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Bike trip to 宇老 (Yu lao)

posted by Martin Rubli at 12:07

Today a few people from work decided to try their luck and go up to 宇老 (Yu lao) starting from 內灣 (Nei wan), which is about a 1,200 meter climb on a little more than 20 km. I'm glad to report that everybody made it to the top (and safely down), which is not bad given that many of us - including me - considered this trip quite a challenge.

As always the track log is on GPSies but you can also check out the map here:

Photo-wise, for now I only have a bunch of rather boring Panoramio photos but more will follow soon.

Update (2009-11-09): Thanks to everybody's picture sharing efforts I was able to put together a few nice group photos. Enjoy!

Before the start at the 內灣 (Neiwan) train station.

Before the start at the 內灣 (Neiwan) train station.

This photo gives you a good impression of how steep it is. Some areas are easily more than 15%.

This photo gives you a good impression of how steep it is. Some areas are easily more than 15%.

The view at the top of the pass is really nice. All the hills make you want to climb more of them. :-)

The view at the top of the pass is really nice. All the hills make you want to climb more of them. :-)

If you liked these pictures there are a few more in my Bike trip to 宇老 album.


Bike trip to 顯伯公 (Xian bo gong)

posted by Martin Rubli at 13:03

In preparation for an upcoming bike trip to 宇老 (Yu lao) I went biking today and decided to go to 顯伯公 (Xian bo gong temple).

Because I didn't know the name of the place before I left (ha ha ...) I had a hard time finding the small entrance road, so I decided to take a bunch of photos on the way and add them to Panoramio, so that they will eventually show up in Google Earth. Taiwan's road signs leave lots of room for improvement - this is my small contribution.

I had been told it was pretty steep, so when the road stayed fairly flat I was doubting my navigation skills for a while. But I was not to be disappointed. The road kept getting steeper and steeper forcing me to take a few breaks. Luckily the view is so good though (on a clear day you can see Taipei 101 from there!), that you forget your sore legs for a while:

View from a clearing near 顯伯公 (Xian bo gong temple). On a clear day you can even see Taipei 101 from here. (Unfortunately that was not the case when I visited.)

A fellow biker even went to the trouble to measure the slope at various points. I should have thought of that first. What better excuse for breaks than collecting photos and numbers for your blog? :-)

At the top of the hill is a tiny temple:

At the top of 顯伯公 (Xian bo gong temple)

This is what it looks like inside:

At the top of 顯伯公 (Xian bo gong temple)

The map is below and if you're curious to see some more details about the trip you can check out the GPSies track I uploaded.


Biking meets GPS

posted by Martin Rubli at 16:08

By now you probably all now that I'm a big fan of everything to do with photos, GPS, and maps. I recently started experimenting with some new tools and services.

For starters I found that Oliver Lau has written a few great GPS tools, in particular gpsplot, which prints nice altitude/speed charts for GPS tracks. Here's what my last bike trip to 八五山 (Eighty-Five Mountain) looks like (admittedly after a little tweaking and playing with gpsplot and gnuplot):

Since my GPS logger went a little crazy while I was in the convenience store buying refreshments I had to remove a bunch of completely-off-the-track points from the GPX file. For this I found GPX Editor to be a very convenient tool. It has nice functions to visually remove individual points or trip entire sections (say the first few minutes of a track because the points are erratic).

Luckily I don't normally need to spend any extra time editing my tracks. (Solar flares last weekend?!) But if I do I probably want to have a good place to put my nicely edited route. And until my website system has functionality to do that I'm resorting to services like GPSies.com, which contains a huge selection of all kinds of tracks. I've only just started, but you can find mine here:

Martin's track(s) on GPSies

I'll be uploading more of my own in the future. And I hope I can draw some inspiration for biking from the existing ones as well. You've got to love the combination of high-tech and sport. :-)