Today, we are going to talk about the famous Lonely Road of Taiwan, reachable by bike from Taipei within 70 km.
The road is quite challenging, with almost a 42-mile distance and more than 3800 feet elevations. To me, I preferred to take the train back with my bike from the city just so I can focus on the climbs and avoid traffic.
That being said, riding a full loop is definitely doable if you start out earlier.
Ho-Tung Cat Village ~ Buyan Pavilion
Starting out from the cat village, Ho-Tung, you will instantly feel the hill while riding through the feline-dominated town. Not too crazy all alone but you do get to work out on the lengthy intermediate slope.
You will be climbing up to a Famous photo spot Located in the National Park called Buyan Pavilion, also known as the Lonely Pavillion. You won’t be alone though as it’s a famous and sacred route for fellow cyclists.
Enjoy the descent from 543m to 31m (while you can). Soon there’s another long mild slope all the way to the 1.5 km tunnel. Cars and bikes share the same lane in the tunnel so be sure to bring all the lights with you and focus on the ride passing the tunnel.
The first time riding through, I felt a bit stressed due to loud traffic and dashing vehicles but really focusing and trying to pass quickly are the keys.
Buyan Pavilion ~ Radar Station of Taipei
There’s a town not far from the exit of the tunnel. Get some refreshment here better a cup of coffee if you start out early. It felt great to take a rest and fuel up for the next intense climb: the hill to Radar Station of Taipei.
Follow the Velodash app guidance so you won’t miss the branch from the main road. It isn’t an obvious branch so if you are not following closely with your group you might miss it.
From here on, climb all the way up till the road ends with the iconic huge white ball and radar station. Enjoy the breathtaking view of the surrounding pacific ocean and geographical landscape while riding up. You are literally riding to the highest point in the area, don’t miss the million-dollar view!
Theoretically, there shouldn’t be too much traffic on the road. However, with the 700 meters descent in 10 km, it can be quite scary if you lose control of any of 180º turns.