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Banqiao to Xindian by bike

[youtube FyiIwfZbHHY]

This afternoon I rode along the riverside bike path from Banqiao to Xindian. Except for a short section in Banqiao, I hadn't ridden along the bike paths that form quite an extensive network along the rivers in Taipei. I shot some video along the way and you can watch the video above complete with my commentary. 

I started out along the path in Banqiao with the weather cloudy and occasional spots of rain. This part of the path seemed the least used and was the lowlight of the ride. It passes along a canal which has quite a stench. I have something more to say about it in my commentary on the video. The path is also quite poorly maintained, many of the paving tiles have come loose. 

bike path along the Dahan River in BanqiaoOnce the path joins the Dahan River it is much better. I hardly saw any other people out on the path, although I think that was probably because of the weather.

A little further along I came to the area where they are constructing a new express way running north south connecting Banqiao to Sanchong. The expressway is elevated so it doesn't affect the bike path directly. As I comment on the video, I can't really see why Taipei needs yet more roads.

Xindian River in Taipei

The Xindian River is surprisingly broad in places. There is a vast amount of space for recreational activities along the banks too. On a gray, rainy day however I only spotted a few people playing baseball. The other popular activity seemed to be flying remote-controlled model aeroplanes.

end of the bike path

Eventually I reached the end of the path. I assume it continues on the other side of the river, but getting across the river necessitated going back quite a way. It was raining a little so I decided to head home rather than continue going much further. I went back via the road which was much quicker.

I will try out the bike paths again, perhaps on the other side of the river. I am sure if I go back on a sunny day I will have a more favourable impression.  

Update: Download the Taipei Metro’s Guide to Hiking and Cycling (5MB pdf file).

File next to:
Little blue truck adventures
Cycling to Wulai
How to spell confusion
Photos from the weekend
The view from Banqiao


Comment from miao-ah
Time 8 April 2007 at 10:31 pm

Great job, David! I really enjoyed your bike tour.
How did you keep the camera steady on the bike? And how did you shoot yourself while riding?? I hope you decide to make more videos in the future. I miss Taiwan just seeing the hustle and bustle on the streets.

Comment from David Reid
Time 8 April 2007 at 11:02 pm

I just held the camera while riding with one or no hands. No special techniques were involved.

I will try to make some more videos in the future, but most of my efforts with the camera are focused on still photography.

Comment from Mark
Time 9 April 2007 at 5:48 am

That was an excellent video! I bookmarked it to I have to say I didn’t envy you on that last part of the trip. Rainy conditions and passing scooter traffic aren’t my idea of a nice bike ride.

Comment from David Reid
Time 9 April 2007 at 8:19 am

Thanks Mark. Rain actually bothers me a lot more than scooters.

Comment from prince roy at-large
Time 9 April 2007 at 12:06 pm

I agree, excellent video, but it needed a celebratory dip in the Bitan at ride’s end. Keep em’ coming.

Comment from David Reid
Time 9 April 2007 at 10:25 pm

Thanks to all for your positive comments about the video. I produced this video very spontaneously. I was a bit hesitant about putting it online actually. It is one thing to write your thoughts on a blog, but another to put your voice and face on a video.

Comment from taipeimarc
Time 10 April 2007 at 4:55 pm

Hi David,
On the Taipei city side of the river the path is much longer and in very good condition. (new bike bridges, new rest areas, etc.) The river still stinks and is putrid, nothing much you can do about that. On Saturdays and Sundays the bike paths get to be very crowded. Unfortunately, the Taiwanese bicycle riders are just as bad as the car drivers (stop in the middle of the path for no reason, u-turns in front of oncoming traffic, undisciplined children running/riding all over the path, etc. ~ sorry, not trying to be negative, its just the truth).

Another fun ride from Taipei is the ride to Damsui. You have to ride on the surface streets at the beginning, but once you get on the trail, its pretty nice ride thru the Kwandu scenic area.

Here is a good image of the city from space:

You can get a good idea of the bike trails that run along all the rivers. Right in the middle of the photo where the Tamsui River meets the Keelung river, the city just finished building a new recreation ~ bird watching area. Its a nice ride, about 11km from where I enter at DaDaocheng Wharf. (you can post this image to your blog if you want and delete the link)

cheers- marc

Comment from David Reid
Time 10 April 2007 at 10:44 pm

Marc, when I was riding along I thought to myself I am sure the path on the other side of the river. Taipei City always gets the best facilities while Taipei County gets second best.

I’d like to ride out all the way to Danshui or Bali one day. Maybe we can go together. When it stops raining….