Rapha World Tour – Destination Seoul

Photo ©Tommy Tae-Hwan Kim

At 4pm on a hot Saturday afternoon I had just finished racing the World Road Cycling Championships in Doha, Qatar. By 2am I wasn’t out partying, but instead boarding a plane directly to Seoul, South Korea getting ready for a fun few days of adventure and exploring with the Rapha Korea community.

Seoul is a non-stop city full of atmosphere with a coffee shop on every corner and a unique but super cool street style that would rival any major fashion capital. There is a reason why Seoul has become a ‘must visit’ destination and I quickly could see why as soon as I arrived.

It’s a city with a cosmopolitan feel, but tradition is very much still in its roots. When you explore the city you can find ancient temples and traditional architecture amongst the modern concrete city jungle.

I only had a short 3 day stay in this city but made the most of every minute. I enjoyed a number of rides with the Rapha Cycle Club, Seoul chapter community. From a women’s ride around the intricate bike path network along the Han river, to a day out in the picturesque country side and finished up with a city tour past a number of monuments and up the two inner city climbs, where you can gain a greater perspective of just how far the urban sprawl covers.

Every ride started and finished at the recently opened Rapha Seoul club house situated in the fashionable Gangnam district. Hidden away off a busy street full of trendy shops, and hipster eateries where an ‘Instagram‘ photo shoot is happening on every corner. The club house is the perfect spot to get away from the hustle and bustle and relax in their quaint courtyard whilst drinking coffee, watching bike races or updating your cycling wardrobe.

We hosted an evening Q&A session at the club house where I had the opportunity to get to meet the local community. It was an enjoyable evening and I do love to meet the fans and supporters of the sport all around the world.

It wasn’t all bicycles and lycra, I had some time to enjoy two of my other favourite hobbies – food and shopping. I was treated to many traditional Korean delicacies including spicy chicken and a Korean BBQ. If you don’t like spicy food then I would recommend sticking to the ‘Western’ restaurants, it was next level spice but an incredible flavour sensation in your mouth.

The fashion scene in Seoul is what I was probably most excited to check out. Over the last years the rise of Korean fashion designers on the world stage has been increasing. The style is unique and quirky with many of the garments made here in Korea using high quality fabrics and craftsmanship. You just have to look around at the locals, everyone is dressed so well with their own twist of style. When I travel I love to search for unique garments that can only be found in the place that I’m visiting to add to my wardrobe and I had a lot of fun with that here.

I’m sure there is so much more to explore in this city but just in 3 days I managed to get a nice feel from it and would highly recommend visiting if you have the chance. Thank you to everyone for making me feel so welcome and to the Rapha Korea community for being such great hosts.

Enjoy the large photo gallery from my time in Seoul.

Until next time.

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