Excuse my longtime hiatus from posting, I got caught up in a whirlwind of bureaucracy and visa red-tape cutting that had me tied up for longer than I'd care to think about. Anyway, the application for public school teaching positions in Seoul opened April 1st, and due to my cross-country intercontinental hustling I got my app in with the first batch. We'll see what happens... hoping to get a contract offer soon for the Fall so I can move on with my life and plan a little bit (or something...)
I've been back in Maryland for a month now, and it's been alright. Not too much going on here, but some buddies from high school are around so there's people to kick it with when time comes. Rolling hills out near the Potomac River and Great Falls have my legs getting in better shape than they've been for awhile - 30 miles doesn't sound like much but when it's out on my track bike geared 48x17 I'm super tuckered afterwards.
I've been wrenching at a suburban shop that will henceforth remain nameless, it's super wack and gives me a great perspective on how cool the bike scene in NYC/BK is. Here, people all ride hardtail MTBs (not that there's anything wrong with that) on the sidewalk with their kids once a month. Work is super busy as people are dusting off their neglected bikes and finding that leaving them dirty for half a year is not the greatest thing for moving parts. I'm learning a lot, and am pretty good at fixing problems, but interestingly the shop I work at chooses to operate with near nothing in stock in terms of replacement parts. You want a BB cause yours is shot? Gotta leave your bike, cause I'm gonna have to order that UN-54 for you. Pretty stupid way of doing things, but we're rarely dealing with commuters, people that are on their bikes every day. It's a big change from Gotham and then Brooklyn.
I'm having some pretty interesting ethical conflicts working at the shop, as a cyclist, bikes have influenced my life in such a positive way, introduced me to some of my favorite people, got me paid, and helped me stay healthy and happy. The shop I work at is the kind of place that sells $9 tubes. I'm not talking pre-talc'd super light tubes either, just your run of the mill Cheng-Shin 26" Schraeder tube - it's 9 bucks. I feel as though instead of perpetuating the positive influence that cycling has had on my life I am alienating people and creating an image of cycling as an exclusive, expensive club that only guys in spandex have any business in.
Alas, I gotta get paid. Six months of vacation has my bank account looking pretty sad, and I owe the government more money than I think is right from my contracting job last year. So I'll be around wrenching here, but all the while giving honest advice at least, and hooking it up when I can.
I'll be in BK April 19th - 22nd, you can catch me around 9th St. Cycles bothering Henry and Tone. Excuse the lack of pics, they'll come in time now that the weather's getting to be pretty fantastic.