One of the best things about living in Taipei is riding a bike. That might sound stupidly simplistic in what I find to be a ‘best thing’, but hear me out. In Dublin, Ireland, you can ride a bicycle at your own peril. That is not an exaggeration. The city was barely built for cars, never mind cyclists. Taipei, although roadways may not be perfect in many places, the city is definitely built for cyclists.
I rarely take a taxi home after a night out. After a few drinks, and the hour passing 1 a.m, I simply find a YouBike station (Bikes you can rent for next to nothing) and cycle my way home. From Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial, it takes me roughly 30-40 minutes to cycle home. I would also like to reiterate, I am not stone cold drunk when I do this. Just a little. Probably still enough to fail a breathalyser test. This may sound funny, but you can be fined for drink cycling in Taipei, and citizens have been fined before.
With such an ease of access to bikes and infrastructure to travel quickly with them around the city, I took advantage of the Riverside parks that are dotted along the Keelung River. I cycled from Chengmeizuo’an Riverside Park to Dajia Riverside Park. It was roughly a 10-12km cycle. I managed to stopped myself a few times to capture a few nice shots of the riverside.
With the exception of having to stop ever 4-5 minutes to let pedestrians know you are behind them, it is a smooth cycle. It might sound like I am nitpicking, but pedestrians walking on the cycling lane are quite annoying when you consider there is an entirely empty pedestrian lane solely for them. I nearly skulled myself and a child who was running around the cycling lane and was lucky enough to hit the breaks at the last second.
With that in mind, some precautions on busy days is all you need. The cycle is warranted on the sunniest of days, though I prefer winter evenings because the cold weather of 21 degrees drives everyone away.