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  1. #1
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    Asia-based riders?

    There's an active expat mtb scene in South Korea, largely based around Seoul, where there are some excellent trails. I came back here about 18 months ago with a hard tail xc bike, but I've recently gone full-sus as Korea's tracks are pretty rough and steep.

    I've heard about very good riding in Taiwan and China, and I've seen the expat mtb websites for Korea, Taiwan, the area Beijing area, the Shanghai area and Japan.

    It would be good to know what's going on in this part of the world.

    Cheers, Duncan

  2. #2
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    in Korea?

    Which part of Korea are you in?
    I might hook you up although I know very few riders there.
    Hope we can meet on trail someday. How is your 5 spot?


    http://adrenalin_mtb.tripod.com/

    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan
    There's an active expat mtb scene in South Korea, largely based around Seoul, where there are some excellent trails. I came back here about 18 months ago with a hard tail xc bike, but I've recently gone full-sus as Korea's tracks are pretty rough and steep.

    I've heard about very good riding in Taiwan and China, and I've seen the expat mtb websites for Korea, Taiwan, the area Beijing area, the Shanghai area and Japan.

    It would be good to know what's going on in this part of the world.

    Cheers, Duncan

  3. #3
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    Hi Tris.

    Yes, I have lived in Korea for about three years and now I am working at Soongshil University, near Sangdo Dong, in Seoul. Mountain biking in Korea is great. Today I spent all day at Namhansanseong riding the excellent trails there.

    My 5 Spot is great. Are you riding a Turner bike too? What are you doing in the States and where do you live there? Actually, I am from New Zealand but some of my riding friends are American.

    Cheers, Duncan

    Quote Originally Posted by TRIS JUNG
    Which part of Korea are you in?
    I might hook you up although I know very few riders there.
    Hope we can meet on trail someday. How is your 5 spot?


    http://adrenalin_mtb.tripod.com/

  4. #4
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    Burner

    I live in Glendale, CA but used to live in San Jose and Atlanta, Georgia.
    Before that, I lived in some Asian countries.
    I started riding about 5 years ago which means I didn't ride when I was in Korea.
    It's good to hear that you spend all day riding your rig, and you like your new rig. BTW, 5 sopt is one of the hottest bikes right now.

    I have several bikes including Turner Burner but haven't ridden any since March. The thing is I fell off the bottom of Sunset and must have fallen close to 80 feet to the Millard falls. I was unconscious for 5 min or so and was looked over by the sheriffs dept. My helmet definitely saved my life! My friend and I run a MTB club/Team, and some of us were training for a 24 hour race. I'm doing great except my right ankle and lung, which is collapsed by ribs.

    If you have a chance to come here, I'd love to show you some awesome trails around Los Angeles area. I am not planning to visit Korea anytime soon but if I do visit, let's get togrther. Take a good care of your bike 'cause she deserves it.
    Have a good one. Oh, shoot me an email if you have time sos73@msn.com



    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan
    Hi Tris.

    Yes, I have lived in Korea for about three years and now I am working at Soongshil University, near Sangdo Dong, in Seoul. Mountain biking in Korea is great. Today I spent all day at Namhansanseong riding the excellent trails there.

    My 5 Spot is great. Are you riding a Turner bike too? What are you doing in the States and where do you live there? Actually, I am from New Zealand but some of my riding friends are American.

    Cheers, Duncan

  5. #5
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    Tris.

    I hope you get better and get back on your bike soon. Mountain biking has really exploded in Korea in recent years and there are some very fit riders here.

    I love my Spot, even though she gobbles up a lot of my money. I've read one review for a 5 Spot in a Korean biking magazine and I've seen one young rider riding an older Turner, but apart from that they are not very common here.

    I could be in Korea for a few more years so there is a chance to meet I imagine. And I'd like to try some biking in the States some day (actually, I did once ride my old Kona around New Yorks' Central Park and around the NJ waterfront)

    Cheers,

    Duncan

  6. #6
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    I ride in Taiwan.

  7. #7
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    I am in Hong Kong!

  8. #8
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    I am in Hong Kong!

  9. #9
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    Okinawa

    Okinawa has some really, really good riding. Not much, maybe 20 miles of total trails mainly around the ammo area of Kadena Air Base. Trails are filled with roots and ruts, erosion is a big problem with the climate, along with the trails becoming overgrown. Still it's some of the best biking I've ever seen. Challenging, both technically and physically.

  10. #10
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    I was out in Korea for about four years. A lot of great mountain biking to be done there. I miss it.
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  11. #11
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    Some more Korean photos

    Hey Stib, where did you take those photos? Here are some of mine. You might recognize some areas.

    Cheers,

    Duncan
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  12. #12
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    and some more

    here are some others, taken mostly at Namhansanseong, which is about 50 minutes by subway from where I live
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  13. #13
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    Taejo-san in Cheonan, Korea

    Hello Duncan,

    Unfortunately I've only had the pleasure of riding in the Cheonan area where I was going to dental school, so I have a very limited knowledge of the riding in Korea outside of a 20 km radius of my house. But the riding that I did do in Korea was great. I am back in Los Angeles now.

    The photos are from Taejo-san, one of my favorite riding loops. Offers some pretty fun singletrack, and on weekdays there are very few hikers, and the people that do hike are especially friendly toward mountain bikers - as they are not very common in Cheonan.

    Cheonan is a city that is approximately halfway between Seoul and Daejon (about 80 km south of Seoul along the Kyung-bu freeway). If you would like detailed directions, either E-mail me or I can post them for you if you would like.

    I miss riding in Korea and would love to go back soon. Happy riding!

    Steve Kim

  14. #14
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    I ride in Singapore! Well, I ride in NH for most of the year, but I'm from Singapore, and come back here for the holidays. Not many trails on the tiny island, but the trail upkeep is quite decent for the one I usually ride on.

    1st pic-me and my friend. i'm in the racegear haha. that's one of my old bikes.
    2nd pic-me and my friend again. this time with my new bike i just bought this summer.
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  15. #15
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    You the one who fell!

    [QUOTE=TRIS JUNG] The thing is I fell off the bottom of Sunset and must have fallen close to 80 feet to the Millard falls. I was unconscious for 5 min or so and was looked over by the sheriffs dept. My helmet definitely saved my life! My friend and I run a MTB club/Team, and some of us were training for a 24 hour race. I'm doing great except my right ankle and lung, which is collapsed by ribs.
    QUOTE]

    Dude I've heard stories about your fall from LA to OC. You are lucky! I've never noticed that drop before hearing about your accident. I ride the area often even at night.

    Good luck on the recovery.

  16. #16
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    Hi Duncan,

    I live in Utah and will be traveling to Seoul on October 6th for business purposes. However, I am going to take some personal time and stay from October 16th through October 22nd. I would like to get a few rides in. I really do not want to take my bike so I was wondering if you knew of a shop where I could rent a bike. Also, I read some trail reviews on MTBR which mention taking the subway to some of the trailheads. Is this correct? I was hoping that I would not have to rent a car. If you have any suggestions as to where to ride and what to do see and do, I would really appreciate it. I may never have the opportunity to go to South Korea again so I would like to see and do as much as possible.

    Thanks

  17. #17
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    Moose - mtb in Korea

    Moose.

    There are a lot of good shops and bikes here but all the rental bikes I know of are crappy crappy huffies.

    Either bring your own bike or trying asking around with some bikers here. The expats have a good network. Try a websearch with Korea, mountain biking, foreigners, and you may find the website (I think it's www.angelfire.com/ga/achamtb but this is old and maybe buggered).

    There is also a yahoogroups email address. Maybe mtbk@yahoogroups.com

    A lot of the courses here are accessible by subway and are great to ride. Riding here is a mix of xc and free-riding. The xc is often steep and technical. Send me a private email if you've got any other questions. It's definately worth bringing your bike over. You could even post up on a Korean biking site and get a friendly mtb local to show you around if the expats are busy during the week.

    Cheers, Duncan duncanmdavidson@hotmail.com

  18. #18
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    Riders interested in Taiwan pls check out www.formosanfattire.com

  19. #19
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    Thanks mtbski

    [QUOTE=mtbski]
    Quote Originally Posted by TRIS JUNG
    The thing is I fell off the bottom of Sunset and must have fallen close to 80 feet to the Millard falls. I was unconscious for 5 min or so and was looked over by the sheriffs dept. My helmet definitely saved my life! My friend and I run a MTB club/Team, and some of us were training for a 24 hour race. I'm doing great except my right ankle and lung, which is collapsed by ribs.
    QUOTE]

    Dude I've heard stories about your fall from LA to OC. You are lucky! I've never noticed that drop before hearing about your accident. I ride the area often even at night.

    Good luck on the recovery.
    I didn't know I was that famous.

    Yes, I am lucky to be alive.
    Ever since the fall, I have tried to be more religious and go to church once a week at least.
    BTW, I just did my first 24 hrs race about two weeks ago and had so much fun.

    Hope to meet you on the trail.

  20. #20
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    Korea!

    Hey I am in Korea right now and I need some help finding some trails, anyone know of some trails around Tongducheon? Thanks.

  21. #21
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    Hey m88tow.

    Hook up with us via yahoogroups. Try mtbk@yahoogroups or something like that. We can show you some good stuff.

    Cheers,

    Duncan

  22. #22
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    A few questions regarding S Korea

    Hi,

    I'm planning to relocate to Asia for a few years to teach English. I had planned to head towards Japan but the mtbing bug has really bitten hard, so I'm now considering South Korea. I'd be very grateful if anyone who is based in or around Seoul could give me some information on bikes and parts.

    If I came out to SK should I bring my own bike (a hardtail at present) or would I be able to buy something decent out there? How expensive are bikes and parts in Korea? After reading a few websites it seems the terrain is pretty technical so I was considering buying a 4-6" full suss. I'm hoping that I can pick up a bargain in Korea, but I doubt I'll be that lucky..... I imagine I will have to buy a new bike first.

    How widely available are parts in Korea? Will I need to bring my entire workshop just in case? I'm thinking about fork, shock and hydro brake servicing mainly, but availability of all parts is a concern.

    Bearing in mind that I am prepared to buy a new ride beforehand, is there a type that would make an 'ideal' Korean trail bike? I don't necessarily mean exact models, rather the amount of suspension travel for the terrain; full suss or hardtail; hydro or mechanical discs (servicing issues as much as anything else); maybe which brands are best served by the shops (again for servicing).

    As I said earlier I am leaning towards a 4-6" full suss, preferably equiped with hydros. I hate to pigeonhole myself, but for the sake of this post I would class myself as more of an 'aggressive XC' type rider than out-and-out hucking freeride monster or full-on downhill racer. That said, I want to improve my skills ;-). I'd prefer a bike that is capable of going up the hills as well as flying down them though.

    If anyone can answer any of these questions, point me towards any good websites or tell me anything else they think I should know I'd be very grateful. Korea sounds like a bit of an mtbing hotspot- and the money is not too bad for English teachers- so hopefully I'll see some of you soon :-)

    Thanks for your help.

    Matt
    Last edited by Double Drop; 12-13-2004 at 06:00 AM.

  23. #23
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    Talk to these fellas:

    http://www.angelfire.com/ga/achamtb/

  24. #24
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    Matt.

    Korea is a good choice. I'm sure Japan has great riding too but you'll love the stuff in Korea. There is a lot of steep rough technical riding here, but there is a lot of milder riding too, and a really friendly mtb community here. Korean riders are a fit, fun bunch. The ex-pats are mainly Canadian, American, Brits or Kiwis, with the odd Mexican thrown in.

    I spent a year and a half in England and I can tell you that even the singletrack in and around Seoul is much much nicer. (Having said that, England and Wales are beautiful). Also, as long as you do your research you can find a decent teaching job here and, unlike in Japan, where you may spend months just setting yourself up, in Korea you could be putting your first paycheque into shiny bike parts. Send any questions my way about jobs - good jobs are great in Korea, but the bad companies suck.

    As for bikes. Well, I'd class myself in the same way as you - aggressive xc and trail riding. I've got a full-sus Turner 5 Spot with Avid mechanicals and that bike is great for some of the steeper, rougher tracks here. However, I've also got a hardtail, rigid fork Kona Kiluaea that I've been riding just as much recently (reclaimed it last October after seeing it by chance on the street - it was stolen more than three years ago in Seoul). I ride the Kona on some of the milder xc tracks, though I'm amazed at what the bike is ready to swallow after I've gained confidence on the Spot.

    It sounds like you are pretty clued up about bike maintainance and so on. I'm crap. There are a lot of good shops and good mechanics here though. Prices are expensive, but then so are prices in the UK. My best advice would be bring your hardtail over, put some beefy tires and some decent disc brakes on it and you'll be fine. It's pretty cold here in winter, but nice and dry. A lot of the ex-pat riders go into semi-hibernation over winter, but things will get going again from late February.

    If you have any more questions about biking or working in Korea send me an email:

    duncanmdavidson@hotmail.com

    When do you think you'll be over here?

  25. #25
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    Duncan,

    Thanks for the reply, it was just what I was hoping for. Everything seems to be pointing towards Korea now: the wages; the mtbing scene; the large expat community.... it all feels right.

    I plan to take the CELTA qualification in Poland in April, and -as long as I don't buy a full suss in the meantime ;-) - I should have enough money saved to get over and set myself up almost straight after. I do have a few (OK, a lot!) of questions regarding employment etc.; if you don't mind I will definitely take up your offer and drop you an email.

    Thanks also for the bike info. I might just put bigger tyres and an Avid disc on the front (no rear disc mount - annoying) of my current bike, as you suggest. We'll see. If I get lots of overtime between now and April I might fly out via the US and pick up a Giant VT2 or something on the way though.... Decisions decisions!.

    Anyway, thanks again for the reply, I will be in touch by email over the coming months. I do have a bit more to save, so I will probably bombard you with questions a bit nearer the time- if that's OK- as then I'll have a better idea of where I am.

    Matt

    PS- Good to hear you got your Kona back :-)

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