As I prepared for a new day of riding I decided I would pay more attention to what was going on so I could write about it in more depth. Now having ridden several times allow me to share some observations.
Axiom: Koreans have absolutely no idea what is going on in the world.
Granted, this may not just be a Korean thing, this could apply to any park wandering pedestrian but I tell you, it just seems like when you are riding a bike with a 60lb dog it would be pretty obvious that it might not be a great idea to come between bike, dog, and leash. However no matter how many times I rang the bell at th hajuma walking my way there was a failure to understand that being hit by either dog or leash would be bad.
Indeed some hajumas were so oblivious to the world that even after several rings, even when I was literally headed straight for them, they not only didn't move but seemed to completely fail to register us at all. I was trying really hard to keep from hitting anyone or thing with the dog, and I have to say the dog was also trying to avoid hitting things as well which works, but in the end it was just hard. We clipped at list one ajoshi with the bike. Also at one point after several rings an hajuma finally looked up to see us coming when we were seconds away, jumped, screamed and started running left to right to left in front of us. It freaked me out, disturbed the dog, and almost knocked me off the bike until finally at the last minute she ran screaming off the bike trail and into the grass.
We managed to get home in one piece but I was not thrilled with Korea that day.
Axiom: If you don't know what to say about a dog, say it looks delicious.
I'm not really sure what was going on this day but at least five different people let me know they thought my dog looked tasty. Since I know that eating dog is not actually all that common in Korea anymore I have no idea what it was all about. So we just rode on by. There was one very old guy who started drooling a little and I'm pretty sure he would have snacked on rack de Gracie, but that was not happening.
Axiom: Drive people!
We were riding down the city streets to try to get down to the bike trail and I found myself more than a little ducking around some drivers who just seemed as bad as walkers along the river. The worst was some guy who insisted on driving parallel to us so he could roll down his window and try to call my dog over while I was riding on the bike. Who does that? One, don't ask my dog to come talk to you, I'm the owner and I might not approve. Two, I'm on a freaking bike and your DRIVING.
Axiom: When in doubt, play chicken.
I don't really know why but it seems like whenever the bike riders on the trail see me coming, if we are both on the same side it is easier for them not to move. See I try to ride so as to keep my dog from being in the way or hitting anyone. They are not riding with a dog. It seems obvious that if you are coming my way and you see me with a dog that is running out of the way of walkers that, of course, you should cross to the other side of the trail. This is not true. Apparently it is better to play chicken to see which of us will swerve out of the way first. This is very stressful as I'd really prefer not to get the dog tangled in your bike when we clothesline you. I am the only one who thinks this because the riders keep playing chicken.
Axiom: Tying up your pet on a busy bike trail so they are jumping and barking to try to get to you is a good idea.
There are a lot of people who actually do walk their dogs through the park here so I'm not alone, but I swear the couple that just made me want to kill was a pair that had a small dachshund. They were sitting on a bench and the dachshund was tied to the fence across from the bench. Sadly between the bench and the fence was the bike trail, which meant the dog was trying desperately to get to his owners by thrashing and jumping into the bike trail. I didn't see this until to late, Gracie went to try to jump over the dog and pulled the handles, I pulled the other way and ended up in the lawn but not falling off the bike. I was really pissed at the two idiots though. Don't torture your animals. Idiots.
This covers much of what I have seen since I started riding with the dogs. Korea, my adventure continues.