Kawasaki Enduro June 2016 Report

Aug 27, 2012
London, UK
Having never taken part in a road race, let alone one in Japan before, I decided to take my "Tapering" very seriously .....with the 90km 1700m Boob ride the day before*. I'd been missing the mountains having been in London for the previous two weeks and the weather on Saturday was too good to miss getting back out there. I then continued my preparation that Saturday evening in a similar vein with some "liquid carb-loading" at the HFC Boat cruise/partyo_O.

And so it was I turned up for my "second"** Kawasaki Enduro on Sunday mid-morning. A slight comms error had led to me being in a different race to @Tuomas - he was doing the 3hr in the morning and me the 2hr at 12:30 (I'll let him tell you about his race - just to say for now I was pretty impressed with his result)
Anyway after Tuomas finished there was a few moments for tales and then I had to ride round the course to join the start. Course all seemed fine apart from the road surface being very bumpy on the inbound straight and a vicious headwind on the outbound straight - just two 180 bends which they were asking people to drop to 20km/h for, 3 left-handers and 3 right handers - (diagram kindly stolen from @xDOMx )

Despite failing to co-ordinate races @Tuomas and I had managed by pure luck to co-ordinate outfits....
I lined up a fair way back in the 160 taking part. There was no way I was going to keep up with the front group so I settled for wanting to find a group I could work with and get some experience (which was what it was all about for me).
First 25 mins went pretty quickly and without incident for me, although there were several carbon splintering pile-ups to avoid (and one just a couple of bike lengths rearwards, which sounded very close). Working my way along the outside lane trying to find a suitable group, I noticed Mr Pink sitting in behind me enjoying the tow and several others behind him. Having realised I had been mugged for the last 3 laps and the mass thinning out a little I dropped in behind a rider in front, Mr Orange, and let our group of 12 or so, form up. The heart rate got back under control and the group seemed comfortable for the next couple of laps, however other than Mr Orange and Mr Pink no one else seemed willing to do any work. Each time we turned into the wind, the group slowed to see which of them would take up the lead. Around the 50min mark when the pace dropped to 28kmh into the wind at the start of the outward straight, I called enough and indicated to Mr Pink to jump in behind me. I raised it up to around 35 and splintered the group. Mr Orange fell off but Mr Blue (a slight lad who initially seemed very strong) came through and so the three of us worked hard in turns for the next 20 minutes. This was the best part of the race and by now my cornering was improving to the extent I could find time at the hairpins with a tighter line/ more work out of them. At half time I was 82nd and averaging 37kmh.

At 1h12 the lead group lapped us. This photo was taken with myself and Mr Pink just before they shot past.
Unfortunately Mr Pink jumped onto the back of the lead group and somewhere around here Mr Blue fell off entirely. I thought there might be a group or two just off the back of the lead pack I could jump in with but it then went very quiet and I had to battle for most of the rest of the race by myself. With my average speed dropping lap by lap, only another three riders came past me and they left a tired-looking Mr Orange with me. We worked together for a lap and a half which gave me some respite but then he fell off too, and I finished the rest of the race by myself.
At the end I finished 53rd and was quietly happy with my afternoon (not bad for 40-something year old). I left smiling and murmuring something about "next time...."

* yes I realise that would have been a genuine taper for some of you more used to cycling 200km and 4000m in a day, but not for me :D
** Sadly my "first", back in November, was cancelled on arrival (bad weather, as a number of you will remember).
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Maximum Pace
Nov 21, 2014
Seems you did pretty well by all accounts (and you're welcome for the incredibly tech map/diagram).

That bumpy road (the return straight) is pretty nasty and you need to keep a certain line to remove the risk of puncturing. For what it's worth, I don't think I'd do that race again; conveniently close, ropey course with dangerous turns given the level of a number of the entrants.

Also, @Tuomas continues to go from strength to strength. Top 10 is very good mate and you should be very happy with that (you can't win every time!).
Likes: macrophotofly


Maximum Pace
Aug 12, 2014
Thank You @macrophotofly and @xDOMx

Entering the race I had three goals:

1) Don't crash (Saw three big pileups)
2) Don't get lapped
3) Stay with head of the bunch

I feel very frustrated I completely got destroyed by the sun and bonked, ran out of water and just lost it mentally at the very end, but I think it was a great learning experience. I felt far more comfortable in the bunch, was able to somewhat control my position and stayed with the top for about 80% of the time. Sometimes gaps appeared and I needed to do some extra work, but overall it was good.

Even after bonking and doing the last 20 mins at mamachari pace and considering my goals, placing 10th is an ok race I guess. Podiums next year then!


Maximum Pace
Apr 8, 2008
Likes: macrophotofly


Maximum Pace
Apr 8, 2008
Do you think the race at all winnable on a compact?
If it comes down to a sprint you might want a bigger gear.

Also a bigger gear would be nice on the descent.

I forget what I was using last year. Maybe a compact. But I was definitely on a 53 at Motegi.

The climb is the sort that you could big ring in the compact but would maybe need the inner on a standard.

Just checked the homepage. Holiday Thursday. But no silver week this year so will think about it.


Do you think the race at all winnable on a compact?