Friday, June 7, 2013

Mongolia X 2012 // Ultimate Mountain Biking Destinations // Outer Mongolia by Bike // A2A Expeditions Asia // Photo Highlight 2013 //

Mongolia X2012 // Mountain biking in the land of Genghis Khan // A short bicycle film in HD from Brian Perich on Vimeo.
First off, I would like to thank all my friends that helped get this project off the ground. Donations helped me return after crossing Outer Mongolia last summer. The navigation equipment loaned and technical training I received from SFC Tim Copeland was the biggest technical support I needed in advance of completing the MongoliaX2012. Thank You!!!

Thank You Malcolm Wesley Wrest, Carl Bentley (The Auzzies) for supportive words and those donations. Liwen and Greg, thank you. I appreciate the help from everyone and encouraging words from family from their mobile phones at the annual reunion, encouragement from different countries all connected through cycling - and belief that adventure is possible with a purpose.

Thanks Don Erwin @ Lynskey Performance for coming through to support
Thanks Kenny @ Dongjin Imports for supporting

For Robert Hill and Antony Jinman, explorers that helped me get the confidence to explore, I owe them a debt of thanks and supported their foundations over the past few years. And to Mikael Strandberg, Swedish Explorer who gave me supportive ideas and allowed me to share as a guest writer when I returned to my family life in South Korea.
 Climbing over 2600 meter pass from Ulaangom meeting the WWF World Wildlife Federation team
 Nomadic herder friend I made while injured on the Steppe.
2499km of dirt track, rocky river crossings, mountains, desert and arid grasslands (steppe) in one summer of cycle touring expedition. Mongolia offers spectacular scenery, hospitable populations of Nomadic herders and their family, and a load of adventures! (:

 Tiit Rand an adventurer &  long distance motorcyclist riding to/from Mongolia from Estonia
 BMW R1200GS Adventure Motorrad - Big Earth Expedition in Production
 Mongolian insurance company landed at Altai-Taven-Bogd basecamp in the middle of the night
 Know Glory. Hard graft trek to the finish. 9 months of medical treatment for recovery.
 I had a lighter but no pots and cook wear. I roasted fish caught in nets on flat stones!
Video diary
 Plateaus and mountain passes. Each day crossing 15-18% grade peaks. Unpaved. 40,000 meters altitude changed over 2500km route.
 Deserts and shadows, you and your bike trip.
 Mongolia's Steppe, arid and sandy tracks with thorns stuck in my Schwalbe tires (unpunctured thanks to Kevlar. Each tire weighed 2200g without tubes included).
 Late in the day, another sunset coming soon.
 Jean-Pierre (JP) and two friends from Europe bought saddles in UB and took the suicide bus ride (75 hours, mostly offroad). At the horse markets, he and his friends purchased wild Mongolian steeds and starting their trek into Altai, the horses went wild throwing them off, running away. JP recovered his bags but the expensive horse disappeared over horizons. His friends were still searching in the mountains for all their personal belongings. Their horses were never recovered.
 Final steps on the way back to Rangers station. 200km of steep terrain, rough rutted, muddy roads and river crossing, largest on the trip divided the final leg of the expedition.
 Locals would easily connect and the map provides a universal language for direction. Do not rely on a map, it will not take you across Mongolia. I used GPS as well as, a reliable compass.
 Love thy bike.

 Horse domain crossed on a mountain bike.
 Cracking 2500 kilometers, a long way loaded on a bike, I went solo.
 Back home again in Korea. 24 hours of transit to make it back alive.
 Resting in the daylight hours consisted of resting on my backpack. 
 At times it was exhausting, the flies were always biting, the corrugated roads, the hard climbs. I learned a great deal about pain thresholds, as there were very few days to rest in my schedule this summer, I pushed forward for 38 days and the injuries that came from the expedition surfaced when I returned home to South Korea. It was a miserable winter injured, trying all sorts of remedies to fix the torn bicep tendons, the stretched muscles and tendons, the hernia I developed too. Local Korean doctors went to work with joint scopes, M.R.I. (expensive, not covered under my insurance) and I was pressured to go ahead with surgeries on both shoulders, so I changed doctors and found better advice. I went for acupuncture therapy first, then anti-inflammatory drugs for 2 more months, followed by 2.5 months of physiotherapy, followed by chiropractic therapy. After 9 months, I am at about 90% again. It's been no physical celebration, but the mission is definitely completed now.
 Walking through Shamen grounds in Khovsgol National Park.
 Cycling past herds of camel further northwest in Kazakh Altai
 Riding out past the moon for the summer, at least it felt like it.
 A Kazakh-Mongolian shepard rides the final 2500th kilometer. It was a great day to celebrate.
 Just riding alone. I had no music for the entire journey. I left my MP3 in South Korea.
 Navigation was key. There are so many random tracks to follow here.
 Town of Olgii had beautiful sunsets, and the Muslim call to worship in the mornings was amazing too.
 The mountain bike became a tool, a very important piece of equipment for my daily ride for water.
 I met Israeli students on their youth world tour. Mongolia is a popular destination for Jeep tours and trekking in the far western Kazakh region. Just be careful if you decide to buy a horse like JP.
 Desolate is beautiful. 
 Bands of horses. Just along the dirt tracks.
 Mission control. Can you see my children along with me. Compass, Map, GPS. Water+++
 Nearing the end of the journey, just spectacular terrain and topography now.
 He did it. All the way to the end of the world.
 Beautiful families welcomed me in Altai region. 
 Sand traps made cycling a trekking session in 107 and 134 kilometer distances between small settlements. It was the toughest and most stressful part of this expedition. I ran out of water twice.

 Some sticky mud. Earlier I met some touts and was led to a river near the Tsagaanuur-Russian border crossing, I was inside Mongolia. The brothers led me on a path that ended at a fast flowing river crossing. They tried to reach in my bag for the camera. but I have it fixed with zippers and snaps, beyond their finger tips. But then they suggested calling their friend, "a taxi driver" to take me around the river. It was a lie, I laughed it off and made my way to the river edge. When I stepped in I dropped to my waist and had to lift the mountain bike, fully loaded with electronics, notebook computer with photo and these videos from the entire expedition, myself and the bike swept into the river. But what was worse, were the nails that scraped both my shins and dug into my flesh. I threw the bike in pain and in the moment of adrenalin rushing through my body. I threw the bike over the river (It weighed 40 kilograms loaded with water and equipment) and jumped to the other side. I was stunned, my legs were bleeding and I turned to them, they had already heard me scream in pain when I fell into the nails (hammered into submerged boards, I was standing in SPD hard plate cycling shoes on the nails, so I jumped off them without puncturing my feet*). Stunned from the cunning of these two touts, I cycled for two kilometers over the rise of the mountain before looking down at my rear tire, flattened by a nail puncture when it fell on it in the river. Bastards really got me. I patched the tube and watched for more touts. It was a nasty day, a lesson learned but I still have all my equipment, electronics, and I made it safely on to Olgii to rest up and spend some hours telling stories to other travelers and having a good cry which just spilled out. It was tough. tough, tough summer. The Mongolian people were amazing and hospitable, they always welcomed me, this story was the 1% and I was fortunate to be in such a safe and awesome country traveling on a mountain bike.  
 Following a Mongolian couple on a motorcycle ahead of me. It was a fun race to keep up with them.
Video diary
 I occasionally setup a tripod, but having another teammate would of made this much better.
 SPD (Pearl Izumi I-Beam) mountain shoes held up with blown truck tires and crazy glue (contact)
 And the sights of delight, I knew I was fully on an expedition and completing it very soon.
 Heads together with Arthur, Kensen and Mongol Rally teammates from Spain and the UK
 Shoulders were destroyed when I returned to South Korea. Here a specialist injecting dyes and looking inside the joints of my shoulders under continuous radiation while having a conversation with me.
 Really amazing Mongolian family that were neighbors while I waited on the mountain plains nearby for swelling to go down in my legs and ankles. 
 Really pushing on full days. I would start at 800am and finish around 6-700pm
 Mongol Rally 2012 participants driving all the way from the UK. Vehicles are donated and auctioned at the end of the non-competitive race event across Asia.
 I went 6 hours without water, but camped to wait it out for a passing vehicle. I met one such vehicle and the driver gave me a piece of meat and water. Very fortunate, serendipity, blessings from above.
 I'm riding through Altai in the Kazakh region now
 Khovsgol National Park
 Long, hard climbs on the moonscape Steppe.
 A hint of titanium steel from Lynskey and those tough mudder Fox Racing RL32 suspension forks.
 Mongolian sunset 2 days from Ulaanbaatar
 Easier fresh water river crossings Khovsgol 
 Logo graphic design before I set off. I studied graphic design for one semester in California (2000)
 With my friend Odnoo, her brother and cousin in Tes
 Live to Ride. 
 This is the Reconnaissance flight since all the information has been gathered. Expedition complete.
 Trekking to the top of Altai
 Smoking a spliff with my Mongolian herder friend compliments of Alta
 This is how I rested throughout the 38 days on the move, a short siesta if the flies weren't attacking.
 Spiritual Ovoo, a stone, bone and decorated mound that is respected by Buddhists and Shamanists 
 Ripping on the plateaus, the easier part of the mission. Without water, I would ride steady until I found somewhere to refill, few or no saline-free rivers in the northwest. It became complex survival.
 Without water for the final 10km before sitting down to these crazy eyes rice and meat dish. That Fanta drink tasted great in a single chug. I was parched but not dehydrated as result here.
 Lighter, stones, wood, beach. Khovsgol.

 Mongolian family on the Steppe. They had little, I gave them my Arroz cheese and sweets, they shared a little salted goats milk and water from a barrel in their UAZ jeep.
 At the end of offroad hitting pavement into Olgii.
 After 10 hours still trekking along and extremely tired 
 To the end. The absolute end of a journey. I felt happy inside.
 Sponsors generous support from Gangneung Bike Mart (Thank You Mr. AN DAE GI)
 Sponsors Generous Support from the team in Chattanooga, Tennessee - Lynskey Performance
Tout-terrain in Outer Mongolia. Loads of naturesque scenery
 Mongol Rally & Mongolia X Solo bike at the crossroads before Olgii
 Doing what God intended me to do best. Ride Earth.
 GoPro camera was useful on this expedition. Also Sony TX-10 was compact and reliable.
Photo updates from the expedition. GoPro camera is attached to a hiking stick and strapped to the rear rack carrier and equipment. Location is outer Mongolia for these. Plan to share photos from Uighurland, Sichuan and Yunnan, China with you as well. Thanks everyone for following, hope the updates are enjoyable for you! (:
 IDEAS and ETE were two foundations I supported going solo in Mongolia.
Planning routes across Outer Mongolia.
 I started with trying to put all the nuts and bolts together in Korea.
 Fortunate to have one portrait photo taken by Arthur and Kensen of the Mongol Rally 2012
 Crossroads, about 2427km across Mongolia when I met them near the Russian border crossing
 I have Romanian gypsy blood, here I am a professional bike hobo for the summer of 2012. It was awesome, @the office again. Educattion Through Expeditions Ambassadors
— in Mongolia.
Altai Taven-Bogd National Park, the ultimate destination after successfully crossing Mongolia by mountain bike. I set out from South Korea and made it back feeling - mission completed!
And the ride home via UAZ Russian Jeep [Video diary]

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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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