My Dream Challenge: Tour de Taiwan 2019 Cycling Trip
This year with 2 other NTU GMBA students we took on the Tour de Taiwan Cycling Trip from Songshan Train Station. Lasting 9 days, 8 nights and totaling 900km of various inclines, The Tour de Taiwan Cycling Trip is an experience that will never be forgotten.
The Tour de Taiwan is a very memorable journey for us. We had half a year to mentally prepare and train for the event from when we signed up. I personally did not practice or train and was uncertain whether I could finish the entire trip. The thought of quitting was always in the back of my mind. But I promised my friend to join, and a promise is a promise, so I cleared my doubts and continued the challenge.
This is my personal journey, my Dream Challenge during the Tour de Taiwan:
Without practice and proper training, I managed to twist my ankle before noon. My knees were weakened and I was already in pain only after passing two small hills. However, it was just the first day and adrenaline kept me going until we reached the hotel.
The second day was the physically painful part of the journey. I was not using the correct cycling posture and during the 120km leg of cycling, my knees were in so much pain that I had lost sight of our group which I almost gave up all hope in continuing. Fortunately, our rear guide was not prepared to give up on me. He taught me ways to ride more efficiently, making it easier and less painful. Back at the hotel I had thoughts of taking a break the next day and cheer others from the guidance van. However, I could not give up on my teammates who are all going through the same journey as I am. I couldn’t justify a valid reason to give up so easily.
On the sixth day, we rode uphill for 44km altogether and 3 small hills after lunch. This was the hardest leg of the cycling trip. Correct cycling posture alone is not enough to conquer the ride, it was a combination of sheer willpower and physical strength that kept us going. The guide told us that if we managed to complete that day’s ride, it would be a miracle. And yes, miracles happen! I was so thrilled when we accomplished this day.
I gradually learned how to properly ride a bicycle smoother, faster and without hurting my knees. On the eighth and final day, I managed to cycle with the first half of the team and finally got a glimpse of the back of our lead guide. As we rode back to Songshan train station, everyone was excited the journey was over but at the same time feeling a little sad that we had to part ways. Although we did not know each other for long, the nine days brought us together as a family who shared common challenges and supported each other through them. It was a journey that was hard to forget.
To think that I started so badly at the beginning and improving over time, it was a feeling that I could not describe. I also could not imagine there was a time I almost gave up on myself. If I really did give up halfway, I don’t think I could ever forgive myself. I was really glad I joined this cycling trip. I gained a lot of experiences and got to know a lot of friends through this amazing trip. This trip was a big success and those beautiful memories would be kept in my mind forever.