Monday, June 29, 2009

93 Posts - Cycling Bits - South Korea - Cycling, Friends, Family

Started off with a ride into Ansan to see a doctor, then sushi rolls (California) for lunch, and we set off on a rather unexpected, fun cycle across southern fringes of Seoul, South Korea. The plan was to ride as far as Seongnam City (from Southwest to Southeast Seoul) via Suwon, Yongin, Suji, Bundang, and into Yatap-dong. We managed just that in about 4-5 hours and arrived 5 minutes before the Express Bus was leaving for Shiheung City. Unfortunately, the name Shiheung is ubiquitous with surrounding areas known as Shiwa or Gongdan (factory zones) and there are other places that stretch many Kilometers going by this name. Street names (Gil in Korean) are meaningless in Korea, everything is organized into zones or villages with a general area marked as a "Dong" or "Gu" or "Si" which translates into village area, greater village and city. It's difficult at first to navigate this way, but highways intersect these places and roads go everywhere like a web (a grid in the West), so GPS navigation is popular in 99% of the cars on the road in South Korea. I prefer the mental map maker which isn't always so reliable, but generally, I can still get around on foot, cycles or the smog-machine, a Kia Sephia. We went cycling about on this Monday Mission but I was turned back with the giant cruiser bike, it didn't come close to fitting under the older Express Bus. The driver was grouchy and looked on with disapproval as I pondered and tried to shove the heap into the tiny porthole beneath the carriage. No way possible! ^^. Time to huff it back to Shiheung City. I urged Brian my good friend to take his ticket and we loaded his tour bike easily with the front wheel removed. My mother of a bike had steel lugs and I wasn't carrying the proper tools to dismantle it...with no time to spare, back to the subway station for a short ride south to Jukjeon Station. And off into the night I went with two 5Watt lights flashing bright, and the Catseye tail light doing a great job keeping me lit up, I took off down the cross-town traffic route with a facemask to blog some of the grit and diesel carbon that likes to lodge in my head. ^^. Cycled for about 40Kms and switched back to subway and rode the last leg back into Jeongwang Station. Covering 100Km for the day (+- a few), was happy to be back home around 10pm. Then the search for Brian began, since he took the Express Bus should have been back home by about 9pm. He turned up finally, calling me about 12:30am while I continued my search after interviewing many Koreans at Emart and finally going into the police station, my phone rang, it was Brian!!! ^^OMG, what a day!!!

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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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