CONTRIBUTED BY KELLY GONZALEZ
When my brother and sister-in-law visited us, I knew I wanted to show them parts of Korea outside of the urban landscape of Seoul. I did some research and found Yangpyeong Rail Bike. Meagan at Life Outside of Texas has put together a great list of rail biking locations around Korea which includes a very handy map. Armed with the website, I stopped by my realtor’s office to have them translate and reserve a bike for me.
We drove out early and had lunch at a kimbap café in Yangpyeon first. The town is very tiny, but we had several options of restaurants along the main street through town. We went back to the rail bike place to check in. We played a few video games and air hockey in the building while we waited. I’m not sure why there’s an Iron Man photo op in the parking lot, but we all participated, so I guess it did its job. There are port-a-potties outside in the parking lot but skip them. The waiting area inside also has nice, clean restrooms.
The bikes leave promptly at their scheduled time, and you are instructed to line up five minutes early. The staff show you how to use the brake and buckle the seatbelt. My three-year-old rode with us. Kids over one year have to have a seat to themselves, which bumped us up from a two person bike to the four person one. It seemed like everyone used a four person bike regardless of what we paid for, but it was a very uncrowded day. You run the risk of having another couple with you if you only reserve a two person bike.
We set off down the tracks through one tunnel, pretty farmland, and along the river. It takes about 20 minutes to pedal one way, but it also depends on how fast the bikes in front of yours are going. We reached the end of the line and stopped for ice cream, beverages, or small snacks. There were also bathrooms. The snack bar area was covered to give some relief during the summer. While we rested, the bikes were turned around for the return trip.
Rail biking at Yangpyeong is relatively easy. There is a slight incline the whole way during the return trip, but one moderately in shape person could pedal the bike themselves. There are no major hills or pedaling challenges on the route. I would even consider another trip during a different season. Snow or cherry blossoms would make the journey unique each time.
Yangpyeong Rail Bike
Website: yprailbike.com (Korean only)
Hours of Operation: Bikes run every hour and half starting at 9:00-6:00/7:30/8:00 depending on the season.
Cost: ₩25,000/2 person bike, ₩32,000/4 person bike
Payment: credit card or won accepted in person but a bank transfer is required if booked online
Address: 126-5 Samsung-ri, Yongmun-myeon, Yangpyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do
GPS Coordinates: 37.4798106, 127.5871085
Directions: We followed the river east on Highway 6 from Seoul. The rail bike place was on the very edge of town on the right. It was about two hours from Camp Casey.
Parking: free parking lot located at the entrance