It has been more than 2 years, with the COVID-19 pandemic actively silencing all travel plans since early 2020.
With Taiwan announcing its lift on the necessary quarantine measures for international travellers from 13 October 22 onwards, it sent us down memory lane to a cycling trip back in 2018 that Sherwin, Joshua and Weijie have very fond memories of in Taiwan.
They flew to Taiwan to attend the yearly Taipei Bike Show which took place between 31st October 2018 to 3rd November 2018, and decided to bring along their bikes.
With no destination in mind prior to the trip, Wuling was initially not in the plan until Hugo, a Taiwanese friend challenged them to climb it.
Having heard several customers comment how hard a climb Wuling was with the elevation of 3,275m, the trio decided on a back-to-back climb up Wuling with the first climb starting from the West, Puli Township in Nantou, Taiwan.
Coincidentally, Choonwei from FitSkuul who was also there ascended Wuling from the West entry. It was the 2nd leg of their double entry of Wuling, riding through the beautiful Taroko National Park.
The trio would then descend down on their support vehicle and take a night’s rest in Hualien Township before beginning the second day climb up to Wuling again from the East, passing by the scenic Taroko National Park.
The East route is the official route of the Taiwan KOM Challenge, a road cycling race held annually in Taiwan.
Photo by Taiwan Today
Both of them were on a 52/36 semi-compact chainring and 11-28 / 11-29 cassette respectively while Weijie was on a 50/34 and 11-32.
On the day of climb from the West, the trio were blessed with good weather and went up with a support vehicle driven by Hugo.
Along the way up, there were several familiar faces while the trio took breaks at certain pitstops.
Unknown to the trio, Rapha Asia was also ascending Wuling along the same route. Familiar faces were spotted from the Rapha contingent as the trio rode through the mountain roads.
The unexpected company made the tough climb a tad more bearable for the trio.
Sherwin KO’ed at a section after missing an earlier pit stop, where Weijie and Joshua took a break while waiting for him since he was way behind them and slow. The duo thought that it was a matter of time before they would see him ending up in the support vehicle since he did not train or ride much prior to the trip.
The higher they climbed, the better the view were. What was equally encouraging and motivational was when the locals drove past with their windows winded down, giving words of encouragement and cheering them on.
The last pit stop was a relieving sight but also playing games to their minds. The end point can be seen from this big open space carpark and the remaining route was around 2km with a climb of an average 3-5%.
Although it was only 2km left to the top of Wuling, Sherwin and Weijie strangely found themselves constantly stopping when they had intended to rest only once since the end point was near.
A first attempt on Wuling for the three of them, it was definitely an experience to be constantly grinding up the climb for 55km with an average gradient of 6.5%. Even more so when their support vehicle was missing at times, only to zoom past them with loud music on several occasions.
The trio subsequently saw a familiar guy not long after, coming up from the KOM route which was from the Taroko park. The guy was Choonwei, the man behind Fitskuul!
Here is Joshua sulking after Choonwei stole his plate of 饺子/Dumplings right after they met.
Would you like to read more about the trio's ride after climbing the Western route of Wuling back in 2018?