Ride Flèche (24 hour ride) to Isawaonsen 4/10-4/11

lmm

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Hi all,

I'm looking to put together a group to do the Randonneurs Tokyo Flèche https://randonneurs.tokyo/?p=9967 . I have interest from a work colleague, so we'd be looking for 1-3 others to join.

We're required to ride a planned route of at least 360km over 24 hours, finishing at Isawaonsen. I would propose to start somewhere west of Tokyo (i.e. on the Tama river) and aim for as flat a route as possible which means heading along the coast (likely cutting across the Izu peninsula) before riding up the Fujikawa. If climbing can be avoided by taking a longer route around the Izu peninsula we'll have the ks to spare to do that; if not I'll look for some simple and flat route to get up to 360 (e.g. up the Tama to Hachioji and then down the Sagami). I'd propose to start at around 20:00 on the 10th (Friday) so as to finish at about 20:00 on the Saturday, after which people can either rinko home or stay overnight according to taste. Open to discussion on all of those points (my experience is that for a 24 hour ride it's best to do the overnight at the start rather than the end, but I could be persuaded), but I'm not going to be up to a huge amount of climbing.

That tickle anyone's fancy? Applications are already open (deadline is the 26th but might be sooner if they fill up), so I'm aiming to put one together by next Wednesday or so.

Mickey
 

Kangaeroo

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If you can't find anyone else, count me in (but I'd rather cheer from the sidelines. Might be hard to make a flattish route heading out that way).
 
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lmm

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@Kangaeroo Sounds like you're up if you're still willing? is what I've come up with for a route proposal - there's a substantial climb to get across the Izu peninsula but it's hopefully not too bad on the whole.

PM me your full name and age you'll be on April 10th? Or no worries if sanity is starting to prevail.
 

lmm

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Work-colleague has dropped out - we need 3 for a valid team (though I'll be doing the ride even if not), so if anyone's willing to step up you'd be a real hero. Final routing is , and we can update the team makeup until Sunday.
 
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joewein

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I'm already signed up as part of a 5 person team for the Audax Randonneurs Nihonbashi Fleche on that weekend. so I can't join you.

Once you cross Miura I think this will be a very nice ride. The climbing will be very moderate, but the first 150 km have a lot of urban roads. Don't underestimate the impact of traffic lights on average speed!

Also, if you're riding 8pm to 8am, getting enough sleep upfront will be crucial. I find rides with a night start much more difficult than rides ending in a night ride.

I did my first Fleche last year and it was a unique experience, quite different in many ways from regular brevets. You'll be riding together all the way, including on climbs (no WATT but riding within line of sight) which makes it much for of a team experience than a personal challenge.
 
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lmm

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Thanks for the encouragement, and best of luck to your team. I guess the timing thing is personal - I've always found it much easier to do the night riding at the start and then staying awake in the daytime is less of a challenge. And yeah, I'm hoping dawn along the coast and up the river should be some really beautiful riding.
 
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joewein

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The ride along the coast after you hit the west coast of Miura will be great. Lots of ocean views along the Shonan coast and into Izu. Between Numazu and Fuji City there's a lengthy urban stretch again but after you cross the Fuji river and turn north it will be nice again. Lots of Fuji views (weather permitting) until it gets dark.
 
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47no

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Interesting, looks like a huge challenge for me but if it's flat and slow in general I think I can do it. Do you still need someone else in the team?
 
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lmm

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@47no Yes we do, if you feel up to joining us then please do! Let's talk about the details tomorrow.
(For anyone else reading, teams are of 3-5, so 2 spaces if more people do want to join)
 
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joewein

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Also, if the team is more than 3 people the team can still officially complete if not everybody can complete the ride, as long as at least three people arrive after having ridden the required distance together. In practice, I think not many teams take advantage of that: They will either all finish or support the member who can't complete for whatever reason.

When I did the Fleche last year, we were a very mixed group, ranging from successful Paris-Brest-Paris (1200 km) finishers and one member who had completed a 2400 km brevet in Hokkaido to me who has yet to successfully finish a 600k. Nevertheless we maintained a paced that allowed us to stay together at all times so drafting worked very well with nobody burning out prematurely.

As a Randonneuring event you will need to have third party liability insurance of at least 100 million yen, for example the 7-11 bicycle insurance, but that is good to have anyway and required in some prefectures. Also you will need a rear light attached to the frame (not to a saddle bag) which can't be used in blinking mode plus a bicycle bell (legally required in Japan though not many road cyclists follow the law; they're strict about that in Randonneuring events). You need to wear a reflective vest.
 

andywood

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Also, if the team is more than 3 people the team can still officially complete if not everybody can complete the ride, as long as at least three people arrive after having ridden the required distance together. In practice, I think not many teams take advantage of that: They will either all finish or support the member who can't complete for whatever reason.

When I did the Fleche last year, we were a very mixed group, ranging from successful Paris-Brest-Paris (1200 km) finishers and one member who had completed a 2400 km brevet in Hokkaido to me who has yet to successfully finish a 600k. Nevertheless we maintained a paced that allowed us to stay together at all times so drafting worked very well with nobody burning out prematurely.

As a Randonneuring event you will need to have third party liability insurance of at least 100 million yen, for example the 7-11 bicycle insurance, but that is good to have anyway and required in some prefectures. Also you will need a rear light attached to the frame (not to a saddle bag) which can't be used in blinking mode plus a bicycle bell (legally required in Japan though not many road cyclists follow the law; they're strict about that in Randonneuring events). You need to wear a reflective vest.
Joe, I've always wondered about the non blinking rear light rule.

Just from my own feeling when approaching cyclists from behind, I find a blinking light to be more visible and leads me to err with more caution.

The other big advantage of a blinking light is the extended battery lifetime for an event like this.

Some rear lights have phase blinking, where the light is on permanently with flashes of increased brightness. I guess these are okay?

I guess there's no rule preventing you from having two lights on the back with one in blinking mode. Then you would also have a spare.

What are the rules on lights on the front?

For me personally, a blinking light on the front is a good idea in daytime. And full light phase blinking at night.

I have a bear bell on my off road bike. I had that ringing while singing down a gravel descent yesterday. Still didn't stop a deer jumping out in front of me. Perhaps he was attracted to my Roy Orbison like singing tones!

Andy
 
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lmm

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For what it's worth, I find blinking lights very annoying and am convinced they reduce overall safety. A flashing light certainly does draw more attention, which ends up being the problem - particularly when riding behind one for an extended period, I find that it's very easy to get mesmerised by the flashing and distracted from seeing anything else. A flashing front light is even worse as it becomes the only thing I can see in my mirrors. The battery life argument might be reasonable in some cases, but seems pretty spurious when applied to the searingly bright lights I see today - a steady light at a more reasonable level would use less battery (and in any case a responsible randonneur should be carrying spares). Being visible is important, but trying to stand out from other road users is taking it too far - at that point it becomes selfish and just creates an arms race.

I'm glad that PBP has a "no blinking lights" rule, and wish Randonneurs Tokyo enforced theirs more. That said, obviously for a Flèche it's less of a problem since you're only riding with your own group.
 

andywood

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For what it's worth, I find blinking lights very annoying and am convinced they reduce overall safety. A flashing light certainly does draw more attention, which ends up being the problem - particularly when riding behind one for an extended period, I find that it's very easy to get mesmerised by the flashing and distracted from seeing anything else. A flashing front light is even worse as it becomes the only thing I can see in my mirrors. The battery life argument might be reasonable in some cases, but seems pretty spurious when applied to the searingly bright lights I see today - a steady light at a more reasonable level would use less battery (and in any case a responsible randonneur should be carrying spares). Being visible is important, but trying to stand out from other road users is taking it too far - at that point it becomes selfish and just creates an arms race.

I'm glad that PBP has a "no blinking lights" rule, and wish Randonneurs Tokyo enforced theirs more. That said, obviously for a Flèche it's less of a problem since you're only riding with your own group.
All lights are good and I wouldn't advocate one over the other.

As for annoying me, I ride with people with flashing lights all the time. 200km in a line yesterday. It doesn't bother me personally. But I can understand it might bother some.

I think it's more important to be visible to motorists. In this sense there is no harm in standing out more than other road users. As a cyclist you are arguably the most vulnerable. I have fluorescent helmet, shoes and refletive clothing. More is better as far as I'm concerned.

As for the front flashing light, in my experience many collisions with cars are when a car pulls out in front of the cyclist from the side. So anything that may make the driver take a second look before jumping out is a good thing. Of course the cyclist has to pay attention to what's going on and use hand signals as appropriate.

But yeah, all lights are good. Just wondered why that one rule.

Andy
 
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jdd

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As for the front flashing light, in my experience many collisions with cars are when a car pulls out in front of the cyclist from the side.
In the US, at least my part, motorcycles not only have to ride with their front light on during the day, but there's also a system that creates a flashing effect for those motorcycle headlights--a modulator. Some people like them, some hate them, but IMO it does increase visibility & safety.
 

joewein

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I guess there's no rule preventing you from having two lights on the back with one in blinking mode. Then you would also have a spare.

What are the rules on lights on the front?
Hi Andy,
You have to check with the event organisers and their website to be sure as these details can vary a bit from event to event.

Headlights and taillights are required and at least one tail light must be in always-on mode (not flashing). They must be on from evening to dawn. Flashing rear lights can be used, but not as the only rear light.

These the Audax Japan minimum requirements.

Individual clubs can make extra demands. On brevets organised by AJ NishiTokyo of 300 km or more or with a night time start, two lights need to be installed at the front and two lights at the rear are required. Presumably this is to deal with the risk of running out of battery on the only light. With two rear lights one can also be on the rear of the helmet but the other needs to be attached to the frame.

I normally run with my dynamo front light and dynamo rear light (attached to the front rack and rear fender respectively), plus a battery front light (Cateye Volt 300), a battery rear light on the seat stay and a battery rear light on the helmet as backups. My battery operated rear lights use AA or AAA cells for which spares are easy to carry or buy at conbini. The runtime on the battery operated front light is more limited, but the dynamo LED light is so bulletproof, I only really carry the Volt 300 to meet the regulations, not because I think I might ever need it and so I don't really worry how long it would last.
 

andywood

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You sound well prepared Joe.

By the way, the cat eye volts that I use have a rechargeable cartridge.

Amazon product
So you always have a charged unit ready. Or on long rides, you could carry a spare or two.

Good ride yesterday!

Andy
 
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joewein

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I do have a spare cartridge battery for the Volt 300 like the one you posted, @andywood but I only carry that when I use the Volt on a non-dynamo hub bike where the chance of running out of charge on an all-night ride is real.

I have used dynamo hub LED lights on both of my bikes since December 2011, covering close to 70,000 km in those years, with probably 10,000-15,000 of those km at night and never had a single problem. The one I use on the NFE uses a light sensor so it comes on automatically when it gets dark, such as entering a tunnel or around dusk (if I run it in auto mode).
 
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