BRM914 千葉 200km (Chiba 200 km Audax)

Phil

Maximum Pace
#1
Many thanks to Arai-san for the initial heads-up on this event.

What: 200 km brevet organized by Audax Japan-Chiba.
Where: Start and finish at Sodegaura Seaside Park (袖ヶ浦海浜公園).
When: 7 am start, Sep. 14 (Sunday).
How: Sports Entry, by Aug 31

Charles (chazzer) and I are thinking of doing this, and Arai-san is riding the 300 km starting at 10 pm the evening before.

Details here:
http://members3.jcom.home.ne.jp/aj-chiba/

Click on the BRM914千葉200km link at the top for details, including map and cue sheets.

BRM914千葉200km

実施日:9月14日(日)
スタート: 07:00
集合場所: 袖ヶ浦海浜公園 第一駐車場
コース: 袖ヶ浦~君津~富津~三芳~白浜~鴨川~大多喜~市原~袖ヶ浦
申込締切: 8月31日
申込み:スポーツエントリー叉は郵送にて
 

Phil

Maximum Pace
#3
Thanks for that link, Keren. It does seem to occupy a niche corner of the sport, though completing the Paris-Brest-Paris is perhaps one of the more famous cycling goals.

Anyway, established that I'll be back in the country in time for this, so signed up at Sports Entry. Just have to pay at the combini and I'm all set. Was thinking that maybe you had to be a member of Audax Japan or similar, but there was an option for non-members (非会員), at an extra \1000.
 
#4
Thanks

Many thanks to Arai-san for the initial heads-up on this event.

What: 200 km brevet organized by Audax Japan-Chiba.
Where: Start and finish at Sodegaura Seaside Park (袖ヶ浦海浜公園).
When: 7 am start, Sep. 14 (Sunday).
How: Sports Entry, by Aug 31

Charles (chazzer) and I are thinking of doing this, and Arai-san is riding the 300 km starting at 10 pm the evening before.

Details here:
http://members3.jcom.home.ne.jp/aj-chiba/

Click on the BRM914千葉200km link at the top for details, including map and cue sheets.

BRM914千葉200km

実施日:9月14日(日)
スタート: 07:00
集合場所: 袖ヶ浦海浜公園 第一駐車場
コース: 袖ヶ浦~君津~富津~三芳~白浜~鴨川~大多喜~市原~袖ヶ浦
申込締切: 8月31日
申込み:スポーツエントリー叉は郵送にて

Thank you,Phil

300Km is a new world for me, but I would like to challenge.:eek: I am ready with my gadgets for night ride, but not with my engine.:mad:

Minoru Arai
 

chazzer

Speeding Up
Nov 23, 2006
449
0
36
Bushey Heath, Hertfordshire
#5
I'm in ...

signed up for the 200km.

Phil - looks like you and me unless there are any other late takers. Deadline is this Sunday 31st.

Great way to get going again in September, really looking forward to it.

chazzer
 
Jun 6, 2007
113
0
36
fa
#7
Well, pluck my duck!

I've been wanting to take part in these brevets for almost a year now, mainly
to qualify for entry into the Cascade 1200 (which runs around, over, and
through the mountains of Washington State during the long 16 hour days of
early summer, sporting a brutal 360km Day 1, most of it climbing) and entry
into the 1001 Miglia Italia (a 1600km jaunt in mid August that I imagine as
heaven -- wine, pasta, sleep, ride the bike, ride the bike, ride the bike, wine,
pasta, sleep . . . with a few mountains thrown in for the sake of amusement).

When I checked the Audax Japan website back in February, however, I
learned that entry in Japan's national organization closed on January 31 of
each year (to keep paper work to a minimum, they say). And assuming that
entry into a sanctioned brevet required entry in a national organization (as
was the case in several other countries where I was considering riding), I said
drat! and put off my plans till next year. Now I learn, for the umpteenth time,
to be wary of assumptions.

To add insult to injunction, I will be out of the country starting next week
(hiking and climbing in some of the same mountains of the Cascade 1200)
returning only on the 16th of September, too late to join in the fun this time. I
wish you all the best of rides. Hope you enjoy yourselves so much that one or
more of you will want to join me for the 400km Chiba brevet on November 8.

David

Cascade 1200 info: http://seattlerando.org/C1200/
1001 Miglia Italia info: http://www.audaxitalia.com/news/read_news.php?news=174&category=8&c=18
 

Phil

Maximum Pace
#8
Sorry you can't make it, David. I remember you mentioning you were interested in randonneuring a while back. I wasn't sure myself if non-members could sign up until going through the Sports Entry forms. If you're thinking of joining for next year, I think the cutoff might be as early as December this time...will have to keep an eye on the homepage.

Enjoy the hiking!
 
#10
24 hours from now

Just noticed they uploaded graphical cue sheets to the Audax page. Click on the BRM914千葉200km link at http://members3.jcom.home.ne.jp/aj-chiba/ and then the コマ図1, コマ図2, コマ図3 links. I think they only provide the same info as the Excel cue sheet, but they might be handy as a backup.

Phil, Thank you for this update. I do have a strong partner for navigation, GPS with color maps. But as a contingency, I will bring this too.

I will start at 10:00PM tomorrow Sept.13 for the unexperienced 300Km ride and get to return by 6:00PM in the following day, Sunday. I actually drove the initial 30Km last week for scouting purpose and found this night course is really in a mountain area, which means no street lights.

This 300Km run is the challenge to me and excites me. I will just enjoy being able to run and challenge.

DSCN0471.jpg


DSCN0468.jpg


Minoru Arai
 

chazzer

Speeding Up
Nov 23, 2006
449
0
36
Bushey Heath, Hertfordshire
#12
200km Brevet

Well - what a day out this was !

I have just loaded the GPS data and here it is :

A total of 212km, with a total climb of 1915m, in a total ride time of 8hrs 26 mins yielding an average speed of 25.2km/h. Total elapsed time, which is what counts in audax, was 10hrs and 58 mins. We set off at 07:26 and arrived home at 18:27.

Other stats were a max gradient of 18.4%, max speed of 70.4 km/h. My average rate of climb was 227m/hr.

The stats do tell the story to some extent but that is not the whole picture of course.

First and foremost - many thanks to Arai-san for posting this event in the first place and then to Phil for further research and logisitics. Gentlemen - this was a wonderful day, tough and exacting but thoroughly enjoyable ! Many congratulations to Arai-san on what we hope was a successful finish over 300kms. Phil and I met Arai-san when he had about 60kms to run and he was looking good. An overnight ride on those roads would be a very different experience and one that I really hope to try someday.

For now, 200km will do nicely - thank you !

The event began for me with an early start around 4am and a flawless train ride out to Chiba, actually Sodegaura. There I met three other competitiors and managed to tag along to the start where Phil was waiting. A little bit of form filling ensued (in romaji too just to keep that international flavour) and then the shaken. Lights, bell (looks naff but there you go...), and some form of reflective vest or similar. Phil and I opted for the minimalist approach, sort of the Brazilian thong of audax, with a nice little over the shoulder number. We passed !!

The speech that preceded the shaken explained the process for the route checks. Basically all three stops were at combini and the receipts should be kept along with the brevet card we had been given after the form filling paraphenalia. These would provide the proof that we had been to the right places at the right time. Clever huh !

In addition, we were solemnly warned, there would be a secret checkpoint at some point and we also had to stop there and have our brevet cards signed.

With the admin done it was time to leave. Phil and I were idly thinking that 9 hours might be a good time to aim for.

At this point and right on cue, it began to rain :(

We were the last group to depart, there being three groups at 6:30 , 7:00 and 7:30.

As I said to Phil I was not in great condition having had a terrible weekend last week, however, I also felt confident about the distance having tackled Sado earlier in the year, so lets give it a real go :warau:

The age range of the entrants was interesting. A lot older, wiry looking guys, a few younger women, and a mixture of keen types in club jerseys. Phil and I initially found the pace to be very slow and we soon found ourselves pushing on and then we picked up a fairly fast group who pulled us well for the first 20km or so. At 25km the first tough climb of the day. Those of you who have ridden Boso know how these climbs work. Long and slowly curving, winding ever upwards with the summit always tantalisingly out of reach.

After this we knew the route would be typically Boso until the 100km mark. Up and down, never quite letting you off the hook. We reached both of the checkpoints without too much trouble. I had loaded the route to the GPS. Once I got used to the idiosyncrasies of the route following needle then I was able to anticipate the turns reasonably well. Later generation GPS with full map display are probably better in this regard, however my eyes are too poor to read without reading glasses !!

Without doubt the cue sheets are definitely necessary and next time I will rely on the GPS for distance travelled and then run off the cue sheets. Next challenge would be to find a little clipboard or similar to mount them. My jury-rigged effort with velcro around the brake cables was not robust enough. So they had to be stuffed in a pocket which made it difficult.

The kms slipped by as Phil and I were able to hammer along at nearly 40km/h along the seaside. There was no headwind at all and in fact the wind did not become a factor all day long which was welcome. We were often passing groups and noticed that the hare and tortoise rule definitely applies. We were stopping a little more often than the official stops and the tortoise groups would grind by only for us to catch them up again on the next section.

Soon we were back climbing again as we headed inland around the 140km mark. Again, typically Boso profiles and once passed the 150km then this becomes more and more exacting. However we continued to go well. I was pleased that there had been no repeat of the serious cramps of the week below.

Then we made one of two slight navi errors for the day. Actually we were doubting our own map reading abilities as well as not quite believing the GPS. It all turned out OK though and we found ourselves on a really obscure little road which climbed relentlessly until - the secret checkpoint !! The organisers were there with their van and awning ready to wave us down. At the stop the brevete card is marked and we knew that, barring real problems, we were going to make it.

Except that these guys had slipped in some really evil short stuff at the 190km mark. They really know how to make you suffer ! This was where we hit the 18% climb - out of the saddle and hanging on for dear life. But we made it.....

Light was now fading and we made our second error. Again these guys had made it challenging until the last. A really hard to find turn over a rindo was easily missed - and we did ! Backtracking and trying hard to reconcile the distance we had travelled according to UPS compared with what we should have run on the map was confusing enough, plus tiredness and the gloom drawing in made it really challenging. Eventually we found the turn - another tough rindo and then another obscure turn that we missed the first time round.

Finally we made the descent, hit the coast and began to hammer. It was really pleasing to have the energy left to do this and soon we were catching little groups as we sped towards the finish.

After a final stop where we told that lights must be in steady mode and not flashing ! Then we drifted to the finish.

I don`t think I could have turned the cranks another turn !!

Checked in and given our times and then the card is finally signed and retained, along with the 1000 yen that we opt to pay to have the medal for the event.

Honestly this was a tough day out and it certainly is harder than it might seem at first sight. Definitely harder than Sado for me at least. The secret to shorter elapsed times has to be less stops. Phil and I stopped for a total of 2 and a half hours which does seem amazing. Not sure I believe but the stats don`t lie I guess. Nine hours over this course would be quite some achievement. It will be interesting to see the times when they are posted on the J-Audax site.

Thoroughly recommended....

chazzer
 

Phil

Maximum Pace
#13
Many, many thanks to Arai-san for letting us know about this event, and to Charles for the excellent company over a long, gruelling, but thoroughly enjoyable day.

Charles' account covers the whole day really well, and is pretty much how I remember things. Once again, the up and downs, up and downs of Boso were a challenge, especially on this route--the organizers had found a number of substantial hills that I'd never ridden before.

Riding a brevet is a bit different from other organized rides. The many traditions, such as the little brevet cards and the formal bike inspection, showed that the sport is still very true to its origins. Self-sufficiency is the name of the game, and as Charles alludes to in the account, navigation is very much part of the challenge. We have to be very appreciative, also, of the all-volunteer organizers, without whom the sport would not exist.

It was great to meet Arai-san, resting by a Coke machine at the 60 km mark (for us--240 km for Arai-san!) and we also ran into koribeyer and friend near Takataki Lake, out on their own ride.

My computer stats were almost identical to Charles:

Distance: 212.19
Average: 25.3
Max: 72.3
Ride time: 8:23

The extra 10 km was from getting lost and doubling back on routes.

Observations/Lessons Learned

- A system for mounting the cue sheets on the handlebars so you can read them as you ride would be extremely helpful. I tried a top tube-mounted bag but it was the wrong size for an A4 sheet and got in the way of my knees. Eventually, the cue sheet went into my jersey pocket.

- We only rode about an hour in darkness, but I realized that for overnight riding, a helmet light would be extremely useful (essential?) for reading your computer/cue sheet.

- For better times, you need to keep riding. You can lose a surprising amount of time at the stops.

Random ride stat
Number of riders with rear disk wheels: 2
 

Philip

Speeding Up
Feb 15, 2007
765
7
38
Setagaya
#14
Congratulations . . .

I enjoyed the excellent account Charles and your thoughtful summation Phil (disk wheels - why???). Breaks definitely add a lot of time to the ride. The combini stop is just too enjoyable :D

Congratulations to Arai-san, Charles and Phil - great achievement!
 
#15
Well done guys!

Navigating the Boso roads seems to take dozens of map stops. I'm not ready to spring for a computer and can't figure out the best way to carry a map either.

Sorry not to have properly introduced myself!

Reading about brevets makes me think that this type of challenge and touring is where my cycling future is heading. Maybe next year!
 
#16
300Km ride

Thank you, Charles and Phil, for the detail reports. What you have described applies to my 300K journey except the unexpected trail finding. I had no issue on route finding thanks to my strong partner, GPSmap60CS. This worked just perfectly to navigate me to the right direction. I was able to concentrate on just pedaling. I am not sure if Audax considers this route finding technic is one of the competency required for the participants. During the ride, I often instructed other participants to the right direction at a corner.

Anyway, this was a great ride. I completed this ride in 17 hours. Riding at completely dark night in a mountain area where phil and Charles got lost was quite a experience. Only the red back lights on their helmets can be seen in front of me in the dark. This night ride creates comradeship among the participants. Even solo participant like me becomes one of the instant group members. I rode in a group at night and later day time I rode by myself riding in my pace.

After 300K ride, I found myself not so tired as I anticipated before the ride. I believe good weather contributes to this. It was not too hot and not too cold and no strong wind, and no rain. It was very misty at night and humid but this was not big issue. My colleague of brevet told me brevet requires only strong will to complete. I partially agree with this.

The route for 300K shares part of 200K but in an opposite direction. For my route, the first 130K eas relatively flat in Boso inland and along the coast. After that, two major slopes wait for the participants. These are not too high as compared with the one in Okutama or Yamanashi. But to me after riding over 200K, this was tough. I believe most of the 60 participants have completed within 20 hour limit.


Audax provides 200,300,400 and 600K rides. I may challenge to the next step someday but not this year. The brevet season normally starts from February and end in November. If you are interested, just stay tuned on the website for entry.

Minoru Arai
 

Pete

Speeding Up
Sep 22, 2006
144
1
38
Ichikawa Chiba
#17
Brilliant

Phil, Charles and Aria-san - a big congratulations to the three of you.:D It sounds like a really great experience. And what a perfect way to discover some of the remoter areas of Chiba.

Aria-san - 300km in one day, including riding in lonely areas of mountains in the dark, is one hell of an achievement. Brilliant!
 

marc

Speeding Up
#18
- A system for mounting the cue sheets on the handlebars so you can read them as you ride would be extremely helpful. I tried a top tube-mounted bag but it was the wrong size for an A4 sheet and got in the way of my knees. Eventually, the cue sheet went into my jersey pocket.
I did the Saitama 200 back in January and found a way to deal with this. I printed the cue sheet horizontally (A4 I think, maybe B5) and had it laminated at a Kinko's-type shop (less than 100yen). I punched a pair of holes in it and used a pair of metal rings (from those word-card packs everyone uses for language study) to clip the sheet to my handlebars. It was safe from the weather, out of the way of my knees, and readable even while riding.

Man, I wish I'd been paying attention to the schedules. I didn't notice Chiba had another 200 brevet autumn and was just waiting for the winter season to start again. My time this year was 10:37 (first time, and the furthest I'd ever ridden), so I'm hoping to do a lot better next time.

- For better times, you need to keep riding. You can lose a surprising amount of time at the stops.
Yep, that's exactly what killed me.
 

Phil

Maximum Pace
#19
Congratulations Minoru on completing the 300km! We figured you had done it because you were well on schedule when we saw you, though it's nice to hear it confirmed.

It's interesting you mention the lights at night, because I'd read elsewhere that one of the appealing moments of riding a brevet is seeing red taillights of the other riders twinkling ahead of you into the distance. Definitely keen to tackle the 300km distance now...

I did the Saitama 200 back in January and found a way to deal with this. I printed the cue sheet horizontally (A4 I think, maybe B5) and had it laminated at a Kinko's-type shop (less than 100yen). I punched a pair of holes in it and used a pair of metal rings (from those word-card packs everyone uses for language study) to clip the sheet to my handlebars. It was safe from the weather, out of the way of my knees, and readable even while riding.
Thanks for the idea... I'm trying to imagine how it works. How did you support it horizontally? Did the front edge rest on the brake cables (assuming Shimano shifters)? Or was it flipped forward and resting on your top tube?
 

gmason

Warming-Up
Feb 25, 2007
92
0
0
Nottingham - UK
#20
- A system for mounting the cue sheets on the handlebars so you can read them as you ride would be extremely helpful.

I have seen recently a bar mounted map holder for touring cyclists, maybe just the kind of thing you need, think it even had a waterproof cover. Wasn't in my LBS it was in a supermarket. If I come across one in the next few weeks when shopping I'll pick one up and send a Pic. If anybody wants one I'll try to get a hold of a few more and send some over if you aren't able to find similar in Japan.

ps: great write up - really enjoyed the read.

Greg