Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Korea Herald :: Cyclist to pedal [three] Americas for charity :: ARCTIC2ARGENTINA.COM

Cyclist to pedal [three] Americas for charity

2011-11-23 19:45
He cycled more than 3,000 kilometers on a solo Himalayan biking expedition this summer, but now Brian Perich plans to ride another 32,000 km for two non-profit organizations.

The English professor in Gangwon Province, who is originally from Canada, aims to cycle from Alaska to Argentina in three 60-day expeditions over the next two years.

The 38-year-old who lives in Gangneung with his Korean wife and their two children plans to ride the first leg from Anchorage in the U.S. state of Alaska, via the Canadian Arctic to Vancouver, British Columbia, next summer.

He will then use his summer vacation of 2013 to ride from the Canadian city to Panama in Central America before returning the following year to sail across the Darien gap to Colombia. He will then pedal his way to end up in Ushuaia at the tip of Argentina, considered the southernmost city in the world.

Cash raised through his efforts will go toward the Intestinal Disease Education and Awareness Society, a Canadian charity which supports kids and young adults living with intestinal disease, an ailment that Perich’s brother also suffers from.

“The work we do is about finding quality of life,” explained IDEAS founder Rob Hill, who has climbed seven of the world’s highest mountains in spite of suffering from intestinal disease himself.

“Brian shows that with dreams, a sense of adventure and that a passion for a cause can change not just your own life but the lives of any and everyone you can touch with your story.”
Cyclist Brian Perich takes a break while cycling in the northern Himalayas this summer. (Brian Perich)

Perich is also cycling in support of Education Through Expeditions, a U.K.-based non-profit company that connects explorers and scientists with schools.

To train for his epic trip, he took a [60] day 3,200 km cycle through China this summer, averaging 80-100km a day [140km maximum]. The Ontario native traveled through western China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region as well as Sichuan and Yunnan Provinces by bike.

He cycled over the Borohoro ranges of the Tian Shan mountains before crossing the Tarim Desert Highway cutting through the Taklamakan Desert. Later, he rode on the southern Silk Road before pedaling toward the Himalayas. Not to be stopped short after being blocked by the Chinese military checkpoints around Tibet, he then flew to Sichuan to ride 1,500 km along the Tibetan border of Sichuan and Yunnan Provinces.

“The expedition was amazing, challenging and at times extremely dangerous,” Perich said, adding that he endured landslides and “the worst roads of my 20-year cycling career,” riding over dirt tracks, through tunnels of up to 3 [or 4] km in length while narrowly dodging trucks, and free-riding along the Himalayas without guardrails.

“At times there were no roads, just ponds or rivers flowing through them, and quite often the roads had no names, only numbers,” he said.

But the experience has only made him keener to take on his next challenge of cycling the length of the two American continents in three stages.

He said that his biggest anxieties for the summer trip that will take in Alaska, the Yukon and Northwest Territories before ending in British Columbia are the wildlife ― think grizzly bears ― and carrying enough food supplies.

“In China I carried a lot of equipment and extra clothing ― what you bring for the geographical area ― but I didn’t carry much food,” he said, recalling that pre-training and this summer’s trip caused his bodyweight to drop from 95 kg to 70 kg.

In spite of the hardships, he recalled good times in China such as sharing yak’s milk with locals ― as well as a Chinese tonic to remedy some explosive diarrhea which threatened to render his meager food supplies defunct while on the road.

And he always found time for some pleasant relaxation, whether it be bedding down at a mining camp near the Himalayas or rolling out a survival blanket for a nap in the desert.

“The time spent out on expeditions for me is very easy,” said Perich, who has lived in Korea  for the past five years. “You become so involved in the whole experience that it is like home, except that I miss my wife and kids.”

And he said that life in Korea had fueled his passion for cycling.

“South Korea also hosts an incredible mountain terrain with long coastlines, all of this geography is ideal for adventure cyclists to get their start with bicycle touring,” he said.


                       [Koga-Miyata World Traveler Expedition Cycle]
                      

Perich blogs about his cycling adventures on the Korean-World adventure blog: Korean-world.blogspot.com.

For more information or to donate to the organizations he will support, go to nogutsknowglory.com and www.etelive.org

By Kirsty Taylor (kirstyt@heraldm.com)

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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!

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

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