Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Hazy Days of Summer

To the south of town are the rice fields. To the north and west are some small mountains. So I've been trying to get in mountain climbing shape to tackle some rides in other directions. In town, we have a nice little mountain, Bunseong-san, to practice on. At the top is an observatory, which rests at approximately 380 meters (approx. 1247 feet). The climb from my apartment is just over 300 meters, or close to 1000 feet. Which is a pretty good work out. Especially in the heat and humidity we have right now.

There are two routes up and down the mountain. The first is a nice, paved road, with quite a few curves, and some pretty steep sections. There is also the occasional car to deal with, which keeps you on your toes on the way down. On the eastern side of the mountain, the road runs into Gaya land, which is on a major road through the mountains. From there, it is a straight downhill ride through some pretty stiff traffic. At least there aren't any roads coming in from the right for some distance, so you can pretty much blow through all the stop lights. You just have to watch out for pedestrians and cars double parked.

The second path is the old, mostly unpaved road. It's gravel most of the way, with a few paved sections where it climbs a little more steeply. It meanders quite a bit more than the new road, with a generally steadier slope. I've been riding this one the most, as the only traffic is hikers and other bikers. The eastern path is a little different. It follows along the ridge of the mountain for some distance before making a steep descent onto the main road around the mountain. From there, it's a 50 meter climb back up to the pass before heading down the same road the passes Gaya land.

The summer brings a constant haze to town. So good views are hard to come by.

Part of the observatory

The routes on Google Earth. The green line is the second, unpaved trail. The windy blue lines that meet the green lines are the paved road. The other blue lines show the main roads which go around the mountain. Unfortunately, Google Earth doesn't have good resolution for all of town.

So that's the ride to the top of Mt. Bunseong. There's another, even higher mountain, not too far outside of town. One of these weekends I hope to wake up early enough to beat the heat and tackle it.

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