[INTERVIEW ] Cycling with Bubakeo's manager Benjamin Nobi
▲ Benjamin Nobi, manager of Bubakeo.
Autumn is on its way and the clear skies provide a fitting climate for enjoying the outdoors. There are many beautiful locales in the city where you can enjoy the weather, instead of walking, why not ride a bike around? Busan is a bicycle-friendly city with over 20 bike lanes and 12 city-run bicycle rental shops.
Last year, a group of cycling experts in Busan dubbed themselves "Bubakeo," and established a company. They promote bicycle-riding culture and carry out various social contribution activities. Benjamin Nobi, manager of the organization and a member of the Busan Global Citizen Advisory Group for International Tourism City, sat down with Dynamic Busan to answer a few questions.
Q.Hello! Please introduce yourself.
A. My name is Benjamin Nobi. I was born and raised in Ghana and came to Korea through the Korean Government Scholarship in 2013. Currently, I hold a Ph.D. in Business Administration. I spend my time researching several topics relating to consumer well-being, ethics, bicycle safety education and others. I developed an interest in bicycle tourism quite recently and got associated with Bubakeo, a bicycle tourism venture company in Busan. Through that, I have organized several bike tours for foreigners living in Busan to explore some of the beautiful places in Busan, like Yeongdo. I believe that bike tours are one of the best ways to get to every nook and cranny of a city and enjoy the scenery.
Q. How would you describe Bubakeo?
A. Bubakeo is a Venture Company and Social Enterprise in Busan. The company organizes bicycle safety edu-cation, bike tours, bicycle map development and bicycle-related campa-igns. Given that the world is facing environmental issues exacerbated by climate change, Bubakeo believes that a new form of tourism is needed. Cycling is not only important for the environment but also for a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, Bubakeo encourages everyone in Busan and Korea to get on their bikes and visit our website (www.bikebusan.com) to learn more about our activities.
Q. Is Busan a good place for cycling?
A. There are many beautiful places to discover and experience in Busan through cycling. The city has beautiful beaches where cyclists can ride along and feel the breeze. There are various historic places where cyclists can experience the history and culture of Korea and many parks where cyclists can relax and enjoy nature, in a special way.
Also, people can ride to Jagalchi Market to enjoy the rich taste of fresh seafood and explore buildings in Yeongdo and Haeundae. So yes, Busan is an excellent city for cyclists. Therefore, we encourage people to dust off their bikes, hit the road and maybe join us on a tour.
Q. Do you have any special stories that took place in Busan?
A. Yes, Yeongdo is one of the most beautiful islands in Busan yet unknown to many people. Traveling around there on my bike gave me the unique opportunity to learn about the history of shipbuilding in Korea. I'm convinced that Busan is a unique place for tourists.
Q. What is your vision for Bubakeo and yourself ?
A. Bubakeo is designing a groundbreaking project called the Bicycle Taxi (BTX). This project, designed to help people get to their destinations easily and conveniently without having to go through much traffic, is specifically for the city of Busan. The smooth operation of this project will be possible with the development of a bicycle road infrastructure in the city and we plan to select a particular place in Busan to pilot this project. When it succeeds, it will be a big help in creating an Eco-Delta City and employment for citizens. It will help reduce people's dependence on cars and provide better transportation alternatives. I hope to contribute my knowledge and skills to see this project come to fruition.