The North Coast is rewarding ride around the north coast of the island. Easily reachable from Taipei or Keelung, and making a nice loop if wanted it offers sea views and quietish roads.
I start this ride in Sijhir and head west through Donghu then on to Shilin and Danshui. The first section from my house to there is the usual city stuff, but in the morning it is quiet enough. The roads are still busy as there are very few alternative routes when travelling to Danshui from the city.
Sometime before Danshui the No. 2 heads off Northwards over a few rolling hills, nothing very steep. These can be avoided by instead continuing to Danshui and sticking to the coast more, however Danshui is fairly busy most of the time. The last time I tried this alternative and stuck to the coast I got slightly lost, but managed to find my way back to the No. 2 in the end, just head northish.
The road continues with only slight rolling hills, there’s usually very little wind and when summer comes around that little wind would certainly be appreciated. It’s at this part where you will start to see the groups of university students out on their scooters. Unlike the middle Taiwan scooter hooligans, these groups are mostly guys on their scooters with their girlfriends on the back. There’s a good chance you will bump into the same groups a few times as they pass ahead, stop to enjoy a site where you’ll pass them, and then they’ll pass you later as you continue onward. I’ve managed a maximum of three leapfrogs in this manner.
When you hit the most Northern part you can see the sea, which, after being stuck in the city, is nice in itself. There is an area for kite-flying, or so is depicted on the large painting on the wall holding back the mountain and landslides. There’s a large rock with a big hole in the middle that I noticed for the first time on this ride, I’ll take a picture next time.
The riding from here is pleasant until you read Wanli.
The section from Wanli to Taipei is not very nice. There are lots of cars, lots of motorbikes and would be considered only slightly more pleasant than inner-city riding. Weekends might be different, but during the morning rush it’s pretty busy. There is an alternative, which I’ve read is really good, to go over the mountain from Wanli to Sijhir which I’ve never tried, but could save you the headache of going through Keelung. I at least know the last part of that alternative is a really quite road for the most part.
This is certainly my favorite metric-century ride and is a nice loop. Nice views, pleasant weather and generally flat riding.
Here’s a map of the ride.
View Ride (102 km) – Taiwan North Coast in a larger map