“When you step on pedals of a bicycle, the roads of the world flow into your soul.” This phrase from Kim Hoon's essay, the Bicycle Travel, perfectly depicts a charming point of bicycle riding. On a deep autumn day perfect for riding, The UOS Times met with biking specialists who particularly value this activity.
▲ Cycling alongside the 63 Square
The Cycling Club, TUBE
TUBE, the bicycle club, is the Central Club of the University of Seoul (UOS). Founded in 2008 by the first president, now working for the bicycle company, TUBE was approved as the Central Club in 2009. The club office of TUBE is in Mirae Hall, B212. They have had 188 members in total, and about 35 members who are graduates, professors, and staff members of UOS are actively participating now. The female members compose 30 percent of the whole, and considering that male-dominant phenomena in sports clubs, this is relatively a large number.
The main activity of this club, as you all expect, is to ride a bicycle. They go cycling regularly every Saturday except for the exam periods. They also gather irregularly yet voluntarily whenever they feel the need. During summer vacations, they go on summer tours. This tour, which is a yearly event, is a cross country cycling. For this is a real challenge, only capable members who are trained enough are recommended to join. The unique part of their activity was that they ride bicycles instead of using other means of transportations when going to membership trainings ? of course, with capable members.
TUBE mostly consists of members who can ride bicycle; there are some of the members who cannot ride yet want to learn how. Since the cycling lessons are one of the TUBE's activities, those who want to learn cycling are encouraged to join them. In addition, TUBE is equipped with the essential bicycle maintenance tools in their club office and offer them to members for free, which might be appealing to bicycle-lovers.
The Identity of TUBE : Freedom
When asked “What makes TUBE different from other clubs?” Choi Su-yeol (Dept. of Urban Sociology, '11), the president of TUBE, showed the application form instead of answering. Yes, it indeed was a unique form which shows their identity at once. The form, which has not changed since the time it was made, contains the “TUBE Oath.”
I will follow the club’s rules and respect the Head’s decision, and I will pay the membership fees punctually.
I am perceiving that my studies, future, and anything related to those are more important than TUBE activities, and I would never do anything that could be disadvantageous.
I would leave TUBE with no hesitation when it becomes a burden. However, as long as belonging here in TUBE, I would take pleasure in having fun, laughing and running with my bicycle.
You will see that this is a very liberal oath. Although many people have preconception that most sports clubs are quite strict with their member management (and there are some clubs that live up to the reputation), TUBE is a club which is out of the general concept. The freedom makes the members participate the activity voluntarily as they pleased, and this is the spirit of TUBE.
▲ Cycling in Banpo
Recommendations from TUBE
TUBE recommended the roads which are good for riding bicycle for the students of UOS. First, at the Paldang Dam, cyclists can enjoy the most natural scenery of Han River. The road along the Paldang Dam is flatland which is perfect for riding. Besides, there are plenty of good restaurants. Banpo and Yeouido are the very places for the riders who want to enjoy the view of Seoul. Try savoring the amazing night view of the fountains and bridges.
To truly enjoy the bicycle riding, TUBE emphasized to wear safeguards. Riders should wear helmets, since heads are highly likely to knock down first. In addition, headlights and backlights for bicycles are also essential, for they prevent collision with other riders in night cycling. Surely, a small degree of consideration for others will make riding more pleasant.
▲ Short rest on Han River bridge
▲ TUBE members at the regular riding on Nov. 8
“There was actually no special episode, since we concentrate on riding peacefully.” said the president.
However, the episodes that he told us subsequently was quite fun to hear. TUBE once went on riding to China Town in Incheon, which is 63km away from UOS, only to eat Jajangmyeon. The journey was far harder than they expected because of the chilly wind from the sea. The members became too exhausted, and as a result, none of them could digest Jajangmyeon properly. This was surely a tough journey, but meanwhile, it is the valuable memory of youth that can be reminisced in their 50's.
“We love bicycles, we love being together. Activities in TUBE give us the mental satisfaction that cannot be traded with anything. We do not ride only expensive bicycles, contrary to most students' prejudices.
We are open anytime to anyone, and we hope more people could know the value of bicycles.” Again from Kim Hoon's essay, “Rolling the wheel with your living body is a living pleasure.” If you are ready to join cycling, waiting for spring to come with ready-running bicycles will be another hope for a new year.