Saturday, September 8, 2007

Two weeks until "Chuseok" // Letters to my family in Canada Returning to Korea, 2007 //

South Korean "Chuseok" is a celebration for Thanksgiving. 

Families will gather and eat Duk (sticky rice cakes), fresh fruits and cooked fish are the selected cuisine. Buchinggue (Korean veggie pancakes) are also popular on this holiday. Chuseok (Korean: 추석), originally known as hangawi (한가위 from archaic Korean for "the great middle (of autumn)", is a major harvest festival and a three-day holiday in Korea celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar.

Most foreigners I know are traveling abroad outside of Korea. The most popular destination this time of year is Cambodia. Another former English teacher "Ben" is mountain biking along the coast of Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia and finally Thailand with another former teacher and outstanding guy, Scott. If I had the time/$, I would like to ride on a similar adventure, but our baby is coming, and it could be dangerous. 

1994 KONA Explosif mountain bike around Daegwallyeong
Mountain biking in South Korea

There is a cheaper alternative to expensive overseas vacation travel - this year, I will ride my mountain bike across the eastern coast of South Korea. So I'm taking that option and riding from Sokcho to Gyeongju starting on September 22. It'll be an East Coast trip to the southeast corner of Korea. This will be my first adventure crossing the country on a mountain bike. Looking forward to the trip!

According to the Lonely Planet, For almost 1000 years, Gyeongju was the capital of the Silla has it's origins as far back as 57 B.C. 

The area is well known for it's royal tombs, Buddhist temples, and numerous other options to check out. ^^++ Question is, can I find a riding companion in so little time...I'll put the word out, it would be cool to ride with someone having a similar interest. But, I'll meet Mi Sung in Gyeongju around the 24th of September if I ride 10 hours per day. We'll have a great time. ^^++ 

It's also been 14 years since I first motorcycled across the USA on my Suzuki GS500. 

I did similar rides in 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1998. I rode "cinco" times across the United States, and once from Alberta to B.C. all alone on my own motorcycle. I totaled more than 24,000 miles in 60 days (including two winters in Ontario). My photo albums are non-digital, so for now it's not included in Blogger. Maybe I'll update those old stories and scan the photos to share next year. My last ride was on a 2005 Honda CBR600, from White Cloud, Minnesota (where I bought it from eBay) to Windsor, Ontario. I totaled only 1200 miles and sold the bike before returning to Korea. I'm too old for "crotch rockets" but they make touring more exciting...Dad, good luck with those Spanish, Korean and ??? lessons.

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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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