Thursday, June 16, 2011


Dear Lee, Friends, Family, Supporters...starting with correspondence with a friend & thanks to you all for supporting the Himalayas X 2011 Expedition, check back with links to the partnering, non-profit foundations which are making a difference in different corners of the world.

Thanks for the advice & introducing great coffee to me (not knowing it existed previously, and for such a reasonable price, much reason I have never enjoyed coffee in Korea). I wrote a letter directly to GoPro regarding replacement of the camera and memory, noting that I would take alternative measures, ordering through Amazon and having the shipment expedited and forwarded to Qingdao, China (costly and time consuming process) unless they chose to send a replacement immediately in lieu of sponsorship and a great showcase for their product on this Himalayas X Expedition 2011 across the Taklamakan, Tibetan plateau and finally the Himalayas (See Logo I prepared yesterday, will be printed on a 150cmX70cm banner and 1000 book size stickers). 

Heavy load, hope the legs make it, the mind following the body and the lungs withstand the atmosphere pushing the metal at 15,000ft. It's going to be rough in sections, or most of it, but enjoyable to be free of Korea's grip for those 8 weeks as well. Thanks for everything Lee, the morale support is appreciated to find in Korea. Having announced the expedition to cyclists in Korea (via Facebook) I hope to hear from more folks supportive, I enjoy the more adventurous and less competitive aspect of the sport in Korea. 

With definite thanks extending to a list of amazing individuals I've been fortunate to met through life's activities, all contributing and sharing a great deal to my experiences so far, a huge 'thank you' to you all...

Thank You: Gareth Zane Barker, Eddie Glayzer, Todd Mullins, Murray du Plessis, Brian Sullivan (writing and recording some inspiring music), Mechel Kai Christy (thanks already for contributing in 2010 and continued friendship too!), Julian Warmington (for promoting Cycling and Tri’s in Korea), Duncan Davidson (now in NZ) for starting Cycling in Korea 한국에서 자전거 타기 (facebook group, now with over 650 members! & many others that I have not mentioned that I have already spoken


And most importantly to several amazing individuals and non-profit foundations I support:

Rob Hill, Ostomate & Canadian World 7-Summits Expedition Explorer at IDEAS (Intestinal Disease Education and Awareness Society), Canada

Antony Jinman, Arctic and Polar Explorer at ETE (Education Through Expeditions), UK.

 Set of photos from Cycling in Korea over the past year 2010-2011

5:23 AM (6 hours ago)

Second Part:   [Sound advice on bicycle touring, adventure travel from my friend Lee in Korea] 

Lee wrote:


No worries. Just remember that durability is more important than sophistication especially if you are in the wilds. Any advice, apart from this, is useless as you will develop your own methods, equipage, and philosophy as you proceed. You will however find that eating, FOOD, will become an insistent preoccupation. Seat, tyres, food, in that order, are probably the pressing concerns of any long-distance cyclist and if you read accounts written by those who have done long trips these are abiding issues.

If you prepare some good documentation, I have a pal who still keeps his hand in the bicycle world, a former racer, shop owner, friends with most of the early bicycle pioneers, now living in Montreal who might be a good person to send footage. When the time comes, I will be glad to provide introductions.

You must remember that in this place, and in the sort of job we are doing, most people are really not 'here,' it is just an adventure, and the usual social mechanisms are not operating. People who race bicycles are a different breed from those who like to go long distances, much like comparing sprinters with marathoners: the subject is the same, the philosophies differ.

Good luck. Don't expect things to go as you plan. Enjoy the people as much as the act of riding. Be prepared for serendipity. There is something about long distance bicycle travel that brings out the best in most people.


Brian wrote: 

Thanks Lee.

I received no constructive support from the cycling community I belong in Seoul (facebook group, Han River Riders) regarding my expedition. While a friend posted to their wall, explaining my upcoming event and blog, their administration deleted this community message. The competitive in Cycling in Korea, somehow cuts like a knife if you don't follow suit like the rest of the flock here. 

Your advice is sound, the new seat from Kevin Bike Shop owner, An Dae Gi was perfect (a little glue where it was breaking off underneath), a completely different and supportive saddle. The final and intermediately lost parcel containing a Sony Polycarbonate all-weather case for the Sony Handycam, 240GB of internal memory, 12MP still frame photos and HD video capture, Kevlar foam inserts for my previous expedition jacket (excellent all round protection designed for motorcycling, but suitable for cycling as a warm, protective layer. And a Toshiba Protege notebook computer, 13" compact and long-battery life, insured for the trip, as is the camera. Along with the Brunton 25w solar charging system, it's a unique equipment list. Everything packed in waterproofs. If the electronics survive the mission and can be secured, it will be a marvel in itself.

I am taking calculated risks, I hope that the right choices are chosen selectively to secure the safest routes for the adventure.

Kind Regards,


Lee wrote:

Let me be perfectly candid about riding bicycles long distances, which I have for quite some time: it is not a question of technology. Fancy equipment, electronic gear, all of it is useless if you have a flat tyre or bust casing, no food, a bum seat, busted spokes, bent rims, no brake pads, and so on. It is doubtful that you will be able to find much in the way of spares in Tibet, or even in many places in rural China that will fit or may be adapted to your relatively modern equipment. If I had to take any electronic equipment on a long trip by bicycle it would be a smart phone and that helmet camera, and nothing else.

The practical concerns are tubes, tyres, spokes, reliable stove that burns anything (fuel oil, kerosene, yak piss, etc.), a supply of quick energy food (dried meat, etc.), good containers for water, clothing that is durable but warm, a proper sleeping bag, etc. You can pick up things as you will along the way. My guess is that you will find yourself figuring out what you need or don't need and jetissoning the dross, to mix a metaphor. 

Don't worry about the 'cycling community'; that is a lot of bollocks. If you do decent touring you will find the 'real' riders. People who ride with sag-wagons and hotels are not in the same category. Living off the land, or riding rough, this is true bicycle touring if such a thing exists. The closer you are to being 'with' the bicycle rather than 'on' the bicycle, the nearer you draw towards what is important. Riding in this fashion is a bit like being the original wanderers we were before plants and animals were domesticated in Mesopotamia. The tendency you will have with trailer is to accumulate rather than discard, but weight will tell you the importance of what you carry. 

Good luck, again, and take it easy.


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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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