My first long ride took a lot longer than expected. It was a combination of carrying more weight than usual and lack of training beforehand, but I kept pedalling anyway.
It took a little longer to get ready, but I headed out of the city, with a nice tailwind to push me along.
The cycle paths were fantastic, clearly marked and very wide. I was excited to see these signs, which meant my next checkpoint was near.
At the midpoint I stopped at Neungnae Station, which has been transformed into a rest stop for cyclists and pedestrians. For the rest of the ride, the signage was a bit patchy and the presence of other cyclists quickly faded.
On my two rides so far, when I stopped at these main checkpoints, people spotted my touring bags and would come and have a chat. They’d show me pictures of their bikes and give me treats like snacks, or in today’s case a brand new Korean made pen. It was such a kind gesture, especially because this fellow cyclist also gave me a hand hauling my bike up some stairs for an overpass.
Unfortunately the rest of the ride was a struggle, I accidentally took a wrong turn and had to walk my bike up 3 different 12% gradient hills. My body felt wrecked and it was getting dark and cold, but I told myself “just pedal 5km more” over and over until I made it to my motel. I was relieved to arrive and wheel my bike right into my room.
I had dinner at a nice restaurant across the road, it had the traditional dining style of a short table and sitting cross legged on the floor, which was heated. After 7 hours on the bike, it was so comfortable and the food was delicious. I’m not sure what it was called, but there was raw fish with mixed vegetables and sliced apples.
Afterwards I watched some generic TV for a bit and slept like a log. I’ve got 2 more rides before the rest day, so I hope my legs and spirit can handle it.