This weekend saw the final reunion of the ‘Gangwon Gangsters’ as we met up one last time at Min’s Cabin, nestled in the beautiful Seoraksan Mountains. Over the last two years we’ve shared some incredible memories and formed friendships that will last a lifetime. As our time in Korea is drawing to a close for most of us, we had one final time to enjoy each others company, in a place which we all got to know and love so much over the last two years.
I would be cycling the long journey from Samcheok to Seoraksan for the last time. This journey ends with a leg draining 33km push up into the mountains, thats entirely uphill and in some places 18% gradient. The views though more than make up for the efforts put in and any distance, up any mountain, would be worth seeing the friends I got to spend the weekend with.
I stopped off halfway this time for a few hours kip before I resumed the Saturday morning with a sunrise start, fuelled on porridge. I would be meeting the legendary Cal Hudson, 50 km’s in, who would cycle the last push up through the mountains with me. This guy has his own journey he will be going on in a few weeks time. Cal and a group of friends got together and casually decided to raise $5000 to build a sustainable aquaponics system in a village in Nepal. They hit their target and are flying out at the end of this month to start. It’s such an inspirational story and journey, visit https://thelifeaquaponic.wordpress.com to learn more about the project.
The journey had few dramas apart from a puncture I got whilst riding through the tunnel into the mountains. Cal and I lost each other after this as I fixed the flat and told him to go ahead. An hour later and drenched in sweat, I reached Min’s cabin, set up the tent and enjoyed the blazing sun and some great catch ups next to the pool. Later on I think I probably worked even harder on the dance floor then on the bike, carving some outrageously horrific moves to some fantastically cheesy tunes supplied by the DJ’ing talents of Cormac ‘Craic’ Mc Carthy.
The next morning after a late start and some teary goodbyes, Cal and I hit the road again. This time, we got to ride down the 33 km we’d travelled up. Safe to say, it helped the hangovers as we raced down though the stunning mountains. An amazing weekend with some amazing people, who have made my time in Korea some of the happiest memories of my life. I’ll miss them all and I’ll miss the times we shared in this awesome country.
The last couple of weeks I’ve been cranking up the training and laying even more miles on the tarmac, with such a short time left until I leave for Alaska. With snow already reported in the Brooks Range of the Dalton Highway, I’ll be guaranteed a cold few weeks when I start in October. Plenty of sponsorship emails have been going out this week, so just crossing fingers for some joy and any opportunities to get closer to the £20,000 target. Please keep spreading the word and a big thank you again to everyone who has donated already or helped in any way. If you would like to support this great cause, please click the link below and sponsor a mile today.