Sunday, August 13, 2017

Iceland Bike Trip 2016 // Exploring Europe's best tour destination // Slow Bicycle Touring // World Bicycle Travel

Cycling in Iceland has been a highlight for my transitional year back in Canada. After a decade teaching in South Korea and China, I landed labor jobs in my hometown - including professional lawn mowing the past few months for Rosati construction. Although I wasn't ready to ride, with the help of my brother/father (Pub rescue the night before the train/plane/flight, I made it to Keflavik, Iceland and checked into Start Hostel.

 Arrival on Iceland Airlines. Keflavik airport. then assembled and cycled into Start Hostel. (: I slept for several hours and awoke, still daylight outside (18 hours of sunlight in August). I returned to the parking lot where I rode the rental bus shuttle, the driver understood I needed to drop at a safe spot and assemble my bicycle, load the panniers and suitcase (overloaded) and then I returned for the 29er box. I used the same box from Windsor to Toronto, Ontario (VIA Rail train), Icelandair to Keflavik, Iceland.
On the first few days, I wanted to avoid the busy Route 1, so I started south towards Hafnir and jogged the southern coast to Grindavik (day 1) after visiting the Blue Lagoon (sight seeing only) I cycled through the rains and strong winds into a campground. The next day, the weather lightened up to 10 Celcius and sunny, I continued to pedal through Selvogur, and settled into another camp site in Porlakshofen (day 2). I explored the local spas/family swimming pools and started to soak up the Icelandic sun.

Keflavik Airport is conveniently located nearby a former U.S. Air Force base. The housing complexes are now home to friendly Icelanders and Hostels like the Start pictured above. Hostels are not cheap in Iceland, this place had beds in shared rooms for $70 USD per night. It's best to start/finish a tour here. And camping runs about $17 USD per night across Iceland, plan to add $10 for the local Spa/Swimming Pools. It is well worth it to plan ahead for Iceland, or visiting Europe for a bicycle tour. It's expensive for bike travelers.
Smooth bike path and Highway access to Reykjavik, Iceland for those traveling North towards the West Fjords is a popular route from Keflavik airport in the southwest. I chose to pedal across the southern coastline towards the Blue Lagoon.

Smooth Icelandic open roads beckon and welcome travelers, campers, cyclists, caravans from Europe and Iceland. I met German, American, Canadian, French, Italian, Spanish, and many other Europeans at campsites and some visiting the local municipal swimming pools to soak in geothermal water. It's awesome!
 Expect different types of weather, I was soaked to the bones - absolutely frozen wet inside and out.

Land Rovers are popular vehicles for F-Roads and camping across Iceland.

My Daily Routine in Iceland:

Each day, sleep, eat, cycle all day, find a municipal swimming pool with spa and check into a campsite. I would setup my tent, lock the bike, and enter the swimming pool as soon as possible for a warm soak. Once I settled down for the day, I would swim, socialize and sun tan poolside, and repeat!.

I cycled inland and up to Selfoss (Day 3/4) (the southern hub for trekking/cycling trips into the interior. There I met David at the local Spa/Geothermal Swimming pool in Selfoss. We also met some Norweigians and had a great conversation about the country. The warm waters in the jacuzzis contrasted perfectly following ice-cold days cycling, the hardest being wet from sweat, and wet from rain blowing in horizontal due to all the prevailing winds. Iceland lives up to it's name, even in summer, but the geothermal energy is harnessed and water flows into the Spas in most larger towns. Icelanders prefer hydroelectric and geothermal power over the wind-turbine technologies being towered across Canada today. The prefer to preserve the natural landscapes, and I am sure visitors from around the world on tours prefer it.


More stories and photos coming soon! (:


 (Foss) Waterfalls are abundant in Iceland, they are marked on maps and roadsigns. Some are 500 meters from the main roads, others are hidden throughout the backroads. It's easy to explore here, 100,000 square Kilometers of landscape, with a local population of 320,000 people, Iceland is a unique country with culture, customs, language and friendly locals that take their time and welcome visitors. It's the place to explore.
Pedal slowly, see more Flora details in the landscape. Here in Iceland, it's a world to explore.
“Riding bicycles will not only benefit the individual doing it, but the world at large.”
Udo E. Simonis, Emeritus Professor of Environmental Policy at the Science Centre, Berlin


Thursday, February 16, 2017

To Return and Never return // Adventures in Media // Vimeo Deleted! // ToTheRockTour2013

 I haven't blogged in years. Okay, let's get started again and blow the dust off the internet. Checking my Gmail today, I just noticed that I received "warning notice" from that all my content will be deleted for using background music of some unpopular artists for copyright protection! Damn! Well, at least that lit the fire to start writing again, so much has happened the past few years, at least I will slowly tell my story through this blog. I think VLOG (Video Blogs) are so much more interesting and engaging with audiences, so I watch all the Abandoned explorer videos with Josh that I can watch, he is great, down to Earth and has millions of followers to those adventures. I wish I had a few hundred followers, haha, but I don't. So, I have crash landed and restarted my life in Canada again, this bike trip happened 2 years ahead of my return from South Korea in January 2015. After cycling from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Calgary, Alberta (3000km)... I met my old friend Cathy Gignac and her husband Dave before continuing on into the National Park, Alberta I cycled beside this cool guy (above photo) and told him I paid to enter the National Park but didn't have any reservation for camping. He invited me along with his family, when he mentioned family I didn't know it was several communities of First Nations gathering on their sacred land inside the National Park. So, I cycled alongside him and spent the rest of the day and overnight camping out, listening to Native music, song and dance, and late night campfire with some drum chanting. It was an enlightening experience and I owe them respect and much thanks for their welcome home in Banff National Park!
David Sears doing adjustments to the Koga-Miyata I rode from Michigan, the bike was just out of the crate from 2009 in the summer of 2013. Tom Fisher also works at the local bike shop in Grand Forks, North Dakota. This was the last U.S. state I cycled through in 2013. I continued my journey through Saskatchewan and Alberta provinces of western Canada.
 This photo shows my full setup of Ortlieb Rollerback Classic panniers (5 including handlebar bag with map). I had terrible Continental Travel Contact tires that picked up wires from blown transport truck tires that led to about 6-7 flat tires usually at dusk while swarms of blood sucking mosquitoes came down to snack!
 During the days across the Prairies of Saskatchewan and Alberta, there were scenes like this. Steer looking out over the fields, letting out a growl to stand his ground. I would exchange my empty water bottles on the frame with full bottles that I kept in reserve inside my handlebar bag. I can store about 4.2 liters in my handlebar bag on top of 1.4 liters that is held in my water bottles cages on the seat and down tubes of the Koga-Miyata aluminum frame. Water is one of the most important tools to get into and continue bicycle touring across country, never underestimate it in Mongolia either, especially in the deserts northwest (Altai) and south (Gobi)! So, I carry all that water and usually mix powdered Gatorade to add to hydration effect.
KOGA-MIYATA is a really cool cat, watch her sit still and watch her glide along the road. She's coming back! From Medicine Hat, Alberta I stayed with Nick and Christina Davy's house. From there I called ahead (200 miles) to Cathy and Dave in northeast Calgary, Alberta. I cycled two days ahead northeast and followed the TransCanada Highway and jogged around other secondary highways.
When I finished cycling for 28 days the scenery changed to Cathy's backyard in northeast Calgary, Alberta, Canada and we had a nice campfire and stories to tell around the circle. I always wish there was more time to be together as community, instead of just fleeting moments in time, but time is precious and so are the friends we make and friends we keep over long distances of time and geographical space. I miss them.
Backyard stories (: Micheal from Saudi Arabia and Cathy whom I went to high school in Windsor, Ontario.
At the First Nations PowWow, celebrations were already underway and children and adults prepared and danced to Native drums and songs. I would camp the night next to Teepee tents and listen to drums and chanting over the crackling of the campfire under the light of the silver moon. We enchanted spirits and the National Park came to life with the communities and family relatives gathered together in unison. I was very fortunate to meet them and share in their traditions and welcoming culture. Anishinaabemowin / ᐊᓂᔑᓈᐯᒧᐎᓐ (Ojibwe)
Thank you Miigwech Chi-miigwech
They welcomed and overnight I camped and enjoyed the company of these great people in Alberta.
Please sign the guestbook and leave your address, I will get back to you shortly, it might take me years in all honesty. But I hope the days come when I reconnect with the road and the good spirited people that live alongside it around the world. Right now, I am renovating a house that doesn't move, it creaks.
Matteo F Zeni of Italy, walks back to his bicycle with drop handlebars. It was a beautiful Raleigh Sojourn. Matteo finished working in Vancouver, British Columbia and prepared his gear over the year of serving customers in restaurants in the big city by Kitsilano Beach. We cycled together from Banff Village into Cochrane with Albertan cyclist who recommended MacKay's Ice cream shop, there I spoke to Kiefer Sutherland about my life in South Korea, the trips I've been doing, the IDEAS Foundation, and life!
A lone pier leaving Banff area, the panamera photo didn't turn look perfect, it was raining and beautiful outside. The air quality was also exceptionally clean when I compare riding in South Korea to the Rocky Mountains, I definitely miss the Rockies! Air Pollution in South Korea real time index, see it here.
Banff Village, we have some small shops and boutiques, Starbuck Coffee and All mountain bikes.

Hello deer! No reply. This young animal is walking along the Bow River, it's a wonderful little animal.
Relaxation comes after riding across part of the United States into Canada. I love the northern tier (Highway 2 in Michigan onwards as far as Seattle, Washington), I crossed the Northern tier Highway 2 in 1994, 1996, 1998 and 2013...this trip though, I turned into Canada at North Portal, North Dakota, and continued cycling. Previous trips, I rode motorcycles into Banff, Alberta via Montana's Glacier National Park and once I rode a motorcycle from Vancouver, British Columbia south to Seattle, Washington and on to Detroit, Michigan and across the Ambassador Bridge into Windsor, Ontario. I also drove a 1975 Jeep CJ5 across Highway 2 into Seattle, up to Vancouver, across Vancouver Island and south to San Diego, California.
Crazy Larry Melnik of Windsor, Ontario now a long-time Banff Village resident, local entertainer, sports announcer, children's balloon creator, and dynamic Tour Divide host and avid cyclist too. Matteo accompanies Larry as we ride out of the village to our camping site in the woods.
Mount Rundle, this was taken inside Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. I climbed to the peak in May 1995, the year my friend Alex Hoffman (Windsor, Ontario) and I drove a 1977 GMC pickup out to the Rockies. I have printed photos of that journey taken with a 35mm film Canon AE1 camera. From Banff Village, I continued south to the Montana border and followed the border through the southern meadows to avoid a snow squall that had landed that early spring in the Rockies. Cold from exposure, I slept in a mountain rest area bathroom, and woke to sensor lights in the bathroom, also turning on the only heat source, a hand dryer mounted on the wall beside me. That was an uncomfortable night! The next morning, I had to roll my Kawasaki Ninja EX500 down the hill to start the engine in second gear, it was cold!
Matteo F Zeni (Italy) and myself, we pose with the great Rocky Mountains in the background. I keep in touch with Matteo on Facebook, I hope our roads cross paths in the future. Right here we are living the high life of bicycle touring in an amazing western Canadian mountain range filled with beautiful sights and clear skies.

Devon from Cochrane, Alberta rode his SURLY Disc Trucker that he assembled himself at his home. The 700c and 29er wheels were definitely much faster than my traditional 26 inch wheels, look ahead how far they go. Later I lost them, and we met up again at Mackay's Ice cream shop in Cochrane.

Kiefer and his father Donald Sutherland were filming their western film, Forsaken, while we were cycling through the Alberta ranges. Serendipitously, I met Kiefer inside this ice cream store (below), here we rested after a days ride outside of Banff National Park.

A post shared by Brian Perić (@cycleagain) on

Reunion in Calgary with Cathy Gignac, we were friends until I changed school in 1990. It had been 23 years since we had met up in real time. I really appreciate her welcome and huge support with finding a flight (donation from coworker) for my return to London, Ontario. I was within 200 kilometers or 120 miles from my hometown of Windsor. I reassembled the Koga-Miyata bicycle after Cathy helped with sourcing the 29er cardboard box at Sportchek in calgary. In all, her and Dave really did so much to support me. They also supported the relief for the High River Halo Benefit Concert supporting communities affected by Alberta floods and we attended the Canadian benefit concert together, big names in music played like Tom Cochrane, Big Sugar, and 13 other bands. It was a big concert in Canada, Albertans and Canadians pulled together and money came in to help all the displaced communities along the High River Valley.

Me, Cathy and her sister, the concert was a packed house of music lovers and supported the charity efforts.
Dave and me (: Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

I met Tony Esteves IONTHEBALL at the Halo Benefit concert, we met in our TESOL course in 1997, in Windsor, Ontario. Again, it had been 16 years since we had met up in person. That was awesome!
Off to Calgary Airport, time to fly to London, Ontario!

Met CIBC bank receptionists, they gave me promotional gifts for free. (: Must of been my smile?

I carried a lot of gear inside Cathy's suitcase, I didn't want to throw it away, so I carried it along the journey.

Which way should I go?  I stayed in Thamesville in a "Man Cave" cabin built by Dave in the backyard for himself and guests, family and grandchildren who visited him. And bicycle travelers!
After a fun conversation with a local lady at a convenience store in Thamesville, I followed directions from another passerby, his friend Dave lived down the road and loved adventure travel. Without knowing any of the 3 people, I was welcomed and directed to find more conversations and a night stay with his friend down the road! He was a local trucker and put me up in the "Man Cave" filled with North American memorabilia. The following morning, I heard soft rock music playing from the large Morning

Morning breakfast from my host Dave's fantastic grille, that was awesome, generous and tasty too!

Please share the free inspiration and adventure cookbook with all your friends and families (:

Ted Simon Foundation

The Ted Simon Foundation

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

I hope you enjoy the updates!

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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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