前言:

63歲的澳洲地質學家 Kingsley Burlinson 這兩年跟他的 Reach 精實車已經旅行了超過15,000公里。從4/18到5/6,他將在台灣展開新的冒險旅程。4/19 Kingsley 到台灣拜訪的第一站,就是 Reach 的出生地--太平洋自行車。

Reach 的催生者,也就是董事長林正義,與他相談甚歡。林董事長與太平洋的同仁同時也協助 Kingsley 精選了最適合及風景最佳的路線及景點。Kingsley 離開太平洋後,開始往南騎行..... 

以下文章為 4/24 收到 Kingsley 來信的中、英文忠實翻譯。如同,Kingsley 信尾所說 ~ "精彩的還在後面—真正的山岳之旅還沒開始呢! " ,我們也非常期待 Kingsley 的再度來信 !

Kingsley attacks mountains

Kingsley進攻台灣山岳之旅 

Hi all

Its time again for me to undertake yet another cycling experience. This time the destination is Taiwan and there is no associated geology conference to interfere with the serious cycling.

大家好

此刻我又即將展開另一段騎乘的挑戰,目標是台灣,這次沒有什麼既定的地質學會議妨礙我這次的行程。

 

Now Taiwan is not the most obvious cycling destination, but a little research revealed that Taiwan has great potential which i have decided to investigate. I was also interested in the possibility of visiting the Pacific cycles factory where my Reach bike was designed and made.

台灣目前並不是自行車旅行的首選,然而有些調查顯示她有很大的潛力,因此我決定要去一探究竟。同時我也有興趣參觀我愛車 Reach 的誕生地—太平洋自行車。

 

When i examined the roads and topography i realised that there are serious mountains here and numerous roads into them along the western margin. But only a few roads cross the island completely because the mountains are so rugged and the passes are as high as 3250m! Higher than any pass in the Alps! In other locations such mountains would be cold and snowy, but Taiwan is in the tropics so the climate is much more pleasant. Almost too good to be true, so i booked my flights and folded my bike and now i am attacking the mountains.

當我研究此地的路線及地形時,發現從台灣的西部有許多路線可以向東通到中央山脈,然而因為地形崎嶇,幾乎沒有路線可以完全穿越。甚至標高達3,250公尺,比阿爾卑斯山所有的山脈都還要高。在其他地方的高山通常都是寒冷且為雪覆蓋,但台灣因位處亞熱帶,氣候相對宜人許多。我覺得這是個可行的旅程,所以就買了機票,把愛車打包,準備進攻台灣的山岳。

 

After a transit through Singapore my arrival in Taipei was uneventful and i reassembled the bike in a corner of the airport terminal, and rode off to a nearby hotel i had booked for my late evening arrival.

As often happens at airports there was no access for bicycles on the airport entrance roads but i rode cautiously and the traffic was only light at 9pm. The staff of the rather flash hotel did not complain as i took my bike with me in the elevator up to my room.

一路平安地經由新加坡轉機到台北,我在航廈找到了一個角落把車子組起來,騎往先前因班機晚而預訂好位於機場附近的下榻飯店。一般而言機場周邊並沒有規劃給自行車的道路,不過晚上九點車子並不多,小心地騎到目標顯著的飯店,服務人員對我把車牽進電梯沒有表示任何不悅。

 

Seeking a late meal i went to the hotel restaurant where i met a local person doing the same and we had a pleasant conversation. He was welcoming his mainland chinese relatives and we sat at separate tables but when i went to pay the bill this kind person had paid for my meal!

I was very impressed by his kindness. What a wonderful welcome this was to Taiwan!

因為時間已晚,所以我就直接在飯店用餐,同時用餐的一位本地人與我有非常愉快的談話,他正在招待他的大陸親戚,所以我們並未同桌,然而當我付帳時,那位先生居然已經幫我買單了。我對於他的親切非常感謝,多麼美好的台灣式歡迎!

 

And the kindness continued next morning when George from Pacific cycles collected me and escorted me around the factory and museum of innovative bicycles he had designed. Truly amazing and interesting.

然而這樣的親切仍然持續著。隔天早上,太平洋自行車的林正義董事長接送我到公司並親自導覽工廠,並介紹博物館內他設計的各式獨一無二的自行車,充滿了驚奇及趣味。

 

After lunch i commenced my cyclng southwards. I was pleased that the traffic was not as difficult to manage as i had feared. After 2 hours i reached the large city of Hsinchu. Here the traffic was heavy and a bit chaotic, but i soon learned to survive the hordes of scooters.

Many or the roads have edge lanes for scooters and this is great for cyclists also, providing some protection from motorists. But the scooters are only a cyclist's ally when dealing with cars. They are a cyclist's enemy in the drag race at every stop light.

在用過午餐後,我開始向南的旅程,很高興路況並沒有我先前擔憂的那樣不易掌握。兩小時後我到了新竹市,這裡交通流量很大且有些混亂,不過一下子我就學到如何在機車群中生存的方式。許多道路的邊緣都有劃給機車的道路,對自行車也可以提供某種保護,然而機車只有在對抗車子時才是自行車的盟友,每次從紅綠燈啟動時,它們就變成了你的敵人。

 

In the evening i met Fleur, a cyclist living and working here. She taught me by example how to survive the traffic as we rode to the night market for supper. Be bold and absolutely fearless! It works.

當天傍晚我與Fleur見了面,她也騎車,在新竹工作並住在當地。她帶我去夜市吃東西時同時教我如何在車陣中生存的法則:膽大而且完全無懼。這招確實有效。

 

Next morning it was time for me to venture into the unknown and hope i could survive without speaking mandarin and without being able to understand the complex squiggly patterns that everyone else reads so easily. The major roads are all well marked with route numbers so i felt confident i could navigate my way. But in the first major town a street market had closed my route and i lost it while trying to bypass the closed roads. So i merely road east on uncharted roads, which eventually connected to the route i wanted. In the process i found numerous well paved roads and quiet villages through the intensely cultivated tropical farmlands. The main route south was a wide and low traffic road that had been replaced by a freeway and was perfect for cycling being hilly and scenic. Eventually i reached the major city of Taichung. Here i tried unsuccessfully to follow the route numbers but the signs were mostly absent and i continued seemingly forever through a jungle of traffic lights. Eventually i found a motel, not being sure just which city i was in. The motel staff said i was in Nantou but at a nearby police station next morning they told me i was still in Taichung. Some 6 police became involved in helping me with directions on how to get to my chosen southbound route. But despite their help i soon became quite lost again. Just like my touring in Europe, big cities are all "Hotel California" experiences. Check out anytime, but you can never leave!!

隔日清晨,該前往挑戰未知的領域了。我誠心希望能在不用跟人講中文或是想辦法弄清楚那些彎彎曲曲的複雜文字的狀況下完成這次旅程。主要的大路都有標示道路號碼,所以我可以很有自信的勇往直前,然而當我騎到了某個鎮上,一個路邊攤市場就橫在路的尾端,在這邊我迷了路,只好沿著沒有標示的路一直向東走,最後還是連回了我本來要走的那條路。在這段過程中我發現有許多鋪設良好的道路,縱橫在高度開發的農地之間。往南的主要幹道很寬敞,剛開始車輛稀少,到中段變成了快速道路,上上下下的斜坡,伴隨著沿路風光,非常適合騎車。最後,到達了位在台中的一個主要城市。我想辦法循著道路指示前進,但大部分時間我都被困在車流之中。後來找到了一間旅社,不確定這是哪裡,旅社的員工說我現在在南投,但隔天上午鄰近派出所的警員跟我說我仍然在台中,大概有六個警員忙著幫我在地圖上確認我要往南行的路線,結果我在出發後不久又迷路了。就像我在歐洲的旅行一樣,城市就像"Hotel California"的歌詞:你可以隨時買單,但永遠無法離開。

 

After many circles, 4 hours and discovering numerous back alleys and dead ends i eventually found an exit road southwards. I must remember to stay up in the mountain villages and avoid the big cities. In these villages the locals often waved encouragement to me. Or perhaps this was their way of indicating they thought i was crazy to ride a bike in these hills! As i reached Chiayi, where i planned to stay for several days, my gearshifts became erratic and i would need to check and repair them soon.

在四小時內無止境的繞路、碰到盡頭、迴轉,最後殺出了一條往南的路。我必須要記得盡量走山路村落而避免都市,在這些村落中,人們向我揮手鼓勵,我猜想說不定這是他們看到”又是一個騎車攻山頭的瘋子”的表現方式。當我到達嘉義境內,車子的變速系統變得不聽使喚,我必須想辦法檢查出問題點然後修好它。

 

At a pizza shop that evening (that’s right, at least i can understand pizza menus), i was given directions to a bicycle shop. They are not common, but scooter shops are everywhere. Next morning i found the shop at 8:30am but it did not open until 11am. I had no city map so i randomly rode around looking for a bike repair place and found one in a narrow alley. The guy there had clearly never seen gears like mine, but he did have the cable i needed. I showed him how and helped install the new cables and the gears were soon fixed. My next problem was to get local maps so i went to the city hall building. Fortunately there were street signs in pinyun (latin alphabet characters) which i could read. A request for maps must have been unusual because i soon had some 20 staff involved in finding, printing and translating my request. Not to mention the cup of tea while they ran around helping me. There was no lack of helpfulness and much interest in this unusual foreigner.

這個傍晚我在一家Pizza店(沒錯!至少我還看得懂菜單),他們給了我到車店的路線。相較於摩托車店到處都是,自行車店相對少見。隔天一早八點半我找到了車店,但是它們十一點才會開。因為沒有當地地圖,我就隨便繞繞看有沒有別家,結果在一條小巷弄內找到了,車店的人顯然沒有看過像我車上的變速系統,但是他們有變速線,我就告訴他們怎麼換,很快就修好了。接下來我要去找一份當地的地圖,所以就去了市政大樓,幸運的是路標是用拼音的,所以我還唸的出來。對於市府員工,顯然跟他們索取一份地圖這件事情肯定是大事,大概有二十個人跑來跑去幫我找地圖、印資料、翻譯我的問題,更不要說是還奉茶待客了。對於一個老外,這裡最不缺的就是熱情的協助和好奇。

 

It was now 10:30 and i was keen to go cycling out of the city and i decided to visit a scenic area some 30 km away. I found a turnoff to a village that was on my map, although he road itself was not. I was feeling confident as i finally found some serious hills to climb. A sign on the road seemed to say the road was closed and i knew there was landslide damage in the area. Although closed to cars i was able to pass through on a very narrow pathway across the landslip. I continued on and up through tea fields hoping to reach the village soon as it was getting late. And i was hungry! It was after 3pm when i finished lunch high up in the mountains, far from home. I was concerned about being so late but hoped for a fast downhill ride home.

There was a downhill, but only to cross a river and there was another enormous climb following. I really was not expecting this, but there was no choice now. It was 4:30, i was in the damp mist above the cloud base, i had no idea which road i was on and the tea plantation ladies were all crammed in the trucks going home after their long day at work. And fool me was up here on a bicycle. Maybe i really was crazy after all.

折騰了一會,早上十點半,我迫不及待的想要出發,計畫前往距離這兒三十公里的一個景點。我在地圖上找到了往那個村莊的岔路,然而那條路跟地圖上說的不一樣。我一直勇往直前,直到路越來越陡。此時路邊的告示牌好像說路不通,先前我已經知道附近道路有因土石流而中斷。路況仍然容許我騎車穿過,我就繼續向前行,經過了茶園,天色漸暗,希望前方就有村莊。三點多,這時我感到餓了,吃了午餐。天色越來越暗,我期待前方會出現下坡,趕快到達有人煙的地方。下坡出現了,但是只到了河邊,接下來又有一堆坡要爬。這不是我要的,但沒有選擇。四點半,我騎在雲海上端的濕霧中,不知身在何方;身邊經過了載滿要回家的採茶女的卡車,這時我就好像一個快要發瘋的傻子。

 

It was not until 5pm that i found a road sign which allowed me to work out how to get back to Chiayi, which was over 30km away. Fortunately much of that was downhill, an astonishingly long and tortuous downhill which was quite fun. And i made it back to the motel just on nightfall. Not quite what i had planned for the day, but truly an amazingly scenic day.

直到五點我終於找到一塊路標可以指引我回到三十公里外的嘉義,幸運的是這段路多是下坡,這段又長又蜿蜒的下坡騎起來很有樂趣,最後在天黑前,我回到了飯店。今天的旅程跟計畫大不同,但沿途風光真是令人讚嘆。

 

So after just 4 days here i have found friendly and helpful people everywhere, good roads and manageable (albeit chaotic at times) traffic, warm weather and fresh pineapples. Hey, peach season in Hungary last year was great, but nothing can beat fresh pineapples.

Taiwan is looking like a cycling jewel.

雖然只騎了四天,在這兒我發現大家都很友善、很幫忙;不錯的路況和可以想辦法克服(雖然時常一片混亂)的交通;暖和的天氣和新鮮的鳳梨。去年在匈牙利剛好碰上桃子的季節,可是滋味根本無法跟鳳梨相比。

 

Stay tuned - the real mountains haven't even started yet!

Kingsley

精彩的還在後面—真正的山岳之旅還沒開始呢!

Kingsley

Source: http://www.facebook.com/notes/chong-wey-lin/kingsley-進攻台灣山岳之旅/194354927276602

延伸閱讀:
老當益壯 - Reach的萬里征戰
http://www.wretch.cc/blog/franklu/11889517

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