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!!

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