Sunday, September 20, 2015

my new bike and exploring the coastline

I recently bought a bicycle.  I wasn't going to, originally, but with all the cycling I've been doing lately, the school bikes have been a pain in the butt.  Literally.  Those bike seats are terrible after 30 minutes and I generally like to go longer than that.  And so when a deal came up, I jumped at the chance.
Here's me with my new bicycle after our first ride together.  She's camera shy so I posed with her.
There was only one hiccup in my purchase: how to get said new bike back to my house?  The seller was in Jeju-si which is about a 40 minute bus ride from the school.  Your first thought, like mine, is probably, "Just take the bike on the bus." Except, I haven't seen a bus with a bike rack yet.  And with my limited Korean skills, I wasn't sure how to ask the bus driver about bringing a bicycle.  It's probable that I could have eventually found someone to help me drive in to the city and pick up the bike, but I wasn't sure when that would be with the diversity of everyone's schedules.

So, naturally, I chose the next best option to do with a bicycle: ride it home.
Statistics from my MapMyRun.  Naturally, I recorded my route.
I should add a category for # of Lighthouses Spotted.  Answer?  19
And I probably missed one or two... 
This was the longest bike ride that I have ever done to date and the weather (and route) was absolutely stunning.  I purposely chose to take a scenic route instead of coming straight back to the school.  My total time was nearly 3.5 hours, but if I didn't stop to take so many pictures, I think I could have done it in 2.5 hours.

I was a little worried as I left Jeju-si behind that I would be stuck riding along the busy highway, but after a couple kilometers, a bicycle lane veered away from the busy road.  Marked by a thick blue line, this lane took cyclists and hikers along the coast, where possible, and while they added a couple kilometers to my trek, they were well worth it.  (If you are a cyclist take note that Jeju-do has so far been extremely bicycle friendly--although I cannot say that I have done a lot of cycling in the cities.  Many places that I have visited have had separate bicycle lanes or the roads were not too busy with car traffic to be overwhelming.)  The route had mild hills, but overall was not too strenuous.  If I had had more time in my day, I would have loved to linger upon my way.

Here are a few photographs from my trip. I only wish that my pictures could truly capture the peace and beauty that surrounded me as I rode.

The first stop I made was at Iho Beach.  You'll notice that no one is swimming.  That's because no one really goes into the water after the end of August for some reason.
Continuing onward, I couldn't resist pausing to look out over the farmland to the seashore beyond.  
The road curved out to the north and I was able to capture this shot of Jeju-si in the background. 
This is one of my favourites.  I paused for a moment to look back the way I had come.  At this point, you couldn't even see Jeju-si in the background anymore.
I love how the land and sea fold back and forth together--like an accordion or like ruffles.  It's not a smooth edge, but something constantly changing.
Another lovely beach where I paused for a moment.  This is Gwakji Beach.  The sand was so white, I could hardly believe the difference from Iho Beach.  I definitely hope to visit it again.
One last image of my bicycle posing with another Haenyeo Statue (these are everywhere!)
Who knows where my bike and I will end up next?

Love & Hugs

1 comment:

Audrey Staines said...

Hi Rachel
You look so happy in your picture with your shy bicycle friend.
Two typos. 1.Paragraph starting the photos should have rode and not road.
2 caption under pic 5 accordion is what you mean I think!
Hugos!