Last year I completed the Seoul Busan trail with 3 other people- a guy I knew from EPIK orientation and 2 other Busan EPIK teachers who we met on the Facebook Forum Cycling in Korea. We accidentally picked the the hottest week in 2013- a heatwave featuring day time temperatures of 40C and over. We originally planned to complete the route in 4 days but it ended up taking 5 long, gruelling days. We got lost a lot and my super basic Korean-made road bike had a few problems, like not being able to handle gear changes without chain slippage and a worn out tyre bursting and resulting in 3 punctures (I think it was 3 , or maybe that’s when I stopped counting). Let’s just say I wasn’t very impressed with the guy who serviced my bike prior to the ride… It was an epik tale, with Jake leaving on day 4 (he’d done almost no prep and didn’t have much long distance bike experience so he did well to last as long as he did). We all had our ups and downs energy wise and mentally- it’s amazing how trivial issues become heated debates by the side of the road as a side effect of fatigue.
The level of Korean hospitality was off the charts amazing- restaurant staff took such special care of us and always gave us free ice to add into our bottles when we left. We cycled through old train tunnels, beautiful countryside and up a few mean switchbacks, not to mention my favourite part of the ride: night cycling under a clear sky and twinkling stars.
Anyway, Tim Travis, who lives in Seoul, does a lot for foreign cyclists in Korea. He arranged for us to get FREE long sleeve finishers’ tops from the Korean Tourist Organization. It arrived in the post today and it is shweet 🙂 Tim told me each top costs around US$65!
I plan to complete the whole 4 Rivers Trail this year and I highly recommend it to you: it’s a great way to see the real Korea!
Cycle safely x