So it turns out that randomly sticking your head into cycling shops has its advantages.
Earlier this week I headed into Watts cycling store while on my mission for the perfect garmin mount for my setup (trying to mount a 510, varia light and virb on the handlebars) I got talking to one of the guys there. Turns out he’s the winner of Koreas own tour, the tour de korea – and he’d heard about me! 🙂
So one failed garmin mission later and I’ve been invited to a PR ride with the Velitas brothers of ettix quick step and BMC fame. They are here to promote their new brand of cycling clothing – maybe I’ll post a review of that later…
Unfortunately it was wings Thursday at our pub and I’d committed to the Downhill lads so all dressed up in my spandex I met them for wings – thankfully I wasn’t the worst dressed. Jammer arrived in a chicken suit.
After dodging fines and spicy wings that I knew would bite me on the climbs I dropped a ninja bomb and headed across to the store.
We assembled at the named time a few days later in the store – all shaved legs and korean nerves – and me. A hairy mountain biker looking ever so slightly out of place – a sheep in wolves clothing.
Roll on to Q&A which as usual here involved a Korean translator. To those of you who haven’t experienced a live interview with a translator – it’s like watching a film where the audio is about 1 minute behind the visual. Laughs are delayed and there is the obligatory listening even though you have no idea what is being said.. So my 2 favorite questions were:
“have you ever peed while riding?”
“All the time! there’s a technique to doing in on the saddle.” (I pity the mechanic who has to service that bike)
And “Does cycling hurt?”
“Yes?” Said like a question.
After a suitable pause we rolled out. I’ve ridden this route countless times but I’ve never done it as a group. 30 or so riders meant that by staying at the front and with 2 riders on my left I felt as safe as houses on the road – and that’s a first.
The first hill is a gentle 6-8 minute climb up to namsan tower. The brothers managed to keep up with me. At the top we were down to 20 riders or so and it was time for more photos…
(Martin left and Peter right)
We re grouped and the albeit smaller group rolled on down the hill.
I was lucky enough to get some good time with both riders and learnt the following:
- Pro riders are skinnier than they look on tv (to confirm the camera adds 10 pounds.)
- They climb like monsters and make it look effortless. I’ll try post a video of me chasing BMC brother up a little kicker of a hill – suffice to say he wasn’t even trying.
- They just look better on the bike.
- Roubaix is a horrible horrible race that no smart rider ever enters willingly
- Both brothers have ridden for a SA team and have ridden more of my home country than I have…
I’ll post pictures as they come in but big shout out to Daniel and Watts cycling for the invite and looking forward to trying the isadore gear and watching out for Martin and Peter in the peleton.
Hopefully I’ll win the TDF tickets at next weeks letape korea fondo so I can see them at next years ride!