I'm potentially looking at having 3 or 4 days bike touring options in South Korea late October and wondering if anyone has any experience or pointers to share.

A few thing I'm looking for :

scenic routes , not challenging ones, backpack , credit card touring

intend to dump the bikecase and main luggage during the ride, or if not a loop, also looking for luggage transfer options if possible

are there the same restrictions to bringing bikes on trains as Japan (ie needs to be covered up) 

No I don't speak the language.

I've started reading a few links relating to the 4 Rivers bike path although 600km is unrealistic for us  me

http://cycletraveller.com.au/australia/features/review/bicycle-tour...

Ta in advance

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I can't really help but...

There is a place where they have rail way bikes, that is you pedal and the bike thingy is on old rail tracks and it is very beautiful at that time of year. You can google that place pretty easy (Gangchon Rail Bike Reserve).

The Han River Riders do at least one big weekly ride around a section of the Han River in/near Seoul, the group is on Strava so you can connect and see if anyone can take you on the ride or further afield. 

Rapha have a club house in Seoul too, and that is a good place to meet riders or connect with to see if they have any regular rides going - but that might be more sporty fast rides!

Daegu (between Busan and Seoul) has a fantastic womens cycling team, one of their riders, current national champion used to ride for Orica and I am sure some/one of the riders could point you in the direction of a touring group or nice rides. I notice their training rides have a safety car (a bunch was taken out from behind by a small truck - the driver was watching a drama on a screen whilst driving).

Lastly and probably most helpful check out Hongsheon on Instagram - handle is bike_n_ I think. I only know of him/her via Instagram but they are constantly posting bike touring pics and it looks amazing. Korea is a super friendly country, and I am sure he/she would be able to direct you to some good rides or groups!

Make sure you post up about it - on my next trip I want to get some cycling done.

JM

Thanks James

The more I look at the 4 rivers path (that is between Busan and Seoul) it's looking like the way to go , trying to correlate it with exit strategies at the moment 

Depends if you are going to Busan or Pusan?
Soft options but a ride to Haeundae and then a bike n walk up Jangsan mountain
But yes, from what I have heard from the locals some parts of the coast which are not on the tourist beats are magic so very keen to do the four rivers (sustained only by kimchee). One day...

"walk up Jangsan mountain"

hang on., hang on ..... when did 'mountain' enter the discussion ???

I think you are on the wrong post BaaBaa

Surely you meant to post this is the masochism or TC group instead

allow me repeat, "scenic routes , not challenging ones, backpack , credit card touring" 

Ta! 

If you use a Samsung Android phone then google the marketing stunt they did at the launch. I am 99% sure they did a Samsung Pay Bike Tour - paid for everything they required via Samsung Pay app and brought nothing with them from Seoul to Busan.

JM

Thanks found it

https://news.samsung.com/global/cross-country-cycling-campaign-show...

I use Samsung Pay, but as it's linked to my Citibank credit card, the exchange rate is not the best.

Speaking of this : My 28 Degrees *just allowed* it to be linked to the Samsung Android before the trip and it was used. Awesome! and worked a treat.

https://www.28degreescard.com.au/samsungpay/

I think the only place where we had to use cash was at a 'tent restaurant' and at a Love Motel or 2

https://www.10mag.com/why-pojangmacha-street-food-is-what-you-need/ 

Hi Pete,

This only answers part of your question but for what it’s worth, a friend of mine went to South Korea about 9 months ago and spent a good block of his time cycling.  While it wasn’t particularly challenging he said the scenery was stunning and couldn’t believe how they’ve completely catered to cyclists over there, in a big way.  The trails are ‘bikes only’ and very well organised, marked and wind through some fantastic scenery.  This was all in Seoul mind, though he did mention a world-class trail that stretches the entire country, which would be the 4 Rivers, like you said.

If I was in the position to go myself, I’d snap it up.

Hope it goes well.

Pete

Thanks Pete

I'm not in the mood or fitness for 'challenging', a scenic route with lots of soft options works for me

 

I found a facebook group Cycling Seoul to Busan and Beyond ; nice pictures of people doing it on Bromptons even and one recent guy on a recumbent who did Video logs and loads of drone flights 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYD0uWi8W_k  , incidentally he'll be heading to Sydney as part of his around-the-world plans, boy is he in for a shock when he has to lug his trike up the SHB

Also mapping wise, Google maps does NOT work - I can't find bike or even driving directions on that, and times for buses etc are all whacky.

The alternative is Naver l will have to examine that later in depth

Pretty excited, but I'm holding off on booking tickets just yet since Kim Jong Un seems intent giving a surprise.

Haha true, you need to watch out there!

I have the same problem with google maps, there are many road discrepancies where I live.  I've emailed them almost a dozen times with clear corrections, but, nothing.  I imagine they're pretty busy though.

Done and dusted.

Imagine Bay Run cycleway at its widest for 600km,  paths, tunnels, dams, bridges, climbing expected hills and being slapped by super steep climbs that required walking (for me anyway) 

Throw in 7-11s along the path with facilities to zap instant noodles and eggs and tables to eat at for the first 100kms and last 50km or so

Starting from Seou(#1) ,we reaching Busan(#2), passing Daegu(#3) cities  LED manufacturing towns like Gumi , a tourist town like Suanbo and nondescript town like Namjiri plus passing many pleasant little towns for food and stops and a break

Riding Day1 and Day 2 was a stop over to meet friends by diverting into the city of Wonju ; do there was a total of 80km of non-4-rivers riding

Most useful blog used :

https://bicyclethailand.com/bicycle-touring-from-seoul-to-busan-on-...

including saving the GoogleMap path taken

Most useful FB group :

https://www.facebook.com/groups/543187712445164/

Most useful Android Apps

1/ GoogleTranslate - Lifesaver! Just snap a picture of the menu and it translates and you can order! easy peasy! Works with road signs too!

2/ GoogleMaps - superimposed with Map from the bicyclethailand link above

3/ Maps.Me with Offline Maps and I found it was easy to drop pins to locate places. This was my fallback plan if my data plan option fell through

4/ Android Pay

5 / KaKao Map and Naver Maps were a pain in the butt to use but did show bike paths etc. 

Speaking of data ; I purchased 10day unlimited data package from https://www.kkday.com/en/product/7423 for USD31

but it was a frustrating pain to get the acquire the SIM from the KT booth (Booth 10 didn't work but booth 6 was ok) and was given a 45minute runaround. My mate purchased the same sim card there for 38500krw (or USD34) under 10 minutes. Grrr.

One more thing to add, as we started in Seoul very near City Hall, we intentionally rode the length of the Cheonggyecheon , but you couldn't ride along the river as that's for peds only. Still it was like a song in the heart to see the remmant of the old highway torn down to revitialise the city. One can only hope

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheonggyecheon

Day1 

Ready to Roll

First of the Passport Booths, we had breakfast at a 7-11 thingy 100m past this point

Finally bought the Bike Passport 40km into the ride

Woo tunnels!

Day 2

Don't take the MTB path!

Koreans like camping too , with a bonus view of a suspension bridge

Soaking feet at the end of the ride at the Suanbo public hotspring footbath 

Day 3

The 500m elevation point (to lure you into complacency)

Some fruits 

I had to walk up a steep hill and hence the Gates of Morality were closed

And so was the Bike Museum

Day 4 

Serenity for 75kms...

Then, the sign of things to come

and another

It was an incredibly hard day on the bike for me

Day 5

Final day, this was a short day to pick up any slack from the first 4 days if they occurred

With only one expected climb, this exactly where my tubeless tire had a sidewall cut and an inner tube was needed

Headwinds all the way into Busan and fatigue made it a tougher ride than it should be

Still, for a first bikepacking/credit card touring trip.

A W E S O M E

Next cycling bikepacking destination would be Japan or Taiwan methinks. :-)

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