Friday, December 25, 2009

Getting tired then resting! and Merry Christmas!

Since the teachers trip school has finished and preparation for the English Camp I am teaching has started. Its actaully waaayyyyy harder to plan and lessons then I thought it would be and I only had 2 days to plan for 6 weeks of 6 hours of class 5 days per week! Ahhh!!! My prinicpal decided she didn't like my lesson plans and that they needed more activites from outside the text book curriculum we bought for the camp!! Ahhh! Now my job is kind of stressful. but i think I can handle it and modify the lesson plans to make her happy. Anyway I have been having a lot of fun too and its made me really tired! Skiing and meeting friends until late definitely takes its toll after a few weeks! So I came to Busan (the second biggest city in Korea) to visit my friend Miseon who I met while working at the Purdue Writing Lab. I am staying with her family (2 elementary school age boys). It is a lot of fun and also good for me since we are going to bed early and getting lots of sleep! It was about a 4 hour bus ride to get here but it only cost about $20! We are touring all of the famous sites of Busan (which is famous for beaches) and we are trying lots of new foods (Busan is famous for raw seafood) Today I ate raw fish, oysters, touched a live shark, and at a bunch of other raw seafood that I had no idea what it was! I hope everyone has a great christmas! I will post some pictures here eventually!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Teachers ski trip

Last weekend my school took a 2 day trip to Gangwon Province in the eastern part of Korea. It was amazing. The mountains there are so huge and beatiful! Friday night we at grilled beef (beef is expensive in Korea so having grilled beef is kind of a treat) as well as RAW BEEF!!!! This was my first time to eat raw beef and it is really good! I didn't get sick so it must be ok. After dinner we went skiing at High One Resort which was really fun even though it was raining. That resort is huge the runs were 5-6kms long each! After skiing every teacher went to the Singing room to do karoake together! This was also very very fun!! I sang the YMCA song and Crazy by Britney Spears. It was a very long night! And a very early morning as we got up at 8am to go visit a cave! We took a walking tour of a giant cave which was very beatiful! I forgot to take pictures though as usual. After the cave we ate lunch and went to a traditional Korean market to look around and eat delicous snack food! The market was extremly crowded but it was still a good time. When we got on the bus to go home everyone immediately fell asleep! After getting home and showering I went to a party in the north part of Yongin with some friends and met some cool new korean friends there! It was great. Sunday I met my new chinese friend Roy and we went hiking around Yongin City it was new trails and I discovered some great places to go mtb riding that I am hoping to check out this saturday.
Up for this weekend is sking with another teacher from my school on Friday night, mountain bike riding or hiking saturday then meeting friends saturday night in Yongin then Sunday I am gonna go to Gwanak San to go hiking! It should be a fun weekend and hopefully slightly more restful than last weekend.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Driving a car in Korea!!

This past week and a half I realized just how expensive driving a big diesel SUV can be when gas is $6 per gallon! really expensive!!! Also all of the driving I am doing is basically city driving with lots of stopping and going which eats up gas too! I definitely need to balance my driving with some bus riding. Riding the bus works well on the weekends and when I am not in a hurry to get somewhere. Anyway things are going pretty well here! It got cold again so I haven't been riding my bike but this weekend is a big ski trip with my school to Gangwon do which is where the biggest mountains in korea are!. I made friends with 2 of the girl teachers at my school who are young and they both also bought season ski passes to the Yangji Pine resort! So I have a couple of ski buddies now! They speak english too but it will be good for me to practice korean with them too. Last weekend I had dinner at a korean friends parents house! it was awesome we at fresh korean oysters, fish and pork spare ribs all cooked on a grill! It was really fun! In other news I have some korean friends who live in Yangji. They work up at the Asiana country club which is a big famous golf course here. Next week I should have a good update to post after the ski trip.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Crazy mtb ride!

This week was full of mountain bike riding! Now that I have a car I can ride every day after school for an hour or so and still make it to my Korean class. So I think I rode 6 days this week! The weather was pretty good for mountain bike riding and the leaves are starting to get cleared off the trails. There are about 5 mtb loops that I can do in about 1 hour or less from my house which is nice. They all involve a long hard climb (think 2-3 miles at more than 7% on gravel roads ouch!) Saturday I joined the Korean mtb club I joined for a ride too. We rode at Gwanggyosan in Suwon. It was a much harder ride than the last one I went on and we did a bunch of really nice trails and some really crazy steps!!! Somehow I pinch flatted my front tire on a step too! Also Gwanggyosan is one of the most popular area mountains for hiking and so it was completely covered in hikers. We passed people literally about every 20-30 seconds not a place I would normally choose to ride on my own but it worked out OK with a big group. After the ride we at lunch and drank Mack goli which is a Korean rice wine. It was a really fun ride and I was really happy that my korean has improved enough for me to actually be able to participate in conversations! I need to keep studying though I still don't know a lot but I am happy that I am improving quickly. After the bike ride I met up with my friend Byung woon to shop for a GPS for my car and then he invited me to a thanksgiving party with some of his other american friends. It was great I met a lot of cool people and got to eat turkey, mashed potatoes and all of the other thanksgiving foods! Today I was supposed to go hiking with someone but it has been raining and cold all day so we decided to do it another time. This did give me a good opportunity to clean up my apartment at least.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Cold then warm again!

It got really cold last week! It was getting into the 20s every night and usually not above freezing during the day. I thought it was the end of biking for a while for sure but I was wrong! Today its almost 60 outside!! They made a bunch of snow at the ski resort and even opened it but! Its pretty warm to ski now. I bought some new skis last weekend and I am looking forward to trying them out this weekend hopefully the snow hasn't melted!
I can' t believe how much easier it is to do what I want now that I have a car. The busses here are great and all but they take a really long time and you can' t bring a bike on the bus. Kyung Hee university where I take Korean classes used to be over a 1 hour bus ride and is now just a 30 minute drive! This weekend I used the car to go to a mountain that busses don't go to to hike with some friends. We hike up Jobi San(san means mountain in Korean). It was in the south part of Yongin about a 20 minute drive from my apartment. It was definitely the most beatiful mountain I have hiked in Yongin County so far! It is almost all rocks and the top has no treet just big rocks which makes for a huge panoramic view of a giant valley and other mountains. It wasn't a very tough hike but he view was really great! Saturday I went and bought some new skis with a teacher from a nearby elementary school. I am really pumped to do some serious skiing this winter. In 2 weeks my school is taking a trip to Gangwon do to ski which is where the big ski resorts in Korea are located. I am planning to go there again to check out some other resorts. Before skiing I am hoping to get in some more good hikes and bike rides though!

Friday, November 20, 2009


So I went and bought a car this week! Big thanks to my friend Chi Ha for helping me out and being a great translator between me and the dealership! I got a Musso made by Ssangyong which is a big Korean SUV. Its really awesome it cost me about $4000 plus about $1100 dollars for 1 year of insurance! I guess that will go down once I turn 25 in 3 years!!! The car is great lots of space for bikes and skis inside, it has leather seats, a radio, cassette player, tinted windows and AC! Its diesel too and seems to be getting pretty good gas mileage so far! which is really important when gas is $5-6 per gallon! The best thing about the car is it is my the first car that I actually bought with my own money that I earned! I feel so grown up! No more 1 hour bus rides to Korean class now its just a 30 minute drive!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Its getting cold!

It finally started getting cold in Korea. Today is the first day they have been making snow at the Yangji Pine Ski Resort! I bought my season pass last week and now I just need skis, snow pants, gloves and a car to drive up to the resort! I am working on that last one. Tonight I am going to check out a Musso (SUV sort of the korean version of a Ford Explorer) with my friend Chi Ha. Getting a car should make life a lot easier for me in terms of doing my hobbies and traveling to see people. For example there is a bike shop in my town but they don't have any of the tools to fix my bike or any parts in stock! The bike shop of the club I joined is only 12 miles away but I can' t get there very easily unless I ride on the weekends and now its really cold and I still have to ride a bus home even if I go there to get the bike fixed! Anyway I am really excited to get a car!
Last weekend was fun too. I hung out with friends every day and even got a nice hike in near Yangji! I explored a new mountain range that I just found the trail entrance to last week. The trails hadn't been used in a while and were covered in leaves but it was a nice one none the less. I hung out at Kyung Hee University on Friday and Saturday night too. It was a lot of fun. We went to a Singing room and hung out. Sunday I went to Seoul to have lunch and hang out with som friends. Not sure whats up for this weekend but if I get the car it will definitely involve driving somewhere that the bus doesn't go!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Teachers trip, Seoul and A bike race!

I had a pretty eventful weekend. It started Friday afternoon with a teachers trip to Incheon. All of the teachers from my school got on a bus at 1pm and went to Incheon which is on the Western seaboard. We took a boat ride and ate a lot of RAW seafood! I ate raw fish and live octopus! It was very fun and I got to know some of the teachers at my school really well! Many koreans are very reserved but this trip was good for everyone to loosen up and for me to practice my korean skills.
Saturday I went to Seoul and visited some friends. it was fun! Sunday I had my first Korean bike race. I went with my riding buddy Chang Jo. The race was only about 20km from my house so it was a short drive. It had rained the entire night and it rained throughout the entire race! So it was gonna be muddy but I was still excited. I was in the Elite group so I knew I better step up! The race start was a bit messed up and all of the elite guys ended up behind the 400 other racers! but there was 12km of road before the climbing started but we still didn't manage to get to the front by the climbing so I had absolutely no idea what place I was in the whole time! I had a lot of fun though! It was one big loop no single track and the downhills were mostly paved while the climbs were dirt which was kind of backwards of how we would do it in America but still good. I met some of the other racers from the Suwon Alpha team and there is a guy my age who speaks pretty ok english unfortunatly he crashed on the downhill and had to go to the hospital to get bandaged up after the race! The race was super well run except teh start with lots of police and army people marshalling every corner and intersection. Also every entrant got a free multi tool and free buffet lunch all for $30! This was the best value race I have ever entered to say the least! After the race I relaxed and cleaned my apartment and then went to the Public Sauna/bathhouse with my friend scott. Overall a pretty good weekend and I am definitely ready for some more race action here although the elite korean guys can really climb well! I better train some more this winter if I wanna keep up this spring!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My korean skills are improving!

I had a great last week! I have been able to ride Monday, wednesday and friday after work and I keep finding more and more new trails! I go out on my mtb right after school gets out and hit the trails until it gets dark at 6. my korean class has been going well too! My korean is getting good enough that i can sort of have a conversation now! I went hiking with my friend Sunim from the camp I went to here 2 years ago and she barely speaks English at all! We spoke 95% korean for 6 hours! it was great. Saturday I had a great hike too. Saturday I went to Gwanaksan with a friend which is in the south part of Seoul and Sunday I went to Dobongsan in the north part of Seoul. I have been riding every Wednesday after school with my korean friend ChangJo. I show him the new trails I have found each week. This weekend we are doing a race in Ichon which is the next county east of Yongin where I live. Its a 35km mtb marathon style race and its about half road half dirt/fire roads. It has a few pretty descent climbs too. I have no idea how I am gonna do since I have never raced here but I am really looking forward to it! This friday will be really fun too. All of teachers from my school are going to Incheon for an ocean boat ride (from what I have heard teacher get togethers in Korea tend to get pretty crazy). It should be really fun and a good way to get to know the other teachers at my school. I am also planning to buy a car here in the next month. I am trying to decide between the Kia Sportage and the Musso (which is an SUV that is about the size of a ford explorer). They don't really have station wagons here so an SUV seems like a good idea since I plan to use it to ski, go to bike races and go camping more than anything else. Teaching and everything else is going pretty well too! Its getting colder now and it should be time to ski in about 1 month! I am pumped but sad that i won't really be able to ride outside during the week since it will be dark when I am not working! I definitely see how having a real job makes it hard to train!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

getting better!

well i recovered from my cold and feel a lot better. I mostly focused on getting better but I did do some short hikes and bike rides. I found an extremely awesome trail yesterday! It is about 4-5km of gradual downhill with some short steep climbs you can grind up! its very nice! Fast flowy and best part is you can ride continuously without getting off for like 15 minutes! I also visited Wawoo temple last weekend ( It is just a 1 hour hike over a local mountain range away! Its a very famous Buddhist temple with some big Buddha statues. I was very impressed by them. In other news I found out there is another foreign teacher in Yangji at the middle school! And surprisingly enough his name is also Derek!!!!!! He is from England and we are gonna meet up sometime this week. It will be nice to have 2 other foreign friends in yangji. up this week! Its fall and the leaves are changing on the mountains! Its very beatiful around here! I will get some nice pictures from my bike and hiking. This weekend I have 2 good hikes planned too! I also plan to rest more so I don't get another cold!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

how to get a cold!

So I had a really great week and weekend but I paid the price this week and got a major cold! Last Thursday after my Korean class I met up with a friend from Kyung-Hee University where i am taking my korean class and didn't get that much sleep that night. The next night I went back to Kyung-Hee for a big concert. They had a lot of the top korean pop stars and it was all free! I went with some other teachers from the area and it was a blast! After that took busses to Dokso to visit my friends from the summer camp. Again we didn't get very much sleep. Saturday we went tent shopping for me in Seoul and then we went to a wedding Saturday evening for the a girl from the summer camp. The wedding was pretty fun. It was like a condensed version of an American wedding. The whole ceremony was only about 30 minutes and it was followed by a buffet dinner. Also at Korean weddings you don't give presents you just give money. The wedding was also great because I got to see and catch up with everyone from the camp! I found out a few of them live near me too! After the wedding a few of us went out to a singing room which is like a personal Karoake room you rent for your friends by the hour. Sunday I took the bus home and went for a nice long hike in the mountains around Yangji! Then I went to the local public bathhouse with my new American friend Scott who is the only foreigner I have met in Yangji! The bathhouses here are awesome they have hot tubs, cold tubs, dry sauna's and steam rooms all for about 5 bucks! So yeah it was a very busy but fun weekend! It has also gotten a lot colder recently! So i got a cold but now it is almost gone! I am feeling a lot better after a few nights of good sleep! I have a new rule to prevent getting sick. I will spend at least one full day a week without leaving Yangji. That way I will hopefully go to sleep earlier!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Here are some random pictures from korea. if you wanna see more add me on

Monday, October 12, 2009

really good weekend/week!

A lot of stuff has happened since Chusok break finished. Friday I met a new friend who goes to a university in Bundang which is this huge suburb of Seoul I also thought I missed the bus home but after waiting for 20 minutes one finally came! Anyway the next day I got up at 6am to meet some teachers from another elementary school to go hiking. They were koreans one was 29 years old, one 35 and one 50! We went to Gaelyong mountain national park near Daejon which is about 120km south of where I live. It was an incredibly beatiful park. We parked at the bottom and started hiking with a ton of other people all around. In korean at famous mountains on the weekend it is almost always crowded. still a great hike but we definitely got caught up in some traffic jams. The view at the top was really spectacular! if you wanna see pictures check out my facebook. after hiking for about 6 hours we at lunch and drank some dong dong ju which is one of my favorite korean drinks! Its this brown colored rice wine that is served ice cold and is great after hiking. Saturday night after hiking I just fell asleep. Sunday morning I finally went riding with a local Korean bike club. Its called the Suwon Alpha team. They do road and mtb racing ( They even put some pics of the ride on the website already that you can check out. We rode trails on SeokSong mountain. It was a blast but there was also a lot of waiting around due to the really wide ability range in the group. also only one guy in the group spoke english so I got a lot of korean practice. We went to lunch after the ride and then I rode 20km back to my house. They were all really nice to me and the owner of the bike shop even offered to pick me up for bike races since I don't have a car yet. There is a road race this weekend but I can't go because i am going to a wedding Saturday evening. Sunday evening i went into seoul and met a new language exchange friend! Monday after work I went for a mtb ride and discovered some new single track trails! They were awesome super technical with rocks but still very rideable! I didn't have time to ride it all though as the sun was setting. I definitely have more exploring to do there!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


So my chusok break was action packed! Thursday I went out for a 4 hour mtb ride to test out some of the trails I had hiked and find a few more on my bike. Anyway the ride was really great! I found this new fire road climb that takes about 15 minute and goes all the way to the top of a local mountain where you can choose a few different single track descents. Then I went to my korean class and we all went out for dinner afterwards. of course silly me I missed the last bus home and I ended up having to stay at a friends apartment for the night (Thanks Allan!) Anyway I made it home the next day and then my new korean friend Min-Hye (a girl) came and we went on to visit my new friend julia who lives about 45 minutes south in another small town called Juksan. We went for a little hike and then ate korean bbq for dinner. After that we went to a Nore-Bang which means Singing Room. You pay about 10 bucks to use a room with your own personal karaoke machine for you and your friends. it is a very good time and they have a bunch of american pop songs that I sang. The next day I met my friend Kyung who and we went hiking at Bukhan mountain in Seoul. Being korean thanksgiving I thought it would be a great day to hike a normally very busy mountain since everyone would be at home. We couldn't have been more wrong. The top of the mountain is super rocky and steep and open and it was like being at disney land almost! Really awesome view though! After that we met up with Min-hye for dinner! I got a lot of bus and subway time that day. Sunday I met another korean friend named Bomb-Hee and his dad for a short hike up a local mountain. We ate pig spine soup for lunch! it was great! had dinner with another guy named Chi-ha after that and we drank some soju which is a very popular korean drink. Monday I met up with a coworker of mine for a really nice hike. His name is Man-gyu.(korean names are kind of difficult to pronounce and remember but I am getting the hang of it). we hiked Taehwa mountain which is the tallest in Yongin county at about 3000ft. Then I went to Suwon station with Julia to meet up with some other foreigner teachers for dinner. Suwon station is a really cool area that is about a 1 hour bus ride away. lots of bars, clubs, restraunts and young people there. So needless to say I was pretty exhausted after all that travelling and was planning to stay in today but then I got invited to meet up wiht some people for dinner in Seoul (a 40 minute bus ride) so that is out the window. I guess I can sleep on the bus!!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Chusok Break Starts Today!

This is another short week at school for me because we don't have school on Thursday, Friday or next monday because of Chusok (Korean Thanksgiving). It would sound like a great opportunity to take a trip somewhere but every korean I know has been telling me how incredibly epic the traffic jams are. So I am gonna stay a bit more local and just meet up with people around Gyeonngi Do. Anyway I did another awesome ride Monday after school on my mtb. I rode up a long single track climb that had a bunch of super steep hike a bike at the top and then I ended up finding an awesome fire road descent that is used to service a weather station on top of a mountain! I think what I will do next time is ride the climb up and then descend the single track! Every time I ride or hike I discover new trails or find more I need to come back and ride later. This weekend will also hopefully be a good opportunity for me to take some pictures of stuff. Also this week I started teaching my extra after school english program. I teach 2 extra 40 minute classes every MWF. 10 students each class, one for 3/4 grade and one for 5/6 grade. I am really excited about this because I will get to know some of the kids really well. I am teaching the classes by myself with out the help of my Korean co teacher so it should be a good learning experience and be fun.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Teacher training and passion ride

Wednesday through Friday I was at new teacher orientation. it was for all of the new foreign english teachers in Gyeonggi-Do which is the province I am living in. They paired us in groups based on our county so I got to meet a whole bunch of people who live relatively in my area. The county I live in Yongin-Si is the biggest county in Gyeonngi do and most of the group live at least a 30-45 minute bus ride away. But at least the busses here are less than a dollar per ride!
In other news I went for a 3.5 hour long bike ride today! I first went to Yongin city (about 10km away to look for a bike shop to buy some long stem road tubes. I went to 2 bike shops and with my limited korean skills found out that the shops in Yongin don't have long stem tubes so I bought a huge patch kit. Oh well thats what you get for having a really nice bike with deep dish carbon wheels loaned to you! So with my knew patch kit I ventured out onto unknown roads! It was great views the whole way with some nice climbs too. I went south of where I live and after one 2 mile climb and descent it was mostly smaller hills and flatter valley roads. I rode through a bunch of small towns and then road towards Icheon which is another city further east from Yangji. Overall a very nice ride. Really great roads with minimal traffic for the most part too. I didn't see a single other bike rider the whole time either! Tomorrow I plan to go ride to the north for a few hours in the morning and then meet some other teachers to look at a historic fortress nearby. Also friday after the teacher training i had a new korean friend take me shopping for ties and some dress shirts. All the ties here have sparkles on them! Also all of the shirts have short arms too! but I found some pretty nice ties and a shirt that fits pretty well too. Now i just need to learn to tie a tie!

Monday, September 21, 2009

busy busy busy! (new people, new places

I haven't posted for a while because I have been pretty busy meeting new people and hiking and what not! Which is a good thing! i am continuing to have a good time teaching and am getting ready to go to a 3 day new foreigner teacher orientation tomorrow should be fun and maybe I will meet some other new teachers who live close to me. My Korean skills are improving a bit here too I am learning a new word or 2 each day. The kids here can't speak much english so I get lots of practice with them because they come chat with me after school. 5 second graders have decided they really like coming to talk to me in korean which is good I guess because they are trying to teach me new words! I promise next week I will bring my camera to school to take some pictures. The weather has been great lately too. Last weekend I visited my friends from teh summer camp I worked at 2 years ago and we played soccer and went hiking. Also I got invited to go to a wedding in a month! That should be fun and interesting! it is the daughter of the camp director. I stayed at their house when I was in Korea last time. On sunday I met up with Tom hornyak in Seoul and he came out to Yangji to do some hiking with me. We got more than we bargained for. It was a great day and we just kept going thinking there would be a bus where ever we ended up but we ended in this tiny town and the bus only comes like every 2 or 3 hours on the weekends there!! so we walked about 5 more km to a slightly bigger (think otterbein or about 1000 people) town and waited another hour for a bus!!! Better try to plan the hikes a little bit more next time. We still had a great time though and got to see some really pretty country side. Also I met some language exchange friends that are my age and live sort of in my area so now I have some really new korean friends to hang out with! This weekend should be fun too i am meeting up with a bunch of my old exchange student friends from Seoul national univesity! I really need to get out on my bike for a good long ride too I think!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fun stuff!

I went for a sweet bike ride monday after school up the epic dirt road climb and then I did 2 different single track descents off the mountain. one of which ended up at Wawajeong Temple which has a huge statue of a buddha laying down. Then I rode back up a switch backy road climb and back to Yangji! Good ride and lots more descents I need to try! Today I had a pretty great day! After school some of the teachers went out and had beers then I met up with some other friends for dinner. Then a bunch of my kids were out side the school playing and they came up to me and wanted to talk. so we walked up to the temple on the far side of town at the base of the mountain park. It was really nice and I enjoyed getting to know them a little bit better. We spoke about half korean half english so it was good practice for me. I am really enjoying living in this small town. it is nice that everyone knows me and is friendly. Up for this weekend. I am going to Dokso where the summer camp I worked at was to meet up with some of my camp friends which should be great! We are gonna go for a hike saturday. Saturday evening is up in the air and on sunday I am gonna go for an epic hike and then meet a language exchange partner in the evening! Should be a good weekend! and hopefully I can explore a lot more of the trails near my house!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

hiking and good riding!

Friday after getting done with school I was feeling pretty antsy and I wanted to get out and see some new mountains.  So I decided I was gonna walk until it was about dark in one direction and then come down the mountain where ever i was and take a bus home!  You can do that in korea because they have busses everwhere!!  So I went out on the local hiking loop and headed off towards another village.  I stopped at a buddhist temple then hiked up past some korean graves up another mountain.  The trail hadn't been used much recently but it was marked with yellow ribbons.  So I kept going and then realized I better get going down.  I ended up in a small village (actually in somones back yard and I had to walk through their garden of red peppers!  then I asked some old ladies where the bus stop was and sure enough 100 meters away was a bus stop.  I made it back to Yongin (which is the biggest city near Yangji) and then had to take another bus home >  The good thing about busses here though is if you transfer within 30 minutes the ride is free!!!! so it cost less than a dollar to get home!!!! Today I went into seoul to ride again and one of the guys (mark from england) is going to loan me his old cannondale CAAD 7 with 9 speed dura ace on it!!  I need to get a longer stem but otherwise it fits well!  This will give me a good reason to ride around Yongin looking for bike shops.  The ride today was great we took the train out of seoul and then rode in Yangpyeong and Gapyeong counties.  Lots of big climbs and a bit of rain too.  apparently you can put your bike on the busses here at least the big ones so I will bring the bike back to Yangji with me!  

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Autographs, badminton and epic rides

3 days of school have gone by so far and it is going great!! The kids are so crazy for me that some of them are even asking for my autograph on their english book!!! Pretty funny I think. Now that I know most of the kids and they know me anytime I walk or bike through town I see at least 5 kids that I know and they usually say hi to me and try to talk to me which is really nice! Today the vice principal asked me to play badminton with him. It was fun. I used to play intramural badminton back in middle school so I had to bring back some of the old skills! after playing with him for 30 minutes 4 6th grade boys came and wanted to play with me. so I got payed to play badminton for like 90 minutes today! what a great job!!! Also the food at the cafeteria is awesome and they let you get seconds of everything!!! Tomorrow I teach the 5th graders which will be fun.
Today after school I decided I would try to find some epic trails to hike but I wanted to do em on my bike to make it faster. So after 15 minutes of riding I was about midway one set of mountains when the super steep single track started. I knew the trail would lead back to town so I decided I wouldn't turn around. It was granny gear or hike a bike climbing for about 4km. Then the single track abruptly ended into a brand new 1 lane dirt road built for servicing huge powerlines that are on top of the mountain! This looked promising and was heading back towards town. Needless to say I had a huge grin on my face the whole way down was amazing view and nice twisty 1 lane gravel road with a few switchbacks and steep sections thrown in to keep me on my toes! It ended about 1 mile from town on a pretty big road that kind of sucks to ride on but the cars here give me plenty of room. Then I did the 5km road climb up to the town hiking trails which are just behind my house and rode down the single track back to town. Overall one of the most epic rides of the year and it only took an hour and 45 minutes! I can't wait to find out what i can ride with a whole saturday!!!! I will take pics next time too!


Monday, September 7, 2009

Korea week 1

Sorry for the lack of updates this past week. I arrived in Korea last Monday and got internet a few days ago but have yet to put much up here. I am alive and having a good time. First off I am living in a pretty awesome place. It is pretty much living up to my expectations. I have a one bed room apartment that is about the size of 2 dorm rooms put together. It is pretty nice. The riding here is great there are some trails that are mtb rideable right behind my house and the road riding is really excellent. To get out of town and onto good roads I need to go over one of 3 pretty decent size climbs. There is a really nice 5km climb right out of town to a big country club it is through the woods and the top ridge part has really great views of the surrounding mountains. I have been emailing with a group of foreigners that race/ride bikes here in the greater seoul area meaning within about a 1 hour bus ride of seoul which is a huge area! This weekend one of the riders invited me to borrow his spare Storck carbon road bike with campy record 11 on it so I could go for a ride with him and a few other guys!!!! I got on the bus to Seoul at 6:30 am and it took about 40 minutes! A quick and cheap taxi ride to his apartment and off we were with 2 other guys one who was an italian chef and a british guy who teaches law at a few universities in Seoul. We had to ride about 20 km on some crazy bike paths along the Han river in Seoul which is where everyone goes to ride. Man this post is getting long. Ok so it was a great ride through big mountains with some great climbing and great guys! I think I have found a club to race for here! The next day I took the bus and then a subway to Incheon which is on the ocean and rode with Stan and suzanne from missouri. We also went to pretty sweet circus/breakdance and other crazy stuff show which was great!! Also stan who just happens to be a dietetics major too cooked me some awesome food and took me to a western style restraunt to get a burger and fries! Overall great first week! Today was my first day of work at the school too! It was great and all of the kids here are so excited to meet me! Today had 4 classes of 4th graders and tomorrow we have the 6th graders. Also school lunch here is sweet! It is actually good food (if you like korean food) and they let you get seconds!!! I start Korean language class at Kyung Hee University in Suwon (a 30-40 minute bus ride tomorrow. So hopefully I will be able to really have some good conversations in Korean soon! It is definitely a big culture shock moving here but the biggest one for me is going from basically constant non stop social interaction of living at Purdue with a bunch of my friends in the same house to living in a 1 bedroom apartment! I think I will get used to it though.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Made it!

I made it to Korea safe and sound! The blog might be a little slow until I get internet at my apartment though. I am in a PC Bang (PC room) where they have computers you rent by the hour. I start working on Monday and right now i am just getting settled it and getting things like a phone, kitchen stuff, soap etc. There is a lot you need to get for a new apartment! The town Yangji is really cool so far. There are 2 ski hills that you can see from town and big mountains all around the town. Well my hour in the computer room is almost up! Stay tuned for more later.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I'm moving in 5 days to Korea!!!

I can't believe it is almost here! In 5 days I will be going to Yongin, South Korea and won't come home for at least a year!!! I finally finished up my research and I've packed my bike! I am definitely sad that I won't be riding the Felt again next year. I even made a Cyworld page which is the Korean equivalent of Facebook. I don't remember if I posted the info about where I will be working yet but I will be living in a small town called Yangji. Yangji is home to Yangji Pine Ski resort
The school I will be working at is called Yangji Elementary School ( I will be teaching English to 4th, 5th and 6th graders. Here is a google map of where I am living.
양지 is how you write Yangji in Korean letters.
I am excited and nervous for this at the same time but I can't wait to get over there and start having a great adventure!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Last Race weekend!!!!

The Marion Classic was my last big race of 2009 and the start of my last race weekend in the US for a long time. The course was awesome and had 10 corners in less than a mile. I was hoping to pull a top 10 finish in this race but the field was pretty stacked with lots of solid pro teams showing up. The race was pretty fast from but not nearly as hard as I expected. The number of corners kept the speed down and made it really hard to move up unless you were willing to cut inside of everyone. I was sitting in the top 20 most of the race and even went with a few moves. I expected it to come down to a field sprint but one guy got away solo and then when I was sitting in the top 10 with about 5 laps to go a Kelly guy crashed hard and let 4 more guys slip off the front. Ryan and I were up there for the sprint. He placed 11th and I was 19th. I should have tried harder to move up with 2 or 3 laps to go but I am still pretty happy with how I race especially considering the strength of the field. I really enjoyed the race and I hope it continues to grow and continue to bring fast guys to race in Indiana.
Sunday was a criterium not far from my parents house in Carmel, IN. Originally we had not planned to do it but because it was so close we figured we might as well. A pretty good field showed up for a small crit with Aerocat and TX road house bringing big squads. The course had a few good turns but most of them were gradual. The race was super aggressive and fast from the gun. Andy, Chris, Greg and I were all attacking a lot. Greg got off in a move with one guy from each team but halfway through the race he got dropped! So we started attacking and hoping to get someone off. With 3 to go Chris managed to get away and Andy and I sprinted. Andy got 14th and Chris was 6th. I got 18th. It was a fun race and I am definitely glad I will be getting a break from racing for a while.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Last races for a while coming up

This weekend i am racing the Marion Classic and the West Clay races. They are most likely going to be my last races of the season since I am leaving for Korea next Sunday August 30! I am hoping to end the season on a good note and maybe win some money at Marion to boot. I really like the looks of the course and it sounds like there should be a really great field! Other than getting ready for the races I have basically been packing for my move and selling all of the stuff I don't need. I am excited and a little big nervous at the same time! I can't believe I am leaving in a week!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Downer's Grove and Mass Ave

Saturday we raced at Mass Ave in Indianapolis. Mass Ave is a trendy section of Indy and the race was held on a triangle shaped course. It started off fast with lots of attacks but nothing sticking. We were caught sleeping though and missed the winning 3 man move. We put in a good chase effort and tried to form a chase group by attacking but couldn't get away. I crashed about halfway through the race when my tires slid out on me. I tore up the white shorts and got a little bit of road rash but other than that I was fine. I got back in and attempted to lead Ryan out for the sprint but he lost my wheel heading into the last corner. I finished 10th and was the top finisher.
Sunday was Downer's Grove which was my second big goal race of the year after Collegiate Nationals. I was feeling pretty good and when the rain started coming down heavily about 15 laps in I was near the front half of the group. The race was crazy with riders crashing everywhere. In the last 10 laps Paul got off with a group and they were gone. I worked my way to the front along with Ryan to try and get a good spot in the sprint but I went to the inside up the hill rather than the outside and got boxed in. I finished 22nd but I was really hoping for a top 10. At least I didn't crash though.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Meijer Grand Classic and Glencoe Grand Prix!

Saturday was the Meijer Grand Classic in Grand Rapids, MI. There was a small (60 riders) field but it was stacked with good riders from Kelly Benefits, Subway Avanti, Bissell Pro, etc. The course was awesome and included 2 brick sections. It had been raining earlier in the day so the course was soaked but the sun came out in our race and dried it out mostly. As usual we raced aggressively and tried to get in the moves. I was in a few small attacks but nothing stuck until Tom Zirbel and Jake Rytlewski from Kenda and Bissell attacked and got away. Paul and Chris were 20 seconds up on the field in a chase group but that was brought back single handedly by David Williams from Priority Health. The race came down to a field sprint for 3rd and we had it lined up on the front for Chris but unfortunatly bad luck struck and he broke his chain on the last lap! I was trying to continue the lead out and I went hard on the front with about 1k to go but no one from the team was there to follow me. I ended up 14th but I think we definitely would have deliverd Chris to a top 5 finish if he hadn't had mechanical trouble.
Sunday we raced in Glencoe, IL which is a northside suburb of Chicago. Again it was raining before our race so the course was soaked but the sun came out for the end of the race. This race had a slighly less stacked field with Subway Avanti of New Zealand being the only pro team. Ryan, Greg and I planned to race aggressively and hope a break went with one of us in it. There were lots of attacks but none really gained much ground. About 3/4 of the way through the race I attacked for a prime and stayed away for 3 laps each of which was a prime! I ended up winning a gift card, case of gatorade and $200 dollars from a 3 lap solo move. Ryan told us he wasn't feeling to good and was just going to see what he could do in the sprint and I nearly got dropped after my attack! I managed to recover and go into the final corner in 3rd but my legs and lungs were fried and I rolled in for 12th with Ryan taking 8th. Pretty good payday on Sunday though! I was very happy with how i raced this weekend, my legs are starting to get strong again after all the racing i did in July and I think I will be on flying form for Downer's Grove and the Marian Classic!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Double PostIowa Wedding and Trip to Washington DC

I haven't had the internet for the past week so this is a double post. I am currently staying at Dr. Shawn and Jerel's house in Naperville! They have been awesome and hosted me and Chris a few times this summer!

My cousin Andrew got married last weekend in Waterloo, Iowa.
I got to be an usher in his wedding meaning I had to show people wear to sit.
I also got to do a ride around Waterloo which was nice. There were lots of rolling hills, pig farms and corn.
The wedding itself was pretty ok but the reception was fun and got pretty crazy.
It was great seeing a lot of my old friends from Camp Du Nord which my cousin and I both worked at.
I also got to spend some time with my cousin Fredrick who went to Purdue. It was great hearing about how Purdue has changed and how much it has stayed the same!
Up next for me is a trip to Washington DC to visit my grandmother (dad's mom) and then Crits in Grand Rapids, MI and Glencoe, IL.

This week I visited my grandma (who I call Oma because she is from Germany) in Bethesda, Maryland which is just outside Washington DC. My good friend from high
school Kate came with me. After picking her up at the Chicago airport we drove 11 hours to Bethesda and made it around 9:30pm. I really love the riding around Bethesda
it is hilly and wooded and there are tons or roads to explore. It is kind of easy to get lost however but I knew the roads a bit from last years trip. We also went and explored DC. We went out and got drinks in China town one night and went to see the monuments and some smithsonian museums. The museum about Native Americans was very interesting and I highly recommend it if you go! We took my grandmother to the Falls of the Potomac which is a national park near Bethesda with a huge rapids section and we saw some crazy Kayakers jump off waterfalls! We also brought her to Annapolis to take a boat ride around the harbor. Annapolis is where the Naval Academy is located. It is also a really cute town with a ton of cool sailboats. After Annapolis we went to a state park and went swimming in the Chesapeake Bay, luckily I didn't get stung by any jelly fish this year! It would have been fun to stay longer but I had to get back to the good old midwest to keep on racing! I definitely think Washington DC would be a cool place to live after my Korean adventures! It certainly has good riding and lots to do!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Big Announcement: I am moving to South Korea to be and English teacher

Here is my big announcement about my real job! I am going to go to South Korea to be an English teacher at an elementary school. I am leaving on August 30th and will be there for at least 1 year. I am really excited about this opportunity because I have been wanting to try to go back to Korea ever since I went there the first time 2 summers ago to work at a camp. I have been thinking about doing this for a long time and it was definitely a tough decision. I am sad that I have to give up racing with the Panther/RGF pb Felt Bicycles team next year and that I won't get to hang out with any of my good friends but I think in the long run this experience will be a lot of fun and teach me a lot. Besides that I think this will be an extremly fun job especially compared to a boring office type job. The name of the school is Yangji Elementary school ( It is about 40km south east of Seoul and about 30km. It is a smaller town which will hopefully mean uncrowded roads for biking. It looks like a very nice place to live with 2 ski resorts in town. I still plan on trying to race bikes in Korea and from what i have been hearing I may end up racing mountain bikes a little bit more than on the road which will be fun. There are also lots of great hiking trails all over Korea and I hope to do some epic back packing trips when I am not working. I am incredibly excited about this opportunity and will definitely keep up with my blog and all of the new adventures I will be having.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Downer Avenue and Chicago Criterium

The big super week race on Downer Avenue in Milwaukee was on Saturday evening. it was fast from the get go and all of us from panther were trying to get in a big break. Paul eventually got into a group that lapped the field while I rode near the front of the pack trying to jump into chase groups which didn't really go anywhere. I tried to get a prime but my legs had no sprint. I think I was getting tired from all of the racing over the past 2 weeks. Once Paul lapped we tried to get him to the front but it was really crazy and fast and we were unable to get him past the top 30. Paul finished 7th and I was like 30th.
Sunday was the downtown Chicago criterium and a huge field of over 150 riders showed up. It was a beautiful day with clear skies and mild temperatures. I was really feeling tired today because we weren't able to get lunch because we left late. So I was pretty much starving the whole race. I was able to thow down in one short lived break away and I tried to help chris move up at the end but the race was extremly fast and hard to stay at the front of. The team rode really well as a whole with everyone attacking a lot but no one really had anything for the sprint. I am happy to be done with this huge block of racing and ready to rest and prepare for Downer's grove and the Marion Classic which are my last 2 big races of the season.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Crash, Prime, Broken Chain and more!

So we returned to Superweek on Wednesday. I was the soigneur for the day of the Lake front road race and I handed off water bottles to greg, chris, will and others. It was a fun day and I made some new friends from rock racing and team type 1. I was glad to not be out there suffering for 100 miles. Thursday we raced in Racine on an awesome course. It had 8 turns and a lot of bumps. Halfway through the race the pack was down to about 45 riders out of the 90 or so starters and we had already been lapped by 4 or 5 riders. With 10 laps to go my chain started skipping and i realized it was about to break. So I pulled into the pit with 7 laps to go and SRAM neutral support did an awesome job throwing a new one on and getting me back in the race! Then they rang the prime bell for 40 bucks and I realized that was more than a 25th place finish so I attacked and got it. They rang it again and I tried to keep pushing but I had blown pretty hard and got caught by an Austrian rider with about 50 meters to the line. There was 2 laps to go then and I finished at the back of the pack but at least I got a little bit of money.
Yesterday was kenosha and it was fast!! I went with a few early breaks and wasn't riding super well. With 15 to go I bumped a guys wheel and went down by the start finish line. Don't worry though all I got was some minor scrapes on my knee and elbow. I felt pretty stupid because the crash was my fault. I think i was getting a bit dehydrated and I will definitely bring 3 bottles with me tonight. Chris pulled off and awesome 11th place finish though!
Tonight is the Downer Avenue race which should be awesome and our hosts Mark and MJ will be there to watch us hopefully pull off a good finish! Sunday is the downtown Chicago criterium which has a ton of prize money we will hopefully win!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Troy and Miamisburg!

Saturday we raced in Troy, OH and we pretty much totally panthered(dominated) that race! Jeremy and Paul went 1 and 2. Chris took the field sprint for 4th and greg and i were 10 and 11th. Andy Clarke our manager also raced like a champ and took a bunch of primes! The course was sweet with a lot of turns and a round-about. Kenda and TX roadhouse were there and it was a big battle betwen us.
Sunday we raced in Miamisburg, OH on another good course with a small brick section. Despite our best attempts at breaking away nothing went and the race came down to a field sprint. Ryan and I went into the last 2 corners in pretty good position (both top 10 with a long finish straight) but then the whole kenda train of 3 riders crashed and we slammed on our brakes and lost momentum. Luckily Chris and Jeremy launched around it and got 4th and 5th. Not as great as we had hoped but still pretty good. We are heading back up to Super Week on Wednesday for the road race but I am going to play soigneur for the team and hand off water bottles since 150km road races aren't exactly my thing. I will definitely be hunting for that elusive top 10 superweek finish in the final crits though! My legs are feeling pretty good and this is my last big race/training block before August!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Super Week Yeah!

I had a much better day at super week yesterday in Bensenville. Chris and I both raced very aggressively trying to get in break aways. About halfway through the 60 lap race I was in a break that lasted for about 10 laps but unfortunatly we weren't working well together and got caught. I kept trying to go with moves as did chris but we missed the winning 10 man move!! Darn! I did make it into the next move though and I thought for a while we might catch the leaders. We missed them but sprinted it out for 12th or something like that. I placed 16th and made the hardest won 55 bucks of my life! We went home last night and are racing in Ohio this week before going back to superweek next week! I am definitely feeling much better at this point in the season this year than I did last year when I was burned out. It must be the fact that I barely got to train over the winter. I hope it pays off with some good race results for the rest of the season!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Super Week AHHH!

I have done 2 days of superweek so far and have been pretty happy with how I have been riding but it hasn't really shown in the results yet. Richton park was pretty good I attempted to lead chris to the front on the last lap but he had jumped off my wheel so I wasted my energy and ended up 27th 2 spots out of the money. Chris ended up in 13th though! Yesterday in Arlington heights we had a really tough course and over half the field got dropped. At one point there was a split and Chris was in a lead group of 20 with myself in a pack of less than 30 riders. After 10 or so laps it all came back together. Going into the sprint I was feeling good and I moved into 5th position going into a bunch of tight corners. Unfortunatly I bumped into a guy and knocked my front wheel a bit out of alignment and unclipped my left foot at the same time. So with 1km to go I was unclipped in 5th spot in the pack. So I rolled in a the back of the pack and discovered my fixed my wheel. Very frustrating!!! I was pretty mad at myself for losing the opportunity for a good result. My main goal here is to get in some tough racing so I can be in really great shape for the big crits in August. Today chris and I are racing in Bensenville and then going home for a few days. We are racing some crits near Dayton OH this weekend and then coming back to Superweek for a few more days after that.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Tour de Champaign Crits

We just got back last night from a great weekend of racing in Champaign/Urbana, IL. Vince, Chris, Ryan and I made the trip for the Panther/RGF pb Felt Bicycles team and it paid off with some solid results both days. Saturday was a crit in downtown Champaign on a flat 4 corner course. Texas Roadhouse and a few other strong guys were there and ready to attack. It was pretty much non stop attacking until a big group of 15 or so riders got away. We had Ryan and Vince up there but Chris and I tried to jump on everyone's wheel who went to bridge in an attempt to get up there to help out but we didn't make it. Heading into the sprint I led out Chris around John Grant from Tx Roadhouse but it wasn't quite enough and john got the sprint with Chris and i taking 2nd and 3rd in the field. good enough for 13 and 14 spots. Unfortunatly Vince got crashed out in the last corner by john puffer but Ryan slipped by the crash and took 2nd place.
We stayed with Mark Schwartzendruber and his super nice wife Cathy on Saturday night and they were great hosts! Mark was also the organizer of the weekends events and he did a great job! I highly recommend these races for next year. We also met Randall Coxworth who was staying with Mark as well. He was a pro back in the 90s and regaled us with some good stories.
Sunday was another day and we were hoping to pick up the V. We were aggressive getting guys in every move and eventually Vince got in a break with jeff from ABD and JJ from TX road house. looked like a good move and they were gone. Next chris got in a break with a NUVO rider which almost got caught but Joey Iuliano bridged up and they went away from us again. Unfortunatly Ryan and I were so gassed from following other attacks that we missed the move that actually bridged. Vince ended up 3rd chris won his group for 4th and I got 14th again in the field sprint. A pretty good payday for us heading into superweek. Mad props to Joey for netting a big result for a new cat 2!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

What's up next?

Well after returning to Kansas and putting in some quality time writing my research manuscript up to try and get it published (its almost done!) It is time for another big block of racing to get ready for Downer's Grove. This weekend I and a few teammates are racing in Champaign/Urbana, IL which should be fun. Then Chris and I are heading up to the super week for 3 days of racing. Then I will return to West Lafayette to put a little bit more time in on my manuscript before heading to Dayton, OH for the Tour d'burg and Troy Classic races. After a a few days of rest and writing it will be time to go back to superweek and finish it out with the Chicago criterium. Should be fun and hopefully by the end of it I will be done with the writing and graph making for a little while.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Tour of Lawrence Circuit/ Cat 1 Lifestyle

Yesterday was a killer circuit race in Lawrence on the campus of the University of Kansas. It was an extremely pretty course and it had over 500ft of climbing per 4 mile lap and we had to do 12 laps. To my surprise I actually felt pretty good in the race. I was in the main pack which was quickly disintegrating with a break of 7 up the road when I saw a guy jump on the climb. I grabbed his wheel and we got a gap. Then Heath Blackgrove who was on Toyota United last season bridged to us and started pushing the pace. After 2 or 3 laps of chasing we caught the lead group right at the base of the big steep climb. Someone attacked and I blew up! I got dropped just after we had made the catch so I rode 1.5 laps alone before being caught by the main pack of 10. I jumped with about 350 meters to go in the sprint and got passed by a few guys before the line. I should have waited because I definitely could have done better in the sprint but at least I got $85 for my 19th place finish. I wish I could have had that extra 1% to stay with the lead group but at least my form is steadily improving. Hopefully this is a sign that I will ride well at SuperWeek. I am enjoying this Cat 1 lifestyle of biking, traveling, staying at host housing, attempting to live off prize money, and basically not working for now. I gotta enjoy it now because in the fall I need to join the real world and get a job.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Tour of Lawrence Criterium

Yesterday was an evening crit here in Lawrence, KS. It was the same course I had raced twice before at collegiate nationals only this time it was a smaller and much tougher field. There were a lot of fast guys who were pros last year and I was hoping for a top 10 finish. The race was pretty safe with few crashes but it got really crazy in the last 3 laps. A break of 2 riders managed to stay away from us (Stefan Rothe of Mercy and Heath Blackgrove of Team Hotel San Jose). I was up there but got caught out a little bit in the last km but I managed to hold on to 17th which was good for $95. Not too bad but I was definitely hoping to get a top 10 finish. Today is an extremely hilly circuit race that has me wishing Greg and Dan were here racing because this course looks perfect for them. It should be really fun regardless and I am hoping to finish in the top 20.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Tour of Lawrence, KS Part 1

So a few weeks ago I decided I was going to race the Tour of Lawrence, KS despite the fact that it was 9 hours away. Luckily I convinced Naveen and Joey to make the trip with me. On Thursday afternoon we left and drove to Columbia, MO and stayed with our friend Shannon from Mizzou. Yesterday we finished our drive to Lawrence which is home of the University of Kansas and the site of my first 2 collegiate nationals. We got some sweet host housing near the courses! Last night was street sprints which didn't go so hot as I didn't qualify but I didn't really expect to do well in it. Today is a criterium and hopefully a good opportunity for me to do well. Lawrence seems like a really cool town and we are gonna check it out after the fireworks tonight!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Hyde Park and Grandview

Hyde park is a sweet race! The race started at 8:30 and ended around 9:45 so it was almost completely dark when we finished. The course was sweet with a hairpin turn and a tight back alley section. After the start I worked hard to get to the front of the race which was significanlty easier than riding at the back or in the middle. Coming down to the end of the race I was hoping to get up there for the sprint and I did but I should have moved up more on the last lap instead of waiting to the final straight. I ended up 9th which I definitely feel I could have improved on. Lesson learned for next time.
Grandview was really tough this year. The course has a long hill in it and I was feeling pretty good for the first half of the race but I started fading fast after that. I am definitely tired from all of the racing but I think it will help my form in the long run.
Tomorrow I am leaving to go to Lawrence, KS for the Tour of Lawrence. There are steet sprints Friday night, a crit saturday (same one used in my first 2 college nationals crits) and a super hard looking circuit race on Sunday. Pretty good prize money. It should be a fun long weekend and a good chance to test myself against riders I normally never race against.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tough road race in a skin sut

Yesterday's Fond du Lac road race did not go as well as we had hoped. It was extremely hot (95 and very humid) and a little bit windy on a pretty easy course with a few short hills. The race started off well with Greg making the early break of 8 that got a 4+ minute gap after 2 laps of 8. After 4 laps I decided that I wasn't feeling very good and that I should probably save my energy for the last crit so I packed it in to hand out water bottles. The race started to explode on the next lap and everyone but Vince and Dan dropped out. Most of the field dropped out of the race. Today's course is again in Fond du Lac but it is a 1km 4 corner crit. I hope we can pull off a good ride on our final day of Dairyland.
Also to make the day much harder and funnier I forgot my jersey and had to wear a skin suit in the race!!! I put 2 water bottles down my back and they slid around my back, bounced all over the place and generally made me look like an idiot. I learned my lesson and don't plan to forget my clothes again.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Top 10 Finally!

Yesterday was a big step forward for the team at the TOAD. We were racing in Manitowoc which is on Lake Michigan just south of Green Bay on a flat 4 corner 1km course. It was a pretty good set up for me because the last corner was close to the finish line. We raced aggressively and had Chris in a promising break for a while. Greg and Chris both scored $40 primes for the team and with 5 laps to go Dan let me to the front of the pack and I told him to attack. He bridged up to another rider and they eventually had a group of 5 with a 10 second gap but got caught with 1 lap to go. Greg led me to the front of the field and I jumped on Pat Lemieux of TX roadhouse wheel. On the back stretch I was in 4th behind Bergman and 2 bissell guys. Bergman jumped before the second to last corner and I tried to jump on his wheel but couldn't quite make it. I was in third going into the last corner with 200m to go but my sprint didn't hold off the people who passed me including Ryan but I held on for 9th which I was happy with. Ryan placed 8th. We were all really stoked to finally produce a few top 10 results and score a little bit of money. I definitely need to work on my sprint though! Today is a rest day and Tuesday and Wednesday we are going to race a RR and then a criterium in Fond Du Lac, WI before heading home to rest for a few days before Hyde park and Grandview.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Grafton Twighlight Criterium

Last night was the third stage of Tour of America's Dairyland it it was definitely the fastest so far. It was a crit in Grafton north of Milwaukee and the pace never let up I think we avereaged around 29mph with several laps much faster than that. A break of 7 got away early and we missed it but with around 10 laps to go it appeared that we would catch it. We kept moving towards the front but no one from the team could hold their position up there for more than 1 or 2 laps before being sucked back into the middle of the pack. It came down to the last lap and I launched my self onto third wheel in the pack which i held until about 1km to go when we caught the break and I got swarmed and didn't have the legs to react. Our best result was Chris in 20th. We were all pretty disappointed and realized that we needed to work harder to be at the front and stay there closer to the end of the race. It is definitely a tougher field up here than we would have faced at Tour of Ohio. Today's race is in Manitowoc just south of Green Bay and hopefully we will finally land a guy or 2 in the top 10 at least. I was definitely disappointed in my legs but hopefully these races will help me improve my speed for the end of races.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Waterloo Criterium (TOAD day 2)

Yesterday was the second day of Tour of America's Dairyland and it was a crit near the Trek factory in Waterloo, WI. The course was a 1.6 mile loop with some tight corners and a small hill and a long finishing straight. The race was fast and furious the whole time with a lot of attacks and a 29mph average speed. With about 30 minutes left to race the skies opened up and the course got slickened with rain causing a few crashes. There was a 2 man break up the road and Dan went to the front and reeled it in then Greg, Dan and I went into the last lap well positioned near the front. Chris moved up and then crashed in the second corner but Greg, Dan and I were still in the top 10 going into the hill. Greg attacked but got caught before the finishing straight he was the best finisher in 11th. I blew up in the sprint and got 20th and Dan was 19th. Andy and Vince were right behind us in 21 and 22. Ryan K arrived today and we are hoping we can put together a really good team race. We were on the cusp of it yesterday but should have communicated more in the last few laps. Today is the Grafton Criterium and looks like a good course and good weather. We had a great recovery spin along the Milwaukee lake front today. We watched some volley ball and saw some huge sailboats come in and out of the harbor. Our host Mark has also been awesome.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Tour of America's Dairyland (TOAD) Day 1

Today was the very hilly road race held on the course that they hope to use for the 2016 Chicago Olympics. After preriding on Wednesday I knew it was gonna be a tough day for me and everyone else. It started off with a very fast downhils section for a few miles and then hit some pretty steep rollers. After more descending we hit the first big climb and I was able to barely hang on to the back of the pack. I actually chased back on with 2 other guys right as Chris and Greg crashed. We all caught back up to the back which had slowed significantly on the flat sections of the course. We began the climb up to complete the first lap of 4 and I was feeling OK but not great. While climbing I realized that I could push it hard and make it over with the main group of 30-4o riders but I also realized that i would probably get dropped hard on the next lap. So I conserved a bit and checked out my position at the top and after riding about 1 mile of the next lap decided to call it a day with Andy M. We gave water to Greg and Vince who finished 13th and 11th which was awesome. It turns out there were only 26 finishers! Hopefully I was right to conserve my energy for the rest of the weeks races! Today is a criterium in Waterloo, Wisconsin where Trek bikes are made. I am hoping Panther can pull off some good results against this tough field.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Le Tour (of Mt. Pleasant, MI)

Mt. Pleasant, Michigan put on a great show of racing this weekend. These were some of the best organized first races I have ever participated in. The whole town seemed excited and enthusiastic about us being there to race our bikes and all along our 105 mile road race on Sunday there were big groups of spectators cheering making the race a lot more fun.
This was a really great race weekend and our first racing with the full team plus Paul Martin. The first day was a flat crit with 6 turns and a long finishing straight. I am normally a pretty good crit rider but not as much with long sprints. We decided to be aggressive the whole race attacking and following moves. Chris attacked at one point and got reeled in and then I attacked but was covered in about half a lap and then Greg launched and got a 15 second gap. We blocked well for Greg but he ultimately got caught with 1lap to go. Heading into the last lap Chris, Moskal and I were sitting around 20th position when Moskal told me chris was on my wheel. so I drilled it all the way up to the front and Chris took 2nd in the spint while I blew up and rolled in for around 20th.The next days road race was my first 100 mile plus race of the year. The plan was for me to go for the first points sprint which was 4 miles in. Andy and Vince gave me a great lead out but I didn't quite have the kick I needed and finished just outside the points. After a flurry of attacks and counter attacks a break with Greg and Dan established itself. I knew it would be the winning move because it had all of the big teams represented except Jet Fuel from Canada which kept trying to chase in vain. We continued to go with moves and block as their gap grew. Coming into the sprint I worked my way to the front with PM and Chris on my wheel and I drilled it on the front of the pack from about 1km to go to 500m to go. Then Paul took off and I blew up again. Chris took the field sprint which is exactly what we wanted. I was very pleased how well we raced as a team this weekend and despite not getting any results for myself I had a blast this weekend helping my teammates score some good results. Next up is the first 6 races of Tour of America's Dairy Land followed by the Hyde Park Blast and Tour de Grandview! I hope our team can keep up our great momentum. Also I have been job hunting it up and should finally have something to write about on that front in the next week or 2 so keep checking back.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Refreshing Trip!

I just got back from visiting my good friend Aaron at his place near Bedford, IN.  He lives in the huge hill country of southern Indiana and has 9 miles of mountain bike trails at his house.  Will came down too and we went for 2 laps of his super technical and fun trails.  Then his mom made us stir fry with vegetables from her garden and this fungus protein stuff called Quarn that I thought was chicken.  We had homemade corn muffins and pie too!  It was amazing.  Yesterday we went hiking around some state parks and climbed around a bunch of slippery rocks to look in a cave that had water pouring out of it.  Southern Indiana is pretty sweet!!  Then we did a super hilly 25 mile road ride and had more organic food for dinner again!!!  Overall it was a great trip and I definitely hope to go back for some more awesome riding before the summer is over!

Monday, June 8, 2009

ABR Crit Weekend

This past weekend we raced in Winfield, IL. This is the third time I have done these races and did very well last year with a 2nd place. I knew that Chris was on good form after getting creamed by him in some sprints on Wednesday afternoon. With that in mind we decided that Chris should be the designated sprinter for the weekend. We were in every break on Saturday evening and worked well to set Chris up to take several primes. Greg did a huge lead out the last time up the climb for Chris and he placed 2nd. I felt OK but not great and couldn't get in a good position for the final sprint. I finished 20th place.
Sunday was another good race for the team. There were a few small attacks at the beginning and after about 10 laps of 40 Chris got in a break with Mike Sherer and Josh Carter which I knew was gonna be the winning break because it contained some of the best riders from the best teams in the race. Greg and I patrolled the front jumping on any move that went. Chris' group got about a minute gap at the most and the race got more and more aggressive as it wore on. Coming into 5 laps to go I knew it would be a field sprint. On the last lap I jumped on Ben Renkema's (a teammate of mine from last year) and went for it down the last straight for 8th place with Ryan placing 5th. The race was a text book example of teamwork in action. More of that is sure to come this weekend when we assemble the full team in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

more riding!

After a brief hiatus from riding due to a huge storm on Monday I rode 3 hrs on tuesday and 3.5 on wednesday.  Today I did a nice 2 hour recovery ride.  All of these rides have gone on at least one road that I have never ridden meaning they made teh ride that much more epic and passion filled for me!  I hope all of this training pays off over the next few weeks.  This weekend I will be in Winfield for the crits.  My research project writing is coming along nicely too!  I am making good progress toward my goal of having it ready to submit to a journal on June 15!  I am also job hunting but I am not gonna post anything about it until I actually have a job.  Keep checking though I hope to get it figured out in the next month or so.  

Monday, June 1, 2009

Training Week!

I have ridden a lot in the past week.  I got 2 hours in Tuesday, 4 Wednesday, 3 Thursday 4 friday, 3 Saturday (plus we helped my friend Whitney move into her sweet new apartment for like 4 hours) and a century on Sunday!  Sunday's ride was by far teh most epic.  I decided I would ride my bike to Zionsville where my parents were because they are visiting the US for a few weeks.  It is only 55 miles on the highway but due to the fact that I wanted to take country roads it would take me about 60-65 miles.  I made it all the way to Lebanon on my intuition meaning I went only south or east and a lot of it was on 1 lane dirt roads!!! Then after grabbing a snack in lebanon I rolled out of town heading what I thought was straight east.  It ended up being north and I ended up back on State road 47 which was about 5 miles north of the town!  Oops.  So I found a dirt road back and finally ended up at my parents house after 75 miles.  My mom made me some awesome food for a snack and then my dad and I headed out and rode 25 hilly miles around the north west part of Indianapolis.  It was a great day of riding with even nicer weather.  This week I plan to continue to put in some long miles on the bike to prep for Tour of mt. Pleasant and the America's Dairyland Races.  I will also work hard with my writing on my research project!!  

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day

Our team had a great weekend of racing. I had an OK one but I think my form is on its way up! Friday we had an 80 mile road race and Greg did an awesome attack near the end but it got caught with about 1k to go. I ended up 22nd in the field sprint and chris took 8th. Pretty good. Snakey alley was another story and this was my 3rd year in a row of finishing about 50th place in that race and getting pulled. I didn't have a very good start which is normally something I am good at and I just didn't have a ton of endurance to really power after the climb. However Paul got 2nd, Dan got 7th, and vince and chris both placed in teh top 20! Awesome riding by all of them! Sunday was muscatine and I placed 20th after trying to lead chris and myself up the inside on the climb when we really should have gone on the outside. Monday greg got 2nd place in a break with Adam Bergmann. It was an awesome finish for him and he really deserves it! I got caught behind a crash in the sprint and got 26th one spot out of the money. Overall a very fun weekend with the team and I am looking forward to racing with this great group of guys for the rest of the summer! Up for this week is a lot of long passion rides to get some good form in my legs for the Tour of mt. pleasent, tour of america's dairyland and the Tour de grandview. I hope I can pull off a few good results at these races!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

What now?

Now that graduation, eye surgery, natz and finals are over it is time to get refocused both on training and on getting my research project that i have spent over 2 years working on published in a journal.  Today I met with my professor and we came up with the goal of getting it ready to be published by June 15.  I mostly have a little bit more statistical analysis to do and some graphs to revise.  Sounds easy right?  So hopefully I will be able to get it done on schedule.  For the rest of the summer I am basically working on that and biking.  it should be pretty fun.  I am really stoked to race for the first time this weekend with my Panther/RGF pb Felt Bicycles teammates at Quad Cities.  I am hoping to pull off a few good finishes this weekend and help my teammates do the same.  I hope everyone is enjoying their summer!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Graduation Day!

Wow there are have been a lot of big changes in my life lately and today is no exception.  In a few hours I will officially be a graduate of Purdue University.  My vision is pretty good after the surgery but it is probably at about 85% of perfect right now.  The doctor said over the next few weeks it will keep getting better.  I am not allowed to ride until monday but I am looking forward to it and racing in Iowa next weekend!  I also spent a few hours putting the new Ultegra on my Felt F1.  I am happy to say I haven't lost my ability to build a bike half decently.  I am excited for the ceremony today both of my grandmas came one from Indiana and one from Washington DC.  It still hasn't sunk in yet that I am done with college but I think it will soon.  Keep checking back to the blog for a big announcement about my future plans over the next few weeks!  

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Another big day!

After today I am not going to need to wear glasses anymore!!  That's right I am going to be getting LASIK surgery today!  I am a little bit nervous but I think it will be OK.  I am looking forward to getting to wear a variety of sunglasses while riding or no sunglasses at all!  
Anyway we got home safely from Colorado after a lot of driving and I have basically been relaxing and doing some stuff since I got back.  My college graduation ceremony is this Saturday and both of my grandmas are coming which should be very exciting!  So next time you see me prepare to be surprised I will be both a college graduate and someone that doesn't need to wear glasses !  

Saturday, May 9, 2009

sick but somehow doing well in the race!

Today was the criterium at Collegiate nationals.  It ended with a field sprint and Chris got 9th and I was 10th.  We both acheived our goals of a top 10 finish and we couldn't be more stoked.  Both of us just sat in for most of the race and then we moved up with 5 laps to go.  It was pretty hairy at the end as there was a break and U Vermont was on the front chasing.  We caught them with about 500m to go and I moved myself into good position but didn't have much left for the finishing stretch.  Chris passed me just a bit before the line but I am completely pleased with how the race went because I felt pretty cruddy this morning.  I was coughing up a storm after the race but after some hot water we decided to go ride Rist Canyon which is a 10 mile climb just outside of town.  It was painful with but well worth the ride. It was incredibly beatiful and we even saw snow near the top!!  Given being sick I am extremely happy with how I rode today.  Lets hope once I get better I can find some good form for the big crits coming up in Iowa.  Tomorrow we are gonna go for a ride in the morning and then drive to nebraska.  Feel free to call me in the afternoon or all day monday because we will be in the car.  

Friday, May 8, 2009

Sick and not doing well in the race

Today was the Road race and it did not go as planned.  I have been sick for the past week+ with a cold that won't go away and when I woke up this morning I didn't very good.  I haven't felt very fast the past few days and today was no exception. I got dropped on the first big climb and didn't feel like fighting for 50th place.  So I rode to the finish line a bit early and couldn't stop coughing the whole way.  It kind of sucked but at least I got to watch the race which was fun.  No one from my team did particularly well.  Tomorrow is the crit and hopefully I can at least make it though without getting dropped.  maybe I can sprint.... I guess we will see.  I am still coughing a lot today.  I don't know what I have but it is basically a cold that won't go away.  I think moving all of my finals may have caused a lot of extra stress and lost sleep causing me to get really sick.  I guess you can't win em all.  I am still having a fun time out here in colorado and am looking forward to riding the crit tomorrow!  

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Gettin Ready for the Big Dance!

I've been in Colorado preparing for nationals for 2 days and the Road race is tomorrow!  Unfortunately I am still a little bit sick with a cold and I cough after I ride hard but I am slowly getting better and will hopefully feel good tomorrow.  I am riding pretty well but the altitude is really killer.  We are staying with Jake and his fiance Alyssa who are both recent Purdue alums out in Loveland, CO and we are only about 15 miles from the race courses.  I am excited and nervous for my last collegiate natz and I hope I can pull off a good result.  It is incredibly beatiful out here and today we rode a 3 mile climb that had awesome views.  We might try to get in some more nice rides after the crit on Saturday and maybe sunday morning before we begin our incredibly long drive home!  I bought a disposable camera so I promise there will be pictures some time!!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Almost There!

Only 2 tests and one large manuscript stand between me and being done with school!!! If all goes as planned (which it will I will be done with all of that on Monday and in the car on the way to Colorado for nationals by Monday at 4pm. I should be working on studying or something but I wanted to post an update. Since regionals I got really busy of course but still managed to squeeze in a few short rides. I got a cold too but I am almost over it now. Friday I had a little "graduation party" and to my pleasent surprise my friends Dr. Sean and Sean Metz came down from Chicago to celebrate with me. It was a fun time for all with dancing, korean bbq, and other festivities. Most of the cycling club came out and it was a great way to say good bye to everyone who is leaving for the summer before I graduate. Saturday morning after cleaning up I went out for a nice 3 hour ride on my sweet Felt F1. I actually did an interval too on some of the hills near Battle Ground. I think my average speed was almost 30km/hr which I know thanks to my awesome CatEye Strata computer. Today I hope to put in another 3-4 hours on the bike to prep for the road race on Friday and the Crit Saturday. Wish me luck for getting all my academic stuff finished!

Monday, April 27, 2009


Saturday may have been the most epic race I have ever done. It was definitely the hardest I have ever worked in a race. It was an 80 mile road race in the hills of South east Ohio and it was about 85 degrees at the start. The race started and a break that included my old friend Matt Jones. That break had a 12 minute gap after 20 miles!!!!! There were 2 tough climbs each lap and another break went on the second lap of 4. I decided I should be in it so I bridged up on the descent and flats which was really hard. I made it up and then we dropped the Wisco guy on a climb. It was me, 2 marians, Clayton from LWC and Will Nowak from Northwestern. We were motoring and by the end of the lap had caught the entire break and dropped most of them. A Wisco and Tim from Lindenwood managed to hang on. Our group of 6 ended up being the winning group. I felt pretty good but unfortunately I screwed up my feeds and ended up getting water instead of Heed for 2 laps which caused major cramping problems for me on the last lap. Will and the Marian guys rolled away from me and Tim on a climb but Tim and I worked together to the finish. I was basically dying the entire 20 mile last lap and Tim beat me in the sprint because I was cramping so bad I couldn’t really pedal. I was very happy to take 5th in the regionals road race though and pretty much clinch my nationals spot. Joey broke away on the last lap to take 11th. It was a weird race with huge gaps between groups. Luckily there was a lake at the course to cool off in.
The crit didn’t go as well. I ended up in the break that got away and lapped the field but they kept attacking and I was so tired from the day before chasing every move was just killing me. I ended up back in the pack after 20 minutes of being off the front constantly chasing down attacks! Chris managed to get away for 9th and I won the field sprint for 12th. I am getting pumped up for nationals. My goal is the podium but I will be extremely pleased with another top 10 in either the RR or crit. I can’t believe I am graduating! Only 6 more days of school left for me and then off to Colorado for my last collegiate race ever!!!! This week I am taking a few finals early and going to Warsaw for the RR on Saturday. I also plan to try to train hard to build up my form a bit more.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

New Orleans!!!!!!

I spent the last 4 days in New Orleans at the Experimental Biology conference, which is national meeting for the American Society for Nutrition. New Orleans is an amazingly awesome and crazy city! We had a ton of fun going out on Bourbon street. You can drink on the street there and it is like a football game weekend only crazier every day! The conference was good as well. I presented my research on exercise’s effects on appetite and food intake on a poster and people came to ask me questions about it. I also went to a lot of talks and got some good information and ideas for potential graduate school studies in the future.
I also found out that I didn’t get a dietetic internship on Sunday night, which is a mixed blessing for me. I would have done one if I had gotten it but at the same time I really want to do something fun for the next few years and something that I will really enjoy. I don’t know what I am going to do yet but I do know that I will be staying around West Lafayette to race bikes and work at my lab until August.
We ate a lot of great food and down there in New Orleans! I had never tried a raw oyster before and Abita beer and hurricane drinks are also good. I did manage to lift and ride the exercise bike in the hotel a few times as well. I probably logged 6+ miles of walking every day as well. Today we took a ferry across the Mississippi river to walk around the Old Algiers neighborhood. It was a really cute part of town with lots of little houses. New Orleans probably has the most dubz per capita of any city I have ever been in. It was like a car show! We also went out to a dance club one night that literally played all of my favorite rap music! I think they played 4 different soulja boy songs! I would love to visit New Orleans again in the future it was a really great time.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Science, new bike, new kit

We got our new kits over this past weekend and they look awesome! We also just got our Ritchey bars and stems in too. Now my bike is fully built up and ready to go complete with Cateye cycling computer! Yesterday was my first ride with a cycling computer in about 5 years. I am kind of excited to actually know how far I have ridden and how fast I am going since it has been since I was 16 since I last had a cycling computer.

In other news I am leaving for New Orleans on Friday for the big conference. I am excited and nervous but I am confident that it will go well since I know my own research pretty well. I will also be finding out Sunday at Midnight where my dietetic internship is going to be! Lots of exciting things this weekend and in the coming weeks with the end of my collegiate cycling career as well as my upcoming graduation. My stomach also finally started to feel better yesterday which is good news so that I can eat all of the spicy food in New Orleans. Maybe I will buy a disposable camera for new orleans so I can take a few pictures. Good luck to everyone racing this weekend in Wisconsin!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Epic Ride to Illinois

This past weekend I decided I would combine 2 things I really like; visiting my girlfriend and epic bike rides.  So I decided I would ride my sweet new Felt F1 (pics coming soon!) from West Lafayette to Urbana, IL a ride of about 90 miles.  I left Saturday morning at 9:45 and it took me about 5:15 to get there with a cross/tail wind most of the way.  It is an extremely beautiful ride!  The hills in Warren County, IN are amazing with rocks, cliffs, streams and forest everywhere.  I even spent a few miles on dirt roads which the bike handled excellently.  After riding through Kickapoo state park the ride got a little less epic.  I rode the same road for 25 miles in  almost a completely straight line!!  It was cool sort of because the road was really narrow and basically only wide enough for one car.  Along the way there were also quite a few crazy dogs.  Once I arrived at my girlfriend Ellen's place I realized something was wrong with my stomach.  She had made an awesome lunch of chinese foods for me but I could barely eat.  My stomach felt like it was gonna explode after just a few bites.  So I basically didn't eat hardly anything for the next 2 days in order to try to get rid of the problem.  Thankfully on Sunday Ellen drove me to Kickapoo state park to start my ride home which cut out the 25 miles of boring roads.  It was still tough because I couldn't eat anything so I did the whole ride on 3 bottles of gatorade!  There was a killer head wind too (how often does the wind come from the East??!!)  I bonked pretty well with about 25 miles left and I broke my chain but i fixed it and made it home in time to continue not eating for the next 24 hours.  My stomach is still not completely better but at least I am able to get some food down.  Any ideas as to what might be wrong with my stomach are welcome.  Thanks for reading.  

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Home Race!!

This past Saturday was the Purdue Road Race and Team Time Trial. I wasn't the official organizer this year because I was sort of teaching Joey and Brian how to organize the race so they could do it completely without me next year. They did a great job and everything went really smoothly. I think it was even better than when I organized it the past 2 years especially with having plenty of volunteers. The racing was fast and furious and most importantly no one got hurt. I don't think there was a single crash in the road race for any category. My races went well. We got 3rd in the TTT even beating Lindenwood who had gotten us at Depauw. We rode very well together and I think we have a good shot at getting 3rd at regionals even. The road race was good too. I wasn't feeling very strong this week but I was feeling good after the TTT. I missed the winning break of 12 at first but after 1 lap I had joey up the pace leading up to Eagle hill and then I attacked at the bottom and managed to bridge the gap a few hundred meters after the top of the hill. The group ended up being 3 marian, 3 lindsey wilson, 2 lindenwood, Chris and me. I was happy we both made it. The last trip up the hill there were some attacks and I was riding so hard I was cross eyed. I managed to hang on but I was spent for the final trip up the hill and only managed 8th place. I still earned some good points towards nationals and Chris Won. He outsprinted everyone up the hill! It was awesome to finally see a Purdue rider win our home race in the A category. Stephen also won for Purdue in the Men C category. The crit at Marian got cancelled for the Men A due to a thunderstorm which sucked because I could really use the points for my individual score towards nationals qualifying. I won't be in Wisconsin because I will be presenting the research I did all of the last year at the national meeting for the American Society for Nutrition ( Pretty exciting stuff. Well I better get back to doing school work and writing my research project.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Finally I did well!!!

I got 4th and 8th this past weekend at U of Michigan and Michigan State U. I am really pleased to have final done well in some races and earn some points towards going towards nationals. It looks like it will be a battle to qualify for nationals either as a team or individual but I am up to the challenge and am ready to throw down both this weekend and at Regionals at OSU.
My result Saturday was better than I expected but somehow I made the right moves. I ended up in a break with 3 marian riders and me! I was really tired and could barely pull but I managed to hold their wheels and it was only fair to let them get 1-3 because they were nice enough not to attack and drop me which would have resulted in me getting caught and passed by a lot of other riders. Sundays race was a bit weird with about 15 of us sprinting at the end and a Marian rider off the front. Chris and I finished 8th and 9th but we probably could have done better if we had sprinted earlier. My only goal with this collegiate season is to get to nationals so I can hopefully improve on my 8th place in the crit last year and to have a great final season with my Purdue team that I and my teammates have worked hard to build into one of the biggest and funnest teams in the Midwest Collegiate Cycling Conference. This weekend is our road race on a course that I helped design 3 years ago. I hope I can pull off a good result in front of my home crowd!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Double post (I wrote it in the car on the way to Arkanas last week)

This was another busy week but Day light savings time let me ride every day which was great. I could come home from school at 6pm and still get in an hour ride! I am sitting in the car driving to Arkansas for spring break as I write this. I had a test Friday which went pretty well (I think) and I had a major paper due as well. I also had a food demonstration for my nutrition communication class. Think a 10 minute version of a cooking show and that is what we did for my class. We partnered up and had to make 2 things for our class. Basically we all made awesome food and got our breakfast and lunch in class. My partner Anna and I made granola bars and a strawberry banana smoothie. The granola bars were amazing and very chocolaty. That was probably the most fun class of the semester. We ate chicken pot pies, fruit pizzas, smoothies, salsas, and much more. I am really glad to be on spring break now. I am still gonna try to get ahead on homework but I plan to ride and relax some as well. Also we celebrated Joey’s 21st birthday on Thursday which was really fun. Happy Birthday Joey I am looking forward to more fun before I graduate. Sunday is the Hell’s Kitchen Road race which should be fun. I am betting on Greg, Naveen and Joey to win each of their categories.

Now I understand!!

I finally figured out why people in Arkansas drive beat up old pick up trucks. On Friday Naveen and I decided to drive to White Rock Mountain and do an epic hike. We got an epic drive as well. It was 25 miles of crazy steep, narrow and rocky dirt roads to get to this place. I thought the little Honda Fit was gonna shake apart! It was well worth the drive however and we got a really epic hike. There were water falls, cliffs, and lots of rocks. The reason we were hiking was the fact that I got a saddle sore which made riding for most of the week pretty painful. This has been a recurring problem for me as many of you know but I made the best of it and did 2 epic hikes in between the rides. With 20 people this still proved to be a pretty epic spring break trip. One night myself and 3 others spent 2 + hours preparing BBQ chicken for 20 people. We basically used every dish from all 3 of our cabins and then spent over 1 hour doing dishes. It was well worth it. It is just now sinking in that this is gonna be my last spring break trip. I can’t believe in less than 3 months I will be done with college!! Every year I come back from Arkansas wanting more and saying that I am gonna move there someday! We will see in April after I find out about the dietetic internships!