Hello from a newbie

Dec 7, 2012
63
1
18
Setagaya-Ku, Tokyo
#1
Hello all from a noob to this forum and cycling itself. I live in Tokyo and don't have any prior or extensive experience in cycling. I have been and still am a motorcyclist, pretty much rode most of the japan. i started riding some 6 weeks back with my longest ride till date being 60 Kms. Aching knees due to incorrect bike setup, sore muscles, fly over the handlebar.... You name it and I can list all the classic noob signs experienced in last two months :)

That said, I am generally good at doing things I set myself to get in to. So here I am hoping to improve myself in a few months. My goal is not races but rather long distance biking.

The bikes I have are
Bios Ampio for commute to office
Canondale caad 10 for the rest (just to it yesterday :))

I live in setagaya, so far I have been mostly looping at Komazawa koen. Today I went for a short run at tamagawa cycle path.

At an average I ride three times a week, 2x 24 Kms round trip to office and ne big weekend ride, 40 Kms for two weekends, then 60 Kms. I usually find that after the big ride on Saturday I have no energy left for Sunday :). Planning to push this up to 80 Kms in a day next weekend.

Hopefully I can get to know some good people here and learn how to build stamina, ride better and good routes in and around Tokyo. Any and all comments/suggestions are welcome!

Cheers
Blue Star
 

Musashi13

Maximum Pace
Aug 27, 2012
1,778
1,110
143
41
Ichikawa, Chiba
#2
You will get there sooner than you think.

I was in a similar situation not too long ago and am happy with the progress I have made so far. You have a decent bike and there are plenty of rides posted on this forum for you to join and the people I have met have been nothing but encouraging and have added to my own motivation.

My business in Setagaya ended earlier this year but I may yet see you on group rides.

Welcome.
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,442
910
133
Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
#3
Hello all from a noob to this forum and cycling itself.
Welcome to TCC!

My goal is not races but rather long distance biking.
Same here :)

I live in setagaya, so far I have been mostly looping at Komazawa koen. Today I went for a short run at tamagawa cycle path.
I also live in Setagaya and used to ride more at Komazawa koen, but pretty much stopped doing so, because it's really too risky to go fast because of pedestrians, slower cyclists, children, pets, etc. Even where the bike path completely separates from the pedestrians path, occasionally some clueless pedestrian will follow the narrow bike path. It's not really a great place for bicycle training, much better for running.

I like the Tamagawa cycle path from a few km upstream of Komae, but not downstream from Futakotamagawa - same reasons as Komazawa koen.

I usually find that after the big ride on Saturday I have no energy left for Sunday :). Planning to push this up to 80 Kms in a day next weekend.
Once you go over 2 hours or so it becomes important to keep eating and drinking throughout the ride. Drink before you're thirsty and eat before you're hungry. Drink a bit at least every 15 minutes and start eating something an hour into the ride, 200 kcal per hour. Then you'll basically be able to ride as far as you have hours for.

I got my road bike in October 2011 and was doing 101 km in one day by December. By early February I did 136 and 155 km. 211 km in March, 235 km in April and 300 in May. The biggest challenge was to manage eating and drinking and having the right clothes for the weather, not so much pedalling itself.
 
#4
Japan Journey

I've been selected to volunteer in Tohoku for relief assistance! I'm from California and I'm so excited about working and being able to journey on my bicycle in Japan.

I'm a little nervous and was hoping to connect with some willing cyclists in the area to help guide me with some thoughts, ideas and any suggestions for my visit. I hope to stay for 3-5 months volunteering with some time off in between to take some road trips.

Has anyone done any bike trips over to Korea or Taiwan?

Peace and All Good,

Michiko
 

j-sworks

Maximum Pace
Feb 5, 2012
1,199
48
68
Tokyo
#5
I've been selected to volunteer in Tohoku for relief assistance! I'm from California and I'm so excited about working and being able to journey on my bicycle in Japan.

I'm a little nervous and was hoping to connect with some willing cyclists in the area to help guide me with some thoughts, ideas and any suggestions for my visit. I hope to stay for 3-5 months volunteering with some time off in between to take some road trips.

Has anyone done any bike trips over to Korea or Taiwan?

Peace and All Good,

Michiko
Welcome,

What area are you living in?
 
Dec 7, 2012
63
1
18
Setagaya-Ku, Tokyo
#6
Thanks for the encouragement joewin. I hope to be able to do 300 km ride someday but it may take me a little longer then yourself :). For this weekend I will aim for a 80kms ride along tamagawa river, I recondition this take some to and fro on the cycling path.

I can target a 5 min break every one hour of riding. What would you recon as a good energizer in this break ? 1 banana as a complex carbo with some sports drink like Calpis water ?
 
Dec 7, 2012
63
1
18
Setagaya-Ku, Tokyo
#7
Hi Michiko ? Whereabouts in tohoku will you be staying ? I am in Tokyo but my company does a lot of relief work in tohoku and some of the staff travel to ishinomaki quite frequently. I know at least one of them is a biker and may be able to help you on biking in tohoku.
 

Sikochi

Maximum Pace
Sep 13, 2010
1,181
76
68
Kochi
#8
Once you go over 2 hours or so it becomes important to keep eating and drinking throughout the ride. Drink before you're thirsty and eat before you're hungry. Drink a bit at least every 15 minutes and start eating something an hour into the ride, 200 kcal per hour. Then you'll basically be able to ride as far as you have hours for.
Joe, if you`re just taking in 200 kcal ph on your ultra-endurance rides, then you`re looking at a large deficit by the end of the ride. I think even just turning over the pedals at minimum watts would result in a net hourly calorie deficit. Your body can absorb 300-400 cals ph (from carbohydrate with training) so I`d aim a bit higher. I think drinking to thirst is current advice.
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,442
910
133
Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
#9
The 200 kcal/h rule is standard advice for long distance riders, e.g. here.

I start the ride with a good breakfast (oatmeal, yoghurt, non-fat milk, fruit) and eat a good size meal when I finish.

During the ride I expect my body to burn not just the carbohydrates I eat but also to burn body fat, of which I still have enough. I understand that part of the reason for LSD rides is to train the metabolism to run on fat at a higher output level than before, so that it doesn't have to rely on carbohydrate food or glycogen stores as much. Because of the fat burning, some calorie deficit is OK. During the ride you only need to replace the carbohydrate calories.

On my last ride (171 km) I had about 10 bananas (1000 kcal?), a Van Houten chocolate drink (220 kcal), one nikuman and some sweet melon pan pastry. I should have eaten more while I wasn't moving (after the other cyclist's accident), but by and large I was happy with the energy balance.
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,442
910
133
Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
#11
I brought some from home and also bought some.

I buy most of the food for rides at conbini, but it's nice to bring something extra from home so I don't have to totally depend on conbini.

Prices vary widely, from 105 yen for a single one to 105 for 3 or 4 bananas, but I have to say, conbini bananas tend to have just the right degree of ripeness, better than most supermarket bananas.
 

NT954

Warming-Up
Dec 2, 2012
4
0
0
Hong Kong
#12
Hi Michiko,

I just completed the round Taiwan bike trip in October, 1200 km in 12 days. It was kind of cycling and sightseeing trip. The shortest round Taiwan route is around 900 - 1000 km. There are a few short routes such as Taipei to Kaohsiung (450K), Taichung to Kenting (300K), etc. These routes are in the western Taiwan and mostly flat. You can complete in 3 - 5 days.

There is a stretch of the round Taiwan route that is not recommneded for casual riders, the 80Km of Route 9 between Hualien and Suao. You have to go thru 10 tunnels and climb three very steep hills of 500 - 800m.

If you don't bring your bike, you can easily rent a good road bike from major Giant shop ad return it at your destination.

I hope this info is useful to you and let me know if you need more info.
 

Doug3

Maximum Pace
Jun 24, 2010
720
179
63
Setagaya
www.tokyocyclingcoach.com
#13
I totally agree about conbini bananas. I am surprised how good they often are, especially the ones marked down to 100 yen for 3 or 4. I guess unless they are hard and completely yellow, they are considered past the expiration date.
Prices vary widely, from 105 yen for a single one to 105 for 3 or 4 bananas, but I have to say, conbini bananas tend to have just the right degree of ripeness, better than most supermarket bananas.
 

Sikochi

Maximum Pace
Sep 13, 2010
1,181
76
68
Kochi
#14
The 200 kcal/h rule is standard advice for long distance riders, e.g. here.
The 200-300 kcal/h was superceded a while ago. See here for an example
http://www.runnersworld.com/nutrition-runners/optimal-carbohydrate-dose-endurance

I understand that part of the reason for LSD rides is to train the metabolism to run on fat at a higher output level than before, so that it doesn't have to rely on carbohydrate food or glycogen stores as much. Because of the fat burning, some calorie deficit is OK. During the ride you only need to replace the carbohydrate calories.
My understanding (feel free to correct me if wrong) is that this theory is unproven. What dictates the mix of fuel sources you use is the exercise intensity (some studies show diet content is a factor) and that exercise in itself increases the percentage of fat burned at any given intensity.
http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/fat-burning-using-body-fat-instead-of-carbohydrates-as-fuel-40844

But at the end of the day, if you enjoy your long rides and feel what you do works for you, then by all means, stick to it.
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,442
910
133
Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
#15
The 200-300 kcal/h was superceded a while ago. See here for an example
http://www.runnersworld.com/nutrition-runners/optimal-carbohydrate-dose-endurance
To quote the article:

The best performance (4.7% better than placebo) occurred at 78 g/hr; but even 48 g/hr was quite good, producing an improvement of 4.0%.
At about 4 kcal per g of glucose, 48 g/hr would provide 192 kcal/h while 78 h/hr would be 312 kcal/h. To me the result seems consistent with the 200-300 kcal/h recommendation.
 

Sikochi

Maximum Pace
Sep 13, 2010
1,181
76
68
Kochi
#16
As with everything, it depends on which section fits the viewpoint you hold. ;)

`So I'd be hesitant to take this data and say "Aha! All athletes should aspire to take 78 g/hr of carbohydrate during endurance races." It may well be that, initially, taking anything more than 50 g/hr could backfire on you -- but if you work on improving your tolerance for a few months, you'll benefit from taking 90 g/hr. (In the graph above, it looks like 110 g/hr actually produced some of the best results, while 100 g/hr produced some of the worst. That's not a physiological difference -- that's just random variation.)`
 
Dec 7, 2012
63
1
18
Setagaya-Ku, Tokyo
#17
Hey guys, lots of good info on nutritioning! am still trying to grasp. I have no endurance cycling experience but I can say one thing from my yesterdays 100k ride - the bananas I eat during the ride didnt seem to reach my legs quick enough :) So i recon unless you are well conditioned before the ride, injects during the ride doesnt seem to convert to energy so quickly...
 
Jun 14, 2012
11
0
1
Minami-Azabu, Tokyo
#18
My coach told me to think of it this way:

You have 2 major engines that you use when you cycle. One burns fat, and one burns carbs. The fat engine is used when you are aerobic (ie riding easy). The carb engine is used when you are anerobic (riding hard). If you are able to train the fat burning engine by doing long slow rides (I mean, really slow), you can essentially ride forever and not eat a thing. I used to do 3 and 4 hour rides with no caloric intake no problem last summer. This is not to say that you have to neglect the carb burning engine, but doing intervals, and threshold work, but the "endurance base" is the most important thing to train if you want to ride long and fast eventually. I don't remember the exact numbers, but you carry around tens of thousands of calories in fat in your body... even if you are a skinny little guy. While you may only have a few thousand calories of carbs crammed in your liver and muscles. If you start draining the carb tank, it is very easy to burn it all before you can replenish your stores through eating.

Basically, I'm saying, spend 8 weeks doing at least 3 endurance rides per week (3-4 hour at a very easy pace) to build a good endurance base, and watch your cycling performance sky rocket.