Saturday, March 9, 2013

Choosing a Bicycle for Long-distance touring // Pavement and the long-haul tours // Cycling in South Korea

  • Bicycle touring 101: Choosing a Bicycle for recreational touring on pavement
  • Pamila Jo Florea

    Hi Brian!
    Here's my note. I figure I should give you my long range plan. I'd like to get a bike that can take me from Seoul to Busan this summer - I don't want to ride HARD, I just want to enjoy the weather, enjoy the trip. The pleasure is more important than the fancy ride. I have several injuries, though. I can't be on a bike that requires me to lean in on my hands - I have a wrist and a shoulder injury. On the bike you sold me, I'm able to lean down on my arms some, so I think that is an option. I am still fairly weak with upper body strength (mostly due to the shoulder injury I think), so I like that the frame is lighter weight.
    Would it be feasible / better / recommendable to just get stronger / better / more rugged tires for this bike and a new handlebar or is a new bike in order? This is my question... (and by the way - you are working with mountain bikes? Woo hoo! Sounds like you did ask the universe for what you wanted and perhaps got it?)
    Thanks for your help.
    • Brian Perić

      Hi Pam,
      I am checking morning mail. I think the cruiser was ideal for most of your urban cycling activities, commuting, shopping, and that frame was aluminum and overall, that bike is quality.
      For touring across Korea, you probably want to purchase a 10,000 won tent on and one of the light blue sleeping bags 10-12,000 won at Home Plus (Tesco brand, synthetic, basic but warm enough for summer), and a foam mattress used for camping. The tent, sleeping bag and mat allow you to camp about anywhere. The tent can resist rain and wind, it is not waterproof in a downpour, however, you could camp on those Won-du-maks where Koreans picnic, or go to a Motel, Minbak, Jimjilbang sauna in a bigger city too. I mention camping supplies because it helps you go further without concern of stopping early for accommodation - no worries.
      For bicycles that enable you, with these injuries, enjoy cycling long-distances without pain? The cruiser you have is upright, the riser handlebars and big seat, basically you are upright - that is the best configuration. Except, the bike is heavy, heavier than road bikes, but similar to mountain bikes. Mountain bikes have no advantages for you, they require forward positioning, you use your arm strength a lot more, so that's a No - in your situation.
      Better would be a higher quality road bike or Hybrid bicycle. You can take drop handlebars and turn them over, and reverse the brake levers, then you would be upright, the saddle (seat) can be changed as well. Many prefer a Brooks B17 leather touring saddle, or a Selle SMP like what I am using on expeditions. I can spend 8-10 hours in the saddle and still be comfortable, so the Selle SMP is a good choice, available in MTB (mountain bike) shops around Seoul, try for example.
      Here is my old riding friend Murray's Road bike with the handlebars turned up, that is what you need. It's lightweight, skinny tires (there are good ones available on the market), and he has installed a rear rack carrier for these panniers.
      Hope this helps, let me know.

      Murray's Blackcat, now dubbed CELLO. Was under 400,000Won, now selling on Gmarket as CELLO for 960K.
      Cycling with Murray

    1 comment:

    노현섭 said...

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    Ted Simon Foundation

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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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