Sunday, April 21, 2013

Mongolia X Journal 20 // Driving two wheels // Challenge and Freedom are one - opportunity to see the world //

This place is enormous, who built the tracks and what horses have ran across them centuries ago, the trails of Genghis Khan and the Nomadic way. I can ride for hours endlessly seeing new horizons ahead of me. On mountain ranges that climb from 1300 meters to 2600 meters, it's a challenge and freedom as one. Every day is the same routine for me, but the environment makes it new, fresh and invigorating. Rain and sun, wind and cold, it all changes around me as I ride Northwest. When the conditions are dry, I can stop and rest on my backpack on the Taiga Steppe grass, other times it raining and wet, cold and windy and I am sweaty, tired and dirty and wouldn't even think of stopping right now - I ride and stay warm. White dots, some in pairs and some in a linear line along the mountains, near streams where tributaries flow back and the surface aquifers provide source of local water. Cycling across, up and over. Grades, altitudes, GPS mapping, peering down at the map while I ride or take my camera out of my chest pocket and snap a picture (above). Occasionally, I encounter a Nomad herding his flock of several dozen obedient sheep and goat tracking in lines together, mulching the grassland with pattering tiny hoofs. I set myself a goal everyday, and try to scribble notes in my journal, pin point the map, and get some good sleep when wind whips and moans around mountains, I have only myself in some areas where it's clear and above the dirt track national highway.

I am writing old and new, thoughts of the Himalayas and present X journal in Mongolia. I turn pages and use my whiteboard marker like a paint brush. My thoughts are clear and punctuate the paper with experiences only a few years ago, I dreamed of. Now, I am living the Challenge and Freedom are one - opportunity to see the world. If one door closed this summer (making it to Alaska), another door opened (booking a flight to Mongolia); so I take any opportunity to the see the world from a mountain bike. I want something challenging and extreme - dropping in, into culture and new languages, into new ways of life (or ancient reflections as I see here), and this requires a great deal of commitment and it is important despite the hardship, to connect in the Element. Land, animals, terrain, weather and climate all seem as vivid as they can get. I am certainly pushing hard, driving two wheels, and have a great deal ahead of me this summer.

Faraway from Asia where I live (and where many readers are reading this in North America), is home. I dream of going home and traveling by mountain bike across Alaska, Yukon, Northwest Territories, British Columbia before sweeping through the Rockies to Banff, Alberta and crossing the Continental Divide. I remember motorcycle touring through Banff, Alberta in the spring of 1996 and riding up from Billings, Livingston, Bozeman and Butte, Montana on Interstate highway 90, and turning North at I-15 towards Helena, then turned out to Highway 89/200, and continued Northwest towards Freezeout Lake and Choteau, through the Rocky Mountains past Lower Saint Mary Lake and past Flathead National Forest onto Highway 89 to Kalispell, and Highway 93 to Highway 3 in British Columbia to Cranbrook...

Memories of marathon journeys stay with me long after the ride was through. Mongolia by mountain bike (where most people I met suggested "machine" which means use a motorcycle) is definitely more challenging and each passing day, gives me more challenge and more freedom that I had the day before, or the weeks before I came here. So, without regrets I ride for the challenge this summer and support two great foundations IDEAS and ETE and Lynskey Performance, USA for supporting. Hope you enjoy reading the X Journals from Mongolia - More adventures are coming soon!!!

On the trails of Genghis Khan.
Made it ahead of the dust storm, Northwest Mongolia 2012
Sandstorms of western Mongolia

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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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