I started out the same way that I did yesterday. The only difference was when I got over the Xiaolong bridge, I would just ride further away. I made all the way into Bitan before deciding to turn around. The bike paths on that side of Taipei are very nice. They snake around and lead you away from the city.
I really liked the scenery. I didn’t think that I would ride that much. I actually thought I was going for a much shorter ride, but the weather cleared up and there was barely any rain. Once I crossed the bridge into Taipei, I knew that I had only a few more minutes to ride before I turned around. However, I just kept on going. From Xindian to Bitan, the path has got some nice little hills that require you to power through. In total, it took me 82 minutes. That’s a median speed of about 30kph. That’s faster than yesterday. I felt pretty fast powering through the little hills. I know that these posts would benefit from some pictures, but I literally took only 2 minutes off during today’s ride. Plus, I don’t want to be hampered with extra gear that I don’t need. All I need is my iPod, keys and a water bottle for now. I plan on putting together a small pack to carry some essential gear if I have bike trouble.
My Anthem needs to be serviced though. The rear and front derailleur have been acting up. The back one keeps misfiring when I pedal hard. The front one does something similar when I am in the lowest gear in the back. This gets really dangerous when you are climbing a hill. That’s when the start acting all messed up. Ah well, I’ll go to the Giant shop on Tuesday. They are closed on Sundays and Mondays.
I think that I’ll keep that 34 km loop as a usual training route. I’ve mapped out a ride to Danshui and one that would almost lead me to Yilan, but that’s for later in the summer. Danshui isn’t that far. The total trip would be about 50km. That’s easy for me to do right now.
The Anthem is a pretty fun bike to ride. Even though I’m not doing any trails or XC racing, it still does the job well. The only thing that I’d like to change are the tires and wheels. I honestly don’t want to waste any money, but it seems that I’ll have to. The waste in question is because I am gearing up to get a Giant TCR Advanced SL Limited or a TCR Advanced SL 0. Why the dilemma? Well the Limited is only about $6800 and the SL 0 is about $4800. In the States, you’d be paying $13,900 and $7,300 respectively. The Limited is almost 50% cheaper here. Actually, with Trek having their pro deal going on right now, the top of the line Giant with Dura-Ace Di2 needs to be more competitive. May I remind you that the Madone 6.9 Dura-Ace sells for $7,000 right now?
Back to the waste. I could easily spend about $1,000 to get something good and second hand. I saw a Madone 5.2 and a TCR Advanced Defy for sale. The owners want at least double, but they don’t really know the value of their bikes. The Madone is from 2008 and is currently on sale by Trek for $3,500. That is for this year’s model. The Defy, or its predecessor, is from 2007. Once again, the owner tries to inflate the actual price, not knowing that most Giant retailers in Taiwan offer steep rebates for new purchases. I wouldn’t be surprised if this year’s Defy could be had for about $2,000, even though the retail MSRP is $3,500 in the US. I’ll check this week what the MSRP is in Taiwan.
The waste would be that the $1,000 spent on a used bike could be in fact used to purchase a new top of the line bike. The thing is to be able to tough it out for at least a few more months riding the Anthem on paths that don’t really require a dual suspension rig.
The last part of the ride was a bit slower. I was feeling the burn and I was swearing at myself for a while, trying to get to the end. My legs do feel quite tired, but I’m pretty happy with this week’s training. I was pleased that I actually got out of the house and rode my bike hard. The toughest part is heading out the door. Once you are out, you’re kind of running on automatic.
My wife wonders why I am training this hard. To tell you the truth, it’s a fact that I train hard. Really hard. It’s for a reason, naturally. I train hard because when I go out on my bike, it’s to get a good workout, not to ride around some bike paths for fun. I do this to cross-train. I hope to start running again this week. The plan is to cross-train. For what? To compete in races, running races and bicycle races. Maybe even for a triathlon.
I honestly haven’t ridden this much a bicycle since I was about 16 or 17. I do like the speed and the hills, going up and coming down. I feel less shaky on my Anthem, but I still would like to try out some trails. There is a Specialized shop in Neihu where MTB and road riders get together to ride around. Since I don’t know any trails here, that might be a good idea. Also, Neihu is quite to the north of Taipei, so it would be fun to ride there.
Ride there in Taipei traffic? That’s a bit insane. I haven’t braved the city traffic yet. It must get pretty wild.
km count this week: 115