I wish this post was about riding goats, but that would be ridiculous. However, goats were killed in the making of the post, not by us, but by a chef. So long as my sanity remains in check, I shan't be slaughtering goats anytime soon.
This weekend saw the very first signs of spring. The trees are beginning to blossom and the long johns are going back in the wardrobe. A bunch of friends came down from Seoul with their bikes in tow so I hatched up a plan to take them on the 68km Mudeungsan Beast Route also known as the "Goat Ride".
Download the GPX file here.
The previous time I went on this ride with Sean and Andy we narrowly avoided becoming tangled in a goat induced pile up whilst bombing down one of the many hills on this route. One of the valleys by Anyangsan is renowned for it's black goat restaurants and goats freely roam around the area. As we nearly met our maker at the hands of these pesky beasts, we decided it was only fair to come back and devour one as justice for their wanton disregard for cyclists.
As per usual we set off from the LEC at Chonnam National University. We had a nine strong crew, by far the largest group I've ever cycled with. Tim, Gibby and Adam came down from Seoul and we had two other new folk joining us: BK and Corey. Corey is new in town. He just flew in from Minneapolis a few weeks ago so I was keen to show him one of my favourite rides in the area.
The second downhill of the trip is great fun. A long and windy road with views down into the valley. At the bottom of the hill comes a short "fuel" break. I won't say what the fuel is. It's not performance enhancing, but don't get the wrong idea, it's liquid, made from rice and give you tremendous headaches.
Meet Gi Tak. What a champion!
This is our second fuel stop.
The second fuel stop was shortly followed by a little and completely unrelated accident. One of the bends at the bottom of a hill looks deceptively shallow when it's actually pretty sharp. There was quite a bit of gravel on the edge of the turn resulting in a crash for both Gi Tak and BK. Both of the guys survived, but BK's helmet took quite a dent and Gi Tak's bike definitely got a good working.
BK. Not phased. Took it like a man!
We're about to enter
The dreaded black goat. Tormentor of the cyclist.
I'll take that one!
The first restaurant that we checked out was much more scenic, but unfortunately it was closed for renovations so we shimmied down the road to this joint - 우리들 목장. The menu even has a dish for 500,000 ₩! Well, when I say "dish" I mean the entire goat.
The goat for sale here is specifically black goat (흑 염소). Fortunately black goat isn't served with stubble intact, unlike the black pig you can get on Jeju Island. That was the worst thing about the black pig. Who wants to eat grilled meat with the skin and tons of stubble? In Jeollanam-Do the folk don't need to prove that their goats have black hair because you can see them running around on the mountains.
We bought a few rounds of marinaded goat for grilling. That stuff was sublime!
Gibby and I decided to order some Yuk Hoe (pronounced Yook Hway - 육회). Essentially it's raw goat meat. It comes lightly seasoned with sesame oil and sesame seeds with an egg yolk on top for good measure. We could have ordered the completely unseasoned saeng gogi (생고기) but I wasn't brave enough for that.
Gibby flew in at the first whiff of goat's blood somehow avoiding the sun's deadly rays. I never realised vampires could eat goat meat.
I really wasn't expecting this to taste good, but it was sensational! I preferred the grilled kind but I would definitely eat the raw stuff again.
The kimchi was made in 2007! Five years in the making, this is probably some of the best kimchi I have ever eaten. It is flying high alongside Jirisan kimchi. It was so sour I spontaneously salivated. Fortunately I didn't gleak.
The goat crew.
BK getting steamy!
The restaurant was also home to the cutest puppies on the planet.
Shortly after the restaurant we had a little climb followed by this wild downhill with a gradient of 15%!!! I clocked up 69 km/h bombing down this. I was bricking it!
This is Tim flipping off the camera in the background.