GANGNEUNG, South Korea — While most people spent their summer in the office or at the beach, Canadian cyclist Brian Perich took a different approachâhe spent the summer of 2012 chasing tracks across Mongolia and learned about their culture, customs, language and amazing hospitality. Mongolia is a nomadic nation that lives close to their environment and herds of animals to sustain life in a wild, undeveloped pasture and grassland with a long valley, and high mountain terrain.
Over his 45-day expedition, he cycled, walked and trekked 2,499 km. His solo adventure included intercultural connections with Mongolian nomads, herders, Khalk-Mongol and Kazakh-Mongol living on the great, wild steppe, mountains and deserts of outer Mongolia.
During the trip, he broke three racks (one front and two rear carriers) over the harsh terrain, riding with stoves, fuel bottles and medical first aid, successfully reaching Altai Taven-Bogd National Park’s glaciers in front of the 4,730-meter-tall Altai mountains, which divide Mongolia, China and Russia. The 45-day journey consisted of 38 cycling days and seven days off for injuries and illness.
The photos and journal of his amazing rides are a must-read for any cycling enthusiast, as well as anyone who has an interest in off-the-beaten path travel.
Brian Perich is an English teacher, father, and adventurer based in South Korea. He completed his first solo expedition of Western China crossing the Borohoro ranges of the Tian Shan Mountains, the Taklamakan Desert, the northern Himalayas, Sichuan and Yunnan Provinces, traveling over 3240km standing next to his bike on a overcrowded passenger train for $50, cycling 3200km across Western China, hitchhiking with locals, and learning about cultures and his own limits. He returned and completed the expedition, supporting ETElive.org Education Through Expeditions, UK and IDEAS Intestinal Disease Education & Awareness Society, and he plans to cycle 32,000 km from Alaska to Argentina starting in 2013. You can read his extensive blog about cycling in Korea here.
You can also check out the Haps interview with cyclist Eddie Glayzer, who trekked 7,241 km in a 2011 jaunt that saw him cycling 129 days from Tianjin, China all the way to New Delhi, India.