taiwan epic

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Day 1

Remember, you may take the entire Taiwan Epic (Taipei to Kenting) or you could well be participating on one of the constituent parts. Taiwan's extensive rail and air network mean starting anywhere along the route is simple.


If starting in Taipei, The Mad Dogs check into the comfortable hotel here. A briefing at 7.30pm will be made and many will go to explore the capital’s famous food scene. What will tomorrow bring? The photo and video below is a hint...




Day 2


TaipeiNanao Township

It’s truly astounding how quickly the city of Taipei melts into beautiful green mountains terraced with tea plantations. The road winds past traditional Chinese temples with chanting priests. If there are clouds, you’re likely to be above them! After some satisfyingly high climbs, the road falls down to the sea and heads south through the countryside and various small towns. 


Elevation:+ 2155 / - 2143 m

The scale of the elevation profile above ranges from 2-497m. To view a larger size, right click on the image and select "Open Image In New Tab."


If you're joining here, you can reach lovely Nan'ao very easily and inexpensively by train or convenient vehicle transfer from Taipei (1.5 to 2 hours), which Mad Dogs can assist with.

Day 3


Nanao TownshipRuisui Township

You will head south on this day, along the rugged coast before heading into the East Rift Valley between mountain ranges - superb cycling country on really excellent roads. The locals will cheer you on as you tackle the hills, past bright green rice paddies. You’ll pass through aboriginal villages in the afternoon, showing another side to this diverse island. We stay in a hot springs area - perfect for soothing the muscles after the day's cycling! The first part of the day (near the coast) has a series of tunnels which are closed to cyclists, hence we will use the vehicles to transport through. Since this is unavoidable, travelling in the vehicles here is part of the challenge. This accounts for approx 10km.



Elevation:+ 2965 / - 2852 m

The scale of the elevation profile above ranges from 0-375. To view a larger size, right click on the image and select "Open Image In New Tab."


If you're starting the ride in Ruisui, it's just 3 hours of a stunning train ride from Taipei, or you can fly to the nearby Hualien airport.

Day 4

120 km

Ruisui TownshipTaitung City

You will continue south through the East Rift Valley, where the road is a little flatter in the morning and is lines with meadows. Workers are busy in the fields as you cycle past - they might even shout some encouragement to you! There is then a long and satisfying climb as you leave the valley and then a lovely descent as you head south along the coast once more towards Taitung, a very traditional Taiwanese city which you can explore.


Elevation: + 2150 / - 2273 m

The scale of the elevation profile above ranges from 7-573m. To view a larger size, right click on the image and select "Open Image In New Tab."


If you're starting your ride in Taitung, there's a convenient and inexpensive direct flight or 4 hour train ride from Taipei. It's also reachable in about 4 hours from Kaohsiung although the train from there isn't direct. 

Day 5


Taitung CityKenting

A day spent discovering the aboriginal villages and the secrets of Taiwan’s heart. There is time for a last crunch of mountainous climbs before a victorious entry into Kenting, right in the island’s southern tip. Now comes time to celebrate - you’ve cycled the length of Taiwan!


Elevation: + 2172 / - 2176 m

The scale of the elevation profile above ranges from 5-414m. To view a larger size, right click on the image and select "Open Image In New Tab."

Day 6

Perhaps you’re sticking around to explore Southern Taiwan, Kenting National Park, or simply to laze on the beach. It may, however be time to head home - with a lot of stories, experiences and a great deal of pride.



How much does it cost to participate?




Pricing information is available on the >Pricing page. There are extra charges should you want to guarantee your own room, arrange transfers, or hire GPS units.




What is the date for the next edition?




The >Event Calendar page has the dates for all our scheduled rides. Note that you will need to arrive in Taipei the day before the ride to allow for the early start (hotel accommodation included) and you will check out on the day AFTER the ride (again, accommodation included).


What rides are available within this epic?

Taipei to Kenting  - corresponds to days 1-6 above (4 days cycling)

The ultimate adventure from the north to the south of the island!

Yilan (Nan'ao) to Kenting - corresponds to days 2-6 above (3 days cycling)

Taipei melts away into green hills very quickly, but if you don't like the idea of any urban cycling this could be a good option for you.

Taipei to Hualien - corresponds to days 1-4 above (2 days cycling)

The first two days are perhaps the most challenging stretch of the ride, with some nice climbs, and the famous Suhua Highway which spectacularly hugs the cliffs.

Hualien to Kenting corresponds to days 3-6 above (2 days cycling)

A stunning ride through Taiwan's rural southwest, through the beautiful East Rift Valley and the national parks. 

The Taipei Dash (Taipei to Yilan) - corresponds to days 1-3 above (1 day cycling)

Dominated by a big climb up and out of Taipei to the East, which affords ultimate satisfaction and the most stunning views, this ride is a real stunner. It's also supremely convenient.

The Kenting Dash (Taiting to Kenting) - corresponds to days 4-6 above (1 day cycling)

Starting in old-school Taitung, the Taiwan of yester year, this ride takes you through Kenting National Park. Stunning.


How much is the single room supplement? (Note, you will only need to pay this if you want to guarantee not to be paired with rider(s) or support team member(s) of the same sex.)

US$220 for the entire epic (Taipei to Kenting) - price on demand for other sections.


What is the terrain like? 

Each day on this challenge involves some climbing - some days more than others. There are also flat stretches, particularly in the East Rift Valley. Taiwan is a stunning, mountainous island and the distances on this challenge are a little shorter to reflect this. 


What are the roads like?

The road quality is generally excellent. Sometimes you will have to pass through some tunnels however there is ample space for cyclists as well as vehicles. On the one occasion where there is insufficient space in a tunnel for vehicles and cyclists to safely pass, we will make use of the vehicle as a safety car.


What type of bike is appropriate?

The good road quality means that it would be quite possible to ride this on a more nimble road bike, however a hybid or touring bike would be equally acceptable.


Where does the Challenge start?

A comfortable hotel in central Taipei will be confirmed nearer the start of the challenge.


How do I get to the start? 

There are regular cheap buses from the airport into town - we will confirm nearer the time the exact details on how to get there.


Which flights should I book?

Taipei is extremely well served for international flights. See here for airlines and destinations. On the way back, you will want to fly from Kaohsiung International Airport which is also well served - see here for airlines and destinations. If you desperately need to get away on the evening that you arrive in Kenting, there is a Dragonair flight at 9.25pm from Kaohsiung which you can get.


Can I rent a bike?

Absolutely! You can rent a bike for US$20 per day. Your bike will arrive on the first day of cycling and you won't need to worry about returning it; it will remain with the support team at the end. The price includes helmet hire, however we think it's best for safety quality reasons to bring your own.