Saturday, February 23, 2013

U-Bike Taipei

Very last post on Taipei! 

I walked by this U-Bike Station everyday on Heping East Road and was always curious how it works. It's located right in the intersection of Heping East Road and Shida Road, making it super convenient for tourists and college students alike with the Shida Night Market right down the street as well as the university next door. We also found another rental station at the corner of Zhongxiao East Road and Guangfu South Road (光復南路), I suppose so people can ride their bikes down to Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall and the Xinyi shopping district where Taipei 101 is.

Hubby and I had imagined a whole day of biking around town on these, but between school and visitors, the next thing we knew Thanksgiving was already around the corner. And then the rain came. God, it rained, and rained, and rained. And it wasn't until right before we left Taipei did the sun came out for, like, a day. 

I remember that afternoon when hubby and I raced out our door after finished cleaning up and packing (we were flying in just a day)! Then we spent the next 45 minutes fumbling with the clumsy and less than responsive rental machine, which was absolutely frustrating but ultimately rewarding when we finally got our bikes to unlock. I have to say, these rental bikes are an ingenious idea! Basically, you register with the machine and link your cell phone or EasyCard on which you have a balance (the bikes cost NT$60~USD2/hour), then every time after, you just scan your card or cell phone to unlock/relock the bikes! Yup, that's it! Just the darn registration process, especially that machine, still needs lots of work.

Anyway, hubby and I rode down Shida Road to the intersection of Roosevelt Road, crossed it, kept going, crossed Tingzhou Road also, and that was where we found a gorgeous bike path, built for just that purpose, recreational biking! 

This bike path rises above but continues to follow Shida Road and will take you directly to Guting Riverside Park on the other side of Shuiyuan Expressway. 

The rest stop area is on the other side of the bow curve(right picture), and it has a stunning view of the Guting Riverside Park!

The bike path just crossed over and was then going northeast along the Shuiyuan Expressway at this point, right along side the park with its tennis courts below.

Basically, on the left of Shuiyuan Expressway is the park, and on the right are residential buildings.

Here's looking back at the rest stop, nearing the end of the bike path, finishing at the northeast corner of the park.

Below are some lovely views of the Guting Riverside Park, with the river running in the background and the sun setting behind it. The photos were taken from the rest area of the bike path. Don't you just wish every city does something like this for its citizens?

The west side of the park with Shuiyuan Expressway curving on the far left.

Actually, hubby and I were really surprised the bike path wasn't more crowded that day given the glorious weather. As you can see, the rest area was pretty much deserted save for a couple of bikers passing by. Even the park was empty! Did you see anybody in the above pictures?

Well, at least we were there... ^.^

I am so, so, so glad hubby and I got to try these U-Bikes and rode them over to the bike path. We wanted a chance to at least see the park. That afternoon was one of my best memories of Taipei, really! If you are ever there on that side of the city, seek out these bikes and give them a chance. They're lots of fun, I promise!


Sara said...

I have really enjoyed your Taipei posts a lot, it has been so much fun to read them! I really really like your cosmetics posts too but I think these travel/city posts are what make your blog so special. So thank you! I will probably never visit Taipei but it doesn't make reading about it any less enjoyable! And I hope we will hear from the cities you visit also in the future (maybe San Francisco too?)! :-)

D. said...

Hi Sara,

You are so welcome. And thank YOU for reading, and for this heartwarming comment!

I am so happy to hear you enjoy reading my posts as much as I enjoy writing them (mostly very late at night, so please excuse the grammar and spelling mistakes here and there...). As soon as work calms down a bit, you bet there will be posts on San Francisco too ^.^


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