Check out my new ride. As soon as I signed up for the 사회통합프로그램 (Social integration class for the F-2 visa) I decided I needed a bike. It's only two subway stations away; a half hour walk then another 40-50 minute walk to work from there or an annoying ride on line 6 (line 6 is one of the slower lines, plus a 10 minute walk from my house). So, I started browsing the used bike listings. I finally found one on a Korean site and went over to pick it up. 50,000 won later I was the proud owner of a collapsible city style bike. If it looks a little small to you, that's because it actually is small quite small.
I'm not sure if it's the size of the bike or the fact that I'm out of shape (I've been doing pilates and yoga for 2 months now, but it's not a cardio workout) but every time I ride even short distances I find myself completely exhausted.
On Tuesday, Independence Movement Day (a national holiday), my boyfriend and I decided we needed to get out of the house when we saw the sun come out from behind the clouds that had covered us for the past 3 days. "Let's ride the bike!" he said. Wait, what? No, no, it's way too small for two people. That thing on the back is not a seat, it's for carrying stuff around.... I tried to convince him, but he was not deterred. All of a sudden I found myself on the back of the bike (with a floor cushion for padding against the metal back "seat". As we rode down to the Cheonggyechon, the best I could equate the situation to was riding in a clown car. This bike which was just barely big enough for one grown adult was now carrying two. Usually when people stare at us, I assume it's because I'm a foreigner, but yesterday, as we rode around, I knew they were staring because we looked utterly ridiculous out there.
I tried my best to take a photo as we rode along, but I don't have the right perspective to show you what it really looked like. But, the whole ridiculousness of it made for a fun afternoon. His plan was to make it to the Hangang, but as we were riding at the approximate speed of 0.5 kph faster than the average walker but pushing twice the weight of the average walker, it was slow going. We had to change back and forth often because peddling was really exhausting.
Anyway, while we were down by the Chonggyechon, we found this fun place. It's a bike saftey training park for kids.
Stay in the lines!
Anyway, I keep hoping that I'll build up some endurance to riding if I ride several times a week. I rode to work again today and Friday is the first day of class, so I'll test it out. I also need to buy a helmet since even though I'm riding on the sidewalks (yup I'm one of those people), it's still a treacherous place. If anyone is selling a good helmet for cheap, let me know!!