• 大雪山林道 By train to Dasyueshan forest road

    small Taiwan mapMy experience to travel by train with a bike in order to explore the Dasyueshan Forest Road, winding on the buttress of the high mountains of Sheipa national park.
    根腳踏車到蘴原座火車,以後參觀大雪山林道就。
    Simple elevation profile

       Global route 全路資料 information link

    Elevation gain 高差:
    2250m

    Distance 距離: 51km
    Offroad
    越野:0km                
    Loop 循環: No
    Off-road details 越野細節

    No off-road !




      Read the article... 繼續閱讀

    台中縣 Taichung countyQuai de la gare
    A 16h31 le train entra en gare et j'aperçus avec dépit que les voitures étaient bondées, la majorité des passagers debout comme dans un bus aux heures de pointe. Les portes s'ouvrirent sur un vestibule plein à craquer, rien que sur les trois marches d'accès étaient déjà installées quatre personnes. Les autres voyageurs me précédant sur le quai préférèrent embarquer dans la voiture voisine, qui du fait se trouva tout autant congestionnée... Avec mon vélo en bagage à main il me semblait impossible de trouver une place, même les espaces entre les voitures étaient occupés. Mais l'arrêt étant très court il fallut bien que je m'avance vers cette boite de sardines...

    台中縣 Taichung county

    Montera, montera pas ?
    Et il se passa quelquechose d'incroyable, à peine eus-je commencé à grimper les marches que l'ensemble des voyageurs se décalèrent, un tel un peu vers le fond, un tel un peu à droite ou un peu à gauche, et personne ne grogna ni ne m'insulta! Si bien que rapidement je pus m'installer, ô grand bonheur, sur les marches d'accès au vestibule. Ce n'est pas très confortable de rester debout ainsi pendant une heure et demie, mais j'étais tout de même bien content de réussir ainsi mon premier trajet en train - vélo. Car le but de la sortie était d'expérimenter le vélo dans les transports en commun de Taiwan, ainsi que de faire des repérages de sentiers autour du parc national de Sheipa.

    Taoyuan road

    Du Yin et du Yang
    Je raconte cet épisode de l'intrusion dans le train bondé car cela illustre un aspect très quotidien de la vie à Taiwan. C'est aussi comme cela que les gens conduisent : si un véhicule arrêté bloque une file, les véhicules des autres files se décalent tous un peu pour laisser le passage à la file bloquée. Ou si quelqu'un a besoin de faire demi-tour en plein milieu de la circulation, les autres véhicules lui laissent la place, sans klaxonner je précise. C'est plutôt surprenant les premières fois. On ressent une grande flexibilité des individus et une attention permanente aux autres. C'est une manifestation de la suprématie de l'harmonie du groupe sur l'individualisme, un trait profond des cultures traditionelles asiatiques. Et l'harmonie, c'est pour les chinois un principe général d'équilibrer le Yin et le Yang qui se trouvent en toute chose. Je sais que cela vous fait rire, mais pensez-y la prochaine fois que vous prendrez le bus aux heures de pointe, même sans vélo à la main !

    台中縣 Taichung countyEcobike project
    Taichung county has an appealing potential for mountain biking, since more than 150 kilometers of forest roads are winding on its high mountains sides. They are four branch roads, all connected to an access road which is paved today but still known as the Dasyueshan forest road (大雪山林道). I found evidences of biking these dirt roads on the web as well as in biking litterature. This was enough to motivate a reconnaissance to this area in order to get more information about the place and to organise further rides. Since Taichung is pretty far away from my place, I decided to spare the lungs of my Taiwanese neighbours from additional pollution and set out on using the public transportation. This is how my ecobike story begins.

    台中縣 Taichung county

    Bike in public transportations
    Bus companies look attractive since they serve local destinations. But contacting them was ineffective, since none of them accepts the bikes on board, except foldable ones. Several bus companies actually proposed a shipment service, however registration should be done two days ahead of the trip. This is not convenient for a one day ride, and also costly since the bike fare is the same as the motorbike one. I found the train would be more friendly since the registration of the luggage should be only half an hour prior to departure, and also because there happens to be a bicycle path between the railway and my forest road. Great plan ! Well, this actually depends on the time and destination, my arrival station of Fongyuan (蘴原) having closed the luggage service because of renovation works... So, the last option was to take the bike as hand luggage and to conform to the instructions of the railway administration : the bicycle has to be reduced as small as possible and totally packed...
    Of course, a valuable alternative if you ride 17 inches bike is to take a bus to Dongshi and rent a bike there.

    train ticket

    Preparation
    I spend an evening to arrange and practice the bike packing, and devised a very acceptable and cheap solution using three straps and two rubbish bags : 275g in total. I then realized that the train, commuting and packing operations would take up to four hours before reaching the beginning of the route in Dongshi (東勢). I thus considered to spend the night there and trade the money saved on petrol and tolls for an night in B&B. All the more that my wife found a lovely cottage in the very downtown of Dongshi, an nice introduction to a forest ride since it is totally crafted with wood... And the owner Linda has an excellent command of English and cares you as a mother (27 Fongshi Rd Lane 609, 0952805469).

    Bike packing

    Dasyueshan forest roads
    Climbing up the Dasyueshan forest road was long but not difficult. The slope is very regular and in excellent conditions. The road starts to wind around small villages, large fruit trees plantations then pleasant forests. At half distance, the dreadful Henglingshan (橫嶺山) tunnel has to be crossed, it is narrow and totally dark! Then the landscape changes, becomes much more rugged and scenic. A background of mighty misty mountains and endless valleys appears and disappears turn after turn, and there are so many turns it is easy to get dizzy ! But unfortunately the four forest roads I was longing to visit were all fenced, some of them beeing permanently closed. The access road itself is fenced after a big parking and a small lake called Tianchih (天池). My conclusion is that Dasyueshan National Forest Recreation Area (大雪山國家林道遊樂區) is a good place for road biking and walking, but not for mountain biking !

    Bike packing大雪山林道200

    大雪山林道很適合騎單車。馬路的情形特別好,溫度剛好也很舒服。一路的風景都很好看:超大的山出現在雲中、超大的樹木出現在林道邊。可是我最喜歡得就是高山的空氣。空氣越來越清新也特別香:在林道邊有多種的樹木、每種有不同的香。騎大雪山林道就是旅行在氣味中!

    Tree


    可是我覺得這裡騎登山腳踏車不怎麼有意思。除柏油路之外、所有的林道都關門也都禁止進人。真可惜。神木的步道也是大的硬路面公路、而且在神木後邊有一座公共汽車停車場。雖然沒有汽車、但是對大自然參觀不夠理想。

    Panels along the road.

    Additional information:

    Date: October 19th, 2009
    Temperature:  22-27 Celsius in Dongshi (東勢), 15 Celsius in Tianchi (天池)
    Participants: Alexis
    Access: Many trains to Fongyuan accept bikes (cf. train schedules below). From Fongyuan (蘴原) ride north along the railway, then follow indications to cross under the highway 4 and join an excellent bike route until Dongshi (17km). It can be done at night.
    Condition of the paved road: Mostly brand new.
    Drinkable water:  Available in natural rivers and tourist places.
    Permit: Yes. Apply directly at the ticketing booth. A entrance fee of 100NT per cyclist is requested.
    Itinerary :
    From Dongshi follow the 東坑路 signs, then stay on the road until the end. There are frequent signs to the Dasyueshan National Forest Recreation Area (大雪山國家林道遊樂區). If you need to ask the way to the locals, use the local accent : dàsuěsān.
    Useful links :
    Taiwan Railway Schedules


    大雪山林道20放大圖  Dasyueshan forest road elevation profile :

    Bike packing

    Map :


    Bike route 340915 - powered by Bikemap

     

    Tree

     

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  • Comments

    1
    yiju
    Saturday 24th October 2009 at 01:13
    很有心喔,台灣有很多山,加油喔,期待你的作品
    2
    ahwoo
    Saturday 24th October 2009 at 09:22
    Alexis! 你好~你的旅行真豐富,喜歡你的景色照片、說明(好棒的中文!),還有台灣路牌的那一張照片特別有幽默感。看到你眼中的台灣,別有一番風味。加油!!
    3
    Lan-Hsin
    Monday 26th October 2009 at 08:29
    I am so proud of my best friends, both you and Zoe , Of course, and your wonderful girl.
    4
    Thursday 29th October 2009 at 09:28
    I like the photos you took. You show us Taiwan in a different way. That's wicked! I love it!
     
    5
    Sean
    Thursday 29th October 2009 at 11:20

    Hello, I am a newby here, friend of Ulica and Alex. Met Zoe in a BBQ in London couple of month ago. Am also a cyclist, sort of. But not as strong as you are. Very impressive about the trip you took and the details you attended in your blog. Good Job!! Keep on Going!!

    6
    aleski aleski profile
    Monday 2nd November 2009 at 11:11
    謝謝你們的回答!對,台灣的美麗有時候不容易出現得。可是還有很多真漂亮的大自然!另外,祝賀你們找出用法文怎麼回答!
    7
    Chinese teacher
    Tuesday 10th November 2009 at 07:22
    Don't show off your Chinese la.....aleski
    8
    Sean
    Friday 20th November 2009 at 10:46
    Aleski, This is the route I have been doing weekly in the past few months. It basically starts from where I live, rounding Kew Garden along Thames, getting on Richmond park, and then ride for two laps in the Richmond park. It is nowhere near what you did. but I am catching up. Hope someday I can ride with you in the mountains of Taiwan.
    http://www.bikemap.net/route/354850
    9
    aleski aleski profile
    Friday 20th November 2009 at 14:17
    Hello Sean, these places are familiar to Zoe and me and we very much enjoyed wandering there in winter. You are lucky to live around there ! Richmond park is a great place to observe the dears, I love them. What a pity that dears have almost disappeared in Taiwan... Fortunately, mountains and elephant ears are still there ;-)
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