Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cycling in Korea :: Updates on MTB touring & related photos

I think it's becoming a more popular choice for some MTB riders using their bikes for distance touring. Tom has fully converted his Kona for longer world touring expeditions. I enjoy using my MTB on longer rides in Korea. If you ride a high-end bike, the offroad options are plenty here. If you ride a lighter-quality build as I do, offroading is good, but seeing these OEM -SR Suntour forks bottom out on descents isn't fair play. I don't have the extra money to toss into high-end, tough builds that are available in this market. So, I enjoy a little XC riding, and usually take to paved roads to cover the extra ground required to get a good physical workout. My last three 'revival rides' from the respiratory attack I experienced cycling for a few hours in the Asian, "yellow dust" -made life hectic for about 8 weeks of brutality. Since then, I have finally recovered from extensive antibiotic treatments, then natural yogurt treatments and fresh fruit to restore the healthy bacteria again in the bowels. What a rough ride, hard to describe. So, cycling has returned in my routine here in South Korea. Recent photos are posted covering some of the scenes. There's a few photos taken in Gangneung, Gangwon Province where I now live with my family -Mi Sung and Matthew, and baby is coming in less than two weeks!! Back to riding, recent rides southbound and northbound from Gangneung (you can take an Express Bus here from any part of Korea, your bike in the storage compartment below the bus, remove front wheel, load, easy and welcomed by bus drivers too). Recent rides: to Donghae, Mureung Valley (with my friend Brian), and return to Gangneung in a day covered 129.7km. Yesterday, an exceptional day on the bike, 148.4km return trip to Sokcho on Hwy 7 and return to Gangneung. I also enjoy the trail riding around the beach area in Gangneung, there are a few pine forests to weave through while making your way north. The bicycle network continues north to the municipal areas furtherest rural extension where there is minimal development, a great area to ride to relax. I prefer high-mileage rides to cover the greatest distances, the residual feeling is incredible.

Refueling on the Rides:
I have also become an advocate of fueling on fruit through your rides. Remember to drink 1L of water per hour, hard to forget when you really need it. Raisins, apples and bananas are my favorite fuel on the road. I don't eat lunch after leaving home, it's all fruit and water and the power for the riding will continue throughout the day. I strongly recommend giving it a try, avoid the Powerbars and all the other snack foods that were designed to help you, it's nothing but junk! Go natural!

Stats: Refueled on 250g of raisins, 5 apples, 5L of H2O. No snacks, no power bars, no unnatural ingredients. I can swear by this, fruit is best fuel during the distance rides, and water.

Distance: 148.4km
Ride time: 6 hours, 8 minutes.
Avg speed: 24.1km/h
Max speed 56.5km/h

So, there's lots of riding and many aspects to Korea's terrain that make it a great place, just protect your lungs from dust, pollution and other hazards as I learned this spring, it can become almost a lethal dose of dirt. Peace from the rides, keep pedaling and enjoying nature's gifts -health, nature, fruit and the great places we can see from the saddle of our bikes. ^^!

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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.

Thanks for visiting my Journal from Asia

I hope you enjoy the updates!

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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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