In the past 3 months, I have spent approximately 103,500 won on public transportation. If you haven’t kept up with any of my posts or don’t know the conversion of Korean won to the US dollar, then 103,500 won really isn’t that much (about $100, if that). I originally wanted to start this post off by emphasizing the ridiculous amount of money I’ve spent on public transport thus far, but it’s pretty damn cheap in Korea.
Regardless, that’s about 100 bottles of Soju I could’ve purchased instead :).
Point is, if I keep it up, I’d be spending almost $500 on riding the bus this year, which could be going towards a trip to Japan or for half of my ridiculously-expensive flight to Hawaii in September. More importantly, the time wasted on the 45 min/1 hour bus ride is priceless.
The solution is obvious (especially when it’s the title of this post): ditch the bus and buy a sweet ride – AKA a bicycle! Sure, it takes just about as long to get to the boyfriend’s house on a bike as it does on the bus and I often feel like my life is in jeopardy due to the insane and oblivious drivers in this country, but the perks of bike riding definitely outweigh the cons.
After stealing Nate’s bike a few times to ride from my place to his, I re-discovered my love for bike riding and finally purchased one of my own. There’s a lovely bike path along the river that makes the journey from each other’s houses far more pleasant than the rickety, fish-smelling bus driven by angry Koreans who seem to take pleasure out of slamming on their breaks every 10 seconds (not an exaggeration people. Pretty sure I’ve had multiple minor cases of whiplash).
Our first bike riding adventure (the day I got my bike) ended up being a 20 mile ride to the beach and back. Ilsan beach isn’t the nicest of beaches so it’ll probably be the first and last time making this particular journey (we lived in San Diego for 5 years and have visited some of the nicest beaches in the world so yes, we’re beach snobs). Ulsan is a huge industrial city and has the biggest shipyard and auto(yard?) in the world. So there were unfortunately no palm trees to go with the ocean breeze but giant cranes, tons of construction and multiple ginormous parking lots full of parked Hyundais.
Since then, we’ve mainly gone along the river and it has definitely showed me a lot more of Ulsan’s natural beauty. Hundreds upon hundreds of vibrant flowers, bamboo forests, and random art festivals have forced me to stop my bike dozens of times to get a better look.
Discovering the hidden beauties of Ulsan, getting an intense workout (I’ve been sore for a week straight) and saving a little bit of money definitely make bike riding my favorite past time :).
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