To The Rock Tour 2013

Totherocktour2013: How I started Zen Cycling

Totherocktour 2013 was a bicycle journey across North America. It's a route I have traveled three times in total on motorcycle, jeep, and now a bicycle. I reconnected with my friends, family and communities in North America on this brief adventure. I shared great conversations with many great people I will remember, some of whom I keep in touch with on social media, others I have in photos. 

It's difficult to go back and travel with work, family commitments, financial limitations, but I do it. I had 30 days to ride 3400 kilometers or 2000 miles, and I succeeded in completing a bike trip. I shared this latest journey on social media using Instagram and Facebook. It was fun to share while on the road. I had access to the internet through Wifi connections across the United States and in parts of Canada. It was a great way to reconnect with my community after living in Asia for almost a decade. I visited Grand Rapids, Michigan first where I met my good friend Dave Babcock and we put the final pieces of the Koga-Miyata together that I purchased from Eric @ Commuter Bicycles in Santa Barbara, California in 2009. I started cycling from Grand Rapids, Michigan and continued through northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. Route 2 took me all the way to North Dakota and I crossed into the Canadian province of Saskatchewan at North Portal. I camped in the desert outside of Estevan, SK where I was interviewed by the local newspaper. I continued from Estevan along the Red Coat Highway through Weyburn, Windsor, and other small communities until I reached Medicine Hat, in the province of Alberta and spent two more days cycling to Calgary, Alberta and then into Banff and Lake Louise National parks in the Canadian Rockies. I stayed with old friends from high school (Nick Davy and family in Medicine Hat, AB and Cathy and Dave Beffort in Calgary) and through the connections with Cathy Gignac-Beffort, I was able to fly back to London, Ontario and Icycled back from London, Ontario through Thamesville, Chatham, Lakeshore, Belle River, Tecumseh into Windsor and finally reached my end destination (family). I celebrated with my parents and my sisters and their familes and with friends in Detroit, Michigan, USA. 

It was an awesome tour, an amazing summer, an experience I will never forget. That's a lot of adventure packed into two short months. Cycling for 30 days, you can really cover a lot of distance while seeing amazing sights and camping for free, and sharing great conversations with so many people.

Some parts of the tour were flat, but it's a myth that the Prairies of Canada are all flat. Also, I was cycling west everyday and the wind does change directions - sometimes the prevailing northwest winds will change to blow from the southeast and many East-bound cycle tourists were surprised and exhausted.  But in reality, all cycle touring requires patience, endurance and the will to continue on.
I used a faithful horse, the Koga-Miyata World Traveller
Triple butted 7005 aluminum polished frameset complete with Shimano Deore XT group. The Wheels are 36-Sapim steel spoke with brass nipples rims double walled by Koga-Miyata. These are currently available in the United States from Commuter Bicycles in California. Ask for Eric Schwartz
Morning tea with Matteo F. Zeni a professional waiter and Bike traveller from Italy. Matteo works as a professional waiter and after learning his trade in Italy with the family restaurant, he has lived and worked in several places including Canada while affording some new adventures. He bought a Raleigh Sojourn touring bicycle in Vancouver, British Columbia and set off for the Rockies!
The Swiss Cyclist - Victor Gervais: A signage to get donations from sympathetic Canadians. Victor was an interesting guy. I met him when he appeared down on his luck. He needed money, so I invited him to travel together and shared the sandwiches I prepared or whatever I had with me. I lent him $200 and it was difficult, if not almost impossible to have that money returned. Although I sympathized with his situation, I think in the 53 previous countries he has already visited, somewhere down the road he developed some stories (true or untrue, I do not know) that make people feel sorry for him and donate to his bike trip cause. I have received donations from friends, but I don't use sympathy as my personal cause. I think it's important to be honest while on bike tours and never use hosts because it's convenient, you should share something in return for the help you receive.
Sweet open roads through Saskatchewan, Canada.
Conversation starters when I reached Grand Forks, North Dakota, U.S.A. at the All-Bike Rally.
Polished triple butted seat tube in 7005 Aluminum. In the background we see Saskatchewan wheat.
Me and Matteo relaxing in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.
Elk on the trail in Canmore, Alberta.
Morley, Alberta resident visiting family at the First Nations Pow-wow at Banff National Park.
Campfires and stories of bicycle travel with friends in Lake Louise, a couple rode their parents touring bikes used on their honeymoon 30 years ago, original bikes still running strong.
Riding into a storm just past Cadillac, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Nick Davy and Brian - Two former high school football players in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada. I appreciate Nick and his family hosting Victor Gervais and myself - It was great catching up after 22 years living in different parts of the world. Cheers Nick!
Matteo contemplating in a RV Park where Kiefersutherland's crew was staying in Cochrane, AB.
Long distance cyclist, Victor Gervais (Switzerland vineyard owner) needed a haircut.
Arriving along the Bow River, Banff National Park, Canada.
A very long highway west. Starting in Grand Rapids, Michigan and ending in Alberta, Canada.
Cold beer in Banff Village, Alberta, Canada (woohoo!!!)
First stop on Totherocktour2013, my family reunion in Spring Lake, Michigan. My grandfather Frank Zehnder at center with Janet (right) and my father in the blue Detroit Tiger polo shirt.
Classic cars, I photographed many and shared on Instagram over the route through the northern tier.
Koga-Miyata World Traveller and Saskatchewan summer storms ahead.
Never turn back. Ride forward to your dreams.
Camping on fireroads in Michigan's Upper Peninsula U.P. route to Wisconsin, USA
No Grand Depart, but I will be riding directly from Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States and headed Northwest to end the tour in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. Unlike my previous expeditions, I will be routing on American pavement and riding the world-renowned Koga Miyata World Traveller.

Should be a great summer, I spent the past 10 months in recovery from Mongolia X 2012, I will happy to ride free again. Finally free as a bird in first flight. 

Updates will follow. I look forward to seeing friends and family.

Have a great summer.

^_^ Brian.

Cycling in the Aksai Chin Mountains on my HimalayasX expedition in 2011
I completed the ride to the Rockies! And got some inspiration from Kiefer Sutherland in 2013
Mongolia X another mountain bike production in 2012. I crossed 2500 kilometers 1553 miles in 45 days. I climbed 20,189 meters 66,235 feet and descended 19,713 meters 64,676 feet altitude.

 I traveled this same highway in 1994 (motorcycle), 1998 (jeep CJ5), and in 2013 (bicycle). The northern tier is an excellent route for cycle touring (bicycle or motorcycle).
 I used Instagram and Facebook to update the tour
 A Koga-Miyata World Traveller - my dream bike
 Mile markers through the northern United States
 100 mile days on the tour
Friendly people from many walks of life

More adventures coming soon!

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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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