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.