A few weeks ago I woke up to some of the bluest skies I had seen in a while. I think it had something to do with some heavy rains we had gotten a day or so earlier. My girlfriend was still sleeping so I figured instead of banging around in the house and waking her up i would take out my bike.
The last time my bike was touched was when the land lady tripped over it about a month ago, before that I cant remember the last time I rode it which is a shame because i have this bike path all along the Han River at my doorstep.
I packed my Canon EOS-1 my 5DII and two lenses and hunted for the key to my bike lock. Luckily the key is bright orange so it stood out among all the random things piled up on the shelf.
I am not an early riser unless I have set a specific goal; seems many people are though. As I exited the tunnel crossing under the Olympic Highway I was met with a bike-path buzzing with riders, people strolling and wobbly kids trying to Rollerblade.
I pushed myself to keep up a good pace like a dog with its head out of the window, enjoying the
breeze polluted air in my face. Having not ridden in a while, I was already feeling tired by about 15 or 20 minutes in and pulled into a spot where many cyclists were congregating.
If there is one thing old guys love as much in Seoul as Soju, it’s fishing. Isn’t there a saying in English about fishing and drinking? Agh! The longer I live outside the USA the worse my English is getting. In any case you can find old men fishing all along the banks of the Han River. Well at least they will be sitting somewhere near a fishing pole, even if they might be right next to a sign that says no fishing.
It may be that I have never noticed but it seemed like this day the river was actually moving pretty quickly. I dangled my feet off of the edge, above the water for a minute before an nostril clogging stench hit me. I stood up but didn’t leave from the embankment. I couldn’t believe the amount of garbage in the river along with massive algae blooms and clumps of other natural debris.
Cup of noodles anyone?
The river has an idea. Maybe its about how to clean it up.
Ironic; all this trash with Nanjido in the background. If you don’t know about Nanjido, I wrote about the landfill becomes mountain, becomes park.
Being critical, I must say from what I read, the river has made quite an improvement over the past few decades. A few years ago the government had a bold plan to create underground interstates on opposing sides of the river, freeing up the banks to be fully enjoyed without the eyesore of traffic and noise but I think there have been new priorities lately.
If you come to Seoul you can rent bikes on the cheap and ride from one end of the city all the way to the other, hardly ever deviating from the river. Just bring your A game; they are serious around here.