Monday, March 22, 2010

everland and suwon fortress and riding with my club again

This last weekend was again super busy. Last week I got 2 good rides in and then it snowed again! But I found a new fire road climb that leads to the top of another near by mountain range meaning I discovered a bunch of new descents and trails to try out. Unfortunatly I haven't had a free weekend day to go ride out there and explore more. I was planning to ride out there this afternoon but it started snowing at noon and now there is 5 inches on the trails agian! I hope it melts soon so I can get back out riding soon. This weekend was really fun. Friday night was a get together for all the male teachers at school. We played volley ball, korean pool and went out to dinner. Saturday I went to everland with some friends. Everland is Korea's version of Disney world and its only 20 minutes from my house! It wasn't a very nice day weather wise (45 and rainy and cloudy) so we practically had the park to ourselves. That turned out to be my undoing. I guess I'm not as good at riding roller coasters as I used to be! I rode 4 rides in 30 minutes and my stomach couldn't take anymore. i ran off the roller coaster and tossed my cookies. Fortunatly there are other things to do there than roller coasters so we spent some time recovering and looking at teh big zoo they had. I got to feed raw chicken to a tiger at the zoo! It was pretty cool. After everland we walked around the Yongin central park and went to bed early from the exhausting day. Sunday my bike club came to Yangji again! We tried out a different set of trails this time and they were even more impressed. 15 people came this time. Its definitely nice having them come to Yangji to ride it saves me the 45 minute ride to the shop to ride somewhere else. Sunday afternoon I met up with Allan, Jissu and Mandy to walk around the Suwon Hwaseong fortress. It was nice weather but pretty windy. I got some new cycling tights for 10 bucks at the city market too. It was a great weekend overall. This week should be pretty busy as my after school program is starting but thats good new since it means I will make some extra money.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Korean bike club visit to Yangji

So after freaking out about the snow it melted about as quickly as it arrived. By thursday the conditions were good enough that my bike team decided to have the Saturday Mountain bike ride right here in Yangji. I was the guide and about 15 riders came to yangji at 8:30am last saturday morning for what would turn into a pretty nice mudfest. Unfortunately the best trails were still snowed in because they were on the shady side of the mountains but 2 good loops were totally snow free. They thoroughly enjoyed my trails (especially because unlike other places in korea there are almost no hikers here in Yangji). I also got to see our sweet team van which has a 10 bike rack and seats for 10 people. This season should definitely be fun everyone on the team is really friendly and willing to help me improve my korean. I got a few lessons in politeness this ride. Age is really important in korea and there are several different ways of speaking to people based on age. I didn't know the most polite form of how to say "lets go" until this ride. Last weekend was a also fun because it was my good friend Allan's birthday party Saturday night. Sunday I went up to Seoul and went hiking with Peter and Danny. It was a pretty tiring weekend and I fell asleep at 9pm Sunday night! It looks like its gonna be a great week here. Yesterday after work I drove down to Chung Buk province to visit one of my best Korean friends Yeon Gee from the camp 2 years ago. He is leaving to go to America for 3 months on Wednesday! Up for the rest of the week is studying korean at my new korean language school and riding my bike on trails a lot!.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

It snowed again!

It just snowed 5 inches here last night but unfortunately for me the ski resort is closed for the season!!! I guess march snow is pretty unusual here. I just got my mountain bike all fixed up and ready to ride too! I had to buy a new chain and cassette and do a bunch of fine tuning to get it working but now I think I am good to ride for a while. Buying bike parts here is a little more expensive than the US but the labor is free and they fix your bike immediately while you wait. I am officially in the Suwon Alpha Mtb club now too. I got a jersey and everything and I am looking forward to my first race with them in mid april. Its a mountain bike hill climb but I guess its primarily held on roads. Yesterday the club president and Vice president were at the shop and my friend Ik Son who is my age and also races bikes with the club(and sort of speaks english) and they said its a pretty fun race. I guess the week after that there is a race in Asan too which they said is one of the best XC mtb races in Korea. I don't really think I will be all that good at doing hill climbs (especially not as the first race of the year!!!) but it will be an interesting change of pace. I am already missing collegiate racing a lot after talking to Joey, Sarah and the other people from the Purdue team. I still don't even have a road bike( or the money to buy one for that matter). The team actually has a van(a 9 passenger van with racks a paint job and everything). and I guess we take it to all the team races which should be fun and a good way for me to learn a lot of korean. Another intersting difference between korean bike racing and american is that here my jersy size is XXL!!!!!! In america I was a small or medium!!! Anyway I am getting pretty excited to do some racing soon even though I haven't trained at all. It will be fun to do some completely no pressure racing.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Spring is here ski season is almost over.

After my parents left the weather totally changed here! It was like 50 (10 degrees C) every day for a week and almost melted all the snow at the ski resort. Fortunately I have been able to ski a few more times but the resort is closing on this Sunday. So it looks like its time for me to start riding my bike again I and getting in shape for what should be a fun season of racing mountain bikes. With that in mind I finally washed my bike and fixed it up a bit after not riding it for about 2 months! Next week after the resort is closed Im gonna start riding on the road after school. Nothing too exciting has happened since my parents left. I just tried to ski and get as much use out of my season pass as I could. I learned how to snowboard also and I think next year I will try to become really good at both skiing and snowboarding. English camp has finally finished and the new school year started this week. I enjoyed English camp but its definitely more fun to have all of the kids at school. I don't have any super big plans for anything coming up except starting Korean language class again next week and getting back on my bike and hopefully doing some riding with my club before racing starts up in late april.