Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The start of the sort of off season/ 시즌끝났지만 좀타야겠다

My race on November the 11th was the last one of my Korean racing season.  There was actually another cyclocross race scheduled for the 25th of November but it got cancelled/delayed until an unknown date due to the presidential election in mid December.  I was really looking forward to doing another cross race here in Korea, maybe they will reschedule it for January or February next year.
Since racing is over I've been starting to think about wanting to go skiing but since I moved to Seoul for business school this year didn't think I would be able to get a season ski ticket anywhere.  However lucky for me one of my other classmates bought one for Star Hill resort ( which is located only about 20 miles from our school!  I'm going to get one too and we are going to hopefully go skiing after school at least a few times a week.

While I'm excited for the ski season I'm also trying to stay in shape for my trip to India which will involve an 8 day tour/race.  Saturday I went out and did a 100km or so ride with a group of guys I've been riding with.  We went out to a Namhansanseong which is a pretty nice climb just south of Seoul.  It was gradually up hill for 5 or 6 km and then had a really awesome twisty downhill back to the outskirts of Seoul.  This weekend I will hopefully get out for another nice ride and hopefully by next week the ski resort will be open!

지난 강진 산악 자전거 대회 내가 이번시즌 마지막 시합아얐어요.  11월 25일 한국사이클로크로스 연맹대회  있었지만 대선 때문에 연기/취소 됬어요.  나 그 대회 너무타고싶었어요!  내년 1월이나2월 하면 꼭 가야겟다.
자전거 시즌끝났어서 나 스키 생각시작했어요!  이번에 대학원때문에 서울 로 이사했어서 시즌권까지 못할거같았지만 우리 학교 에있는 재호형  스타힐 리조트 시즌권 사자했어요.  리조트작지만 우리 학교랑 제일 까가운스키장 이니까  시즌권가고 많이 타볼거에요!
지난주에 시즌끝났지만 인도 대회 위에서 나 좀탔어요.  같이 타는 형들 몆명 이랑 남한산성갔다왔어요.  생각보다 남한산성 재미있었어요!  내리막 길 완전 좋았어요!  이번주말에도 조금 긴라이딩 코스 해봐야겟다 그리고 다음주 스키장 오픈 하면 갈거에요!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

GangJin Race Report: Final Race of the season and another win! 강진 전국산악자전거대회: 마지막대회이얐지만 일등했어요!

Last Sunday was my last race of the Korean racing season.  It was a 50km mountain bike race held in the far south west corner of Korea and was actually pretty close to where I had my first race of the season back in April.  I had a great race then and I was hoping to have another great one!  I decided to make a trip out of the race and I traveled down with Yujin and another couple (Jin and Tuomas).  We left early on Saturday morning and went for a nice hike on a rocky mountain in Mokpo.  The mountain was awesome and had great views of the harbor and the many islands that are near Mokpo.  After that we had crab soup and then it started to rain pretty hard so we drove on to Gangjin where my race was going to be held. 
Sunday morning the conditions were less than ideal with rain and really strong winds but I was still excited to get to race.  The race started with a 10km road section before we hit the dirt so I just sat in the pack and worked my way to the front before we hit the dirt.  The first climb was 3km or so of gradual forest road and it split up our huge pack (over 300 riders at the start).  After the descent we were back on the road for a few more K but the lead group was down to 7 riders (only one of which was from my age group).  I knew the next section of forest roads was going to be much longer and would probably decide the race so I sat in the group and waited until the next climb.  Once we hit the dirt the road turned up for the next 3km or so again and I followed, Hak Min Noh ,a rider that my teammate Ji Haeng had told me about before the race.  Hak Min is a former pro mountain biker in Korea so I knew he would be one of the riders to watch in the race (lucky for me too he was in a different age group).  Knowing this we worked together with me pulling each other for the rest of the race.  The course was really nice with smooth forest roads, nice gradual climbs and descents that you could ride at basically full speed even in the rain.  The last 10km of the race was on the road with a massive tailwind and we averaged easily over 45km per hour over the last section.  Coming into the finish we crossed the line together to both take the win in our respective categories. 
After the race they had free lunch for everyone (including spectators) and free rice wine!  The race was a nice way to finish off the season and I will definitely come back again next year if I get the chance! 

일요일에 나 강진전국산악자전거 대회탔어요. 이대회 너무 멀었어서나 유진이랑  그리고 다른친구 2명 (진 과 토마스)함께 같이 갔어요.  토요일 새벽에 우리 출발했어요.  오후에 목포 갔어 유달산 산책했어요!  유달산 완전 좋아했어요. 정상에서 목포항이랑솜너무 많이볼수있어요!  등산하고 꽃게 먹으로갔어요!    그다음에비가 왔어서 그냥 강진으로 갔어요.

일요일에 일어날때 날씨 완전 안좋았어요!! 비많이 와도 바람 너무 샜어요.  하지만  이번 시즌 마지막대회이라서  잘타고싶은기븐있었어요.  대회시작하고  앞에 사람 이랑 달렸어요.  첫 10키로 로드 이얐어서  크팩있었어요.  하지만 임도 시작할때 차이있었어요.  첫임도 부분 끝나고 앞그릅에  7명정도있었어요.  내부분에  1명있었어 그래서 다음임도 시작 앞에 열심히 탈거예요 생각햇어요.  2번재임도 시작 하고 나 노학민선수 다다했어요. 이대회 가기 전에최지행 형  노학민 선수 잘탄다고 알려졌어서같이 갈거예요 생각햇어요. 
피니쉬까지 나 노학민선수랑  같이 달렸어요.  코스 너무 재미있었어요. 언덕 별로 안심했고 다운힐 부분 도 재미게탈수있었어요!   피니쉬올때  노학민 선수랑 같이 왔어요.  우리 두리종목에서 일등했어요.
시상식전에 밥 먹어같이오는 친구들이랑 막거리 한잔했어요.  이대회 전라남도이야서 음식 찐자 맛있었어요!  내년에 도 강진대회있으면 꼭가야겟다! 

This is a picture my friend took of me at the podium ceremony. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Korea's First Cyclocross Race: A Big Win! 그리고 오랜만에 한국말로 브로그쓰기!

Saturday was the first ever cyclocross race held in Korea.  The race was called the Indy Festival and there was also a criterium held in the morning.  My day got off too a pretty rough start but ended really well.

In the criterium in the morning I was feeling pretty good and the race was setting up to be a field sprint.  I was in a good position sitting 3rd wheel going into the last corner with about 400m still to go but right after the last corner instead of opening up the spring the guy on the front just stopped pedaling.  I was in a bit of an akward position and decided to just start sprinting.  Unfortunately I ran out of steam and got passed by a few guys about 100m from the line.  However, my teammate Yeon Deok managed to hold on for 2nd place. 

After the criterium I rode around on my mtb a little bit and was going to preride the course when I remembered something was a little bit off with my shifting.  I took the bike to the neutral support truck at the race and the mechanic said he needed to bend the hanger a little bit.  However when he started bending it he ended up snapping it right in half!  With no spare hangar at the race I was in a bit of a bind but luckily our team sponsor Cannondale came through and let me borrow a brand new cross bike.  However I had to promise I would win the race! 

The race didn't follow traditional cross format and the at first we did a 10 lap qualifying race with the plan being to take the top 30 riders and put them in a 3 lap final.  I was excited about this because I tend to do really well in super short races.  The qualifier started out fast and I went to the front at the end of the road and got into the lead shortly after we hit the dirt.  I wanted to test the field and see how well everyone could do the barriers.  I was able to gap people on the corners and open pretty large gaps on the barriers sections.  After this I sat back and stayed with a group of about 5 guys until the finish.  We basically just pedaled around the course the next 9 laps trying to conserve our energy for the final. 

Going into the final I was excited and as soon as the gun went off worked my way to the front.  I attacked as soon as we hit the dirt and got a gap on the field.  I was worried about getting caught on the pavement but luckily I had 2 teammates in the chase group who were able to help slow it down a bit.  I really put the hammer down and was able to get a 30 second or so gap going into the last lap.  I wasn't taking any chances however and kept hammering to the line. 

It felt great to get my first win since early July at the F1 track race.  I've been doing cyclocross since I was 13 (I finished dead last in the 2000 Junior 13-14 nationals) and I was excited to get to use my skills here in Korea.  Hopefully next year there will be some more cyclocross races here.  The race promoters did a great job with the course taking a plain grass field and building some jumps, berms and bumps to make it a really fun course for everyone who raced. 

This weekend I will finish off my Korean racing season with a 50km mountain bike race in Gangjin.  The race is actually held near where I started my season back in April so hopefully I can close out the season with another good result! 

지난주 토요일에 나 김포아라벳길에서  한국에서 첫 사이크로크로스대회탔어요! 이대회 때문에 너무 신났어요 내가 좋아하는 크라이테리엄이랑 사이크로크로스있었어요. 
아침 부터  잘못된것 좀있었어요.  크라이테리엄  탈때 마지막 코너까지 잘탔지만  갑자기  앞에있는 사람 페데링 몸쳤어요!  400미터정도 남고있었지만 나 그냥 스프린트시작해야했어요.  100m 에서 힘이타썼어서  6등으로 피니쉬들어갔어요.  조금 더 기다려야했어요.   나 잘못탔지만 연덕형 2등했어요!  연덕형 스프린트 타이밍  원래잘해요.   
크라이테리엄대회 끝나고 사이크로크로스 준비시작했어요.  산악자전거  뒤디레이러 좀 이상했어서 Neutral support 메케닉한테 갔어요.  좀해봤지만  행어 불어졌어요!! ㅜㅜㅜㅜㅜ  나 대회 못 나갈거같았지만 우리 팀 스폰 산바다스포츠  캐논데일 사이크로크로스 바이크 비려졌어요!  비려졌지만 나 1등 할거야 약속해야했어요!  나 중일학년 부터 사이크로 크로스 대회 나가본쪽있었어 자신 좀있었어요 (2000년 미국 전국챔피언슆 나 막등했어요). 
CX 바이크 연습좀하고 예선 시작했어요.  예선은  30명할수있었으니까 나 힘 다 안썼어요.  그냥 6등으로 탔어요 결승 위에서.  예선탈때 나 다른 사람보다 달리기 하는부분 더 빨리 할수있어서  오프로드 부분에서 어택해볼거예요 했어요. 
결승시작!  나 도로 에서 조금 앞에타고 오프로드 시작할때 어택했어요.  뒤에 안보고그냥 열심히탔어요.  2바귀반 혼자탔어요.  도로 부분 너무 열심히타고 오프로드 도  열심히했어요.  마지막바귀 에좀 다른 사람 안봤어서 피니쉬에 좀 celebration 했어요!  나 약속 잡았어요, 일등!  그리고 내팀들  연덕형이랑 지행형이랑 나 좀도워졌어요, 뒤에그릅이랑 브로킹좀했어요. 

이번 대회 찐자좋았어요.  코스 도 너무 재미있었어요.  내년도 사이크로크로스 대회있으면 꼭 갈거에요!  산바다스포츠 도 너무 감사합니다! 

다음주는 내한국 시즌마자막대회예요.  김포 안가고 나 강진 산악자전거대회로 가요!  그리고 내시즌 아직안끝날거에요.  12월에 인도에서 투어두코리아 같은시합탈거예요.  12월까지 열심히타야해요! 

See these links for more pics and a race video.
Thanks Bike Magazine for putting on a great race.  Thanks to Ya Girl and Myo Jin 누나 for the great pics too!  

Thursday, November 1, 2012

WangBang San Race Report

Last Sunday I had the privilege of lining up to race with Gunn Rita Dahle and Jose Hermida both World Cup pro mountain bikers who race for Merida.  They were invited by their sponsor to ride on one of the biggest amateur mtb races in Korea. 
The course was 40km long with 10km of super tough single track that was muddy.  The race started off ok for me but after climbing with the main group for a while I kind of blew up.  The single track had a lot of unrideable climbs and I didn't do well with the constant running then biking with no recovery.  Additionally at this race they had a new race category for all of the people who had won their age group at a race the previous year.  Normally the categories are by age groups.  This definitely made for a more competitive race!  They also had 1,500 dollars on the line for the overall winner while second and third were only going to get 200 and 100! 
Once the single track was over I started feeling better and started picking people off on the long double track sections.  I finished the race in the top 15 over all but only 7th in my group. 

It definitely wasn't my best race of the season but I have 2 more races left and I'm hoping to pick up a win at at least one of them!  I got to talk a bit with Jose Hermida after the race and it was interesting to hear his perspective about mountain biking in Korea.  He was impressed with the amount and quality of the trails here especially compared to other Asian countries.  He was a very humble guy and very easy to talk too.  Also Gunn Rita Dahle beat nearly all of the men on her own and was riding a lot of them climbs that everyone else was walking up. 

My friend Yong Su Park ended up winning the race and the 1500 dollars.  My race didn't go as well as I had hoped but I still really enjoyed this course and I'm looking forward to this weekends race.  I'm going to be racing in the first CX race ever held in Korea! Should be interesting to see the course and a lot of fun to do a CX race since I haven't been able to do one in 3 years!