Sunday, June 27, 2010

World cup Craziness

Koreans are crazy about the world cup!!! Its a lot more intense than any other sporting event I have every experienced in america. Korea had a game this past saturday night against Uruguay so I went with a few of my friends to watch it out doors at the Yongin Soccer stadium. There were a ton of people there! Everyone was wearing red Korea shirts too (me included). We watched the game on a huge screen and it was like being there. Everyone was cheering and going crazy. Korea scored once to tie the game 1 1 and everyone was jumping up and down and hugging!! it was really fun but unfortunately Uruguay scored another goal and won. Too bad all the world cup craziness here is now over! Sunday I went out to Incheon! I hung out with my friend Brittany! we went to the ocean and went to Wolmi Island which is kind of like a big amusement park. They have this ride that spins around and bounces up and down and you have no seat belts. This guy controls it and he has a microphone and he talks to you and makes comments about the people on the ride. There was a crowd of probably 300 people watching everyone get bounced around! The guy controlling it picks out people and tries to make them fall out of their seat or slide into the randome person they are sitting next too. It looked really fun! So I really wanted to ride it even though I have a weak stomach! it was awesome for the first 5 minutes then I started getting sick and had to focus on not barfing! The ride lasted 15 minutes!!! I felt really sick but I didn't barf! Brittany and I both had really sore arms after the ride but it was totally worth it! although I donj't know if I will ever ride it again. After that we went to Incheons China town and Freedom park which were both cool and china town had awesome food. Anyway Incheon is pretty cool and we had amazing weather too! Up for this next week is a lot of bike riding since I have a race on sunday out in Gangwon Province.! 50km with 3 bigish climbs! Im gonna win this time!

Monday, June 21, 2010

finally doing well in a bike race!!!

I got 2nd in my race last weekend and finally got on the podium here in korea. It was a 70km road race with 2 mountains but it was a lot more complicated than that because it was by age group and there were 2 timed races in one and the sum of the times is what determined the result. The first part was from the start to the top of a big 10km or so climb. I got dropped and finished like 6th in my group thinking oh man I wonj't drop these guys on the next climb. But we restarted at the descent of the climb and they timed from the bottom of the descent to the finish as well. so all of the guys who were relatively close on time started together again(but you got to chose when you started) so a big group of us who were all close plus a bunch of fast people from other age groups all started the second part together. there was a shorter steeper 5km climb on the second part of the course. My teammate Scott (who was leading the 38-48 year old age group)pushed the pace and we dropped everyone except one other guy from my age group by the top. After that we pace lined together to the finish and I ended up moving into second in my group! The prize for second in my age group was 90 pounds of rice!!!! My team ended up getting second in the team competition too which was based on age group results so we won 500 bucks to split between 4 guys! The race also had free lunch and Makkoli(korean rice wine) for afterwards! All for 20 bucks! This has me really excited to do some more racing but it looks like there is only one more race coming up anytime soon its a 50km road race with 3 small mountains in it! sounds like a better course for me than 1 huge mountain and one small one.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

how to break your mountain bike a lot!

So I had a lot of bike breakage this past week! I guess thats what happens when you ride a 3 year old mountain bike with 6 year old wheels a lot on super rocky trails. Last friday I cracked my rear hub! It was a 6 year old Hugi hub that I got as a high school graduation present! I could still roll the wheel but then you pedaled nothing happened. so I had to push my bike 3km home!
I bought a new rear wheel at my bike shop and then I had a race on sunday. (which ended up getting turned into a fun ride because it rained so much that the creek crossings on the course became super dangerous). In the race my cleat came loose and so did my rear break wire! ahhh!! anyway I guess I got lucky that it was a fun ride instead of a race. I still had a good time riding the course with my team though. It was definitely the hardest mtb course I have ever done. It climbed for about 45 minutes right off the start! up to about 3000 feet and then you rode on a huge ridge with awesome views on super duper bumpy rocky fire roads. It would have been a fun course to race on but I liked getting to enjoy the view a bit too. The race was in Gapyeong county which is a famous place in korea for hiking and big mountains. I definitely plan to come back next year to that race. During the race as well my front fork basically stopped working so it looks like I need to take that to my bike shop to get the oil changed! mountain biking definitely isn't the cheapest hobby in the world but I definitely wanna keep tearing up the trails out here. Up for this weekend is another race. This time an 87km road race near the border with North Korea! I better be careful. It should be another beatiful course. It has 2 big mountain climbs in it.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Friends birthday party and yongin 5 day market

Last weekend was another good one with lots of stuff packed in. Friday night I met up with my new friend Sean who is a Korean university student who is volunteering at my school every friday. we ate pizza and he is a really cool guy. Saturday I went biking in the morning and got a flat tire! I got bitten by a million mosquitos while changing it too! Saturday afternoon my friends brittany and allan came to Yongin and we went to the traditional market where I picked up 3 new shirts for 11 bucks! The Yongin market happens on the 5, 10, 15,20,25 of every month and has the best deals in town on basically everything from vegetables to toys to clothes! After that we enjoyed some Sundae guk and went to the Yongin Agricultural Theme park which also happens to be really close to my house. Its free for any Yongin City resident (meaning me) but it wasn't quite as cool as I expected there is a bunch of flowers and trees and some animals and a few tractors but thats basically it. It would also be a good place to have a picnic. After that we headed up to Gwangju where my friend Danny lives for his birthday party. it was really fun. We cooked samgyupsal, and had a good time. Sunday I went up to meet my friend in in Yangju City north of seoul. We went swimming in a big valley! It was realy fun! Up for this weekend is a 43 km mtb race all on one big loop! Top 6 get prizes in this one so hopefully I have a good race and can finally win something at a race here!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

day off good time for a really epic hike

Yesterday was election day in Korea so we had the day off work. I made a plan to go for a super duper epic hike with my friend Danny. We met up at 11 and took a bus that only goes 6 times a day out to the base of TaeHwa Mountain(the highest mountain in Yongin city). There is a ridge of mountains all the way from there up to Danny's house in Gwangju city so we decided we would attempt to hike the whole thing. According the the map that route would take about 7.5 hours! At the top of Taehwasan a random group of hikers eating lunch called us over and invited us to eat with them. It was really funny and we had a nice conversation all in korean with them. They gave a us a lot of food too. After 30 minutes of free food we continued on. Then we found another group that offered us more free food! We also ran into people who were parasailing which basically involves jumping off a mountain with a parachute and sailing around in the air!! Looked pretty scary to me! The hike ended at 7pm or so when we finally hiked to the end of ridge. It was really fun but Im really sore today!