Saturday, August 8, 2009

Cycling West - Daebudo Island on the Yellow Sea, South Korea - Virgin Tour on the Blackcat, Gunshot flats, & 5 hours of riding...

Sometimes we should expect the unexpected, and it will happen on a Virgin Ride! I've changed rides again this year, now riding a Blackcat MTB which is Korean-branded but Made in China. The Shimano is Made in Malaysia, it does it's part without complaint (a few burps and missed indexed shifts, to be tweaked out). Funny part of this this ride was taking the 5km ride through Siheung Gongdan (factory zone, or Hell, same place if your a human) and took the Shiwa Tide Embankment, a causeway connecting Ansan/Siheung with neighboring Daebudo Island. It's a highly recommended ride in Korea. From factory Hell, to wetlands and marsh estuaries, it's a stark contrast on both sides of the ride, the latter taking in nature and open roads around the island itself. Two options here, you can choose straight through the Fish Restaurant Zone once you reach the actual island (12km bridge, or you can cross the bridge, take a sharp left, 20 meters right, and 20 meters turn left at the main intersection, that is the bypass route, which traverses amazing wetlands and offers plenty of miles uninterrupted. No traffic lights, just travel to the end of the road (distance uncalculated), turn right when it forks, the right leading to a newly paved roadway, turn left at the river, continue to the Harbour. From that intersection (the first and only to have a traffic light) you turn left to ride towards Suwon City, you turn right to cross rolling terrain back into Daebudo Island and around the countryside towards the Shiwa Tide Embankment bridge. Either way is a winner, I've done both directions. Plan B, is to ride directly through Daebudo Island passing many fish restaurants and circle around the island, crossing a few mountains and tunnels towards Suwon or Hwaseong City, those options are good for more hills, fossilized dinosaur egg exhibit if you track back towards Hwaseong City and finally pitch the bike towards Ansan Gongdan area. There is a bridge under construction, traffic is restricted, but you can go for it, as I have done several times and make it back to the mainland. It's a great ride and relief from the smog in this area, you've never seen a factory until you've lived and survived here!!! We're moving in 4 months, I'll hold my breath and keep pedaling into Daebudo Island.

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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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