So after I woke up early on a beautiful, but still cold Saturday morning, I started thinking of trips that I’ve wanted to do, but have not yet done. Daejeon came to mind, and even though it’s definitely a full day ride to just get there, one way, I decided to go for it. I was thinking that I finished all of my work on Friday, and if need be, I would cycle there, then crash in a motel, and ride back on Sunday.
I set out on an epic ride that took the better part of a day. I rode along Hwy 32, which was one of the more desolate highways leading to Daejeon. Parts of the highway were newly paved with wide shoulders, while other parts were worn and had zero shoulder. I started thinking that maybe I’m a crazy waegook with a death wish, riding on these precarious roads. However, it’s not like I have a lot of options with going from city to city in Korea. “Bike friendly roads” doesn’t really translate well into Korean. My crazy thoughts were soon dispelled when I randomly glanced across the road and saw another cyclist. For some reason, that put me back on track and gave me a little more confidence.
At around the 3.5 hour and 100 km mark, I made it to Daejeon. As a side note, I started measuring distance in kilometers because they are like “mile juniors” or “baby miles.” Everything from running to cycling seems easier when using baby miles. Anyway, Daejeon is one huge (geographically) city. I was starving when I got to the gate of the city, and was desperately searching for a pizza restaurant. When all I found was Pizza Hut (yuk), I went for some KimBap Nara.
After eating, I became very tired. I was thinking that if I were in the States, I would just find a patch of grass and lay down for awhile. But, this being Korea, it’s not socially acceptable, unless you’re completely wasted on soju.
I was pedaling on reserve energy when I found Chongnam University. I entered the university and found a quiet wooded park area with a nice fountain. No one was there, so I pulled up to a bench and crashed out for an hour. It was well needed. By the time I woke up, it was already four o’clock. I knew that if I started back to Asan now, I would be riding in the dark on a not so safe road. I road around town and found the bus terminal. I headed in, and bought a ticket to Cheonan. It was my lucky day because the bus was set to leave in eight minutes.
I road back from Cheonan, then dropped by my favorite bike shop to see my buddy Sean. He mentioned that the Cheonan cycling club was meeting tomorrow morning at seven and were cranking out a 90+ kilometer ride. I wanted to say politely that I will have to decline due to my large ride today, but I’ve been searching for a group of people to ride with for some time now. I told him “I’m in!”