Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Where am I? What day is yet? Heck, what time is it? This is what my body has been asking me over the past week. A quick trip to Asia started it, a hard 3 day stage race crushed it, and finally getting acclimated to the time change before flying back really confused it.

I slept maybe 2hrs the first night and last night I was up almost every hour, past out after 8am and for the life of me could not stay up till after noon. I've felt like a zombie.

Being up for so long did help me productive the first night with getting a lot of chores done, but it all caught up with me today as I was basically worthless. I'd get up from my chair after dosing off only to fall over on the couch minutes later and sleep a few more hours.

Here's to hoping tomorrow works out better.

Just for fun here is a video of my little monster. She's getting ready for Halloween.

Breeze On

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The photo that almost got me lost forever in South Korea.

I turned around to take a photo of this palace/temple at the finish as we started to ride to the hotel. I saw Hartly see me as I stopped, and assumed they would wait. By the time I turned around they were lost in the see of cars and people.

I thought I had known the way, well I did. Go to first traffic light take a right and go a few blocks and it is on left. I did that route many times, but could not find the hotel. I even ended up with some Iranians trying to find it as well. On my last attempt of tracing that route from the finish I ran into the search party and we headed to the hotel on the only left I didn't try and was about to.

Thanks guys.
The Tour de DMZ is over. Today was a flatter, shorter, and even shorter stage then the previous two days.

No matter how tired the legs are once the neutral is over the race is on. The start today was fast as it seemed I was constantly in my 11 tooth cog. We flew through the first 20km's of the race, so fast that the officials made a wrong turn and we were shortly stopped.

We were on a highway, the right road, but 20kms short. With no way to turn the race around we sat around as officials figured out what to do and for the roads ahead to be closed as we were way ahead of schedule.

After sitting on the median for 20 minutes the race was on. Soon enough a break of 5 guys including Jonny Sundt were off the front. There gap slowly increased into the 2 minute range before we hit the 25km to go sign. As we did the leader jersey asked for pee break as he was getting ready to pull over. To bad we were only 25km's from the finish because nobody cared as teams immediately began to chase.

Chad and I tried to position Luca as close to the front and for as long as possible in case the break came back. It just so happens that it did and for a two man lead out we did a decent job. Luca ended up with another 6th place finish for the year.

The season ended just like it began in Asia, Sundt in the break the last day, and finishing 20th overall.

Now we play the waiting game. I have 24hrs before my flight leaves. If you hate Mondays you would hate mine. I'm going to have a 37hr Monday. I depart at 1pm Korean time and arrive in Indy at 10:30pm same day after 20+hrs of travel including stops in China and Newark.

The finish today was in front of this temple

A group photo of the Kenda Korean Crew.

Breeze On

Saturday, October 23, 2010

\Today's start through a tunnel. Tunnels can be good because it usually means you are going through the mountain and not over. A couple of times yesterday that was nice.

These things are found on the side of the road throughout the DMZ. What are they? Well they blow the tops of them off so they can quickly block the road if need be.

A fence line on the DMZ on the steep climb from yesterday.

Coming off the decent from yesterday looking at it. You can see the road on the side of the mountain. Pretty awesome.

You also see this on the side of the road in many places. See not joking.

Breeze On

Friday, October 22, 2010

Ok that was the hardest race I've done, or at leas that I can remember. It's been a while since I've got to a race and felt like I could hardly pedal at the end. Actually come to think of it at the end of stage one in Taiwan I kind of felt the same at the end. Yesterday though had to do more with the 10,000+ feet of climbing and 110 miles.

On the decent of the first climb it looked like a landmind had gone off with all the bodies on the side of the road. I was about a minute behind, and by the looks of it fortunate to have been. I saw at least 6 guys on the ground, including teammate Phil all in the first 100 meters of the decent. The first crash was do to a motorcycle going down in the corner.

The second climb around mile 70 had most guys zigzagging and some walking. I managed to stay on my bike and would rather stop then walk. It seemed to be a military zone only as there wer guard shacks, military personnel, and artillery going off. According to my Garmin it was 4 miles with an average of 10% and in the middle was 2 miles averaging 16% with steeper pitches. The downhills were just as crazy steep and switch backing. It was already epic. Good thing it was dry.

I rode the next 30 miles with just one other guy and it was brutal. There were 3 'rollers' on they way in. Frankie said they weren't that big. They were just around 2.5 miles and 6%, but don't worry no big deal. A group of 4 came up just before the end, and of course attacked just before the finish on the crucially placed dam finish 150 feet above the river in the last 1500 meters.

Today starts with 2 climbs in the first 30 miles, but after that seems to be mostly downhill. Hopefully my legs react to the start.

For the pre ride we rode out to the check point on the DMZ. The race actually starting 5km in.

A little pre race podium. A team can dream can't they.

Pretty sure this is as far as a person can get in South Korea. Notice the whiteish mountain in the background. That would be north Korea. Lovely beaches eh? If you go on them you will be shot however. The coastline is all fence offed much of the way down the country.

Pre race photos being taken. A three star general was there with us. He was smart enough to have us stand behind him.

On top of the dam. Phil took this photo as I had no energy to move after the race. Notice where the water is. We were there 2km before the finish. Didn't even expect a climb at the end like that.

What an experience though. Sure while I was barely pedaling 40rpm up a climb that seemed like it was never going end I wanted to never race again, but in reality what a great sport and there aren't many other things you can do and see so much.

I wonder what is in store for us today.

Breeze On

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Took the four hour transfer yesterday morning to our start hotel. South Korea is a pretty beautiful country. Lots of hills and forest. Also the further from Seoul you got, the more military personnel you see.

The oddest thing we saw on the way was the rest stop we stopped seemed to be dedicated to the male genitals. I have pictures to prove. Really don't think they are appropriate to post. Really don't want them. But how often do you see something like that. Of course as soon as the bus stopped where did my teammates run. Straight for the statue.

On our way in we say some of the roads we will be racing today. The profile is pretty brutal looking, and from seeing one of the climbs, it's going to be a very challenging day. The fun begins after 50km's and it's going to be non stop. Of course that is as long as there is no wind coming off the Ocean for the first 50km we roll along it.

When we arrived to the other side of the country the weather was a bit worse as it was cold and rainy. We had lunch put our bikes together and headed out for a ride. Where did everyone want to go first? Of course to the border of the DMZ 5km from our hotel. So we rode up that way saw the border control and turned around. Most of the guys once they got there didn't want to spend much time standing around there.

At dinner Frankie told us the normal race routine schedule and such, except for one interesting tid bit. Rule 1 for the Tour De DMZ. Stay on the road! Why? Landminds. That's right Landminds. So I guess no matter what is in the road you are better off hitting that then taking your chances off of it.

Time to get ready. 180km's, 2 big climbs and 3 medium size climbs. Wish us luck.

Breeze On

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Finally made it to Korea after 30hrs of travel, and what was the first thing we did. Ate at Outback Steak House. I'm pretty sure I could have traveled 30mins not 30hrs if I'd just had stayed at home. It just so happened to be on the second floor of our hotel and the place where the dinner was held for the racers coming in.

The travel was rather uneventful. The way I'd like it to be. The funniest thing was when Sundt went through customs in Korea after me. They made him take off his hat because the agent said, "We all looked a like." That made our day.

Here is the flight path. Nothing much goes on below where we flew.

Every wonder what northern Russia looks like. Well here it is.

Clearly not much. Just a big open tundra.

After spending less then 12hrs in our first hotel we are making our transfer to the starting town for tomorrow. I thought I had a great nights rest. I zonked right out and when I got up well rested I looked at the clock to notice it was only 11:53. From there I knew the rest of the night was going to be a long one. So it's 5am now and we don't leave for another 4hrs, but I really can't sleep any more. It will be breakfast time soon enough.

Hopefully we will have internet throughout the trip.

Breeze On

Monday, October 18, 2010

Many cyclist dream of racing across the 'pond' (Atlantic Ocean). I'm about to cross the 'lake' (Pacific Ocean) for the second time this season. I'm about to ending my road season where it began, in Asia. In March I would have never dreamed of making the long trip back over, but for some reason I agreed to not only fly in a plane for 18hrs, but also extend my racing season into late October. Of course how often do you get to go to South Korea and race around the DMZ.

Being in Asia is quite different, but the racing isn't so much. It's aggressive and hard. Hopefully I was able to maintain enough fitness to have a good race. Whether that be in a supporting role, or scrumming for a result. There will be plenty of quality competition. All info on the race is hard to gather as it's all in a foreign language, but from what we gather the first day will be the hardest. It seems to be long and mountainous.

Hopefully there will be internet access so I can keep this updated with pictures/videos and write ups.

It's going to be an early morning as I will be heading out the door just after 4am. Hey I think my dad does that everyday. Anyways luckily I have a wonderful wife who is willing to take me to the airport. Well since I'm leaving in a few hours I better finish packing.

Breeze On

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Another beautiful day in the backwoods of Monroe, Morgan, and Brown Counties for the Breezer True Hilly Hundred. The weather was great and the roads were in near perfect condition, for dirt roads.

Once again the turnout was lower then I hoped for, but 3 new riders decided to go on the ride. Greg Strock, Harry Clark and Bri Kovac decided to tag along with me as we meandered the back country.

Due to certain family circumstances I showed up a bit late. They didn't seem to mind as it was only 10 minutes. There biggest concern was to point out how I had no friends as they were the only ones doing my ride. Everyone else seemed to have something come up as the weekend quickly approached.

We were having a great ride till some untimely flats and more circumstances came up and we had to cut the ride short once arriving to the town of Bean Blossom. From there we took the quick way back to Martinsville.

Still it was a great day of riding. I really can't wait for next time and hopefully we will get through it.

Here's the strava report.>>
Breeze On

Friday, October 15, 2010

Tomorrow is my personal Grand Fondo, the 5th annual Breezer True Hilly Hundred. Once again the turnout looks like it will be low. Not sure why. Temps in the lower 70's, fall foliage near it's peak, and an easy pace promised to be set. Maybe one year I'll be able to get a good size group out.

I'm pretty excited about those who are suppose to be in attendance however. A couple of new goers, and even word of the fist female attempting the ride. There in for the best ride Indiana has to offer. Report to follow with pictures and Strava download.

I got out for a ride yesterday with teammate Rob Bush. I thought doing a 3 day stage race in late October was a bit of a challenge. Come to found out once again the young kid is trying to out do the veteran by partaking in the 12 stage Vuelta a Guatemala which starts next week. Have fun with that.

Fall is finally settling in. I love the mild temperatures and the breeze through the open corn fields. I told Rob how much I thought the weather was perfect and by the look he gave I'm not quite sure he felt the same way. Maybe I shouldn't have asked after doing 12 miles dead flat into a headwind across the open fields of Indiana.

Breeze On

Monday, October 11, 2010

Went for a training ride today of 2.5hrs. The weather right now is unbelievable. It's been over or around 85 for the last few days. Records have fallen. At least there isn't the high humidity like we had during the summer. I love fall weather and wouldn't mind if we had some before winter.

Then I rode to meet Katie at her school to meet up with her parents for dinner. I wasn't thinking to much, but I think a 9 mile 30 minute bike ride is a little more then casual. I showed up with 3 'mohawks' in my hair as Katie put it made from my helmet and also a nice circular butt sweat stain. "Let's Eat!"

Breeze On