Tuesday, April 27, 2010

a lot of rain!

This last week has had a lot of rain it seems like. I need to go riding to get back in shape for the race i have next wednesday (its a national holiday called children's day) but I have only ridden once in teh past week! It was a great ride though! There is a mountain bike club for foreigners based out of seoul and they came out to Yangji to go riding on Saturday. They actually have a really nice trail that I have never ridden that is only about 3 miles from my house! So I met up with them saturday morning. it was a really great trail they had (5 miles of gradually down hill single track) with a minimal hike a bike sections. After the ride we had a big barbeque too which was really great! Sunday I went out to my friend SangMi's cabin in yang pyeong again! It was even better than when I went there in the winter time! Really warm weather during the day! we had a barbeque and enjoyed the sunshine we also went into the town and walked along the river. I even went swimming in the Han river(which had a really muddy bottom!) Another good but tiring weekend! Its rained the last 3 days now! so I hope it clears up so I can do a decent ride on thursday! My race next week is a 17km road criterium on mountain bikes. there are about 100 people signed up for my category so it should be interesting. I'm hoping for a field sprint! I also hope that even though I barely ride here I can pull off a podium finish for my team!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pictures from my race and of my bike club

Riding in Osan which is about 35 km south and west of my house. There are a lot of spring flowers every where in Korea.
Near the finish of the Misiryeong hill climb race. Ouch!!

Me and my teammate Ik Son. He is the same age as me and is a really good rider. He speaks English very well too.

Monday, April 12, 2010

A birthday a bike race and raw fish!

My birthday was last Friday so now I am officially 23! Koreans count age differently though so I have been 24 since January first here. When you are born in Korea you are considered 1 year old and then on january 1st you turn 2. Which is why I am 24 years old here. My birthday party was pretty fun some of my friends and I went to a Korean barbeque buffet!! It was great lots of different kinds of meats that you cooked at your table. After that we went out to a singing room and ate cake. It was a lot of fun thanks to all my friends that came! Saturday afternoon I went to my bike shop to leave for my first bike race of the year. I have some pictures that I will post on Thursday of the trip. 7 of us went in our van out to Sokcho which is on the east sea of Korea. It was about a 3 hour drive. After driving the course(which was a 21km hill climb that started on the ocean) I was a little scared of the race! The top of the mountain still had a lot of snow and I knew it would be a really tough race. For dinner we went and had sashimi or raw fish because we were on the ocean. It was really good but I think that was definitely one of the weirdest pre race dinners I've ever had! Saturday morning the race started at 8:30am so we had to wake up really early! I was excited to finally race and see what teh competition in my group was like (19-29 year old men riding mountain bikes). There was about 50 in my group at the start. It quickly thinned into a pack of about 10 riders after we hit a few small climbs and then was down to 5 of us by the time the real climb started. Then after about 1km of real climbing we were all on our own. I had to finish in the top 3 in my group to get a prize and I could see 3rd the whole race but I couldnj't quite match his pace and he was putting a few seconds on me each kilometer! I finished 4th which was good but I definitely need to step up my riding if I want to be able to do well in these hill climb races! It was probably the most epic race course I have ever done though it was extremly beatiful and challenging. A girl team mate of mine won the women's mountain bike category and my friend Andre also won the masters men road bike category! I had a lot of fun and I really want to race more now!! I think the next race Im doing is in a few weeks. Its a road criterium on mountian bikes with slick tires. Should be a little more suited to my skills than a hill climb race!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Great riding!!

This past weekend I finally got in some serious riding again! I have my first race of the year this weekend so I really needed to get some good miles and climbing in. There was a big network of fire roads that I had seen hiking that I kept meaning to go ride but I didn't have time. So Saturday morning I didn't make any plans and I rode straight there after getting up. It was amazing riding 2-3 mile fire road climbs that went all the way up the ridge line of mountains and it was all rideable ( a lot of the trails here have hike a bike sections because they are so steep and rocky). It was great training and I found a bunch of new single track descents that I need to go back and ride. I got in a 4 hour ride and it felt great to finally do some real riding again! Sunday I threw some slick tires on my mountain bike and went road riding. Again I found some amazing new roads! I am feeling pretty good but I have no idea how I will do in this weekends race! Sunday afternoon my friend Seung Mi and I went to a baseball game in Incheon(about 50 minutes in the car). It was only 8 bucks and we had a blast! We went to Wolmi Island after the race and had some grilled clams, oysters and other seafood too! I was happy to find out that its only going to cost $50 for the race weekend though! My team has a van we are driving and all we have to pay for food gas and lodging is $20 bucks!(race entry was 30). Hopefully I find some good climbing legs and can get a good result. Then I will be really motivated to do some more mountain bike races. Wish me luck this weekend! I promise to post some pics from the trip!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

finally nice weather!

The weather has gotten a lot better here in Korea! I have been riding a lot after school and trying to get in shape for my first race of the year next weekend! A 21 km mass start hill climb is gonna be a lot different than any other race Ive done before Im sure. Last weekend I rode with a new Korean bike friend and went hiking with Allan to a Chon Gye Mountain in the south part of Seoul. I forgot my camera though! Yesterday I actually had the day off from school because it was the 102nd anniversary of my school opening! I went with my friend Eun Jong to the Korean War memorial in Seoul. It was really intersting to learn about the Korean war. I didn't know a lot about the war before I went and I didn't realize that the south was almost defeated at one point! This weekend Im gonna go to Hong Dae with my friends which is a famous part of seoul for clubbing. Should be fun I will hopefully also get some good riding in!