Taipei by Bicycle
Letter from Taipei! While partaking in starfruit juice and stinky tofu, Nora Lessing learns that the path is the goal.
Jan 27, 2016
Taipei is situated in a valley and surrounded by mountains. In consequence, nearly every little bit of this densely populated city seems to be occupied by skyscrapers, and there’s not a lot of green. From time to time, therefore, I find myself longing to escape the concrete.
Luckily, there’s YouBike - bicycles easily rented by using an easycard, which is somewhat of a multifunctional card here in Taipei (e.g., to pay at a 7eleven or ride the subway). YouBike stations can be found all over the city, and that makes it really easy to get around by bicycle in Taipei.
Frankly, it’s not very enjoyable to ride a bike through the rather chaotic traffic of Taiwan’s capital city. However, there are heaps of bicycle paths to escape the noise and air pollution. The roads along the Tamsui River are quite popular with tourists and locals alike. On the weekends, they are swarming with people. There are basketball courts and boating, and you can cross the whole city on these roads by walking or riding a bicycle.
Three-hour Bike Ride in Circles
A couple of weeks ago, my flatmate and I decided to go YouBiking all the way up North to Tamsui. We took off at our house in the South of Taipei, all the while wondering why Taipei 101, Taipei’s tallest building, never seemed to leave our sight.
After three hours of cycling, we realized that somewhere along the way, we must have taken a wrong turn. In consequence, we were driving in circles, heading back to where we came from.
Our detour took us straight to Shilin night market. There, we had starfruit juice and stinky tofu and decided that you couldn’t argue with “the journey is the reward.” That we could really use a smartphone with GPS is a completely different story.