Friday, June 14, 2013

Bike trip: Bukhangang Bike Path (70km)

New bike paths just seem to be springing out of thin air these days. The Korean government is putting a lot of money into developing them, and, as they say... "If you build it, they will come." In a country this small with this many people, there will always be someone to take up on any new endeavor. Our first major bike ride of the spring was the Bukhangang Bike Path, which starts between Ungilsan Station and Yangsu Station on the Jungang Line, east of Seoul and ends in Chuncheon. The path is listed in the 4 Rivers Cross-Country Cycling Passport, which I will also write about soon.

This path for the most part is pretty easy. There are almost no large hills, just small rolling hills and flat riverside biking (see above). When the bike paths do meet roads (see below), cars and bikes are totally separated.

If you do have the passport, you can get your stamps in the red houses along the way which look like this. Kind of like a red telephone booth from England. Collecting stamps sounds a little cheesy until you start, but now my friends and I are total stamp collecting addicts. It's really addicting to show off your accomplishments in a nice little book.

We opted for the 'short cut' into Chuncheon. I kind of regret it now because the bike path ended early and we were stuck on streets and sidewalks clearly not meant for bikes. But, we did get to ride along side a tunnel that looked like this!

Our reward at the end of it all was Chuncheon Dalkgalbi! Chuncheon's most famous food!

We only hung about long enough to eat our dalkgalbi before we made our way home. This was a photo of how the last subway car (only the first and last subway cars are technically for bike riders) looked when we got on. By the time we got off, the number of bikes had doubled or trippled along the way picking up more cyclists at each station. It's great to see so many people enjoying the fresh air and great outdoors in Korea! Just beware of riding the subway with so many bikes, it can be hazardous!

Start: Ungilsan Station 운길산역 or Yangsu Station 양수역 on the Jungang Line (Yongmun train)
End: Chuncheon City (Chuncheon Station) on the Gyeongchun Line.
Other possible ending points: Gapyeong Station on the Gyeongchun Line.

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