Thursday, January 31, 2008

Less than two weeks! Baby will be born! ^^++

Finally, I'm back in the blog. I never left South Korea since arriving in late November 2006. I'm still permanently, never settled, but I'm keeping fairly busy with teaching. Days turn into weeks and then I can escape on two-wheels when Saturday hits. The weather's been dry in Seoul, cold and dry. What a winter! We rarely see any snow at all...we've had two, maybe three sets of flurries and that's about it. The roads are clear except for traffic. The air is clear, except for smog. The days turn into weeks, because time moves faster in asia, I'm growing old here! Hope to see friends and family "before" my grey goes all over the top. Matthew James (my junior) is expecting to visit a maternity suite anytime according to the OB/GYN and I shouldn't stray too far on my bike. Mi's doing really, really "swell" and we've enjoyed the weekends, shopping locally and stock-piling for a week at a time. I hiked with my friend Dirk Hanson (Belgium) over sections of Bukansan in northern Seoul outskirts last Saturday, it was a winter/ice spikin' good time. A few days later, I wondered why my hip was so sore this past week, ohh! Nice dark bruise the size of a fist from slamming into the rock face, while dangling on a rope climbing up ice/rock with strapped ice spikes applied to my air-runners (almost-Nike). The conditions were great for hiking and the air quality topped what I've been feeding off this entire winter. Some photos showed a two toned skyline, blue on top and brown on the bottom. It's distinct in the city, I can generally taste "diesel" since it's the preferred choice of fuel in Korea. Yikes! Horrible! If your in Korea, and decide to hike, I suggest taking the orange line north to Gupabal and then transfer to a bus heading north (702..etc) and find the parking for Mount Bukansan. At that point, you can buy ice-cleats in two-sizes, either full-flank or a quad-spike that straps around the arch of your shoes ($15 or $5 respectively), pick up a bottle of Pocari Sweat (Korean Gatorade) and hit the trails. There are numerous routes up the mountain, but the western approach is the long winding trail through the valley before the steep ascents to the top. Dirk was the navigator and decided to climb the mid-section of the mountain. The trail was a steep ridge trail through pine forests to the top. This trail was vacant and the fresh powder was beautiful. I love pine forests in Korea. And many of the pines were the hunched over sorts you see all over northeast asia (Korea and Japan), lovely to see in winter. We had several picnics along the way and eventually started 60-70 degree slopes. This hike is intense because of the duration and the constant climbing, and then the ridge running down a hundred meters and back up again. It's an obstacle course most people will adjust to love after a few hours up there. ^^++ Teaching is going good, many new students, 120 minute lectures (forget the bathroom breaks) and by Friday, it's over!

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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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