Ride For any TCC 'tilers'

Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
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For anyone who has the Velotile-bug, I'm planning this ride/scramble for a date TBD (when things dry out a bit). It should bag some of those hard to get tiles. At the 60km mark a bit of a scramble would bag two more tiles, but have to follow a river bed, so who knows what will happen. No idea how bad the trails might be. Expect mud, washouts, etc. etc. etc. Great fun! If anyone wants to go along, let me know. I figure I'll do this sometime in mid October.

 

Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
617
510
113
Yokohama
Yep. @Half-Fast Mike is officially, 'the competition.' I am at a measly 14x14 max square and he is about 3 times that. So, I have a long way to go to be a challenger.
 

Half-Fast Mike

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I think a couple of people have had problems (with gate guards) getting onto that road to the west of the lake, but that was a long time ago and I only half-remember their stories. Anyway I'd potentially be up for this ride. I haven't done much in Tanzawa since it became clear that nothing south of Uenohara contributes to my Max Square. But some recent group rides have reminded me now nice it is.

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Karl

Maximum Pace
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Well, if the gate guards make it impossible to get up there, I will probably just get on 76 and do that pass again. I still need one tile from up that way. I put some Continental 35c tires on my Surly, so hopefully I'll have better luck with the soupy stuff up there.

Now, if only the weather will cooperate.
 

WattsUp

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Could someone translate this into English please. What is 'velotile'.
 

Karl

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Veloviewer program associated with Strava splits up the map into squares/tiles. Idea is to ride to as many tiles as possible. Once you 'touch' it, it changes color on your map. Think Pokemon-go for bikers. I enjoy it since it gives me a reason to go to places I have never been.
 

Half-Fast Mike

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There are two main challenges (distributed over time and space) associated with tiling - the Max Square and Max Cluster. Max Square is about making the largest square (e.g., 2 x 2, 14 x 14) of the little tiles that you can. Max Cluster is about making the largest group of connected tiles that you can. There are no prizes! As @Karl says, it's about going to new places... usually after poring obsessively over maps to make sure we don't accidentally miss one.

Lots more information here: https://blog.veloviewer.com/introducing-the-explorer-cluster-and-configurable-explorer-visuals/

This is by no means the only thing that the Veloviewer web app does. It provides all sorts of creative ways to aggregate, visualise and analyse one's Stravr data. Well worth the small annual fee, to me.
 

Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
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Yokohama
Planning to get up in the hills this weekend, if the weather report holds and there is no rain. I will be at Shibusawa station (just past Hadano) at 8:15 on Sunday morning and ready to roll by 8:30. The route starts out with quite a bit of climbing and a rindo. No idea what that rindo is like so if you decide to join, be prepared for whatever happens. I don't expect road tires will be a good idea, so if you have something with some grip in the mud, best put them on. I'm expecting mud, washouts, rockfalls, and bears(?) so it should be fun!

This ride is not just for 'tilers' but I do intend to take some detours to make sure to pick up a tile or two. My guess is this may require a bit of a scramble or two. You can wait till I rejoin you, come along with, or go on ahead if you're not into tiling.

If anyone has been on this route lately and knows the conditions up there, feel free to chime in and let me know (especially if the summer typhoons and rains have made the route impassable.)

Please let me know (via this thread) if you're in.

*If it looks like the chance of rain is too high, I'll call the ride by 7:00 pm on Saturday night.

 
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Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
617
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113
Yokohama
It started well. Got off the train at Shibusawa and on the road by 7:40. Really beautiful and quiet up there after getting out of town. Lots of hikers out, enjoying the morning. I was the only biker on the path. Got to the part of my route that should have been a trail up to the top, but turned out to be a mostly unmarked, barely discernible 'path' that looked no different than forest floor. Started up the path but had to carry the bike. Decided not to try it any further and doubled back.

I didn't get the tiles I wanted but did discover the really nice road heading back down to Shibusawa (Rte 710). Great views of the river valley, very little traffic and well paved roads. Gonna have to do that again.

 
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Half-Fast Mike

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Nice job, @Karl. I've only ever ridden a small overlap with what you had planned. It was at almost exactly this time of year.

I do remember that at the very eastern tip of Tanzawako there were guards stopping anyone from cycling up the road to the north - presumably to prevent us from inconveniencing the squillions of pedestrian leaf-watchers. They might not be there on weekdays, or at less busy times of the year. That wouldn't have been a problem if your planned route was viable as you'd have been dropping onto the checkpoint from above.

Please let me/us know your Strava/VV handle, you would - I'd like to see where else you've been riding and perhaps compare notes...
 
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Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
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Yokohama
Yep. Were whole gaggles of hikers. They seemed friendly enough but weren't much for sharing the path. I felt silly bringing my 'bear bell,' though. With so many hikers (none of them with bells), any self respecting bear would have already been long gone.

Strava handle is Chuck H

I think I'm going to have to just nibble away at those tiles up that way. No hurry. Really beautiful up there so I'm enjoying it.
 
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Karl

Maximum Pace
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Did this route Saturday. Nice weather and I got to try out my new Pearl Izumi winter wear. Kept me warm even in the early morning and at a bit higher elevations, so big thumbs up.

As for the route, not much of a fan of Route 31 from Ome to Musashi-Itsukaichi station. Rather narrow and lots of trucks. I'll probably avoid it in the future.

I tried to get a tile around the 60km mark but the stone quarry was in full operation and full of trucks. Got yelled at by a trucker at the entrance to the quarry so decided that I'll get that tile from a different approach or from the south. Might be able to go there on a Sunday when the operation is closed, though.

The rest of the route was nice. Familiar road up towards Tomin, then a couple short excursions on trail to get a couple more tiles. Sure enjoyed this part. My Surly, with Continental Cyclocross Speed 700x35 tires handled the rocks well. Plus, my new 1x system with the whopping 46 tooth gear in the back, helped here. Pretty happy with that set up. The tires are also good on the road. Not a lot of rolling resistance.

Then continued up the ridge on 33, through the tunnel, and down again. I liked this section. Not much traffic at all.

Finally, down to Uenohara where I was just able to catch the Holiday express. Home in 70 minutes. Can't beat that! Nice capper to a great day.

 

Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
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Still 'tiling' away. Slow progress, given the tiles I want are in the mountains. Decided to worry less about max square than max cluster. Too many inaccessible tiles I start hiking, so max square is not gonna grow much unless I focus on a lot of city riding or go north. Had a nice ride up towards Miyagase yesterday. New route that, once I hopped the fence, was paved the whole way and no one but me and a scattered number of hikers, all with huge telephoto lenses taking pictures of stuff. Not sure what they were trying to shoot, but at one point there must have been a hundred or more people with meter long lenses, sitting on a bridge, waiting for a perfect shot of something. Glad I found that route. Will do it again someday. Beautiful, quiet, and no traffic. Doesn't get any better. (But it was cold in the mountains yesterday, especially in the shade, despite the warm temps down below.)

@Half-Fast Mike Couple questions.

Is it possible to view another rider's max square info (other than to clip and paste a screen grab of it)?

And do you know of any app for a mobile phone that allows you to verify if you've actually bagged the tile or not while you're on the ride? (Several times now, I rode my planned route, thought I got the tile, and it didn't register... especially in the mountains)
 

Half-Fast Mike

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Had a nice ride up towards Miyagase yesterday. New route that, once I hopped the fence, was paved the whole way
Yes. That rindō around the west arm of the lake is lovely and quiet. I've seen deer and boar on the road there, as well as wildlife photographers. And it leads to other quiet rindō, as you know.

For the sake of completeness, I'm keen one day to ride the road marked in green. It's sternly fenced off, and there's a quarry or something in there based on Google Earth. BORING! One for a holiday Monday, I think.

Snap001.png

Is it possible to view another rider's max square info (other than to clip and paste a screen grab of it)?
Yes, if they have allowed it in VeloViewer settings. It's off by default, and can't be limited to, e.g., just people you're connected with on Stravr. So completely private or completely public.

My activity page is at https://veloviewer.com/athlete/152388/activities - the number in the URL is my Stravr ID. Yours would be https://veloviewer.com/athlete/2056314351/activities but I can't see it so I assume you don't have this setting enabled.

Snap002.png

do you know of any app for a mobile phone that allows you to verify if you've actually bagged the tile or not while you're on the ride? (Several times now, I rode my planned route, thought I got the tile, and it didn't register... especially in the mountains)
This was discussed quite a lot on the Stravr 'Ride Every Tile' club. There's an app for some Garmin units. I don't recall seeing anything for your Wahoo. If you have iPhone, the Maps.Me app is very useful - it uses offline maps, so no mobile data hit, and you can download from VeloViewer a .kml file of unexplored tiles around your cluster, and add it to Maps.Me as a layer.

Snap003.png

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So when I'm at a tile that might be marginal, I'll pull out my phone and check that I'm over the line.

The other thing I typically do is draw up a second 'route' in Stravr Route ßuilder, (e.g. Chichibu) showing the grid lines for unexplored tiles on my planned ride. This is a pain to do, because Route ßuilder is so rußßish. But it helps me on the road, giving motivation each time I cross into a new tile, and a relatively easy way to find a new route into a tile if my way is blocked. I display the planned route for riding in one colour, and the grid in a contrasting colour on my Edge.

Snap004.png
 

Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
617
510
113
Yokohama
Thanks, Mike.

I turned on the Veloviewer sharing toggle so, should you be so inclined, you should be able to see my current status in the world of tiling. I had a look at yours. You are the PacMan of Japan. Impressive!

Downloaded maps.me and will experiment with it and the klm file overlay next outing. Hopefully, I can avoid the bummer of thinking I bagged a tile, but it didn't register. Muchas gracias.

Really enjoying exploring new routes. Keeps the motivation high. Some real gems up in the mountains. The Veloviewer program has been a lot of fun and has got me out of the rut of riding the same routes over, and over.

(BTW... I rode the Arakawa last week and went through Shibuya, following your commute route, mostly. It was good till I got to Shibuya, but at that point the route went into a narrow two-lane underpass. I bailed out and went up and over some walkways. Hats off to you doing that commute so often.)
 

Half-Fast Mike

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(BTW... I rode the Arakawa last week and went through Shibuya, following your commute route, mostly. It was good till I got to Shibuya, but at that point the route went into a narrow two-lane underpass. I bailed out and went up and over some walkways. Hats off to you doing that commute so often.)
The first thousand times were the worst. And the second thousand - they were the worst, too. I tried a few times going via Dōgenzaka, but it was always much slower; garbage trucks, pedestrians, more lights synchronized to slow everything down.

Heading east past Shibuya on R246, the timing of the lights is easy to grasp. There's a left filter light at the bottom of the hill, which goes on way too long, and then traffic can proceed straight. The tunnel under the station platforms in this direction is split into two sections of two lanes each; the left side is too narrow and crowded . If I see that I don't have the light, I'll lurk by the telephone booth (remember them?) for the left filter to come on, count to 20, and then max turbo nutter down the hill, merging right by stages into the vehicles in lane 4 (out of 5). I'll typically be doing around 50 kph by the time the hill bottoms out, and with the smoother traffic flow in wider lanes on the right side of the underpass I can usually zip straight through the tunnel, merge back to the left, and keep my momentum up to hit Konnōzaka. Often quite the adrenaline rush, but drivers are so baffled by a cyclist using hand signals that they neglect to knock me off. There are often cops just after the tunnel, waiting to ticket drivers who fail to turn left onto Meiji-dōri from the turn-left-only lane. Clearly what I'm doing is dangerous and illegal, but they've never said a word to me, and I suspect they recognize that this whole junction setup is a nightmare for cyclists 'so good luck to ya!'
 
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Half-Fast Mike

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May 22, 2007
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I turned on the Veloviewer sharing toggle so, should you be so inclined, you should be able to see my current status in the world of tiling.
Great! I calculated the URL wrong - yours is https://veloviewer.com/athlete/13401478/activities

You're doing superbly. One wee ride to pick up a few in Hachiōji will boost your cluster and square. Four of the joined-up six are on the Asagawa Psyclepath, which is my preferred route to/from Takao and points west. That tile stuck out on its own that you approached from east and west on this ride contains Iriyama-tōge, the first peak on my Four Sisters™ route. Lovely rindō once past the damn quarry and its trucks. Ride On!
 

Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
617
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113
Yokohama
The first thousand times were the worst. And the second thousand - they were the worst, too. I tried a few times going via Dōgenzaka, but it was always much slower; garbage trucks, pedestrians, more lights synchronized to slow everything down.

Heading east past Shibuya on R246, the timing of the lights is easy to grasp. There's a left filter light at the bottom of the hill, which goes on way too long, and then traffic can proceed straight. The tunnel under the station platforms in this direction is split into two sections of two lanes each; the left side is too narrow and crowded . If I see that I don't have the light, I'll lurk by the telephone booth (remember them?) for the left filter to come on, count to 20, and then max turbo nutter down the hill, merging right by stages into the vehicles in lane 4 (out of 5). I'll typically be doing around 50 kph by the time the hill bottoms out, and with the smoother traffic flow in wider lanes on the right side of the underpass I can usually zip straight through the tunnel, merge back to the left, and keep my momentum up to hit Konnōzaka. Often quite the adrenaline rush, but drivers are so baffled by a cyclist using hand signals that they neglect to knock me off. There are often cops just after the tunnel, waiting to ticket drivers who fail to turn left onto Meiji-dōri from the turn-left-only lane. Clearly what I'm doing is dangerous and illegal, but they've never said a word to me, and I suspect they recognize that this whole junction setup is a nightmare for cyclists 'so good luck to ya!'
I figured you probably had developed a strategy to get through there w/o too much problem, but crikey, that is one heck of a strategy. I can't imagine doing that on a regular basis. o_O