It was a real dilemna weather to bring my good but expensive bike, to the other end of the world. In the end I opted to buy a bike in Wonju.
|I picked up a Mountain bike with passable components but which weights in at about a ton. It's perfect for local conditions which are sometimes pretty rough. It was also only about 200,000 Wons. Its a BITEC brand bike|
I know of some people who brought their own bikes but at least in one case the bike was damaged. Its a long way for a bike to travel safely.
The real treat is the lovely little country roads around the countryside. There are lots of rivers and mountains in Korea and the scenery is great. People always seem to be doing something in the fields or around the farmhouses so there is lots to see. Its a grand way to explore the area. People are also really friendly.
Since there is lots of little stores it's not hard to get water, sports drinks, or food on the way.
I wear a helmet, which I brought in from home, and I get lots of stares. Koreans don't seem to wear helmets. I also get stared at in my cycling shorts.
There is no danger of someone running you off the street because they hate cyclists. Here bikes are regarded as transportation, and its not unusual to see a matron going shopping on her bike.
Roads are not all that wide and busses are, so you have to be careful of big vehicles. Sometimes its better to ride on the sidewalk. Its allowed here, but you can't go very fast. In Wonju there is a nice little riverside path perfect for cycling.
It would be vaguely suicidal to try to cycle in the large cities. Still I have a friend who has a bike in Seoul and uses it all the time. I imagine she rides the sidewalks (I've seen sidewalks divided for pedestrians and bikes) and is careful about her routes. There is alot of people and I don't think it would be very easy. I saw some club riding along the Han river so there are some people who cycle as a sport.
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