Members of the Rapha Cycling Club Seoul Chapter gathered together for a tour of Jirisan, setting out to discover the famous climbs of the treasured national park.
Tour of Jirisan
Rapha Cycling Club Seoul31 August 2017
Korea is a land of mountains, with an array of peaks connecting the entire peninsula, called Baekdudaegan. Jirisan is the southernmost.
It’s 3 AM in Seoul. Buses are lined along the parking lot at the Han River. Seok-Min Song, RCC #2210, from the Seoul chapter, is our guide. Fifty RCC members, along with some other cyclists, pack their bikes behind the bus seats, Korean style.
Riders are excited for clear skies and a cool morning breeze now that the Korean summer, with its heavy downpours and humidity, is finally coming to an end. We unload the bikes and breakfast follows. Many participants are embracing the spirit of los escarabajos, resplendent in their Colombia kit. After a short briefing from Seok-Min, a day of climbing begins. The first climb of the day: Jeongnyeongchi, its peak 1,172 meters above sea level. After a brief rest at the top, the riders reach Seongsamjae, a summit famous for its view.
Then we tackle the final pass of the day, Odojae in Hamyang, where a Rapha Prestige was held in 2016. A harsh incline awaits tired legs. Racers rush to conquer the climb, to some a weekend getaway suddenly becomes a climbing challenge.
The last group makes it safely to the finish to end a day of riding. Reminiscent of the Lanterne Rouge at a Rapha Prestige, everyone gathers and ends the day’s ride with a round of applause.
The Rapha Cycling Club hosts regular rides for its members in chapters around the world, with many organised by members themselves.
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