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joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
3,378
3,301
Another months of cycling adventures.

I didn't ride today, except for some shopping. I bought a small digital thermometer cum hygrometer to check the temperature readouts at home and of my cycling GPS. 35 deg C is nuts.

I'm looking forward to my first Century ride this month, which will complete 10 consecutive years of "Century a Month". I would like to go back to Chichibu, haven't been there for a while.
 

microcord

Maximum Pace
Aug 28, 2012
1,366
926
Total 889.9 km for me in July, or so I'm told. Yesterday I finished up the month by going up to and along the "Hakone Kintarō Line", which I can warmly (indeed sweatily) disrecommend for a hot and sunny summer's day, and over Ashigara tōge, which was shady and a lot more pleasant.

More precisely I finished it up with a ride from Noborito station downstream to my hovel. I was going at about 21 km/h but was surprised to overtake about as many freds in stretchy clothes as the number who overtook me. So maybe it wasn't just me who was dehydrated and knackered.

Today I'm puzzled to find that I don't have a ride hangover. (My IQ seems to be back up to its normal level of 85 or so -- after yesterday, when I repeatedly said that no I wasn't or yes I was up for going up to "Ashikaga".)
 

BeerTengoku

Maximum Pace
Mar 14, 2021
150
233
Back in the UK for a while down on the SE Coast and am genuine surprised how anyone can get any elevation around in the area. Was planning a 50km cycle around the area - elevation gain would be 20m. My usual rides from home to the beach? Elevation gain of around 200m... Legs are going to lose muscle mass at this rate.
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
3,378
3,301
Back in the UK for a while down on the SE Coast and am genuine surprised how anyone can get any elevation around in the area. Was planning a 50km cycle around the area - elevation gain would be 20m. My usual rides from home to the beach? Elevation gain of around 200m... Legs are going to lose muscle mass at this rate.
You can always do a reverse Greg LeMond: "If it's too easy, you just go faster!"
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
3,378
3,301
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In August 2012 I visited Taiwan with my family. It was a great trip and I would like to back there, but between that trip and some typhoon I didn't do any long rides that month, which I had started doing in March of 2012. I resumed Century rides in September 2012 and kept it up ever since. Last Saturday I did another ride of 163 km (on Strava), completing 120 consecutive months (10 years).

I chose to go to Chichibu, one of my favourite places to ride. That's despite it being a bit hard to get to, but that's probably part of why it's so special as the remoteness has preserved its rural "lost in time" character.

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I began with a late start, getting out of bed only at 06:30. Three hours later I unloaded my bike from the car at Ogawamachi Michi-no-Eki for the ride to Chichibu.

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Near Nagatoro I cleared one Veloviewer tile and saw a paraglider.

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The clockwise Mitsumine loop climbs above 1,200 m and it was an overcast day so I knew I wouldn't get too hot.The top of Mt Buko next to Chichibu city was covered in clouds and I could see mist rising from the forest elsewhere.

I didn't bring any rain gear as I wasn't expecting more than drizzle and that was a good bet.

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After turning off the main road I climbed the Ochigawa rindo which was closed to traffic beyond the fishing center. I passed about four barriers. Some short sections of the rindo were under reconstruction with exposed gravel surfaces and in other places there was debris from rock slides but everything was perfectly rideable.

With all the recent heavy rain the streams and waterfalls were beautiful.

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The lower part of the climb is steep, mostly around 8 percent (in the 6-12 percent range) but there is so much too see that as long as you pace yourself and have good gearing it never feels too hard. Higher up it becomes less steep. There you either get to enjoy views because of the elevation or because it becomes very atmospheric as you're riding in clouds (i.e. fog and drizzle).

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I met several deer that were not shy at all. One was just standing there looking at me from 5 m away, not scared at all. I was beautiful to watch its graceful moves as it finally got out of the way, lightfooted like a ballet dancer.

The two tunnels at the top were very dark.

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Once I got up to 900 m it felt chilly with the lower temperature and drizzle. I could see beads of water collecting on the hair of my exposed wrists as I cycled through the fog.

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I was glad when I had passed the second tunnel and the descent to Mitsumine shrine started as it got a bit warmer again. I had to descend slowly because of the sharp-edged debris on the road.

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The long descent on the main road back to Chichibu was fun.

I stopped for dinner at Chichibu de Tandooru (ちちぶdeタンドール) before cycling the last 50 km back to the car in the dark.

How long will I continue "Century A Month" after 10 years? I have no intention to stop but I also feel no pressure.

I think it's a good incentive to maintain at least a minimal level of fitness and never get too lazy. What I enjoy most about it are the views though.
 

microcord

Maximum Pace
Aug 28, 2012
1,366
926
The lower part of the climb is steep, mostly around 8 percent (in the 6-12 percent range) but there is so much too see that as long as you pace yourself and have good gearing it never feels too hard.
Inspired by Johan Museeuw (see video above) and bored by a certain stretch of Tamagawa, today I decided to do the whole ride on the big ring. (With just 50 teeth, not so very big, I must admit.)

I discovered that I have a switchable earworm. As I started to climb, De Vlaamse Leeuw started up somewhere between my ears; and yes, I could make it to the top.
 

rarirureroberto

Riding in Tokyo, but looking forward to go beyond.
Mar 12, 2019
66
41
Any plans for a group ride for the holiday? I was thinking of riding to Yamanakako, but not sure if my motivation (legs) is there.
 

OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
2,309
1,982
Today wasn’t my lucky day: I wanted to take my mountain bike out for a relaxed ride. My default trail held a few surprises: lots of spiders, I must have torn 20 webs or so, some of the path was overgrown with plants and grasses, and it was super slippery from the rain. But then this took the cake:

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I guess I’ll remove that star from the Strava segment. Really a pity, this was the closest off-road segment from my house.

I tried exploring another forest, but bikes are apparently not allowed. 😔 Or so some angry Japanese man told me.
 

OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
2,309
1,982
What's super frightening is that this part hadn't eroded over years, bit-by-bit, last time I rode it the left side was line with bamboo and bush, and it looked like there was still some more greenery behind. The trail is also relatively wide, a wide double-track with a bit of a berm even. It was very safe to ride at speed. But the whole bit broke off in one piece it seems. (Perhaps it happened in pieces, but still.)

I was lucky that I took the first loop easy and had new, great brakes. (I often do that when it is clear that the trail is in a sketchy condition, e. g. due to rain. The rocks that litter the double track bit can get very slippery and in some parts you can have mud.)
 
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