Welcome to my blog which focuses on my life in Taiwan.
(Photo: Cheng Ching Lake (澄清湖), Kaohsiung)
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Day Off - Some Relaxing Biking
I took this picture about 20 minutes from our house by bike in the middle of the city of Kaohsiung! To reach this point, I mostly followed cycle paths alongside the river. The small mountain to the left is Gu Shan (鼓山), which I partly climbed on my bike further on in the ride.
This morning I left the house only at 7:00 am, and as the pool was shut, rode my bicycle to a part of town I have not visited for many years, and the first time by bike (seen on the right). To get there, I only occasionally had to ride with the other traffic. Most of it was along bike paths next to the Love River in the main part of town, and then up a very quiet road as I climbed a small mountain. As you will see from the pictures, some of the scenery was quite beautiful. In the past I wondered if I would get a trainer and just bike on the lanai at home. However, unless I am really so concerned about what time I do in a race, maybe I will just go for rides like this. I am used to seeing a lot of purple bourgainvillea (九重葛) here, but I don't see orange flowers quite so much. If you look in the distance, you will see large ships (click on the picture to enlarge). That is Kaohsiung harbor in the distance. As I rode along the windy roads up the mountain, I reached the Martyrs' Shrine, again a place with a lot of historical significance. It was also interesting to meet a group of Japanese tourists who were visiting this quiet and restful place. I had the privilege of saying おはようございますand おげんき です か to a few of them. If I spoke more Japanese, it would not be hard to find opportunities to practice here. Going up the hill, I was passed by a few mountain bikers, all of whom had nice bikes. Maybe I could eventually get a better MTB, and at least I could try to push it up the hill a bit harder. I also hope to look a little at the off-road trails and try and have a bit of fun without breaking my neck.
I was born and grew up in the south-east of England, and as a child was a keen golfer. During my first year at university as an economics student, I became very drawn to Asian students and their respective countries. This led to further studies in the economics of developing countries and later the study of the Chinese language in Taiwan. In 1985 I married Hsiu-chin, and while we made Taiwan our home, we also lived for several years in Hawaii. It was there that I took up triathlon, completed the Hawaii Ironman in 2004 and took part in many smaller races. While I have gained much experience as a translator of Chinese, over the years I have developed a passion for other East Asian languages and cultures, including, but not limited to, Thai and Japanese, as well as other Chinese dialects. We currently reside in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, where I continue with language learning and triathlon training.