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Korean Bike tour complete!!!

Monday, October 08, 2012

It was flat. It was mountainous. It was isolated. It was beautiful.

In short - it was the experience of a lifetime (my third one)!

It almost didn't happen.

Thursday, Oct 4 - one day before the start of our tour, I found out that our original route through the bottom half of Korea was blocked. It was a major industrial accident (a hydrocloroform gas leak from an industrial plant 5 km from our bike path) that blocked our way south. So after some discussion, we decided we would get our bikes to the Andong Dam, then after riding 65 km to the west, we would turn north instead of south and ride back to Seoul.

So here I sit, 310 km later, relaxing at Starbucks, drinking my hot chocolate, and reflecting on my last 4 days. Some of my thoughts about the trip (in no random order):

- Going with several friends was good. Going with several close friends that spoke fluent Korean was priceless.

- We overpacked (just a little), but we had what we needed when emergencies came up.

- Carrying spare tubes and tires was absolutely essential.

- When you are the only 'pure white guy' on the trip, you need to try and be as flexible as you can with the menu (I tried, I really tried guys).

- We need to do a much, much better job of planning the route. Two of the four days we rode about 90 km just to find an acceptable hotel to say at.

- Hotels in Korea are pretty flexible about bikes.

- Very surprisingly, Korean drivers were very courteous when passing us.

- I still DO NOT LIKE TO CLIMB.

- No matter how remote you think you are in Korea, you always have cell phone connection.

The ride was great. After I get my pictures transferred from my iPhone, I will post them - hopefully by tomorrow.

Onward.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • HANSBRINK
    I was browsing the online Wall Street Journal and came across this article. Thought you might enjoy reading it.

    Night Bike Among Shanghai's Secrets
    Twisting alleys and deserted complexes reveal hidden sides of one of China's most hectic towns
    http://online.wsj.com/arti
    cle/SB1000087239639044422310457
    8036572007795466.html?mod=WSJ_I
    TP_offduty_1
    1446 days ago
  • SIGLED
    Enjoyed your comments. No matter how well you plan you' ll always find there is something you could improved on. Always as you know expect the unexpected. Flex when needed. Just as you do.
    1451 days ago
  • BILL60
    You've come a long way since your injury. Super!!
    1452 days ago
  • DR1939
    emoticon Can't wait for the pictures. My balance is too bad to ride a bike but I experience the thrill through you.
    1452 days ago
  • HEALTHIERKEN
    This is a major accomplishment, given your injury status just a few months ago!
    emoticon
    1452 days ago
  • LINDAKAY228
    Sounds like it was an amazing trip even with some unexpected gliches. Can't wait to see the pics!
    1452 days ago
  • HKARLSSON
    Wowwwww... can't wait for pictures! :)
    1452 days ago
  • TOOTHFUL99
    Glad you had a good time. I've been wondering how your trip was going.

    I think it's funny that you had cell coverage everywhere in Korea. I can go 50 miles east of my house and have none! (It's in 'Deliverace' country, too!!)

    So, are you planning your next trip already?
    1452 days ago
  • ACTIVE_AT_60
    Nice summary. Can't wait for the pictures. As for me - rest and ibuprofen has done the trick ... my concerns from the mail are no longer there.
    1452 days ago
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