Sunday, June 7, 2009

130Km[BP]/190Km[Murray D] Gangneung to Sokcho/Unification Observatory - Weekend Cycles








130/190Kms Rides from myself and Murray D. this weekend on the northeast coast of South Korea. I arrived in Gangneung, Gangwon-do Province on Saturday, shortly after 12 noon and cycled in the rain up the coast to Sokcho. Murray had left Sokcho early Saturday [5am] and cycled north towards Ganseong, and hitched a ride with a Korean family [hospitable saying little of their generosity and welcome for him] and enjoyed the Observatory [Mt. Geumgangsan in North Korea] at the Unification Center [though the country remains deeply divided by the political/national boundaries since the Korean War 1950-1954). Murray doubled his mileage this weekend with a big push North. What became available were the quietude of the Northeast, including a Buddhist temple where Murray shared Cucumber Tea with a monk, and soaked in the wilderness and tranquility of a small corner of South Korea. The sea air was fresh, so that it's pungency washed my sinuses clean of the usual toxic dust I breathe back southwest of Seoul in Gyeongggi-do Province. The weather started off drizzly and then steady rain continued to fall, rendering my rubberized rain gear useless unless trying to trap water on the inside and sheltering off from the outside. I opted for cycling vest for a windbreak and warmth, and nylon/spandex sleeves, and the neon-orange-glow vest I found on the roadside a few weeks ago on the 313Km Hammer. The eastern coast of Korea is the place to see mountains, coast, and barbed-wire fortifications barricading North Korean invaders, or just keeping South Koreans from venturing out. There are long stretched of unspoiled coastal beaches, practically untouched due to the current, chronic friction with the political/military regime-dictatorship of North Korea. We cycled on oblivious of troubles that sunk this country into a terrible ordeal many years ago. The highway had signs labeled Asian Highway, projecting a inter-connected North & South Korea with China, Russia which is now a far away fairytale to say least. Cycling is a great way to stay in shape, build shape, and lose weight and stress accumulating from work in the grid/city/job/maintaining all of which to sustain a life in the world of many worlds in Korea. Cycling is the best part of my physical endurance training just to live a healthy life, each spin does wonders for the heart, health, and the soul.

1 comment:

peter said...

hi there~

My name is Peter; I'm currently working at H.U.F.S. in Seoul. Our semester is coming to an end, and a couple of students and I are drawing up plans to go on a short cycling trip once the dust clears. We aren't bicycling veterans, but we have spunk and plenty of energy. We just want to get out into the countryside, spend a few nights on the road, and soak in the sights. I think we'd prefer something non-greuling (which can sometimes be hard to find what with the terrain in Korea), and we think it's best to take a bus somewhere, rent some bikes, and start from there. Do you have any suggestions? We're looking for a 2-3 night trip.

Thanks for your help,
~Peter

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About the Korean-World Author

Brian Perich was an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) lecturer for a decade, father, and adventure cyclist based in South Korea.

Previously, Brian has led Canoe adventures in Quetico Provincial Park, Atikokan, Ontario, Canada (1993/1999); led Grand American camping adventures (2000); lived at Paramahansa Yogananda's SRF Ashram for 5 months (see the film "AWAKE"), formerly worked in titanium welding at Agilent Technologies, formerly worked in Winery industry in Marin County with Kendall Jackson in California; Surfing and Meditation continued for several years in California, British Columbia, South Korea, Yoga training in California 1999-2000.

Between 1994-1998 - Brian completed his own adventures with motorcycles. His motorcycling marathons took him across the United States and central/western Canada, while traveling solo over an astounding 24,000km in 60 days! Brian endured 900 mile/1300km average days in the motorcycle saddle and apparently loved every minute of those adventures.

Today, he has given up motorcycle adventures altogether, but finds an outlet for his enthusiasm in outdoor recreation while bicycle touring and micro-blogging about those experiences on his mountain bikes.

While employed as an English teacher in South Korea, Brian has became an advocate for bicycle touring on his mountain bikes. The Korean-World blog originated from those small adventures in Korea, now expanded to cover his recent trek down the TransMongolian highway to the Gobi Desert, cycling 900km east through the Khentii grasslands and in 2012 crossing Mongolia in 45 days, 2500 kilometers 1553 miles. HimalayasX expedition Brian previously cycled across western China, the Taklamakan Desert, the northern Himalayas of East Turkestan Xinjiang/Uyghur Autonomous Region, the corrugated back roads and mountains of Kham Tibet. Brian successfully completed his 2011 mountain bike expedition with 3200 kilometers / 1988 miles unsupported, on/off road MTB adventure cycling.
Brian has completed his second mountain bike journey, MongoliaX expedition - Crossing Mongolia 2012, an unsupported mountain bike MTB expedition across 2500km of Outer Mongolia from Ulanbaatar to Altai Taven-Bogd National Park bordering China, Russia and Mongolia.


In 2013, as a sequel to a trilogy of cycle tours, Brian enjoyed a more leisure bicycle tour onboard his Koga-Miyata World Traveller seeing the northern tier of the United States and western Canada covering 3400 kilometers / 2000 miles in 30 days. This North American cycle tour was called Totherocktour. Enjoying the adventure of bicycle travel and every great conversation started while traveling on the road - has refueled his inspirations to cycle around the Earth. In 2013, while he cycled solo from the Great Lake State of Michigan, United States to Banff National Park in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. He weaved through local communities and reconnected with friends, family and community after spending almost a decade in Asia.


Brian is now supporting several non-profit foundations through expeditions: IDEAS Foundation of Canada IDEAS is the acronym for Intestinal Disease Education and Awareness Society which supports the IBD community, those suffering from IBD-inflammatory bowel disease, also known as Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis.


The second non-profit foundation is ETE.ORG - Education Through Expeditions, UK which supports educational outreach programs inside schools around the world. ETE connects explorers with students in the classroom, through an interactive online program in development (Beta).


Brian is researching support for a 18000 kilometer bicycle expedition across the Americas: North, Central and South America - ONE -Arctic to Argentina
Please contact him if you are interested in helping out.

Twitter: Cycleagain
Location: Gangneung, Gangwon-do, South Korea or southern Ontario, Canada.

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Brian's friends have also been...Cycling in Korea!

Brian's friends have also been...Cycling in Korea!

Cycling in Korea, Warning: always wear a helmet! (I gave mine to my friend)

Cycling in Korea, Warning: always wear a helmet! (I gave mine to my friend)

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