A lazy day in Suanbo Hot Springs on lifeday 25,448

Thursday 30th March 2017

With 5 days in the saddle, 270 miles covered and well over 1 mile of vertical climbed I decided a rest day was called for. Perhaps not the best thing to do on a glorious cycling weather day with more rain & cold  forecast for the next few days 🙁

I started by sampling the hot pool spa in the basement of my Suanbo Sangnok Hotel. Getting in the 40-degree water reminded me of my hot tub that I left behind in the big move at home 🙁 I also sampled the 44-degree pool, salt sauna & some incredibly hot steamy sauna, but really sauna’s aren’t for me. Amazing to see all the Korean guys and their hairless bodies, strange when you think Korea is a cold country.

OSM before

OSM with my edits

After some honey toast, I decided to bike around the village and fix the Open Street Map as for some reason the village was devoid of internal roads. 11 miles later I had cycled every road with my Etrex GPS and had the road data points. Back in the hotel I used Potlatch2 OSM editor to convert the traces into roads on the map 🙂 All it needs now are the hotels adding 🙂

Viv, Geoff, Tim, Scott, Laura

In the afternoon I met up with Laura & Scott as they entered the village they had met up with Tim & Laura who are also biking to Busan on bikes they had rented in Seoul.

In the evening we all had a fine time in the restaurant I went to last night. They having the pheasant stew, a regional speciality 🙂

An excellent rest day – tomorrow it’s the two whopping big hills before hitting the next river down to Busan. Hopefully, I can find a cash machine in Mungyeong tomorrow that accepts UK cards. The Korean financial system like their mobile operators seems very backwards dealing with foreigners whether this is deliberate or just can’t be bothered who knows, but its very frustrating.

 

Biking Yeoju-Si to Suambo on Lifeday 25,447

Wednesday 29 March 2017

Another great day of biking this time with added sun!

20% ramp down by the weir

I pedalled into town to get breakfast at Paris Baguette which was pretty busy. As I was munching away an American couple, Laura & Scott from Ohio, sat at the adjacent table nearly two hours later after a very interesting chat, they are a couple where its much simpler to ask where haven’t you been? I left 🙂 They are also biking to Busan but ride somewhat shorter days than me, but we exchanged numbers to keep in touch.

It was an excellent day for biking the temperature had risen and the sun was out. I was soon in my short sleeved shirt 🙂 To begin with it was following the rivers on an incredibly smooth path, the only problem was the short 20% circular descent from the barrier 🙁

Why don’t we use these on bridges in the UK? eg Elizabeth way in Cambridge

I tried taking some selfies for a header with the Canon but it proved difficult as all the fences all have slightly pointed tops on the posts 🙁 The miles of fences interestingly are made of some hard plastic.

The afternoon peace was broken frequently with all the F16’s flying around Jungwon AFB although I was amused with all the fishermen in their comfy chairs around the neighbouring ponds

Armchair fishing

After Chungju, where I probably should have stopped, the path deteriorated to a bumpy track as I guess lost folks would go through the town. I kept going enticed by the hot springs on the map. The hills soon started and I getting concerned in the fading light. Eventually after nearly 100km I arrived in Suanbo which is much bigger than maps.me shows – I need to stay and update the Open Street Map I think.

After some haggling, I splurged a little on the Suanbo Sangnok Hotel which has a thermal spa in the basement 🙂

Strava says I did 61.2 miles and 1920 feet of climbing most of which is in the last 10 miles!

All the pictures are here

Cycling Cheondong (Seoul) to Yeoju-Si on Lifeday 25,446

Geoff Jones with bike

Checking in at a stamp station

This was my first complete day on the 4 Rivers bike route and was it amazing! in fact stunning the perfect bike path. Although the weather was less than perfect with an ethereal mist over the views.

I decided to try my luck at the local bread shop again, a lot warier than yesterday when one of the innocent lucking rolls was full of ham 🙁 I succeeded with the balls full of some sweet goo. I really need a veggie guide to the bread shop.

One of the art tunnels

The ride started along the river on a perfect path with racing teams bombing along and lots of folks on the outdoor apparatus. The path wends it way around with none of the right angle bends found in other countries. Always traffic free (some tiny sections in front of stations are on quiet roads). In fact, you could use the trains to skip sections 🙂

The Cafe Lounge was ideally placed and as I was told on The Camino a cafe passed is a cafe wasted 🙂 After coffee and cake I started on the old railway line section and felt sad about the deliberate act of vandalism in the UK that old lines were flogged of piecemeal, apparently deliberately so they could never bee used again.

A real cycling bridge

The next surprise where the “art tunnels”  totally stunning old railway tunnels converted into amazing lighting displays totally awesome. After the old railway line, I dropped down to the river again with an amazing boardwalk along the cliffs, full of folks walking. A short section went inland along a country road and up a Grade 4 hill whereI set new records for the slowest ride up 🙂

Later it was biking along the dams where I realised that one of my gloves had fallen out of my pocket 🙁 it was getting late so left it to its fate 🙁  This section has the amazing concrete bridges for bikes, apparently paid for by the water authorities! Such joined up thinking.

After just over 50 miles I decided to call it a day in Yeoju-Si eventually finding the I Love Feel motel not in the same class as previous nights, I was only offered a razer & toothbrush 🙂 plus I made the mistake about WiFi when paying, Im now typing this in the corridor at 2am

A totally fantastic day and just so great to see what a real first world country can do for cycling & personal fitness for the whole population, in fact, I kept thinking that it should be paid for from health budgets.

The Strava is here and photos here

 

Cycling Jeonkok to Cheondong (Seoul) on Lifeday 25,445

Warning elephant crossing

Monday 27th March 2017

What a foul weather day! I awoke to thick grey cloud and finished it in pouring icy rain 🙁

The going was also very varied from old broken roads which would compete with the worst in England to high-speed smooth very busy expressways with the cycle paths following a similar pattern.

Good use of mobility scooters

I stayed on the old road out of Jeonkok for as long as possible before hitting the incredibly busy 3 highway 🙁  after a few miles I turned off along the river by Anheungdong this road was unbearable and I was getting hungry I finally found an open bread shop in Dongducheon, a town that will never feature in any tourist brochure 🙁 Leaving on the 3 road again I finally spotted a cycle path alongside the river so down I went. Very grateful to leave the traffic behind at last. This track finished in Deokgyedong a far more upmarket place with a decent coffee shop 🙂 Then it was pounding down another busy road until just after Yangu station I spotted a bike path, pulling the bike across the verge and through a carpark. I zoomed down shortly meeting up with a magnificent path that took me all the way down to the main river 🙂

Four Rivers cycleway

I went through a small shower at the promised time of 2 pm but the 4 Rivers Path was on the other side of the main river so I had to do a huge U to find a bridge that cyclists could use. On the other side there were huge puddles 🙁 so I set off with a huge cloud following me. Near Bangi-Dong I checked the maps.me plugin (works offline) and discovered a nearby motel. I set it to find the route and set off. Too late the heavens opened, the iPhone7 is waterproof but the screen goes crazy with the rain drops 🙁 so I ended up all over the place, with much cursing, I was freezing.

I eventually found Hotel Murore a decent enough place the goodie bag is not as grand as the first night, obviously, folks here have shorter breaks. One disgusting feature is the heated toilet seat 🙁 I’ve unplugged it now.

Apart from the weather a good day although it has me thinking about the pros & cons of dedicated cycleways since down at the riverside you get to see so little of the city/country life.

Strava says I managed 55.6 miles  the day’s pics are here