Saturday, January 5, 2013

Snow bike // Micro Adventure // Gangneung, South Korea

Short rides=big adventure preparation.
Simple remedy for the winter situation in South Korea. Although the fresh powder is short lived on the northeastern coastline, we have a few perfect days to cut tracks and workout a sweat. I generally stay indoors in winter, since Fat Bikes have yet to arrive on the peninsula - I have to work it out with 26er mountain bikes already in the stables. Here is a sweet 1994 Kona Explosif hardtail Max-Or Columbus steel tubing that complete weighs similar to my 2012 Lynskey M240 hardtail. For winter kicks against the blues of overcast conditions, more clouds, rain, snow, winds and low temperatures, Micro adventures are solutions - in several hour blasts in the local areas. 

My friend and shop owner An Dae Gi (Gangneung Bike Mart) has been servicing these mountain bikes since we met in 2009. I love the Kona Explosif, a simple solution for adventures big or small.
 Rare mile markers, Outer Mongolia
 For the Mongolian adventure, I rode a titanium Lynskey frame mountain bike, assembled in Korea by Dae Gi at Gangneung Bike Mart. Ultra-smooth titanium steel is lightweight and extremely durable.
Climbing out of the valleys. I would spend day after day on ascents and descents accumulating 40,000 meters (131,234 feet) of altitude change over the course of 38 days pedaling 2499 kilometers. Perhaps, I will go back and start a new Tour Divide in Mongolia - I would like to speak to other ultra-mountain bike endurance riders about it. It was a beautiful experience and brutally tough on the body. Bikepacking would cut a tremendous amount of weight, of course, this is a possible solution - Go fast, Go light, and recover faster. With my loaded MTB setup with racks and panniers, the weight of the equipment was severe for climbing. Mongolia's terrain has no switchbacks, it up and over. Probably similar conditions to the Continental Divide route now raced yearly from Banff, Alberta, Canada to Antelope Wells, New Mexico, USA (One Stage: 2745 miles, 4418 kilometers). The new record for the fastest time was set in the 2012 season by ITT (Individual Time Trial by Jay Petervary). Epic 15 days on his 2012 Salsa 29er, join the Facebook group for more updates on this incredible company.
 Open skies, some might say "Montana, USA" when they see some of these images.
 UAZ Russian vans transporting caravans of Mongolians on the National Highway network.
 Sacred place, the "Ovoo" when you finally reach the top again. 
 Looking back on the road less traveled, I lived and had no regrets I came here.
 Rolling titanium steel over Mongolian Gold, the Steppe grasslands and arid mountain regions.
 Anything to cool my blistered heels, insoles are Chinese shower shoes cut and fitted with a knife.
 Scored a few bottles, this is a rare occasion on this journey - extremely lucky.
Keep looking up when you have failed in life, the road is long and not always won by the swift, but won by those who keep on riding to their own destinations or expeditions in life. 





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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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