Tuesday, 13 November 2012

To Jianshanpi Reservoir & Back: 95K

On the bicycle - set off at 11am and arrived a little after 2pm. Jianshanpi reservoir (尖山埤水庫) is a small, privately owned reservoir in Liuying district (柳營鄉) just a few kilometers to the north of Wushantou reservoir (烏山頭水庫).

Built in just two years between 1936 and 1938, Jianshanpi reservoir is - by my reckoning - the third oldest reservoir in Taiwan after Wushantou reservoir (completed 1929) and Riyuetan (日月潭) (completed 1934?). It was built by a pair of Japanese engineers for the Taiwan Sugar Corporation, and although it may still supply some irrigation water during the wet season, it is largely a tourist attraction today. It is also, today, very dry - there doesn't seem to have been any serious effort made to sustain the reservoir during the dry season.

The ride out there surprised me a little bit - I was frustrated by how slow I was; there was a stiff breeze blowing into my face, but nothing serious. I averaged between 20 and 25 kph on the way there, and between 25 to 30 kph on the way back. Apparently my bicycle, being a cheap, steel-framed job I bought in Kaohsiung five or six years ago is partly to blame - "eating half my energy", or so I am told. I've never been especially interested in bicycles and only ride it for the fitness (and for practicality earlier this summer in Miaoli). This is me at about 12.30pm this afternoon on the bridge over the Tseng-wen river; you can just see part of the bicycle at the bottom of the picture - straight handlebars and wide tyres.

I'll write up about the reservoir at some point in the future, as I don't have time right now (and can't be bothered after that ride in the sun). I need to go to Baihe reservoir again soon, as well as the little Fongshan reservoir in Kaohsiung and the Yueh Mei weir just south of Jiaxian. And then I have all the information I got recently (there is a lot of it) to plough through.

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