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Today February 2024

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
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Somehow January seemed a very long month to me. I got two long-ish rides in though, to be honest, I wasn't so enthusiastic to get out there with the cold. But the Century a Month challenge always gives me that nudge to overcome the temptation to do the easy, comfortable thing :)

In two weeks I'm going for my first US trip in a year. I'll again have a chance to ride with my friend Tom before I attend a conference in San Francisco.

How was your January, what's coming up in February?

This is your thread for writing about your everyday adventures this month.
 
Nice going on the Century a Month Joe. I hear there are a couple of steep hills in SF, so it would be good to read about your rides and some pics of the beautiful city.

I am going to do a Zone 2 ride today. No. Really. I am. It is going to be warm and the wind is supposed to be howling down the Arakawa today, almost the full 40km segment that is such a blast to zip down, and my fast wheels have not been swapped with my training wheels yet ;).

Yeah. I'm gonna try Zone 2 haha
 
Wishing you a nice tailwind, @casualguy939!

My friend Tom lives on Monterey peninsula, a scenic area about 2 hours by rental car south of SF. I used to visit there many times. Both Tom and I used to work for Digital Research Inc, the company that created CP/M (an operating system widely used before Microsoft took over the market). Gary Kildall, who started DRI, was a teacher at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey at the time. When I visit I usually borrow Tom's Bianchi road bike. I always bring my helmet and SPD shoes on those trips.

I have done bike rides in SF but never on the steep hills, only along the harbour and across the Golden Gate bridge (great views!). I just get myself a rental bike for a couple of hours. My biggest concern as a cyclist in SF would not be the hills but bike theft: When you see heavy-duty locks on old bikes, you can never really enjoy using a nice bike for any errands that involve parking. We are so spoilt here in Japan where in most places you can feel safe locking up a $3000 bike with a $10 lock, if at all.
 
Renting is a good way to go. I hear that though. Losing a bike to theft really hurts, and we are lucky that it rarely happens here. My 6 year old Merida commuter is just about ready to to be discarded, and many of the parts from it are going to get transferred to my titanium road bike frame to be used as a commuter. I'll remove all of the stickers and get another Abus motorcycle lock to hopefully keep it from getting stolen, but I will be keeping an eye on it a lot more than my Merida. I am sure that I am going to love that bike as a commuter.

As for the tailwind, it was a blast. I rode in Zone 2 up to the 43km marker, and just couldn't keep it in Zone 2. I stopped my Strava ride at 54km, ate two spam musubi, and then rode from the 21km bridge on Arakawa to the Bay at a good clip, and back in Zone 2 for another 40km for a total of 94km. Not doing virtually any rides over 100km for a while has affected my fitness and something else that happened has given me the motivation to get my FTP up to about 260-280W.
 
Perhaps the frame has had a hard life, but that's less than half the age of my youngest frame.
Sounds like you take good care of your bikes too. I tend to take pretty good care of my bikes, and I could still get more life out of it but instead of putting money into it to keep it roadworthy I think I'll soon convert my titanium road bike to use as a flat bar commuter. Who knows, maybe I'll use the rear triangle and use the down tube for my project lol.
 
Gary Kildall, who started DRI, was a teacher at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey at the time.
I lived up the hill at DLI for 2 years. One of my nicest memories. Looked out over the Pacific or Monterey Bay and listened to the seals barking.
 
Mired in the worst part of Winter right now, fortunately it isn't too bad in Tokyo.
Managed to get in a few miles today along the Edogawa River.
 
Cold riding days and snow these days in the mountains outside of Tokyo in Yamanashi. But still finding routes that are simply stunning with great climbs and scenery of Yatusgatake, Minami Apls and good ole Fuji. Miss the camaraderie with cycling buddies on the Tamagawa ending at Cross Coffee. But I will be rinko'ing it once a month for rides and also hosting rides at our kominka.
 
Mired in the worst part of Winter right now, fortunately it isn't too bad in Tokyo.
Managed to get in a few miles today along the Edogawa River.
I know it's "TokyoCycle", but as someone that lives on the west coast I'm always envious of the other side's weather. Maybe a little less so during summer, but overall... phew. This winter has somehow seemed worse, and not quite as bad as last year's. Maybe it's due to less snow, but more rain? Indoor rides always seem more mentally taxing when there's less of a clear reason why you're doing it.

Can't wait for Spring. And not Japan's "Old Calendar" "Spring", but the meteorological Spring. Although celebrating Setsubun was fun.
 
Strava bug?
This happened while jogging at a leisurely pace this morning. Apparently I ran 400 meters in one second! 🏃‍♂️ 💨 Can't wait to see what I can do on a bike!
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Strava bug?
Strange things were happening yesterday. I was riding with two friends; one (A) was, I think, tracking his ride in Strava (I didn't hear about that); the other (T) doing so in Komoot; me, in Ride with GPS. Over lunch at the end of the (main) ride,

T: "Strange: Komoot shows nothing."

Me: "Oh dear. But thanks for the reminder: I'll stop Ride with GPS."

And so I did; though the needed "keystrokes" (fingertipstrokes) are now so familiar that I hardly looked at the screen. I believe that I told it to stop and save, but imaginably I didn't.

RwGPS now doesn't think I rode anywhere yesterday.

Having already done two climbs, my third, up to Yabitsu, was a struggle, and slow even for me. But I enjoyed the lunch (at Mayu=麻釉) afterwards:

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A true bargain at 880 yen.

(This has only a half portion of rice. I could manage the regular portion if I tried. The large portion, at just 100 yen extra, looks as if it might land me in hospital.)

Mayu is quite a place. In order to show Japanese culinary arts to a guest from abroad, you could take them to a sushi joint and pay thousands and thousands, or you could save quite a bit and take them here:

 
Strava bug?
This happened while jogging at a leisurely pace this morning. Apparently I ran 400 meters in one second! 🏃‍♂️ 💨 Can't wait to see what I can do on a bike!
That must have been quite a bang as you crossed the sound barrier (3 s per km) ✈️ :flip:

But seriously, most likely bad GPS data. Either there was not enough signal for some interval before again there was, leading to all of the accumulated progress being attributed that single second of recovery, or a bad position calculation which can be caused by reflected signals (mountains, buildings, etc) that puts you wildly off location. Either of this is not unusual when there is no clear line of sight with enough satellites. They are a known issue for GPS developers but the firmware and Garmin's website should be able to filter them with plausibility checks.

I have seen KOMs on Rt246 underneath Shuto expressway where if you check the whole effort you can see the guy first rode on a mountain in Kanagawa, then continued "cycling" on Tomei expressway and Shuto at 80-100 km/h all the way to Tokyo...
 
I have seen KOMs on Rt246 underneath Shuto expressway where if you check the whole effort you can see the guy first rode on a mountain in Kanagawa, then continued "cycling" on Tomei expressway and Shuto at 80-100 km/h all the way to Tokyo...
Leave your garmin on the dashboard of the car as your drive back?
 
There was 1 flat Strava segment of about 2km on Arakawa just on the Tokyo Bay side of Horikiri station that logged numerous riders at something crazy like 89.2kph each, and the top 3 were tied for the KOM at another crazy speed such as 103.4kph. The funny thing was that none of them rode that segment at the same time, and I don't think any of them had a higher top speed listed over 30kph on their ride. Just chugging along at something in the mid 20s, and then "BAM!!!" almost 90kph for 1 section. While looking at their rides closely I could see that the starting point was actually on an overpass, meaning they had to somehow magically drop 5-6m off the overpass and then continue along the bike path on the bottom. Whoever made that segment jacked it up pretty good.
 
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Happy Valentine's Day to those who celebrate! :)

I did my February Century last Saturday (162 km, on Strava). Tomorrow I'll be leaving for a business trip to the US and only land here again a week from Saturday, so I wanted to get this out of the way.

My mother in law in Sakado had some problem that she needed help with so I decided to head that way and then to Kuroyama Santaki ("Black Mountain Three Waterfalls") in Ogose, one of my favourite places near Sakado.

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I left at 08:00, not particularly early and followed a relatively straight course towards Sakado through Kichijoji and Tokorozawa, navigating from memory and a bit of Google Maps.

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This is Tanashi Tower, a communications tower in Tanashi, Nishitokyo. It looks like something out of a sci-fi movie and looks about as earthquake proof as can be. The amount of steel in Japanese comms towers is just amazing!

Tanashi is also home to Citizen Watch Co, whose headquarters I passed. Later I passed a factory of theirs in Saitama.

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Though Tokyo doesn't tend to get much snow, some people here are well prepared for it. I saw this snow plow on a small Suzuki Jimny 4x4 at a trucking company.

I had a curry lunch at an Indian restaurant in Tsurugashima. It was fairly busy.

The most surprising view of the day was in Moroyama, Saitama. I was passed by a medium size truck on whose tailgate I spotted a slogan in big black letters - in Cyrillic! I tensed up for a moment before my brain engaged and I recognized it read "Слава Україні" ("Glory to Ukraine!").

I came across plum blossoms in many places, including in Ogose, which has a plum park that is popular with visitors. The nearby shop sells various plum-related products.

As I cycled up Ogose valley there was still a fair amount of snow by the roadside. I concluded it would not have been a good idea to try the Greenline to get to Ome, even if I had enough time which I didn't, having already spent some time dealing with the problem that I had come for. Most likely, the Greenline would have been a Whiteline after the recent snow...

There used to be a Chaya (restaurant) and souvenir shop just below the main falls at Kuroyama Santaki, but it's now gone. Completely demolished, only some foundations are still visible. I wonder what happened.

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It used to be run by an old lady who I have met again and again through my 3 decades in Japan. When I moved to Japan in the early 1990s I first lived in Sakado, so we often went there with the kids on the weekend. The souvenir shops sold local products including honey, Japanese sweets, children's toys, etc. I have a small drawstring bag which I bought there that I keep my wallet and various cards in, a Japanese design in traditional textile patterns and sometimes I get "kawaii!" comments when Japanese people see me use it.

I wonder if the old lady has passed away and her family decided no longer to continue the business.

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At the falls I was at 75 km, not much before the halfway point for the 160.9 km Century distance. Instead of climbing to the Greenline, I headed down the valley again and followed the main road below the foothills towards Hanno, around where it got dark. I got a bit lost on my way to Ome and with some bonus elevation gain, but it was all good and I made it to "Sherpa" for my Nepalese dinner.

I felt some tiny drops and was wondering if it was snow flakes because it was fairly cold but it was just ordinary drizzle. I was wearing my rain jacket on top of my winter jersey but hadn't brought the rain pants. Luckily by the time I finished dinner the drizzle had stopped again and it was only local anyway: In Fussa the roads were dry again.

When I got back to Setagaya I added a couple more km around the neighbourhood before heading for my house because I was still a bit short for distance but in the end I was home before midnight.

The next day I had not fully recovered yet. I hadn't really drunk enough water and was lacking sleep but Monday I was fine again.
 
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