5:30am. I woke up after having a cycling dream. Yes, I dream about cycling. Does that mean I have a problem? I get the bike ready, have breakfast, then I’m out the door at 6:20.
I fit the bike in my car, then entered Hochunsan (Hochun Mountain) into the navigation. It was a little further away than I thought, but I managed to make it there by 6:55. There I met Ho Ju (I’m pretty sure I’m butchering his name) and Sa Wol (Korean for “April”). I was waiting for more members to show up, but no one else came so it was just us three. We started out at a nice pace, and I thought to myself that I could easily crank out this ride. At around the 35km mark, we hit some really strong headwinds, and me being like a mast and a sail, especially with my windbreaker on, I was struggling. Luckly, I was able to take my mind off of the wind and instead focus on the nice scenery. We arrived at Doeksan (I think that’s how its spelled). We powered up some intense hills, then took a break next to a restaurant and convenient store. Those nice dudes wanted to buy me a drink, and even though I told them that I would buy, they insisted. So, I asked for a beer. They were a little dumbfounded, but just accepted it as some sort of crazy waegook ritual. I tried to explain to them the benefits of drinking beer while exercising, but I don’t think they understood.
We started out again and maybe it was the beer in me, but I had the urge to not touch my breaks for the whole hill (or mountain that is). I left my two partners in the dust. I slowed down for them to catch up once the hill was over. Riding back was great because now the wind was one our side. We got to know each other a little bit too and talk about cycling trips, and et cetera.
Towards the 80km mark, I was feeling completely worn out. The marathon that I recently ran came into mind. This was like the final leg of the race, and I just needed to power though it. We made it back, and I was super starving. The only thing that would help this dire situation was Domino’s Pizza. I got the bike in the car, said our goodbyes, then rushed over to Domino’s and got a large pizza, which when I arrived home ate in one sitting. I can’t think of too many things in life that are better than victory pizza!