Taiwan Cycling

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Hello! 

After doing STP’17 and RSVP’18, I’m planning on a 12 day cycling tour of Taiwan. I’m curious if any other Cascade members have done this trip before and could speak to the differences in difficulty between cycling long distance for 2 weeks as opposed to two days? 

Submitted by Susan D on

Hi Samia,

I've been very interested in cycling Taiwan as well but haven't done it yet even though I've been to Taiwan several times.   It's on my bucket list.

However, regarding your question of cycling long distance for 2 weeks as oppose to 2 days, it sounds like it will be your 1st bike tour.  I had the same question as you before my bike tour.  Being a small petite female, I had several concerns and fears about bike touring solo.  However, having conquered my longest ride which was on the 2016 STP with 150 miles on the 1st day and 50 miles on the 2nd day, it inspired me to consider bike touring!  (Your story sounds very similiar...)

I'm happy to report that I just completed my first bike tour this summer.  I cycled the Pacific Coast route from Astoria, OR to San Francisco, CA.  It was my 1st bike tour covering 900 miles with 55,000 feet of gain in 23 days including 3 off days incorporated in that time so 20 days of actual cycling time.  It was 'unsupported' so I carried all my clothing, camping gear, food, stove, etc.  It was challenging but totally doable for me.  It was such a fabulous trip!  I completely loved it and will definitely be doing more bike tours in the future.

What is difficult with touring for 2 weeks+ is as follow:

1)  General wear and tear of the body over repeated days of riding  -- It can be overcome with endurance training and incorporate off-days for rest (typically 1 day off for every 5 to 7+ days of continual cycling).  Daily proper nutrition, calories, and hydration of body are super important for sustain cycling and to avoid overall fatigue.

2)  Be able to handle the added weight for touring (panniers for clothing, camping, etc). vs. road cycling with no gear at all -- This can be overcome with strength training and cycling with full panniers months before the trip.  Do several mini weekend bike tours in your area to train and get comfortable with gear and bike.  I trained on a 40 mile loop with 30+ pounds loaded in my panniers and front handlebar bag for a month before the trip.  I felt totally comfortable and fine by the time I did the tour.  It was almost 2nd nature.

3)  Navigational Logistics --  Be comfortable with using maps, smartphones, gps, etc to plan itinerary.  You'll have to dedicate more time for general planning on your trip in order to avoid issues.

If it is your 1st bike tour, I would highly encourage you to try some local weekend or beter yet week long tours in your area before booking an entire trip overseas.  

But definitely do it!  Bike touring is so much fun.

Cheers