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Ride gran fondo myoko

andywood

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Apr 8, 2008
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Is it really 6 years since I introduced Adam's first organized adventure back in Japan?


A wider search on the “blue monkey” will reveal what a fabulous time was had by all with many entertaining ride reports.

Anyway, like Elvis, he's back, Las Vegas style! ... or rural Niigata style...

Check out the Gran Fondo Myoko homepage here:


Adam is a great guy who always puts in more than he takes.

I wrote about my own goals for this event here:


I'll alert him to this thread, so if you have any questions, comment below.

Cheers, Andy
 
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stu_kawagoe

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Jun 23, 2018
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I might be interested in this but the course has “at least 25 km of rocky gravel terrain and numerous steep rutted broken pavement climbs“. I’m not exactly what that would be like but I only have a road bike and I have a feeling it wouldn’t be up to it.
 

kruucks

Speeding Up
Feb 3, 2019
53
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I might be interested in this but the course has “at least 25 km of rocky gravel terrain and numerous steep rutted broken pavement climbs“. I’m not exactly what that would be like but I only have a road bike and I have a feeling it wouldn’t be up to it.
I was reading through the course description, and they said the test bike was a BMC Teammachine with 25c tires. They said it might not have been the best tool for the job, but it made it.
 

pedalist

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Jan 24, 2015
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I've got no experience in CX, but 130 on vs 30 off makes it a tricky one. I guess a similar set up like the teams at the Strade Bianche could fit - e.g. Alpecin-Fenix went 30mm 5 bar (tubular I think) and Bora-hansgrohe 27mm (but only because of the limited clearance of their bikes). On the other hand many got flats though.
 

andywood

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Apr 8, 2008
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Yeah, that was Adam that did it on that bike. My advice would be to fit your bike with the widest tyres it can take. Then experiment with tyre pressure on some local gravel. For the event itself, a digital gauge is a good investment for adjusting tyre pressure for on road / off road sections.

Andy
 

andywood

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Apr 8, 2008
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I've got no experience in CX, but 130 on vs 30 off makes it a tricky one. I guess a similar set up like the teams at the Strade Bianche could fit - e.g. Alpecin-Fenix went 30mm 5 bar (tubular I think) and Bora-hansgrohe 27mm (but only because of the limited clearance of their bikes). On the other hand many got flats though.

The gravel at Myoko is much more severe than Strade Bianche. I will check it out before, but for a big rider like me 2.5 bar is a good starting point. A lighter rider, 2.0 to 2.5. But that is for tubular or tubeless. For clincher you have to run a little higher pressure to avoid pinch flats.

So yeah, for your tyre set up, it is well worth the time to experiment and find an optimum tyre pressure.

Andy
 
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stu_kawagoe

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Jun 23, 2018
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I had a closer look at your friend’s site. It does look like a great race and he’s pretty clear about the toughness of the course. I tend to avoid marginal roads on my mountain rides nowadays as my tyres get sliced up pretty quick. I also have to think about the poor fella’s paintwork so I’ll skip this event.

Looking forward to seeing the photos and do your best to stay rubber side down @andywood 🤪
 

andywood

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Apr 8, 2008
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I had a closer look at your friend’s site. It does look like a great race and he’s pretty clear about the toughness of the course. I tend to avoid marginal roads on my mountain rides nowadays as my tyres get sliced up pretty quick. I also have to think about the poor fella’s paintwork so I’ll skip this event.

Looking forward to seeing the photos and do your best to stay rubber side down @andywood 🤪

Yeah, you definitely will get chips to your paintwork. The underside of my downtube looks like it has been hit by machine gun fire.

Rubber side down! Will be riding with one of the best climbers and one of the best descenders in Japan. Think I'd better get dressed up like the Michelin Man!

Andy
 

andywood

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Apr 8, 2008
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Managed to get Tazaki san on board for this. “How am I going to keep up on the climbs?” I wonder to myself as I lie in bed nursing a dodgy knee and eating biscuits!

A little bit of that story below.

Cheers, Andy

 

theBlob

Bokeh master
Sep 28, 2011
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Why add 30km of bad roads? That just ensures 80% of potential riders stay away.
 

andywood

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Apr 8, 2008
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Why add 30km of bad roads? That just ensures 80% of potential riders stay away.

Aye, it would be nice to have 100% onroad alterntative too? Unfortunately that pass is the only way over the top. I wonder if your motorbike could take it?! You could carry the bottles!

Andy

 

speedwobble

Scorpions - I can't get enough!
Jun 26, 2017
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This takes in some great roads and is an epic loop. It can be done with less than 4000m of vert, probably around 3000 if you wanted, so it must have some bonus climbs in there for extra suffering!

As Andy says, the mountain pass in the video is unavoidable, but is also the highlight of the course. The unpaved part is mostly uphill, but the 22:00 to 25:15 part past the tunnel is gravel/mud and quite steep downhill. Even the guys in the video on the motos don't like it, but you could walk your bike down it in 10 minutes if it's slick on the day. It would be a small price to pay for riding that road.
 

andywood

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Apr 8, 2008
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Epic is an overused word, but it was pretty epic.

Photos and report via the link and text cut and paste below.

Cheers, Andy


「Gran Fondo Myoko race report」

Today was the Gran Fondo Myoko.

An amazing course!

Showcasing the beautiful mountains of Niigata and Nagano.

160km, 3,800m climbing. 3 timed segments.

As Team Imezi, our plan was to win the three segments.

A 6am start. Roll out easy. Zone 2 up the old Myoko Hillclimb course.

☆Segment 1

Over the top of Mt. Myoko? A dream road!

40 minutes is the target.

Noguchi san flies off. Tazaki san has a mechanical. Straightens his saddle. Soon going again.

He is my carrot up front. I am his wolf behind. How many years since I chased him like this?!

An amazing off road section. Technically and physically demanding.

At the top of the pass, 31 mins for Noguchi san. 32 mins for Tazaki san and I!

Flying!

On the descent a puncture for Tazaki san. Fixed with a Samurai sword.

We enjoy chatting, taking pictures.

☆Segment 2

Like stage 20 of the TDF. Half flat, half hillclimb.

But the flat is gravel! And not a TT, a TTT!

How close do you dare to go to the man in front? Tazaki san sets a blistering pace. Eyes wide shut.

A blistering pace but disaster as we get lost in a campground. Forget GPS! Ask the kids! Where did the big boys on bikes go?!

After 8km on gravel, it's a 6km on road hill climb. No bike changes like the TDF. I'd prefer a body change!

Chasing the Mt. Fuji Hillclimb champion. 「Push Andy Push!」

Climbed pretty well!

Noguchi san even better, setting the KOM.

Chill out at the check point. Coffee and cake time!

☆Segment 3

The hardest segment. 6km off road and up hill. Lots of loose gravel.

This resembles our training though.

We let Tazaki san fly off. I keep Noguchi san at a safe distance. But when the gravel goes downhill. I watch him disappear.

As the last segment, I squeeze it all out. Tazaki san, has the stamina and has about 5 minutes on us both at the CP.

☆CP 3 to home

It's all downhill from here right?

More tough climbing. But the fun of the fast Togakushi descent makes it all worthwhile.

Noguchi san pushing my bum to make me cut the wind. Legs on fire!

At the goal. Beer, beer and more beer. Great to meet old friends. And make new friends too.

Really proud of Adam for setting up this event.

Roll on Gran Fondo Myoko 2021!
 

kiwisimon

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Dec 14, 2006
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Cool report Andy, I hope there were no injuries. what were the skinniest tires you saw being run?
Skinny cyclocross tires up to the task? And what was your lowest gearing?
 

andywood

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Cool report Andy, I hope there were no injuries. what were the skinniest tires you saw being run?
Skinny cyclocross tires up to the task? And what was your lowest gearing?

Lots of people doing it on road bikes, 28, 30 tyres and rim brakes!

I wouldn't fancy it myself but if you went that way, tubeless 30 or bigger if you can take it?

But, and I say this all the time, tyre pressure is the most important thing, regardless of tyre type and width.

I did 2.2 bar front, 2.4 bar back. My teammates sub 2 bar. From a road perspective, it's difficult for many to get their head around and go that low.

Andy
 

andywood

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Apr 8, 2008
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Lots of people doing it on road bikes, 28, 30 tyres and rim brakes!

I wouldn't fancy it myself but if you went that way, tubeless 30 or bigger if you can take it?

But, and I say this all the time, tyre pressure is the most important thing, regardless of tyre type and width.

I did 2.2 bar front, 2.4 bar back. My teammates sub 2 bar. From a road perspective, it's difficult for many to get their head around and go that low.

Andy

Gearing is x1 40 up front, 11/42 cassette. I used the lowest gear quite a bit, so you could maybe go even wider.

Niseko Champ Tazaki was flying and with gears to spare with 40x25😲

Andy
 

andywood

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Apr 8, 2008
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when will the official results be in?

The 3 Strava segments didn't really work unfortunately. So I doubt there'll be official times.

But the event was bigger than that so I'm happy to go back and set the record next year!

Andy
 
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