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Bikes to take over Seoul on Sunday

June 16,2018
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Participants cheer in Gwanghwamun Square in central Seoul at the last Seoul Bike Fest in June 2017. [JOONGANG PHOTO]
The streets of Seoul will play host to 5,000 cyclists on Sunday.

Participants in the 2018 Seoul Bike Fest will pedal 21 kilometers (13 miles) from Gwanghwamun Square in Jung District, central Seoul, to World Cup Park in Mapo District, western Seoul. The parade is hosted by the JoongAng Ilbo, JTBC and We Start and is sponsored by the Seoul Metropolitan Government.

The theme of the 10th annual parade is “Healthy bike-friendly city, global biking city Seoul.” The 5,000 participants, who all preregistered online, will gather in Gwanghwamun Square by 7 a.m. For the first hour, they will stretch and listen to safety rules. All participants have to wear a numbered T-shirt, a helmet and a tag with the name of their group. Riders can choose from one of three groups based on their desired speed: beginner (15km/h), intermediate (20km/h) and advanced (25km/h).

After departing from Gwanghwamun Square, the parade will pass through Taepyeong-ro and whiz past Sungnyemun and City Hall. After passing Sookmyung Women’s University and Namyeong Station, the parade will enter the Riverside Expressway via the north side of the Hangang Bridge. Cyclists can ride in any lane except for the bus-only lane up until the Riverside Expressway, where they will be limited to the right lane.

The highlight of the ride is the 10-kilometer (6.21 mile) section on the Riverside Expressway. With police cooperation, an entire section from Wonhyo Bridge to Gayang Bridge will be car-free. From Gayang Bridge to Sangam-dong, cyclists have to use the right lane. This 400-meter (0.25-mile) segment is the most challenging, as cyclists have to ride uphill as the road gets narrower. After this challenge, participants can enjoy a relaxing ride through the tree-lined World Cup Boulevard. Riders will then reach Pyeonghwa Plaza, where they will be given snacks.

Starting at 9:30 a.m., Pyeonghwa Plaza will host performances from artists including the band Three Bikes and the B-boy group Addiction Crew. A raffle will also offer cycling equipment and a round-trip ticket to Amsterdam. To return home using public transportation, participants can board Seoul Metro line No. 6 with their bikes at either World Cup Stadium Station or Mapo-gu Office Station. To bike back home, they can use the bike lane along Bulgwangcheon and Hongjecheon leading into Hangang Park. For more information, visit their website at www.seoulbikefest.com.

BY LEE SEUNG-HO, NOH SHIN-YOUNG [noh.shinyoung@joongang.co.kr]