An amazing trip took a turn for the best as we recently gained a fourth companion on our adventure through the Balkans! Katie Tibbetts is our good friend in Korea and has long been teetering on the fence regarding the trip. Would she throw away her worldly possessions and potential Private School job offers in Korea to join us on our adventure through the wild; or would she wait to pull the trigger until the last minute and meet us on a whim while biking? One thing is for sure, from the start I always had a feeling this cycling addict would eventually turn over to the dark side and join us on the trip… it was all just a matter of when. Thankfully, Katie made the decision to jump on board while we are all still thick in the planning phases of our proposed trip.
No stranger to cycling, Katie joined up with our friend Jared (sometimes I feel like his name gets mentioned too much on this site!) back in 2007 to cycle from Seoul, Korea to London, England. In about 6 months, they completed the journey and brought back with them a plethora of incredible stories and a wealth of knowledge about taking long term cycle tours. It was Katie, along with Jared and Katie E. who convinced Suzie and I to become cyclists in the first place. Katie willingly accepted us under her wing on a trip from Danyang, Korea to Andong promising a beautiful countryside, an exciting ride, and a delicious meal to top it off. While she did fulfill her promises, she forgot to leave out the fact that… cycling ain’t all rainbows and butterflies! Our trip sent us surging over 800 meter climbs during torrential downpours, being attacked by a tribe of angry villagers, and down roads that looked untraveled for at least a few months (okay so I exaggerated one of those… but you get the point)! No doubt though, Katie was beside us the whole way launching forth encouraging words that helped us deal with the pain and just push forward “one peddle at a time,” as she said.
We’re all very excited to have gained our fourth (and potentially final) member to the Biking the Balkans Team in Katie. Her knowledge and experience cycling will be invaluable to us and her sense of humor and determination will help keep the trip ever-upbeat as we peddle on to reach our goal. You can read more about Katie and Jared’s trip across the world, and more stories of cycling in Korea at www.brakingboundaries.org