Living in Taipei

Have been living here in Taipei now for just over a month and enjoying the new lifestyle here. We live in the Shi Da area, a nice quaint and crowded area of Taipei. It is very convenient with two MRT subway stations within 5 minutes walk and a whole host of cheap eating places to choose from each night. Eating out compared to the US or New Zealand is dirt cheap, a delicious meal for two would cost approximately $6USd on average. Some places you can eat as cheaply as $3 for two people!

I had started up my training last week, beginning with easy morning spins on the rollers. I then did the Epic 190km ride that I ended up ‘bonking’ in. I recovered quickly though to have enough energy to play tag rugby at the American school in Tianmu. I played well, at least till I fell and ripped open my knees. My left knee was the worst hit since it re-opened an old cycling injury from 3 years ago – it had been torn open enough times to prevent skin re-growth! Also, since I had not run since last year, my muscles had a shock and for three days I was hobbling around like an old man! This put me off cycling for the week, but I spent three hours yesterday cycling around Taipei City. The best way to understand a city is to let yourself get lost and go with the flow. I visited a few language schools that I spotted and went in to enquire about teaching positions and to leave my resume. I cycled mostly around the back streets, checking out all the shops and outdoor eating stalls that were lined up on the road. I also took a few photographs with my Nikon D90, but it was hard to hold the heavy camera in one hand, steer the bike with the other and watch out for traffic! I enjoyed a freshly made pork ‘Baozi’, steamed bun (piping hot) on one of the busy corners for only $8NT (about 20cents).

Today I went on a proper training ride to Maokong Mountain. It was not too long, 40kms and 1hr 40mins. I did a couple of 1min 500 plus watt efforts and also did the mountain climb in 16 mins @ an average wattage of 335. Which was not too bad for lack of training since the Deaflympics. I will be racing the Giant Cup Criterium race in Taichung at the end of this month and need to re-gain some semblance of form I had prior and during the Deaflympics. Some quality structured training over the next couple of weeks should sharpen me up for the event, which will be my first Taiwanese race.

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