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Saturday, July 17, 2010

At long last, a bike trip and some farming

The bike trip that I mentioned in this pre-Vipassana post is officially about to begin!

Actually, I wanted to leave yesterday, but it was rainy all morning and I didn't have a coat. So, instead, I waited out the storm, then looked up the location of a thrift shop I hadn't visited before. I biked out there (25 minutes if I had know where I was going), bought a crappy little rain jacket and a sweet vest, swung by the market for some fruit and nuts (the apricot lady asked me if I was married), and stopped by the bookstore to get an atlas. Did you know that South Korea is small enough that a 1:600,000 scale map, folded up, will fit in your pocket?

After a massive breakfast of leftover kimchi and red bean porridge, along with banana-almond-soy milk-roast grain powder-shake, and maybe all the remaining fruit in the house that I can manage to scarf, I shall attempt my first long-distance bike ride. About 80 kilometers, it looks like. Doable in a day? When I'm prancing around the city, I can usually keep my speed around 20 or 25 (not counting time spent at traffic lights), so I'm hoping that on the flat parts of the country ride, I can maybe cruise along at 30ish. We'll see.

If the ride goes well, then it will be a mere preamble. One week at the Farm School, another week of teacher training (I'm training Korean elementary school teachers...eek), and then my real vacation begins in August. I'm thinking about biking up the East coast of the country, eventually heading West to Seoul to reconnect with a few friends, and then coming south again and stopping at some farms along the way.



AZ said...

Stay warm and dry, Kroy. And think of the sound of cicadas chirping when you're making your up hills (are there hills in Korea?)

Dave said...

And bring a flat repair kit. Not to jinx you or anything...oops.

Mike said...

70% of Korea is covered by mountains, and if yesterday's 85km were any indication, the rest is covered with hills. The trip nearly killed me.

I do have a flat repair kit with me, but I have absolutely no idea how to use it. Let's hope I don't have to figure it out anytime soon.