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The Joy of Cycling - The Pure Joy.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Now I know why some dogs just can't wait to go for a car ride and stick their head out the window.

At least I kind of felt that way today. Today, I experienced what I can best describe as 'the pure joy of cycling'.

For a change, I went out alone to do a very relaxed 20 mile ride. There was no one else to push me, no one else to meet, no timelines, no expectations. Just me, the bike, and the whole day - I had nothing else planned. The only thing I wanted to do was to get back home to a nice air conditioned apartment long before the day started to heat up - which meant I really needed to be back by 11:30 to noon.

I got a lazy Saturday morning start. I was up for a leisurely breakfast, followed by my morning coffee and a leisurely read of the morning paper. Even my ride prep went at a real leisurely pace. I didn't get out for my ride until shortly after 9 AM.

I was determined to set a nice pace. Today there would be no chasing after the hot-shot rider who was determined to pass me. Today was not a day for personal bests. No, today I was going to ride at more leisurely pace, stop where I wanted to stop, go when I wanted to go, explore where I wanted to explore.

That's just what I did. It. Was. Fun!

I went six miles, then stopped for coffee for about 15 minutes. Then it was off to the south side of the Han, where I stopped again for a quick break after another six or seven miles. Then about two more miles I stopped at a bike part stand, where I replaced my broken rear night light and ended up having a real enjoyable chat with a retired Korean chap who spoke real good English. This gentleman was the very first Korean that I've met in about 3 years of riding who knew anything about Cervelos, and that led, of course, to a real pleasant discussion about bikes and cycling in general.

Then it was off for another three miles, when, on a whim, I just decided I was going to go 'off path' and do a little exploring up off the river in Gangnam. So I ended up riding around a few apartment complexes and out on Apujong-ro (Seoul's answer to Rodeo drive) before deciding that it was starting to get hot - time to get back to the apartment. But not before stopping for one more water break.

In the end, it was about a 21 - 22 mile ride, done over almost two hours. I averaged only 10-11 mph, but was having the time of my life. No high speed chases. No worrying about being the last one in the pace line or how fast I'm going. Just a very pleasant, very satisfying, leisurely ride with the wind in my face to cool me down, the occasional cafe to stop at and get some refreshments, and the safety of the bike path that helped make the ride even more enjoyable (OK there was a few pace-lines going, but not many).

I guess the only thing that could have made this day more perfect was if there was no one on the bike paths - but Saturday? In Seoul? That's never going to happen :-).

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    A great description of a great ride, David (in Seoul). It's great to ride alone or with one or two others who aren't interested in making you prove that you can somehow outdo them.

    Maybe next a long term bicycle tour in Korea? 10mph is a great pace, including breaks, for doing 50-60 miles a day and seeing some countryside over a week or more.

    And, as you might guess, there's a forum for this: Slow Riders -- not that you have to go slowly, but the folks there have discovered that you don't always have to go fast.
    LInk: http://www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/

    Ride safe
    1672 days ago
    Wow! Sounds like a perfect ride. I'm jealous.
    1672 days ago
    What a lovely ride!
    1672 days ago
    Sure sounds like a wonderful ride!
    1672 days ago
    I know well the temptation to set a personal record. This bike outing sounds wonderful. You are quite lucky.

    Thanks for the great blog.

    1673 days ago
    Sounds like a great day! Hope there are many more!
    1673 days ago
    Sounds like you had a very enjoyable ride and that it was just what you needed. Sometimes it's nice to step away from the rat race, lol. Enjoy the rest of your day.

    1673 days ago
  • DR1939
    What a lovely day. This is what healthy living is about--being able to enjoy life.
    1673 days ago
    Sounds really relaxed and enjoyable. Enjoy the rest of the weekend. I wil now go through a few of your older blogs to find out why you are inSeoul.
    1673 days ago
  • PICKIE98
    I think your bike is smiling too... I am.. what a pure, wonderful, made-to-make you-purr day!!
    That is how it is supposed to be. You are wise to be aware and take advantage of it!
    1673 days ago
    Sounds wonderful! Wish we could have joined you!
    1673 days ago
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