Taipei area. I did try climbing it before on my $15 second-hand beater bike, and that didn't go so well, a futile attempt. At least I knew when to quit, lock up the bike, and take the bus the rest of the way up!

That time, I got off the bus at the terminal, which was supposed to be at the visitor's center, but it wasn't like a National Park visitor center in the U.S.. I couldn't find an accurate map to get a feel for the park and where to go. That area just seemed like anywhere else in Taipei with shops, too much traffic and too many people.

Today, I rode up Yangmingshan on the main road, Yangde Blvd., from Shilin, after a nine mile ride there from Hsindian, taking the most direct way on Roosevelt and Zhongshan Roads.

The first stages of Yangde Blvd. aren't hard, although I was surprised to see how far up I got on my beater bike before. This time I checked out the area of Chinese Cultural University, which I rode past before on bus when I abandoned the climb on the beater. I was there 10 years ago when I went out with Josephine and she took me there because that was her school.

I found the lookout that I still have photos from. It was neat because 10 years ago I didn't know Taipei at all. This time when I got to the lookout, I could look out and see all places I now know.

10 years ago:


Aside from the wall, the distinctive similar feature is the rivers, where the Keelung River flows into the Danshui.

Going back to the main road and continuing on, Yangde Blvd. is now Gezhi Road, which then becomes Yangming Road. The road comes to a T intersection where you should turn left, and you shortly reach the area where the bus terminal is.

From there, I'm not sure how I found my way. I think I just stayed on what looked like the "main" road, but I traveled what was essentially a loop road through Yangmingshan National Park. There was a sign to Beitou that I didn't take, but which I want to try someday to find out how to get to Yangmingshan through Beitou.

Otherwise I do know I was following the route of a shuttle bus around Yangmingshan, although foolishly for the purposes of this blog, I neglected to get the number of the shuttle. I also stopped at various shuttle stops to get my bearing, because sometimes they have maps at the stops.

The first part of the loop is a lot of arduous climbing which tops off at 3000'. The only tricky part of the ride is coming down the first long downhill. The road naturally makes a sharp left curve, continuing down, but if you take that road, you'll end up in Jinshan, on the wrong side of Yangmingshan.

At the point where the road changes direction, there's a road spurring off to the right, a steep uphill, so it's unattractive, but that's the road that continues the loop back to the Taipei side of Yangmingshan. And wisely, for the purposes of this blog, I did take a picture of that intersection:

I was fortunate when I stopped to figure out which way to go, because a shuttle bus came by and turned right there, so I knew that was the way to go. But it did mean more climbing.

After the more climbing, there's a pretty crazy downhill, much of which I don't remember because I was racing an idiot BMW driver that I had to force my way past, because he had no concept of cyclists going faster than cars on downhills and the courteous and safe thing to do is let them pass.

I think there was a turn I missed somewhere, it may have been a T intersection, because when I got back to a familiar street, I was back on Yangde Blvd., a bit down from the bus terminal-visitor center area, and I think the way I didn't take would have led back to that area.

In any case, from there it was all downhill to Taipei proper. There are several variations of the ride I want to try in the future. I want to take the road down to Beitou, which happens before the serious climbing starts. Oh yea, the climb to the bus terminal-visitor center is no big deal, only about up to 1200'. But another variation is far up the climb, there's a road that is Rte. 101申, or Bailaka Rd. on some maps. It looks like that road comes down to the north coast of Taiwan, not too far from Danshui. That would mean a pretty far return trip, but I want to try it sometime.

Friday, September 07, 2007

commute photo essay - riverside bikeways VI

Jingmei Evacuation Gate No. 2. I don't know if the evacuation means, like, evacuating people, or evacuating as in evacuating one's bowels. Obviously it has something to do with flooding and water, but I don't know if it means people going one way, or water going the other. But if the river's on this side, why would water on the other side be a threat? Life's mysteries.

This was also the starting line for all my runs until I got my new bike. Funny how I stopped running immediately after I got it. This is about a kilometer from my building, so it was a good warm up getting here.

This is just past the evacuation gate, you can see the railing along the bike path in the top lomo. Maybe it has something to do with the evacuation gate. Who friggin' knows? This is Taiwan. Hm, I never noticed that other bridge down there.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Thanks for Christmas (XTC)
2. Like It Or Not (Genesis)
3. . . . Mo Shi Mo (Anzen Chitai)
4. Chant of the Ever-Circling Skeletal Family (David Bowie)
5. Baby's Request (Wings)
6. Milk It (Nirvana)
7. Move On ("Sunday In the Park With George" - Sondheim)
8. I Can't Explain (live) (The Who)
9. Mardi Gras Iko (Chosen Few Brass Band)
10. Back Room (Skip Holiday

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

commute photo essay - riverside bikeways V

I don't know why I like taking pictures under bridges. There must be some meaning to it. Maybe I was a bum in a previous life and it reminds me of home. Ah, home, sweet home. This is the same expressway overpass. I'm standing in Taipei, looking across the Jingmei River at Hsindian on the other side. The expressway, I think, ends there, but I think they're trying to connect it with the national freeway system.

Just one of the sights along the ride. The signage on the base, I think, is about how often the tower is inspected. And other things I can't read yet.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Anata Dake o - Summer Heartbreak - (Southern All-Stars)
2. Spring Haze (Tori Amos)
3. Labour of Love (The Kinks)
4. Chevrolet (Taj Mahal)
5. Script for a Jester's Tear (Marillion)
6. My Stupid Head (National Joy Band)
7. Nirai Kanai Matsuri (Shoukichi Kina & Champloose)
8. Here We Go! (J-Walk)
9. Jupiter's Lament (Smashing Pumpkins)
10. What's the Frequency, Kenneth? (R.E.M.)

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

commute photo essay - riverside bikeways IV

Rolling wheel shot. Haven't done this in a while. It's been a really hot Summer. One of the days I was shooting was too hot for anyone but me to be out, but it looks a bit overcast on this day, so I was able to get human elements into the shots.

Freeway overpass. When I first moved to Hsindian, I used to think that reaching this overpass meant I was almost at the end of the bike path (i.e., almost home). Now I know it's actually more like the halfway point. But it's like the halfway point of 2 miles on the bikeway between the end and my exit to go to school. You can actually see the overpass in the top lomo, right above the wheel.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Sima Cisbug Bav (David Darling & the Wulu Bunun - Taiwanese aboriginal)
2. Ekimae (Tokyo Jihen)
3. Namida no Avenue (Southern All-Stars)
4. 1nce Again (A Tribe Called Quest)
5. Symphony No. 10, IV. Andante-Allegro (Shostakovich)
6. Something Just Broke ("Assassins" - Sondheim)
7. D/FW (The Vaughan Brothers)
8. Tea In the Sahara (live) (Sting)
9. Awaiting On You All (George Harrison)
10. More Than This (Peter Gabriel)

Sunday, September 02, 2007

commute photo essay - riverside bikeways III

Aside from basketball courts, there are also gathering areas, badminton courts, skating areas, and tennis courts. I usually pass them all by, making most use of the actual bikeway, being a cyclist and all. I think this was the first time I took a step on one of the tennis courts. It was empty being midday in the hot Summer.

I refer to the sections of the bikeway by the river it is by. So as far as I'm concerned, there are only four: Danshui, Xindian, Keelung, and Jingmei (there's also the Dahan River, but I'm not familiar with it yet). Actually, there are different names for different sections, probably administrative sections, but I can't be bothered. Chinese names all sound the same to me, and the names sound the same as ordinary words, so there's no way. Fortunately, this section is easy enough.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. The One Who Has Disappeared (The Black Heart Procession)
2. Nothing Compares 2 U (Sinead O'Connor)
3. Visions of Angels (Genesis)
4. Changes (live) (David Bowie)
5. Grievance (Pearl Jam)
6. 乾妹妹 (張震嶽)
7. Ein Deutches Requiem, III. Herr, Lehre Doch Mich (Brahms)
8. Cold Cold Ground (Tom Waits)
9. Just Drums/Just Get Started/Justice (Kenwood Dennard)
10. Almost Blue (Elvis Costello & the Attractions)

Saturday, September 01, 2007

commute photo essay - riverside bikeways II

We're going in sequence here. I love talking technical. This is one of the many basketball courts along the riverside parks, just past the Beixing Road Bridge in the background. This was shot on a nice sunny (hot!) day, almost a month before I undertook this project.

Kilometer marker, actually just a little bit down, and a bit useless, and not only because something or someone keeps knocking this one over. But the 7.5km mark is measured from a starting point way out in Muzha, by the Taipei Zoo, going along the Jingmei River. And as I mentioned, the bikeways aren't contiguous. So it's the 7.5km. Who cares? What does that mean? What is it doing here? What am I doing here?

In the background along the wall is an access gate. During major typhoons they close the gate in case of flooding.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Oklahoma U.S.A. (The Kinks)
2. Kooks (David Bowie)
3. Kyouryu no Egakigata (Hajime Chitose)
4. A Love Bizarre (live) (Michael Hedges)
5. The Right Profile (The Clash)
6. Twentieth Century Fox (The Doors)
7. Surly Demise (Shannon Wright)
8. Early to Bed (Morphine)
9. Holy Night (Nokko)
10. The Air (Modest Mouse)