Monday, September 10, 2012

Cycling in South Korea :: Hwy 7 - Gangneung, Donghae, Samcheok, Uljin to Pohang! MTB S24O Micro Adventure

Welcome to Korean-World. If you are interested in 24 hour endurance rides on the peninsula and have an interest in visiting the East Coast, this is the ride for you. In 24 hours, on the flawless paved Highway 7 (ASIAN HIGHWAY dubbed in South Korea), you can launch from Sokcho or Gangneung and ride the coast all the way to Busan, Gyeongsannam-do. It's my favorite all-time ride in South Korea.

View Larger Map (S24O Micro Adventure Map, Gangneung-Pohang. 24 hours, 250km, Overnight camping trip!)
 Chris is an awesome daily cyclist, he commutes 40km/day, 200km a week in Gangwon-do, Korea
 Matthew and Sierra are getting their roll on at Gyeongpo Lake Park, Gangneung
 Korean bronze statues at Gyeongpo Lake Park, Gangneung.
 Hmm. Not sure what's happening here?
 Matthew is having a blast, we watched MongoliaX videos together, he said, "I want to take a bike trip!"
 Well, thumbs up for freedom 
 Matthew is growing up into a cool dude
Ultralight Flight Powered Parachute, South Korea 
 Night cycling around the lake reservoir on the 1994 KONA Explosif
 New Lynskey M240S post-expedition Mongolia. New weinmann 26" wheels, Schwalbe Marathon tires
I rode to the beach, I slept in the warm autumn sun. Summer is gone, but we have a few warm days left. 
 I've recoated the Fox Racing RL32 120mm forks with tubes for future racks.
 4:00pm Depart Southbound from Gangneung towards Donghae, Gangwon-do.
 Donghae I + II tunnels are fast rolling spots, top speeds of 58 and 62 km/h
 South Korean road surfaces are 99.9% paved between cities, towns and even farming villages.
 AH6 - Highway 7, Also dubbed the ASIAN HIGHWAY should North Korea open to the South, roads are already built to support transportation and trains between South Korea and Russia and China. One day?
 Smooth lines, returning to South Korea from Mongolia
 Donghae is the first city south, about 45 kilometers south of Gangneung (starting point for 24 hours!)
 I tried Bikepacking, the Ortlieb handlebar bag/map case, Small tool frame bag, sleeping bag stuff sack (w/tent). Backpack carried the tent poles, electronics, protein powder, sleeping bag. (:
 Weinmann XM260 are smooth wheels, 36 spoke design incorporates loads of strength (:
 Road hazards in South Korea, see a lot of passing vehicles in urban areas of New Highway 7
 Trucks and buses and cars...machines, oh my!
 Roads are safe, wide curbs for cyclists to ride through
 For the first day, I am riding south of Uljin, 150km goal until camp!
 One of several tunnels that eventually lead into Gyeongsanbukdo Province.
 Nice shot of the Asian Highway, a dream for South Koreans who wanted to travel overland.
 Gravity
 Night cycling with reflective Schwalbe Marathon 26x1.5 kevlar tires 
(100 psi max air pressure, mine set to 70 psi)
 Clearly marked goals for your destination in South Korea
 Gravity
 Fantastic restaurant in Wondeok. When you get down here, stop in for amazing (cheap) meals!
 Uljin-gun (county), Gyeongsanbuk-do (North Gyeongsan Province) Watch out when crossing the tunnel into Gyeongsanbuk-do, there is a police station on the southbound side of the highway, Cycles prohibited!
 Now within sight are several new targets all within 200km
Tunnels are amazing on the East Coast - Hwy 7 is deserted for Night Cycling (Recommended) 
 Blasting the 400 lumen Cygolite Expilion  
 Tunnels are sweet when the roads are deserted of machines (cars, buses, etc)
 Intercity camp. S24O (Sub-24 hour Overnight) Adventures
 This tent donated by Gareth Z filled up with ground water overnight, but I floated on a Thermarest.
 And just ahead, Buddha was watching over me.
 South Korea's East Coast highway 7 is a good place to explore for 24 hours (250km).
 I can't believe this is pavement!
 South Korea, Gangneung, Donghae, Samcheok, Uljin, Pohang Route - 250km in 24 hours.
 Rice patties and a senior citizen on his electric scooter through the Old Highway 7, another sweet route!
 This is a modest meal in Korea, complete with fried fish, 2 bowls of rice and assorted Kimchi side dishes
 Rice is firming up on tall stalks in the fields. In a few weeks, these will be golden.
 Navigation made easy, bilingual signs - GPS not-essential, Maps are good.
 Stone statues outside a private home, and his choice of vehicles USMC Hummer
 I believe those are bullet Proof windows and armored doors.
 Rest spots for cyclists or farmers. Good camp location in the rainy weather.
This is the land of the rice and water. South Korea.

10 Useful bits for Cycling in South Korea: 

  1. Free maps of Gangwon-do, or complete maps of South Korea are available at the tourist information center at the northwest corner of Gyeongpo Lake Park, there is a bicycle/walking path circumnavigating the entire lake with expansion work being completed in the fall 2012.
  2. Carry bicycle headlights, use 250 or 400 lumens for enough visibility. Cygolite Expilion models are A+
  3. Use a bicycle carrier rack on MTB (mountain bikes). Attach flat-pannier racks to the front forks.
  4. Use Kevlar-protected tires like the Schwalbe Marathon 26x1.5-2.0 sizes for ordinary MTBs.
  5. Carry a bicycle lock, or two. Consider purchasing a bicycle motion alarm, they are priceless for camp!
  6. Carry a sleeping bag, sleeping mat, tent for overnight camping on Micro Adventures.
  7. Use your imagination, pack some raisins, extra water (3-6 liters), and cash/CC.
  8. Travel in South Korea is safe, but watch for traffic when crossing through cities and towns.
  9. Rural Korea has 99.9% paved roads between villages and rice patties, consider the less beaten paths.
  10. Enjoy your adventure cycling in Korea, Ride with a helmet, cycling gloves, reflective vest for long tours

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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

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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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