Formosan Fat Tire Association - Mountain Biking in Taiwan  Stone Deer Trail
Formosan Fat Tire Assocation - Riding and Shooting Asia
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Rumours of a hidden trail in the mountains behind Hsinchu sparked the attention of FFTA. A cryptic email and a study of assorted maps was the basis for an exploration one weekend. The team, comprising Patrick, Stephen, and John set off late on Friday night. Everyone was excitedly discussing the prospect of a 30km downhill single track as the FFTA Zace-mobile hit the highway. Then a nervous silence after John quietly announces that he’d forgotten the maps.

Stone Deer Trail - Hsinchu County - 3 riders. 2 days. 1 dead snake.

No going back now, and the group continued down the “Bei Er Gao” towards Judong, with John insisting that all the details necessary for success were safely inside his head.

From Judong, a narrow mountain road ascends up to a village called “Qing Chun” at 600m elevation. The group finally arrived at 2.00am, and were disappointed to discover that the town wasn’t filled with locals drinking and singing throughout the night, and eager to offer immediate information about the location of the trail. Instead the streets were completely deserted, and after wandering around in confusion for 20 minutes, the group finally settled on the local school running track for a place to camp.

John awoke first, to the sight of a friendly school caretaker who immediately started to tell stories of how various people had done this trail in the past, only to be never seen again. It would probably be the same for the FFTA group, since the route planned was an A to B journey, returning in a circuit to Qing Chun only to pick up the car.