BUSAN or BUST: geared up and in the picture

We’re packed and ready. The bikes are tuned up, the excitement is building, the race is on.

For the last two weeks we’ve been getting bikes serviced, adding bits, (Madame is now sporting a very fetching red seatpost rack and some new ergonomic grips), buying spares (inner tubes, spokes, chain links) and my personal favourites, bike tools. Madame got a new rear tyre as well as the rack and a tune-up, or ‘setting,’ in Korean. Mr MTB (mountain bike) at Mapo MTB patted her and nodded, “Busan? OK.” Then he looked at Wonderboy’s bike, named The Beast for good reason, and laughed. “Busan?” He guffawed, “No no no!” And continued to chortle and mutter good-naturedly until it became clear that was exactly what we intended, at which point he sighed at the crazy foreigners and conceded to our request to tune it up, fix the broken bits and leave us to it.

nice rack

nice rack

Two months ago I suggested a Korean staycation for our next holiday, given that we’ve spent a fortune on travelling to cram in as much of Asia as we could in our two years here, but we haven’t yet seen much of Korea itself. I didn’t expect Wonderboy to take the bait, but he has really run with it, and now here we are, hours away from the first step on our 500 or so kilometre bike ride from Seoul, north west Korea, to Busan on the south east coast.

The packing list

The packing list

Following a helpful lunch with a colleague who made the journey a couple of years ago during the rainiest August in years, I’ve strimmed down the packing list to the bare essentials of clothes, and drybagged or ziplocked everything possible. As the forecast for the next couple of days is pretty dismal, we also invested in bin bags to go around everything. Oh yes, no expense spared in the interests of glamorous travel.

New toys

New toys – guilty pleasures

I messed up on the idea of a cheap staycation by blowing my budget on two new camera lenses for the journey. I’ve wanted a 40mm or 50mm prime lens for a while for landscapes as well as my ever-hovering ambitions of street photography. I found some quotes online, then went to trusty Namdaemun camera market to see if I could find competitive seconds, and the second hand lenses were so competitively priced that not only did I spend the money I didn’t have-but-had-convinced-myself-I-could-allow, but I spent a further $100 (or so) on a 75-300mm telephoto lens, too. Oh, the dangers of browsing.

Home made fun

Home made fun

Early tomorrow we’re heading over the river to Yeoido where we will collect the first stamp in our Bike Passports. These are home made. Sadly, the day I went to try and get us real 4Rivers bike passports they had sold out due to high demand (was everyone hitting the road to avoid MERS, I wondered) and they won’t have any in stock until we’re half way through our journey. I thought it better to knock up our own and collect the stamps along the way as a memento of the trip. It was a last minute job (that I rustled up at work), and the only way I could find something personal and that I was sure of the copyright on was to use a photo from my own blog!

Wish us luck on the journey. I’ll be posting if and when I can, and taking lots of photos on the way, weather permitting. Here comes the Fun!

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Caroline
    Jun 16, 2015 @ 22:43:20

    Have a great time. It sounds like hell to me, but you always were a cyclist!

    Like

    Reply

  2. Dad
    Jun 14, 2015 @ 02:39:41

    Happy biking. XXX Dad.

    Like

    Reply

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