Tuesday, August 31, 2010

2 bike races and 2 messed up bikes!!

I had 2 races last weekend. Saturday was the largest race in Korea with about 2000 participants. The DaegwolRyung Hill climb was a big race for me and my new team Cannondale Racing. Friday night I drove out with my team to the race with and got my new bike shoes and my sweet carbon race wheels ready (the team has race wheels we can borrow). The course was pretty cool but being a 20km hill climb I really didn't think I had much of a shot at the podium. I rode well but I could only manage 7th place in my group (senior road bike men age 20-30). My teammates won 3 of the race cateories!! I think we are definitely one of the strongest if not the best ameteur road team in Korea right now. After a huge ( im talking like 500grams of meat per person) korean barbeque dinner we drove back to Suwon only to get up at 6am for a mountain bike race north of Seoul!!! It was pouring down rain the whole day and my disc brakes are messed up and didn't work very well with out me using all the strength in my hands to pull them. Also my middle chain ring is apparently worn out because it chain sucked so bad that I couldn't ride it. So the race was kind of a wash for me because I couln't go hard up or down the hill I had to focus on not dying rather than going fast but thats what happens when you have an 4 year old mtb I guess!! My teammates again tore it up with 2 firsts and 1 second place finish. We got 3rd in the team comp and got 300 bucks which we used to buy a duck for lunch. Which was really good and extremly filling again. Im really happy with my new team! Every one is really nice we have good sponsor hook ups and a team office in Suwon (about a 30 minute drive from my house) where we meet up to drive to races (they also have a lot of bike stuff there like rollers tires tools etc. Unfortunately right now both my bikes are in terrible shape I need new chainrings on the mtb and a new spoke (which they dont' sell in korea) for my road wheels!! Luckily I got some wheels to ride in the time being from the team. Im also getting a lot of good korean practice from hanging out with these guys as they basically don't speak english at all. Its nice to have a group of guys who are around my age to talk about racing and stuff with again! Up for this weekend is camping, going to a pool and a criterium on Sunday (on my mtb because the big ring still works). I think that should be a littl more up my alley than a 20km hill climb

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Geoje Island trip

Last weekend I went to visit my friend Jay on Geoje Island in the south part of korea. It was awesome. Jay was an exchange student at Purdue last year and Geoje Island is his home town so he knew all the good stuff to see. It was an awesome trip. It took 4.5 hours by bus to get down there though! We went to the beach, went to an island, rode on a BOAT!!, ate puffer fish soup, ate korean beef(my new favorite food), climbed around on some rocks and more. Geoje Island was home to a huge POW camp during the korean war and they turned the camp into a big memorial park/museum. It was really intersting too learn about how the prisoners of war were treated over 150,000 POWs were there during the war! On the last day my shoes fell apart and I got a new pair for $18 at the city market! I love shopping in korea. Now I am back at school but I have 2 bike races this weekend with a new team im riding for. Im looking forward to getting to know all the new guys on my team. The first day is a 20km hill climb the second race is a 40km mtb race. Im hoping I can perform well in both of them.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

back to korea

I have been pretty busy since getting back to Korea! I got a new road bike (as a present from my dad! Thank you!!) I also had to start working (doing english camp classes at school) the day after I got back! Im pumped about my new bike and have been riding a lot since coming back. I've even discovered a few new routes in the are. one of which is a 20% average grade hill thats about 1-1.5 miles. Its super steep and its a cement 1 lane road!!! Its really really hard similar to mt nebo in arkansas except way narrower and with a really bad road surface. Im training to get in shape because next weekend I have 2 bike races a 20km hill climb and a 40km mtb race and I don't know when the next race Im gonna do after that is so I need to make these ones count!! Last weekend was busy and pretty fun I did a 6 hour ride on saturday( it poured rain on me for the first 3!!) and then went camping in my town with some friends! Sunday I went to a baseball game in seoul which was pretty fun and relaxing. This week has been busy and good too although it seems to rain every time I go riding here but it doesn't realy get much colder when it rains so that makes it a lot more bearable than rain in Minnesota which would drop the temperature a lot usually. I hope I will be in good shape for the races anyway my asthma is way better here regardless so that helps me ride climbs and flats a lot better. I will try to post a pictur of my sweet new bike later. Next week I have monday and tuesday off so Im going to Gojye Island this weekend to visit my friend Jay who is korean and was an exchange student at purdue. Its supposed to be really beatiful there with nice mountains and beaches. Tuesday im going to everland for round 2 hopefully my stomach handles the roller coasters a little better this time!!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

America and Tour of Elk Grove

I came back to america last monday for a 2 week visit! My friends Joey and Chris from Purdue picked me up at the airport in indianapolis and we immediately went to go eat 2 of my favorite foods Popeyes' chicken and Moes burritos! I spent the next few days catching up with old friends at purdue, visitin my grandma and aunt in Greencastle and visiting my friend sarah in bloomington. Saturday and Sunday was the tour of elk grove which is a big money criterium in Chicago. Greg was nice enough to let me borrow his bike so I could race my first real crit of the year. Man racing was a lot harder than I remember! So many hard accelerations out of each corner. I managed to make it through both days with out getting dropped though so i'm happy. I think if I come back to the US I can get myself back into good criterium riding shape by just riding a few races. After elk grove I stayed at my friend Dr. Shawn and Jerel's place in naperville and monday I drove to Minnesota. I grew up in Minnesota and went to high school here so it feels a lot more like home than indiana but I haven't been here in 2 years! Its great to be back and see my old friends. Tomorrow I have to go back to indiana again. Thursday and Friday I will get to see my mom, dad and sister too then Saturday morning its back to Korea! I'm having a great time enjoying the US but im excited to go back to Korea also!