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Mountain Biking in Taipei

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I’ve been working on a story about outdoors adventures near Taipei, one section of which focusses on mountain biking in the city. Most people don’t realize that Taipei is pretty outdoorsy city and has several mountains within the city limits. There is some great mountain biking in the Beitou District and Yangmingshan National Park.

Despite the fact that there are tons of mountain bikers and some of Taiwan’s most picturesque trails in the city, it was really hard to find any good information online. So, I wrote this post to help other people looking for information about mountain biking near Taipei with there research. Here’s a bit of what I learned and some of the resources that I found.

 The Best Mountain Biking is in Beitou

Beitou is Taipei’s northernmost district. It’s best known for its hotsprings, but also draws a lot of visitors with Yangmingshan National Park. This is one of Taipei’s most popular and scenic areas for mountain biking. If you want to go mountain biking near the city, you will almost certainly end up here.

The first website you’re likely to find when searching for mountain biking in Taiwan is that of the Formosan Fat Tire Association, which has some excellent information about the trails around Taipei. The website is, however, lacking some important details for potential mountain bikers, such as how to find the trails.

The most detailed blog that I found was Biking in Taiwan. The author (I couldn’t find his name anywhere) has several good posts about trails in Taipei, such as this one about the Wefenshan Weather Station and this one about his five favourite rides.

Taiwan in Cycles is another blog worth looking at, although I didn’t find much information about trails there.

Another good resource for information on biking in Taiwan is the website of my Internet buddy Daniel Carruthers, Bike Dan in Asia. He’s a road cyclist, so you won’t find much info about mouton biking there, but you aren’t likely to find anyone more knowledgable about cycling in Asia than Dan.

Another great resource is the Forumosa cycling forum. It’s probably the best place to find information in English about biking in Taipei, or anywhere in Taiwan for that matter.

I also came across a couple of videos of biking in the park here and here. They’ll give you a fair idea of what riding there looks like.

You Don’t Have to Mountain Bike to Enjoy Yangmingshan

Surprisingly, although I wasn’t able to find a lot of info about mountain biking in Beitou and Yangmingshan, I was able to a good Taipei Times article about road biking there. Yangmingshan is crisscrossed with small roads perfect for biking, so even if you don’t have a mountain bike,  you can still explore the park and even make it to the nicest spots, like the top of Datun Mountain, which is one of the highest roads in the greater Taipei area, and the lookout at Lengshuikeng, which is said to be amazing.

Bike Shops and Biking Tours in Taipei

Alan’s Mountain Bike is probably the best-known local shop with English service.

There is a huge list of Taipei bike shops on the Formosan Fat Tire website.

Grasshopper Adventures runs bicycle tours in Taiwan. I met these guys once randomly on the side of a rural road. They seemed super nice.

In Motion Asia is another well-known bicycle and adventure tour company with service in Taiwan.

I hope that this post helped you to find what you need to organize your trip to go biking in Taiwan.

If you have any useful info to add, please leave a comment and I’ll be sure to add it!

Lead image by Zach Dischner (The image is not from Yangmingshan. It’s only meant to get you pumped for some mountain biking).

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4 Responses to Mountain Biking in Taipei

  1. Jennifer September 11, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

    Hi Matt,

    I just saw your episode of HHI on TV and decided to google you. Having lived and worked in Seoul, South Korea for five years, I too am (slightly) addicted travel and adventure. I’m looking forward to my next adventure, which will hopefully be an around the world trip after I finish grad school, so until then I’ll just have to watch your adventures from afar. You’ve just got yourself a new reader!

    • Matt Gibson September 11, 2012 at 5:46 pm #

      Awesome! I’m looking forward to having out around the site Jennifer! I’m glad I can fulfill your travel needs until you can get out to do it yourself 🙂

  2. Ava Apollo September 13, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

    LOVE visiting YangMingShan, even though I’ve never biked there (I think people who mountain bike down steep trails are just a little nuts – but more power to ’em), I really loved eating cheese cake at the tea house at the top. I realize that’s completely at odds with the awesome exercise of biking but to each her own 😉

    • Matt Gibson September 14, 2012 at 6:34 pm #

      Yeah, I’ve never done much downhill mountain biking either. I like snow under me when I’m flying down a hill. Cheesecake totally works for me too.

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