Pretty hard riding for a second ride… It started with a few climbs and downhill then followed a river downstream which was great riding. Amazing scenery again with the mountains surrounding me in every directions. But where there are mountains, there are climbs. Often, there’s a tunnel at the top of the climb so the sight of the tunnel road sign is a warm welcome and helps mentally. The way down is unfortunately too short! I came across 2 Korean guys also cycling in the area which seems to be quite popular.
Passed the junction of road 44, the river is still there but now goes upstream which basically means an incline terrain. Even an inclination of 0.5% is enough to slow the pace down from 27-30 km/h to 17-20 km/h. And mentally it is very hard because I really wanted to make it to Gangnueng and I wasn’t doing the necessary mileage to get there. To stay positive, many times I told myself there was no wind and the scenery was fantastic, looking down the road looking at the litter (I spotted a green mantis!) and trying to learn Korea… I should know the numbers by now! 🙂
After about 4h30 of riding and pushing pretty hard by moments, my bike computer gives up on me: no more battery. That really pissed me off as I needed to know the speed I was doing to work out where I’ll end up sleeping tonight. By then, it showed 72 kms with a total ascent of 1310 m. That was about 2 hours before I got the hardest climb of the day: a 1089 meters climb of which I already probably did 300 meters. The incline was also pretty sleep with a constant degree of 10%. I could smash that at the start of the day, but after about 6 hours of riding, that wasn’t very much welcomed. Right at the start, my heart rate monitor gives up on me for some reason… Not great for motivation purposes! I stopped 3 times to catch my breath and give a short rest to my burning and tired legs. The second time I stopped, I could feel my heart ready to explode off my chest. Just before the last turn, a young guy on his motor bike passed me and stopped at the top. He had a very basic english but enough to have a conversation. This surprised me a bit as Korea are very shy and rarely reply to my annyeong asseyo! went I come across them. When I told him I started my day at Chuncheon, he didn’t believe me: he mentioned it was 150 kms away! He was also coming from Chuncheon and he was heading to Gangneung… I might come across him tomorrow as I am heading there!
Stats of the day are approximate:
160kms, 5000 cals, ascent 2300 meters, avg speed 14km/h