when I started searching out cycling routes in and around Taipei, I found a lot of mentions about the Taipei river bike path. And I loved it! I was fascinated on having such amazing infrastructure for cyclists, so easily accessible and right in the middle of a capital city! This bike path is still a work in progress and possibly because of that, most of the write ups don’t elucidate enough. So here is a detailed write on this river bike path.
Bike Paths or Bike Path? As seen in the map above of Taipei city, the entire stretch of River banks have got bike paths. Different sections of this path have individual names depending on the landmarks nearby etc… So you often come across maps of each section of bike path. But these are not separate paths – they are all one long, continued stretch of bike path. Probably 200+km long. Maybe earlier the bike paths were separate and hence, it is more common to find separate maps for each section. But since it is all connected now, it becomes an amazing ride for a cyclist looking to ride long distance within the city itself.
Here are different bike path sections highlighted as per interest, so if you want to do only one bit, then you can choose which activities / landmarks interest you.
This bike path is stunning due to a number of reasons. One of which is the ambience. The river runs placidly by the side, green grassy lawns on both sides, a wide cycle path along with a separate or shared walking path. Amidst the grassy lawns are huge pavilions with engaging activities for family and friends – open air gyms, basketball courts, music events for dancing, singing cafes, fun fair, duck ponds and other myriad stuff. Some spots are really serene almost like we are amidst a national park and not in the middle of a metropolis. And this makes it interesting for walkers, travellers, families et al.
Serious cyclists complain that this fun ambience leads to lot of distractions and dangers like kids running on the bike path or groups of people strolling on it. But this is not really common unless you go during some peak hour – even then it is a only a mild hindrance for most cyclists. For very hardcore and serious cyclists who want to speed up and test their endurance – they could go at a really odd hour.
It’s 200+ km long!
What really makes this bike path one of the best I have ever come across and I suspect easily one of the top such facilities in the world is the sheer length of it. I have not found exact numbers online, but I believe it is 200+ km long, considering both sides of the river. And there are ample bridges and flyovers connecting the two sides which are completely bike friendly.
In fact there is a bridge called Sunshine bridge which is only for walkers and cyclists.
On the awesome Taipei river bike path, go from one river bank to other via a cyclist (& walkers only) bridge. All other flyovers are also bike friendly, but Sunshine Bridge is a dedicated one! So fun! 🙂 <3 Taipei river bike paths. #taipei #cyclingtaiwan #taiwan #heartofasia #travellingram #velo #cycle #velolove #cyclist #travel #maproute #bikelove #nightscape #capitalcity
Amazing, isn’t it?
The only thing lacking in this bike path ensemble are uphills. But then Taipei has hills all around it, so one can always just take the bike out via train and do some serious up-hilling in the area surrounding the city 🙂
Night time riding
The bike path simply stretches onwards into the distance. And so, on multiple occasions I found myself really tempted to keep riding late into the night. I have already mentioned in earlier blog posts about how safe I find Taiwan. And even during late hours (9 – 10 o clock) I found there were other cyclists passing by every now and then. Moreover there are night lights along the entire stretch, so it doesn’t get dark. And the frequent pavilions and other activity areas ensure that there are people sitting around. In fact the only reason night riding gets a bit scary is because of the bright night lights on every cycle you pass. It really pierces the eye and causes night blindness – and this could be a bit dangerous.
All in all I love this track. If you find yourself in Taipei, don’t miss the chance of cycling by the Taipei river bike path!