Taiwan Round Island Dirt Trip – Day 01

January 19, 2018 — 4 Comments


Today I had a late start. Left the house around noon. I’m not the get up early and quickly get going kind of guy. I like to take my time and leave when I’m ready. And as it happened, my son was sick the night before. I didn’t want to wake him to say goodbye, so it all worked out fine.

I left the house and headed out towards the mountains.

I stopped by a 7-11 for a quick bite to eat.

Most of this area I’ve ridden many times before. But thought I’d grab some pics to give you an idea of the route.

This sign warned of danger ahead. I pushed on and found a house at the end with an older person in a chair. I’m guessing that person was the danger. 😉 Had to turn back and find the correct road. This obviously wasn’t it.

I made it to the riverbed that leads to Laoqijia (老七佳)


I chose to use Mitas Rockrider MC23 tires for the trip.

Being more offroad oriented but still decent on the street was just what I wanted. I have no problems with the rear, but the front scared me from time to time; It’s probably because I’m used to running full knobby tires. On the shallow river crossings I felt like the front was deflecting on the tiniest pebble.

This riverbed road leads to a bridge that takes you to Laoqijia (a very old aboriginal village)

After a wrong turn I found a road/trail that leads across the mountain to the next portion of the trip.

Halfway over I decided to air down my tires a bit I see how they perform. When I had put the rear tire on I had the damndest time getting the bead to set. I eventually got it by pumping it up to a high PSI. Looks like I had forgotten to air it back down to the proper pressure! Surprisingly it handled well.

When I got to the front, the first “almost disaster” happened. My brand new bicycle pump broke! It took most the air out of the tire and wouldn’t pump it back up. Luckily I found if I held it just right, it would work. Disaster averted.

What a piece of junk!

It wasn’t long before I made it to the 大漢林道 Dahan Lindau road. This road takes you pretty deep into the mountains.

It ends at some kind of facility. I’m not sure if it’s government, military, or other. A few kilometers before the end was my campsite.

I didn’t think it would rain so I didn’t put up the tarp. Big mistake! After about an hour it started raining a little. I quickly put up the tarp and good thing too. Around midnight it started pouring.

But before midnight the rain was light and intermittent. I did manage to eat in peace and enjoy my time out alone.

There’s nothing else to note except I was bitten by a spider. First time in my life. It was one of those daddy long legs looking spiders. I’m not sure if it’s an actual spider or something that looks like a spider. From what I’ve read it could be either. It didn’t break the skin so no big deal.


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4 responses to Taiwan Round Island Dirt Trip – Day 01

  1. Awesome, my respect….

  2. I am on It 🙂
    First: I like your thermometer/hydrometer, I have one too, just like yours 🙂
    Second: I really wanted those tires, in my country they are from Sava Rockrider MC23, so, the same tires. How they perform? I know that they are not full knobs, but are they any better than the stocks Dunlop D605? Need a honest answer 🙂
    And third: never ever start the trip without trying the equipment first. I also have tried the bicycle pump, but after the first try, I bought an electric pump. It is very hard to pump the bike with bicycle pump anyway 🙂 .

    Have a safe trip man.

    • About the tires…I did a fair amount of research and thought these would be the best for my trip of what’s available locally. After using them I like the rear a lot. I don’t really have anything bad to say about it. Though I probably could have gone up a size. The 120 seems smaller than the 120 knobbies I’m used to. 140 is the next size up…a little big but maybe not so bad if it’s smaller than other 140’s I’ve seen.

      The front is another story though. I’ll say up front that I’m probably biased because I always run full knobby tires when I ride. I’m used to that sure-footed feeling of a good front tire. The MC23 front reminded me more like the stock D605. It wanted to wash out from time to time. But it seemed well planted on concrete. Even when I was driving in the rain (downhill) with moss covered old concrete with slick leaves and other hazards, it didn’t slip to my surprise. I’m impressed with that. Oh, and for the most part I ran the PSI at either 22 or 18. So that’s also a consideration.

      What made me downright scared though was when I was crossing the rivers here. There’s a picture in this post to give you an idea of the conditions. Lots of slick rocks. Usually I can cross while keeping my feet on the pegs. Maybe occasionally dipping a foot in a bad section. But with this front I absolutely MUST keep both feet down. It would deflect off of everything. It would change direction and lead me where it wanted to go. If I tried to fight it, it would want to wash out. Very scary TBH.

      The stock D605 wasn’t like that at all. My only guess is maybe the profile of the tire. It was WAY skinnier than I had expected. I got the 80/90-21. I probably should have gotten the 90/90-21.

      The last thing about the front that was weird was it’s behavior on the road after several hundred kilometers. In the beginning it was fine, but eventually it started (this is difficult to explain) “wobbling”. It felt like you could feel it moving back and forth from left knobs to right knobs. If it had started out that way, I would have thought something wrong with my steering head bearings or the rim had some problem. But it was fine in the beginning. And it didn’t always do it. Just at certain speeds.

      To conclude, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy the rear again. But probably not the front unless I could find the larger size at a discount. 🙂

      Yeah, I usually take an electric pump with me. But it was taking too much space for this trip. I had a decent digital bike pump but broke it in a fall recently, so bought a new one last minute. Oh well, shit happens I guess.

      Thanks for reading!

    • Btw, for the rear I have the Mitas version and front is the Sava. For the Sava it says “Rockyrider” with a “y” in there. The Mitas the usual “Rockrider”. I can’t find reference anywhere that calls them Rockyrider.
      Rockyrider Picture

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