(This post is in response to Annick's questions, thank you for the idea.)
When you arrive in Incheon airport it's super easy to just hop on the subway with your bike, however that is not the case in Busan. Gimhae airport is located just West of Busan city and it is connected to Busan by a light railway train. It is an automatic elevated train and no bicycles are allowed on it.
So how to get from Gimhae airport into Busan? Or how to get from Gimhae airport to the Nakdong river path leading to Seoul? Or how to get from Busan to Jeju by plane? Well of course you can take a taxi, if the driver agrees and if you take your wheels off. Some airport buses would probably let you store your bicycle under the bus in the luggage department.
But the best option yet is to simply ride your bike.
Few people are aware that the airport is 1,5km away from the Nakdong river bike path. So with a little GPS and Google or Naver maps it should be super easy to navigate yourself to the bike path.
Once you are on the path you can cycle down the West bank all the way to the first certification center, it's about 10km. If you happen to be doing that in the last week of March or the first week of April you will cycle through a 10km tunnel of Cherry blossom heaven on a dedicated bicycle path.
Near the end of the lane of trees the path will turn to cross the river and you will soon see a sign for the certification center. After the certification center you can cross the rest of the river and start the route on the East bank of the Nakdong river and head to Seoul. Or you can cross the bridge and go straight for 1 km to reach Hadan subway station. From Hadan you can take the subway to anywhere in Busan.
If you cycled from Seoul, ended in Busan and want to take a plane to Jeju, you can cycle from the certification center to the airport.
On 25 July 2015 I met 5 other Busanites to join forces and cycle together from Haeundae to Jinha Beach. To be honest I'm not a big fan of Facebook, but it has it's practical uses, one of which made 5 strangers meet up at 08:00am in front of Starbucks to cycle together.
The purpose of the cycle was social and not performance based, and so we ended up being a very diverse and interesting group. And yet everyone's open mindedness and support for each other is what made the ride great!
Here's a slide show created by one of the participants:
Some observations from the ride:
Finish: Gijang and back to Haeundae
Elevation: mostly flat with a steep hill on Dalmaji road
Road surface: mostly car road, a small section of cycling track.
Transportation: Take the subway to Jungdong station on the green line, Exit 7
Transportation back: There is an option of a train between 15:00 and 16:00 from Gijang or any other East coast station back to Haeundae or Dongnae station. It has 5 bicycle seats.
After a bit of a lull in my cycling I'm back and I've been out and about lately revisiting some favourite routes. A lot of construction has been going on near Songjeong beach and Gijang, due to the development of the East Coast Tourism Complex. A huge Lotte mall has been built and they are still busy building a theme park, water park, hotels, retirement villages and golf courses. Some of this construction is resulting in new roads, tunnels and routes that did not exist before.
I've also been noticing the signs going up for the new East coast cycle route, starting at the top of the East coast of Korea. It seems down here near Busan, they are simply adding signs for the route and not really creating any new cycling roads. Also some of the route seems to follow the busy road 14, while there are other lovely coastal alternatives available. I was really hoping the old train track would be converted into a cycling track going round Dalmaji, but it will be left as an old train track for tourists to walk on, while Dalmaji hill has become part of the East coast cycling route. I guess for the long distance cyclists it will become that last climb before descending into Busan and Haeundae.
Another change is that Dalmaji road has been re-paved, almost 100%. This is great news! It's been part of my commute in the past and now many of those nasty potholes and uneven bits are history! There's also some markers installed near drain covers that stand out, which is a nice touch.
Above is the route I would recommend for the first 30 km up the coast. There are subtle changes.
A lovely 50km flat ride along the river and you can take a train from Miryang back to Busan at 18:20 with a bicycle rack.
I've cycled up the Nakdong river many times, but this time I decided to veer off the dedicated cycled route and try to make my own way to the town of Miryang. However to my great surprise I found a dedicated cycling path all the way to Miryang. What was even more surprising is that this path is not even indicated on Naver maps, it's completely empty of other people and all between the farmlands. This was literally the perfect 50km if you just want to cruise along with the wind in your hair or try to reach top speeds. ( I chose to cruise.)
Of course you can cycle to Miryang and back for a perfect 100 km.
Elevation: very flat
Surface: cycling road all the way
Transport to Yangsan: Take the subway to Yangsan station or take a bus to Yangsan
Transport from Miryang: Take a train to Busan station (18:20 only train with cycle racks) or take a bus to Sasang.
Any information about cycling in South Korea.