To Keelung 基隆, the hard way….

Have bike.  Old bike.  Very old bike.  Old heavy bike.  Old heavy bike that only works in first gear.  Old heavy bike with big strong basket in front.  Good for shopping.  Good for going to market.  Old heavy bike needs to go to Keelung.  New owner lives in Keelung. New owner wants old heavy bike for shopping in local market.  But new owner cannot ride to Keelung.

Dragon Boat Festival.  Day off.  4:30 am.  Dark.  Me in yellow.  Me on bike.  Very old heavy bike.  Setting off for Keelung.  In first gear.  First gear all the way to Keelung.  40+ km. Crazy.  Pass motorbike convoys of young people.  Many.  Roaring motorbikes.  Happy people.  All out all night.  All going the other way.  Very dark.  No lights.  Up big hill.  Down big hill.  In first gear.  Pass Baishawan 白沙灣.  Up second big hill.  Down second big hill. Still in first gear.  Flat from now on till Keelung.  Flat roads all in first gear.  Crazy.

Beautiful views.  Calm sea.  Local people exercising.  Fishing.  Shops already open selling Dragon Boat Festival Zhong-Zi 粽子.  Sticky Rice Dumplings.  Like.  But too early for eating zhong-zi.

5:18 am sunrise near Shimen 石們.


Still-shipwrecked stranded ship.  Still there.


5:27 am pass Jinshan 金山 Nuclear Power Station.


6:00 am breakfast in 7-Eleven.  Coffee.  All set to go. Pass by Jinshan.


Pass second nuclear power station.  Barbed wire all around.  Not beautiful.  Pass through Yehliu Tunnel 野柳.  Hate it.  Dark.  Narrow.  Cars whizzing by.  Out into the sun.  Pass Wanli 萬里.  Stop to put on more sunscreen lotion.  Sunglasses on.  Lots of traffic.  Busy road.  Hate it.  Facing massive mountain road ahead.  Hot.  Very hot. Walk.  Push bike.  Up very big hill.  Huffing ‘n puffing.  7:30 am pass sign saying ‘Welcome to Keelung.’  Keelung nowhere to be seen.  Not a house in sight.  Still an hour to go.

Down very very steep hill to Waimu Shan 外木山.  Road almost vertical.  Not sure if brakes will hold.  Go very slow.  Arrive in one piece.  Sigh of relief.  7:45 am arrive at sea.  Coastal bike-way to Keelung.  Beautiful.  Almost worth it.

IMG_7628 IMG_7632 IMG_7635

Another big hill ahead.  Walk.  Push bike.  Hot.  Sun.  Very hot.  Up.  Down into Keelung. Cars everywhere.  One-way streets.  Traffic Lights.  Nightmare on a bike.  8:30 am arrive at Trinity Church.  Call friend.  Friend arrives on motorbike with niece.  Photos to prove me and bike have arrived.  In one piece.  In first gear.  Grand handover.  Still alive.  Still smiling.

Second breakfast.  Yummy Zhong-Zi 粽子 with friend in house.  Lemon and honey juice. Water.  Lots of water.  10:00 am back to Keelung Harbour.  Weather turning grey.

Going home by bus.  Happy.  Back along the same route.  75 minutes.  Rain.  Home by noon.

Mission accomplished.  Bike delivered.  Made it to Keelung.  In one piece.

Never again.

Ha ha! 🙂 🙂 🙂

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