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.

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