Saturday, February 29, 2020


I hobbled over to the local bike shop earlier today (Saturday) to see about purchasing a bike. The friendly shop owner recognized me from my previous visits to his place, and he welcomed me inside. We talked a bit about life since 2017 (I had initially visited him to ask about the bike trails down to Busan; this was a couple of months before my first big walk), and since I was wearing one of my 2019 Kevin's Walk tees, I showed it off to him, and he happily snapped photos of the tee's front and back.

After some small talk, we got down to the question of buying a bike. I told the guy I wanted something sturdy enough to carry a big guy like me, and I made the somewhat strange request of asking for a bike with ram's-horn handlebars and hybrid-bike tires (i.e., thicker and sturdier than a typical racing bike's tires, but not quite as thick as a mountain bike's tires). I asked the guy whether such an animal existed, and he said yes, but he'd have to special-order it. The next question was, naturally, about price, and when the owner went looking online, he chuckled when I said I was hoping to pay under W800,000 ($666, US). All the bikes that showed up were somewhere around W1,600,000, or about $1,333. The least expensive bike the guy could find was W1,290,000 ($1,075, US). This was way out of my price range, but I told the owner I'd think about it and come back. He said he'd be open on Sunday until 6 p.m., and open during the week until 8:00 p.m., with a closing time of 8:30 p.m. later in the month as the weather got warmer.

I asked about a few of the bikes that were there in his store, including a couple sleek-looking carbon-fiber models. Turns out the carbon-fiber bikes are way, way out of my price range, being over $2,000 apiece. Since I'm no longer sure what my income will be from month to month, what with my company forcing us to take unpaid leave thanks to the virus scare, I don't think this is the right time to dump a load of cash into an investment whose sole reason for being is that I want to do some sustained cardio while my foot heals. It might be cheaper just to get a gym membership and use a stationary bike for a while. I'm still thinking about getting a bike, though, so I might visit the guy again Sunday afternoon.


John Mac said...

I really enjoyed bike riding when I lived in Korea, especially on the river paths. I didn't like riding on the street to get to the river though, at least in Seoul. Maybe you can find something a little cheaper to get started and then upgrade when work is more stable.

Sorry to hear you're still hobbling. I've been meaning to ask if the rest had made a difference.

Kevin Kim said...

I need to write up a status update.

John from Daejeon said...

Look on Craigslist and other sites. I got one hell of a deal on a nearly new mountain bike one time and sold a couple of good ones cheap.