History of 3RR FAQ

When’d you learn to ride a bike?  (Ok, nobody ever asks this, but the answer may surprise you…)

When I was 23!  As a youngin’, and all the way up through college, I always told my friends that I simply didn’t like biking.  The truth was, in my younger days it scared me and in my latter days my inability simply embarrassed me.   I tried a few times, but despite my parents’ help, I never got it.  Oddly, the same inborn stubbornness that kept me from learning then is probably related to the absurd grittiness that has kept me on the saddle since August 2012.  Weird how those things work.

 

OK, then.  How’d you learn to ride?

Two of my college roomies and I were backpacking around Switzerland after our semester abroad.  One day in Zurich, they suggested we make use of the free bike rental service (go Swiss!).  I couldn’t say no, so I learned by doing.

After that, it was about two years  before I set foot to pedal again.  I had by that time moved to Korea, and a friend of mine offered me a little pink bike that her daughter had outgrown.   I accepted it, pretending I knew how to ride it home.  From there, it was a natural progression: riding to the store (1k), to the gym (2k), riding to work (4k), downtown (10k), across town (20k), to the farm (70k), to the other farm (140k), for a long weekend (300k), for a week with friends (400k), for a week on my own (700k), and now to wherever I feel like.

 

How’d you get the idea to start a ridiculous bike trip?

As is probably the case for everyone and everything, the answer is:  a confluence of influences.  My first-ever couchsurfing guest was Pablo Garcia Gomez, an Argentinian who had at the time biked over 100,000km and through 60+ countries.  A little later, I hosted Alvaro Neil, aka the Bicyclown, a Spaniard who had done just about the same thing except with a clown suit in tow.  Neither of them stayed at my place that long, but they must have stayed long enough to plant a seed.

Then, during a famrstay in February 2011, I befriended a certain Mingyu Lee.  He had spent the previous couple of years saving up cash and psyching himself for a cycle trip.  I’m fuzzy on the details, but I think we had agreed to ride together within about twenty minutes of meeting.  In August ’012, we set out.

I also owe a debt to Chris Buchman, who’s lived a life largely parallel to mine, except a few years in advance.  He was a senior at WashU when I was a freshman.  He landed in Daegu before me, worked at a private academy before me, moved up to a junior college before me, and left the country before me.  Only difference: he went to grad school, and then spent two years telling me not to follow suit.  Oh, and when he left Korea to go to school, he sold me his bike and two pannier bags.  Definitely a life-changing transaction.

 

Where’s your destination?

Please don’t ask that.

 

When are you going home?

See above.

 

Where are you now? 

Now there’s a question I can answer!  The Where is 3RR page has maps accurate to within a couple of weeks.

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