The scent of ripening mangoes and pineapples, still clinging to the last remnants of morning mist, filled my lungs as I fought deeply for more oxygen. The temperature and humidity were rising, making each breath thicker and harder. Each downward thrust sent fire burning down my quad muscles. And just as I began to think I couldn’t push anymore, I passed the crest of this steep climb and saw the valley open up before me… just in time to see the heavens open up and cast a torrential downpour upon me
This is biking in Taiwan during the week of the Dragon boat festival. Oppressive heat and humidity, blazing sunshine, and wicked rainstorms, the 3 varieties of Taiwan weather are all represented… sometimes even all in the same day.
A little over 925 km (575 miles) in total, with over 13,000 meters (43,600 ft of elevation change), the ride around Taiwan can be challenging. Our group was over 50 people, with ages from 15 to 70, and did the route in 9 days.