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Bike Gumi to Daegu

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A truncated ride to Korea's 4th largest city.

The hop from Gumi to Daegu is the shortest along the Nakdong Bike Path. It connects two of the region’s most profitable cities, while passing a few weirs and war memorials (directions).

End in large recreation park with architectural flair on the periphery of downtown Daegu (대구시), Korea’s four largest city.

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Gumi City to Chilgok Weir

The next segment of bike path flows by Gumi before sailing through riverside parks to Chilgok Weir and war memorial and museum.

Directions (16.2 km)

Roll to the west end of Sanho Bridge (산호대교) and into the eastern edge of downtown Gumi.

Here you have two choices:

  1. Head into town for food, rest, or to check out Geumosan Provincial Park (금오산도립공원). There, a cable car will take you up Geumo Mountain (금오산), where you’ll find trails, temples, and waterfalls.
  2. Or continue along the Nakdonggang Bike Path.

Let’s take option 2.

From Sanho Bridge, follow a switchback ramp (road view) down to the riverside and ride south until South Gumi Bridge (남구미대교). Climb an observation tower (road view) to the bridge’s deck and cycle across.

On the east side of the river, just beyond a gas station and rest stop, the route curls around and under South Gumi Bridge (road view).

Roll down the Nakdong along wild flower adorned embankments and tumble into Chilgok Eco Park (칠곡보생태공원).

Over the nearby road sits Chilgok Patriots & Peace Memorial (칠곡호국평화기념관). The complex includes two museums, sculpture, square, and more. It commemorates the 55-day-long Battle of Tabu-dong which raged during the Korean War.

Battle of Tabu-dong

In June 1950, the Korean People’s Army (KPA; North Korea) launched a surprise attack on the South.

Unprepared, within two days, the Republic of Korea (ROK; South Korea) and UN (United Nations) armies fled Seoul and fought a series of losing battles as the KPA pushed them further and further south.

Within two months, the UN and ROK held only 10% of the peninsula, known as the Pusan (Busan) Perimeter, with the Nakdong River becoming the war’s western front.

After losing Seoul, Daegu became the new South Korean capital. This made the nearby Waegwan Town (왜관읍) the epicenter of a fierce 55-day-long series of battles.

Later known as the Battle of Tabu-dong, the fiercest conflict occurred here along the Pusan Perimeter. It claimed 27,000 people.

In September 1950, UN and ROK forces swung around the peninsula and invaded Incheon, allowing the troops pinned behind the Nakdong River to break out and reconquer lost land.

Up ahead, Chilgok Weir (칠곡보; Chilgok-bo) stretches across the Nakdong. Next to it rises the Chilgok Management building, adorned with a convenience store, observatory, and the Chilgok-bo Certification Center.

149.9 km (Nakdonggang Bike Path)

Chilgok Weir (칠곡보; Chilgok-bo) is the Nakdong River’s fourth watergate. Built by the Four Rivers Project in 2011, it borrows its name from where it stays, Chilgok County (칠곡군).

The weir measures 348 meters, with 200 meters of movable beams regulating the river’s flow, and a 452-meter maintenance and pedestrian bridge overtop. A pair of hydroelectric plants capture 15.4 GWh of juice per year to power 14,000 homes.

149.8 km (93 mi) from start
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Chilgok-bo​ certification center checkpoint stamp for Korea's Bicycle Certification system.

Chilgok Weir to Gangjeong Goryeong Weir

Ride by three notable detours, into a rock-faced stretch, and upon a design-spiced park on the edge of downtown Daegu (대구시), Korea’s four largest city.

From Chilgok Weir, ride south into Waegwan (왜관읍), Chilgok County’s largest town and home to Camp Carroll, a US Army Base.

Bridge of Patriotism

Just north of Waegwan’s downtown, find four bridges clustered together. Behold the last one: the blue trussed Bridge of Patriotism (호국의다리).

During the Korean War, retreating ROK troops exploded the bridge to halt the North Korean Army’s advance. Many refugees who were still crossing perished. Chilgok County dedicated the rebuilt bridge to them.

Saddle up. The next 10 kilometers follow a monotonous stretch: tallgrass and riverside. However, three inland detours liven up the route. 

First detour! Along the river, cruise 1.5 kilometers beside the thick of Waegwan Town. Then clamber over the waterside park and scoot into Waegwan Town (directions).

Waegwan Abbey

Cycle 600 meters down the road and find the Order of St. Benedict Waegwan Abbey (왜관성베네딕도수도원).

In 1948, Kim Il-Sung (김일성) destroyed the North Korean Abbey of Tokwon in 1949. Its surviving Benedictine monks fled south and moved into an existing Waegwan Town church, built in 1928.

Today, Waegwan Abbey maintains its German roots. If you spend the night with the monks, you can dine on their famous sausages and learn of their publishing, education, and social work.

Head back to the river. Continue 6 kilometers south down the straightened river and find the second detour to a second Catholic church.

Gasil Catholic Church

Venture over the riverside road and 500 meters later roll upon Gasil Catholic Church (가실성당; directions).

Headed by a German priest, Gasil is one of the oldest Catholic churches in the region. Starting as a pint-sized hancok in 1895, parishioners built today’s church in 1922. Unlike other congregations, the church prays to Saint Ana, the Virgin Mary’s mother.

Plop back on the Nakdong and ride into Dalseong County (달성군), a suburb of Daegu.

Another 3.4 kilometers down the path, find an underpass (road view) that snakes inland. It leads to the third and final detour.

Myogol Town

Ride 1.1 kilometers over a short hill (directions) and arrive in Myogol Town (묘골). This conserved village contains an abundance of centuries-old buildings, including Taego Pavilion (태고정), built in 1479 by a Park Il-San (박일산), a wealthy landowner.

Carry on down the Nakdong. Cycle below a shady, tree-lined section as the waterway swivels east. Then travel through parks, around a solar panel array, and below a riverside mountain with rock-faced walls (aerial view).

As you near downtown Daegu City, pop onto a boardwalk (road view) and grab your first glimpse of Gangjeong Goryeong Weir (강정고령보; Gangjeong Goryeong-bo).

176.4 km (110 mi) from start
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Gongju-bo​ certification center checkpoint stamp for Korea's Bicycle Certification system.

Midway down the boardwalk, roll into a fenced tunnel (road view). To your left, an intake station sucks tons of water for nearby Daegu-ites to drink.

After the boardwalk, land in Gangjeong Amusement Park (대구강정유원지). This extensive park occupies a teardrop bit of land between the converging Nakdong and Geumho Rivers.

Now you have three options:

  1. Continue along the Nakdonggang Bike Path and ride from Daegu to Changyeong.
  2. Venture into downtown Daegu for sustenance or a snooze.
    1. Beware! You’re on Daegu’s outer edge. By bike, it takes an hour or more to reach the city’s heart (directions). Is it the weekend? Hop on a subway. It isn’t faster, but it saves the effort.
  3. Or you can mill around the Gangjeong Amusement Park for a bit. Here find:
    1. Gangjeong Goryeong WeirCertification Center, and Culture Center
    2. The ARC Cultural Center (디아크문화관)
    3. Grassy lawns with picnicking families and eclectic electric scooters.
Daegu Metropolitan City

Daegu Metropolitan City (대구광역시) holds about 2.4 million people, the fourth largest city in Korea. Behind Seoul and Busan, it ranks third in industrial and economic output.

Daegu Metropolitan City (대구광역시) holds about 2.4 million people, the fourth largest city in Korea. Behind Seoul and Busan, it ranks third in industrial and economic output.

Folks know Daegu for its electronics and textiles. Along with Gumi City (electronics) and Pohang City (steel), Daegu is one piece of a free-trade zone established in 2008.

In the past, the city sought to transform their textile industry into fashion. They nicknamed Daegu Korea’s “Fashion City” and created a fashion fair.

Because Daegu sits in a basin far from large bodies of water, its summers are the hottest in the nation. However, this subtropical climate helps grow the city’s famous apples.

Daegu offers lots to do, including Buddhist temples, a cable car, a mountaintop Buddha statue, theme park, and bustling downtown.