What's new

Today April 2021

MattRyuu

Maximum Pace
Apr 23, 2019
399
448
Been tough with the WiFi out here in the new digs in Ichinomiya. Didn't want to sign a long term contract since we're in the middle of construction on our new place and in a temporary apartment while that gets built. Got week 1 of Zwift's Tour of Watopia in last week. Not as high average FTP as I'd have hoped. Week 2 ride in today and very happy with the average FTP. After this little event is over, I'm going back on a training program. Starting to get really nice with 18-22 C days and mostly flat stuff along the coast. Tons of surfers at Taito beach almost on a daily basis. Tempting to switch half a hobby to that right away.
 

adventurous cyclist

turtle speed cyclist
May 16, 2019
716
636
A new chain is cheap, you could buy a chain checker and see for yourself. But you could ask your local bike shop. Perhaps you could even ask them to give the bike a check up and tell them of your plans.
OC, on April 2nd I took my bike in for the trips inspection and added a new front carrier. He went over the whole bike and even grease the chain and gave me a free tube of chain oil, a saving of 800 yen.
The bike shop owner is a great person and it is where I bought my bike 2 years ago. He gave me some good advice and also I'll be in touch with him as I travel.
 

adventurous cyclist

turtle speed cyclist
May 16, 2019
716
636
Been tough with the WiFi out here in the new digs in Ichinomiya. Didn't want to sign a long term contract since we're in the middle of construction on our new place and in a temporary apartment while that gets built. Got week 1 of Zwift's Tour of Watopia in last week. Not as high average FTP as I'd have hoped. Week 2 ride in today and very happy with the average FTP. After this little event is over, I'm going back on a training program. Starting to get really nice with 18-22 C days and mostly flat stuff along the coast. Tons of surfers at Taito beach almost on a daily basis. Tempting to switch half a hobby to that right away.
Matt you live near Taito Beach?
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
3,045
2,471
I survived my second Flèche ride from Toyohashi in Aichi prefecture back to Tokyo (on Strava) and my third Flèche overall.





Although we officially did not finish again, I rode 401 km altogether from Saturday morning to Sunday afternoon, including the entire 368 km route as planned, just not within the set hours. A Flèche is a randonneuring event where teams of 3 to 5 machines (tandems only count once) ride at least 360 km in 24 hours towards a central location / meeting point. At least 25 km have to be covered after hour 22 of the 24 hour ride. It was organised by AR Nihonbashi.

We used almost the same course again, only the part close to Tokyo was different. The biggest difference overall was that it didn't rain all day on Saturday as it had last year. Therefore I rode the whole day in shorts instead of in rain gear and the temperature was much more pleasant too.

To get to the start, I drove to Aichi by car the day before (I can't rinko my Elephant Bikes NFE). I was joined by my wife and my son. Together we visited Cape Irago (Iragomisaki) on the Atsumi peninsula of southern Aichi. After dropping me off they drove back to Tokyo. The peninsula is beautiful. I was impressed by the natural forests that are a sprinkle of different colors, unlike around Tokyo where much of the current forests are regrown mono-cultures planted after post war clearcutting.

I had dinner with two other team members, then went to bed at 21:00.

s800.jpg


The alarm went off at 05:15 and we assembled at 06:00 to get the bikes ready.

It was a 20 minute ride to the official start at a 7-11 on the outskirts, where we set off at 07:00. We head a very pleasant tailwind on our ride through farm country out to Iragomisaki, where we uploaded a group picture in front of a road sign to prove passage.

The view from the road next to the Irako View Hotel (伊良湖ビューホテル) was breathtaking. You could see the coast of Mie prefecture on the other side of the entrance to Ise Bay and various islands in the sea. I took in the view but we didn't stop for a picture. Here's a picture from Wikipedia (By Bariston - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=62146068):

1280px-Irago_view_hotel.jpg


We headed into the headwind that would be blowing in our faces for the next 120 km. Sometimes we took turns leading the ride. Many of the farmhouses had a storehouse between it and the coastal side, probably to block the wind.

s800.jpg


There were also many greenhouses. Regardless of shape and size, glass or plastic they all seemed to have fuel oil tanks with the JA logo (Japan Agricultural Cooperatives), so it's a safe bet that JA sells most of the fuel oil consumed to help grow crops in the cold season. Lots of signs advertising melons which are currently out of season but we came across many kei trucks loaded with cabbages.

s800.jpg


There were many wind turbines in Aichi and also Shizuoka, as well as many photovoltaic installations. Their ubiquity there highlighted for me how few of them we have in Tokyo and Kanagawa. Perhaps Chubu Power is easier to deal with for feed ins than Tepco is, especially for wind power.

At noon we stopped for lunch at a ramen and gyoza place about halfway between Cape Irago and Omaezaki.

As we passed the former Hamaoka nuclear power station (it is permanently shut down) we were passed by a group of three cyclists on mamachari. Actually, one was a hybrid bike with flat bars while the other two were bona-fide mamachari. It was team ”ママチャリはロング向き!" ("Mamachari is suitable for long rides!") running in the AR Nihonbashi event and they were steaming ahead of us.

We got to Omaezaki a little after 16:00. By then it was a Century ride (160.9 km / 100 mi), but not even half of what we had set out to do.

s800.jpg


As the course turned north here, the headwind ceased and became more of a tailwind again. It got dark near Shizuoka City.

s800.jpg


I had felt a bit sleepy after lunch but then felt OK again. Over the next couple of hours others became sleepy as we were riding through the dark and it became more and more of a problem.

I wasn't able to see Mt Fuji on the drive on Tomei expressway on Friday because of low clouds and now I couldn't see it because it was night time. After crossing Fuji city and Numazu we started our climb in Izu towards Atami toge. When we finally got to the top, we had to take another power nap break at the tunnel entrance. We put on all our extra clothes for the steep descent down to Atami (13 percent). After that my rear disk brake, which recently had been very noisy and not very effective (maybe due to oil contamination from the chain) has been working perfectly again, as the heat and wear effectively decontaminated it.

Dawn approached as we headed from Atami to Yugawara and Manazuru.

s800.jpg


We had burnt up most of our time buffer for the sleep break planned at the 22 hour stop by then, but the sleepiness in the team only got worse. So after another long break at Manazuru we sent in our DNF-notification to the event organiser. We headed to Odawara and had breakfast at the station.

After that, my friends rinko'ed their bikes for the train home while I continued on the planned route to Yamato, then another 26 km to my home. I also needed a few naps to get me home safely.

s800.jpg


s800.jpg


With this ride, I now have 104 contiguous months of Century a Month. I may join a 400 km brevet later this spring and a 200 km brevet or two again after the summer.

As for the Flèche that we DNF'ed twice now, let's see what we can up with next year. We may just try it again a third time :)
 
Last edited:

Chuck

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
1,117
1,244
Heck of a ride, @joewein Part of me thinks that would be a great challenge but the other parts (my bum, my back, my neck, etc.) tell me, "Don't you dare!" Gotta admire anyone who can do that many miles in 24 hours or 25, or whatever it was. Enjoyed reading the report, as always.
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
3,045
2,471
Heck of a ride, @joewein Part of me thinks that would be a great challenge but the other parts (my bum, my back, my neck, etc.) tell me, "Don't you dare!" Gotta admire anyone who can do that many miles in 24 hours or 25, or whatever it was. Enjoyed reading the report, as always.
For my hands and my bum I use a simple strategy.

For the hands I change frequently between the hoods and the drops. That provides enough variation for the muscles and circulation that I can continue for a very long time, even if often starts feeling numb. Changing position soon cures that. This is one reason why I would not recommend flat bars for long distance rides.

For my bum I do have the Brooks saddle but perhaps more importantly, I use every chance to get a break from sitting. For example, whenever I'm coasting, say on a descent, I stand up while I'm not pedalling. That works well on rolling terrain or even flat terrain, it just gets difficult on long climbs without breaks. There you may have to pedal standing every now and then, which can be hard on the legs. But if you get your bum off the saddle every now and then, it creates enough extra circulation that your bum will be happy.

For the neck it depends a lot on the bike's geometry and setup. The lower your hands and the higher your saddle, the more weight will be on your arms and the more you'll have to bend your neck to look ahead. For that reason my bars are pretty much level with the seat, a typical touring setup and the drops on my bars are relatively shallow.

Today I feel pretty OK. I could feel my leg muscles, but in a good way. I wouldn't want to race up stairs but I went grocery shopping by bike. The only other thing is a slight sunburn on my calves and on my right wrist (the gap between the glove and the LS jersey sleeve). Why only the right side? Because I cycled 120 km straight east, so the sun was predominantly on my right all day. And the calves probably because it was my longest ride since I changed from the long fleece-lined trousers I wore on all winter rides, so my skin there was not used to the UV yet. For most of the year I don't have to worry too much about sunburn on the calves, even in the height of summer.
 

adventurous cyclist

turtle speed cyclist
May 16, 2019
716
636
Will it melt by lunch time.
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
3,045
2,471
I am planning to head to Ome and the Greenline on a variation of the old Temple Loop this coming Sunday and it looks like I won't be short of company.

It's going to be colder than last weekend so maybe no shorts this time but something warmer. With all the tiling rides last year I did not do too many Greenline rides and I miss that part of Saitama. Once winter is over and I know it's no longer going to be icy, I'm always keen to go back there.

I just love these views of hills behind hills behind hills that you get from many places high up on the Greenline, all in different shades. And if you're really lucky, you get Mt Fuji at the very back on the horizon. I remember one ride in January (I think it was one with @luka) when I could even see the hills of Boso in southern Chiba from a hill on the Greenline, as well as Shinjuku, Yokohama and many other places.

The super steep climb at Takayama will be tough, but hopefully the 401 km ride last weekend will have helped get the legs into shape for adventures like this.
 

luka

Maximum Pace
Jan 13, 2015
2,111
1,919
I remember that ride fondly as well. we stopped at my acquaintance the mountain guide guy's house, and also at the viewpoint above the main rindo. great visibility of tochigi and gunma mountains as well
 

Cactaur

Maximum Pace
Feb 3, 2014
235
173
Itchy fingers led me to crack the seal on my tubeless tyres to top up after 6 months. Turns out it didn’t need any... after much failure and frustration with a manual pump and 2 co2 it’s off to the hardware store for a compressor. Still needed to carefully seat the bead like the video.

 

Cactaur

Maximum Pace
Feb 3, 2014
235
173
I'm not in JP plus I actually have the joes version of that. Its worked before but not this time, and you still gotta pump charge it like a maniac.

Really its the bead seating thats key. Air compressor useful around the house tho, lots of fun blowing the dirt out of the carport.
 
Top Bottom