What’s better than an impromptu trip, you ask? An impromptu bike tour.
I call it this, because our actual itinerary-planning, train ticket reservation, bike rentals were all done in the week before our scheduled departure. The decision wasn’t spontaneous, yet the plans had never stop changing and revolving every step of the way. But I believe all things happen for a reason. Some things were meant to be, and perhaps this trip was one of them.
The six of us started the 7-day, 314-km bike tour at Xindian, heading towards Taitung via the Provincial Highway 9. We’re inexperienced, but perhaps it’s because of our naivety we carried through, despite the challenges we’ve encountered along the way. These challenges primarily being the never-ending uphill slope along the winding road in the mountains, the bitter taste of rain and sand in our mouths as we race the storm, and the muscle cramps quietly tugging at every stretch of the ride.
The first 40km was the most difficult climb as we attempted to cross an entire mountain to reach Yilan. It was the second half of Day Two when we’ve finally arrived at the highest point before we began the 5-7km of continuous decline. The climb was tough, but each of the uphill climb was preparation for the easy glide downhill.
<These naturally over-saturated beautiful landscapes are the rewards for our exhausted bodies.>
Life is in many ways just as what this bike tour has become. There have been times when I felt like giving up, many times to be honest. But I tell myself it was my decision, and I have to live up to it. Many times I lie to myself, “just a few more meters until the next descent." “You can do this." “Just keep pedalling." Lies or not, they were the only encouragement you can give and get when you’re on your own. You are your worst enemy and/or your best teammate. It’s up for you to decide what to become.
This is the prefect graduation gift I’ve given myself I believe. As this short, yet very enriching, summer had come to an end, it had also marked the end of my student life. At the same time, it’s a prelude to a career that’ll be just as challenging and just as exciting. Here at EZTABLE, I’ve come on-board a speeding train. And though I still have much pedalling to do, perhaps a long stretch of uphill slopes, I know I will get through them with the same determination and will I’ve had during my East Coast Cycling 2014. Most importantly, I know I’ve got a great team to work with.
Cheers to a great summer and the great adventures that awaits.