South Korea's infrastructure boondoggle a boon for cyclists

Published: Thursday, June 22, 2017 @ 9:25 PM
Updated: Thursday, June 22, 2017 @ 9:23 PM

In a country where bikes are either a poor man's transportation or a weekend workout for spandex-clad racers, the longest and most highly engineered network of car-free paths in the world is being built through dense evergreen forests, down wildflower-lined river valleys and over steep mountain crests.

A South Korean schoolteacher has ridden his country's entire 2,700-kilometer (1,677-mile) of trails completed to date. Moon-wan Sup says, "If you like speeding fast you will need to train, but if you want to go slow, anyone can enjoy riding our paths."

Construction of the multimillion-dollar bike network was met with widespread disdain a decade ago as an expensive attempt to appease public contempt over a massive river restoration project approved without public input. But it's hard to hate a bike path.

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