04 Binaeseom-Mungyeong (81km)

 

Last night was cold! Ethan slept soundly through the night but I could feel the heat sleeping away from my body as our sleeping pads have no insulation and only he had my reflective bivvy. In the middle of the night I put on all of my clothes including 2 base layers and one cycling jersey. Finally, I was warm enough to sleep the rest of the night!

We managed to set off at 8.10am which was good considering I had to pack all the gear and the tent in the morning.

It was very cold at 7 deg C when we rode out. No wonder I was cold last night! We decided to leave quickly and search for breakfast along the way.

The terrain changed quickly but we couldn’t see far into the mist.

Still the riverside was beautiful and we enjoyed some picture spots. With the area getting rural, and my son’s tummy rumbling I decided that we should make a small detour off the bike path to get some food.

At a CU convenience store we bought some coffee and instant noodles. The warm soupy noodles really perks Ethan up. I pulled out leftovers from the huge lunch 2 days ago, pleased with my Daiso plastic boxes that I had carefully chosen in Singapore – eating bowls, food storage, nesting and heat safe! I heated my breakfast in the microwave but can also reheat it in a pot of water at campsite.

Cheered and fueled by that really good breakfast, it sealed the fact that CU was a favorite chain store so far! We biked onward knowing that today was a big day.

Ethan enjoyed more of his sour cream and onion “tacos”. That’s what these Korean snacks are called!

Soon it warmed up enough for Ethan to take off his fleece jacket.

I am quite pleased with his bike fit and how much he loves riding his bike! Sourcing for these 155mm cranks and changing stem lengths really helps junior riders. My saddlebag now fits his bike and he is carrying all his own clothes. If he was “credit card touring” and staying in motels without camping, he would be carrying all his own gear already!

We made it to the next checkpoint and stamped our passports!

The mountains and rivers accompanied us along the way. By now we were riding a mixture of low traffic roads and cycle paths.

Ethan said he likes riding in the city but even more so in the countryside!

We really enjoyed the autumn colours up close. Ethan can now ride for hours, with me guiding him to take short breaks and eat. He doesn’t need playgrounds anymore, though he still likes them once in a while!

We entered agricultural land with green and golden produce blanketing the ground. “Apples!” yelled Ethan!

By the side of the road, a lovely apple orchard displayed its wares. Wanting to glean a sample, we noticed that quite a few were hanging over the fence into public land. I figured this was okay, and Ethan gleefully plucked his first apple, fresh from a tree!

The cycle path made a very rare crossing of a 6 lane highway, but it had traffic lights and was very safe.

We had an absolutely superb lunch of pork belly and a truckload of side dishes. After cycling we can usually finish 2 adult sized portions. We sat on the floor on low tables, and Ethan felt so relaxed and full that after lunch he crawled to my side, lay down with his head on my lap and almost fell asleep! Bliss!

We rode onward, aiming for the next town where Naver told me that another hot spring bath awaited us.

The road climbed steadily, and when I checked my elevation maps I realized that this was Saejae Pass, the big climb of the ride. Oops…it wouldn’t be my first choice to put this in the second half of a long mileage day and with sunset approaching. This was my mistake but no turning back now!

There were nice rest stops up the hill and I shouted affirmation to Ethan much of the way up.

This elevation chart shows the 81km we did today so it’s quite a tough 81km! Elevation gain 832m and loss 734m. There were two big hills, and Ethan had to walk up some 10% grades on the first one but the second big hill he made it up!

By the time we made it to the top it was cold and dark. We had a quick rest then headed down the long descent with our lights on. It actually quite dark, but my Cycliq camera makes it look like dusk.

After that super fun descent we entered our hot springs “onsen” at around 7pm and relaxed together. I asked Ethan whether that ascent was the hardest physical thing he’s ever done. He thought for a while and said “Yes!” It certainly was a hard day of riding. What a tough young man! Good job son, I am proud of you!

After our warm bath (which we can’t show you pictures of) we found a pork bone soup! It wasn’t herbal like bak kut teh. it was huge and very delicious! This time we only ordered a single serving as we weren’t super hungry.

That night we found a cheap motel and did more of P2P. We are doing it very slowly, splitting up each session over two days and it’s very good that way. That night we talked a lot about peer pressure and used the play-do that I had been carrying around. Ethan learned that he would soon be pressured to do things he may think is wrong and he needs to decide now what he will do when the time comes. We had an excellent conversation!

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