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Looking Back on 2010 and Objectives for 2011 ...


Speeding Up
Jul 31, 2007
How was your 2010 on the road?

Looking back for me is a rather bleak experience. According to my Garmin I have only about 1500km over 2010 in comparison to nearly 5000km in 2009. There are various reasons for this, but chiefly some medical issues in the early part of the year, the extremely hot summer lessened the opportunity for mammoth rides which typically characterise that season; the increased number of times I have to work weekends is also really undermining cycling opportunities - this has characterised much of Autumn and Winter.

Some of my main regrets are Matsuhime and Otoge. With great regret, and perhaps a little shame, I just didn't get to do these climbs last year at all. I also never visited Boso, or got to do the Chino to Hamamatsu ride I've been thinking about since 2009. Perhaps 2010 can be recognised as a year of regrets and missed opportunities, more than anything.

On the more positive side, I had some nice rides out in Chichibu, and going beyond Chichibu into Nagano was very positive and new. Nagano presented the best cycling for me last year. I very much look forward to further rides there this Spring. Other positives were my new found love for Nokogiriyama, and I'm pleased that I at least managed to get Yanagisawa in.

Looking forward to 2011, my objectives are to at least get above 3000km towards 4000km. This will require significant improvements in my time management and working style, which is perhaps the major challenge and limitation on cycling opportunities. I need to lose the 3kg which I've accumulated over the year, and try and regain some cycling strength. If I can reach my distance targets, then I very much hope that this includes many of the "classic" climbs in the west Tokyo area, as well as in beautiful Boso and Nagano.

2011 Goals

In 2010, I biked from Niigata to Kanazawa. This year, I want to do Kanazawa to Tottori as well as a ride around the Izu Hanto with my son.
2010 was a great year on the bike but would have to say it is only the beginning.


  • A few podium finishes in Japan and overseas
  • Huge reduction in social rides with many of the Positivo Espresso and TCC guys and gals
  • Lots of training on the rollers
  • Diet restrictions
  • Social life restrictions.

More Gym work on building core muscles and legs up.
More Podium slots
More UCI races
Move in to the Japan Pro Tour (Need 1 podium finish)
Win 1 stage of a UCI Tour.
Very low mileage year for me, too. Two things got in the way: the crash in February, then a family addition in the summer. The first I could have done without, the second was better than cycling :)

Same as you, Lee, I regret not being able to get out to the opposite side of Tokyo for a ride (to the west side, in my case), and I didn't do a single organized ride or race of any kind (except Motegi 100km back in January, but I always think of that as part of the previous season.) Enjoyed a few fine rides in northern Boso, though, and the enforced breaks have helped remind what exactly it is I like about cycling.

I've trimmed my bike collection, I have finally got my fit dialled in just right (I think!), and have a new frameset in the genkan ready to build up into what I hope will be my main road bike for the next few years.

Looking to 2011, the plan is to do a couple of brevets (especially complete the 300km ride I've signed up twice for now and not completed!), definitely get over to the west side for some TCC mountain rides, get below 80kg (over 90kg now!), do a tour of some kind, ride more, and Internet less :). Basically, find new roads and new routes and just explore.
How was your 2010 on the road?
Not bad at all for me. I recorded a total of 8911.7 km; considering I missed February completely this is a nice number.

Of course it's not just about distance. My average speed was 22.1 kph which is slower than in previous years. But I'm deputy dictator of a bike club which specializes in encouraging new cyclists to find their legs (and kegs). As it says on the tin, we're not too fast and not too slow. We're Half Fast. Plus I've done more mountain rides than ever before.

I had three major trips. Mie/Wakayama in Golden Week, and Osaka/Wakayama/Nara in autumn were fabulous. But the clear highlight was 11 days cycling around northern California with a pinch of Nevada. Cycling through Yosemite National Park was an unforgettable day. 80 kph in one spot! I want to go back and do it properly, cycling all the way to Yosemite Valley!

And I have enjoyed very much contributing to TCC and learning about bikes and making friends here. It all makes this hobby more enjoyable, so thank you guys and girlz.
After an excellent January 2010 of over 1000km I only managed to add a little over 3000 more km for the rest of the year. :eek:
Dismal, dismal, dismal...

My father falling ill was a good excuse to get off the bike and spend some time with family.

Work conditions were and are also tumbling around with new ventures taking off and old ones falling by the wayside. With all the chopping and changing I'm not sure if I will be able to ride much more in 2011 either.

It does look like I will be able to commute more as my morning starts will be later and that means more time to walk the dogs in the morning and also get the bike to work... Hoping that is the case, but won't be able to tell till April.

My new bike in 2010 is still very new :cool: . Took the dusty MTB for a spin today.

Supposed to somehow play a lot of golf this year as well... :warau:

2010 was my worst year in the last 7 for cycling... and I think not entering any races decreased my motivation. Definitely signing up for events makes you prepare... I hope to do a few races at least this year...
A year that was..

April - Started my life in Japan
October - Bought my bicycle and started riding

..since then lot of learning and learning and learning.. and applying rule#5

Did the Kyoto-Tokyo tour and also completed 3000km in these three months.

In 2011,
1. Learn more...
2. Practice more
3. Do hill climbings
4. Also on cards are some long tours in Hokkaido in Golden week (depending on financial conditions though) and Coast to Coast across the alps
5. Some short tours to cover Izu and Chiba also
6. Do more than 10,000km over the year...
In 2010, I biked from Niigata to Kanazawa. This year, I want to do Kanazawa to Tottori as well as a ride around the Izu Hanto with my son.

Phil, if you actually do end up starting here I'll at least see you off, and depending on all the various things, might be able to ride along a bit.


As for this year, about 6k km of the "half-fast" variety. But that's a bit more than the past few years, so if I equal that in '11 I'll be happy. It might have been more, but early on during my (cut short) tohoku adventure I had back trouble.

Winter's a total wash here, probably won't ride much at all till late Feb. (more realistically, March), but thinking of "attending" a moodle conference in shikoku/kochi then, dragging a bike along for some riding there that weekend.
I have to chime in here as well. Retrenchment, recession and slump... that was my cycling year 2010, too. The 13.400km I managed to get in are mostly dirty commuting, dodging pedestrians and taxis, evading trucks and red signals in clouds of exhaust fumes.

The undisputed highlights were the Tour de Kii with Serguei in GW 2010 (Nara, Mie, Wakayama) and some sand drifting in the Namib. I did not participate in any organised event. Like Phil's case, private life took total precedence over cycling.

I won't skip Kusatsu this year and do look forward to the KT rides in great anticipation. And Phil, to be sure, Boso is on the list as well. :)
For me 2010 was similar to 2009, trying to balance family life and training (train when the baby's sleeping!).

I did a good block of training in the winter – cold nights in the garage on the trainer. Followed by some good speed work in the spring – early mornings (back by 6:30!) with my training buddy Kitano san.

I was happy I could follow the pure climbers at Kusatsu in April and cling on to a podium spot for the third year in succession.

After that, in May came my main focus, Tokyo~Itoigawa. I was happy to be the first person to win three in a row. I wasn't at my best but rode with my head to beat Nishitani san in the sprint.

In June I did the Tsugaike hill climb (highly recommended) and qualified for the afternoon TT. I couldn't raise my game in the afternoon, but after a few years of trying, I've given up on that...

Took a long break through the summer. Tried to peak for the Yahiko hill climb in September but was off-target a bit. Really enjoyed riding with James in the Gunma CSC Arts Cup in October. And felt good for my last big bang, the Japan Cup, but missed the split.

This winter I'm doing the usual weights, cross training, and higher end trainer stuff. Hope to come out all guns blazing next spring!

Good luck for 2011!


2010 was a second fantastic year for me.

In 2009, I was training seriously, "discovering" all the major climbs around Tokyo, and winning two championships.

In 2010, I expanded the length of my typical ride to 200km with 3,000m of climbing (but at lower frequency than in 2009), and kept expanding my "discoveries" - still to the point that I have not done a single ride in over two years which would have been purely on roads I already knew. The highlights were:

- The major passes in the Japanese Alps: Norikura (twice), Utsukushigahara (twice), Kusatsu/Shirane-san
- The "real" Alps in Austria: Grossglockner Hochtor, Kitzbueheler Horn, and more
- Lots of "new" rindos, some with fantastic passes, passable only by cyclocross, reachable from Tokyo
- 340km dusk-to-dawn from home to Joetsu, back by train the same evening (this is Japan!)
- A couple of very nice two or three-day rides with Mike and Tom
- And despite no race training or participation, still a podium finish in Saiko

Altogether 13,650km, almost all of this in serious mountains.

My regrets? Crashing twice by myself on my cyclocross. Road rash hurts. And my current one isn't even healing properly. But that's a small price to pay for so much fun.

In 2011, I would like to expand my territory even further. This will require more travelling though - I have almost exhausted everything that can be done from home, in the west and north of Tokyo.
2010 - Mixed

2010 was a mixed cycling year. There were lots of great, memorable rides, especially this Fall, most of which I blogged about on Positivo Espresso. I knew that cycling could not be my #1 priority at various times in the spring and fall (work) or during the summer (family -- getting my older son off to college).

But I spent January/early February recovering from an injury at year end 2009, and I got injured again mid-May, taking me out of commission for Tokyo-Itoigawa and 6 weeks beyond, then I suffered through a long effort to claw back into some kind of decent shape in the miserable heat of summer and September.

After "discovering" Brevets in September 2009, I really enjoyed them in 2010 -- completing 200, 300, 300, 400 and 600 km events.
Peaked too early ...

I guess I "peaked" early in 2010: was out in the mountains almost every weekend during winter, unfazed by slightly challenging conditions. Resurrected my old heavy steel touring bike for a golden week trip through Kii Hanto (a popular GW destination for plenty other TCCers this year...): pleased with myself that I managed to find an onsen to camp next to every night. Entered my first "race" last minute as an unofficial entry on the Tokyo-Itoigawa Fast Run in late May, and enjoyed that so much took someone else's place in the Fuji International Hill climb two weeks later; hell, I even made a freezing rain soaked training ride up Ootoge in-between. The biking life was good !

And then with work cutting into a lot of things it all became pretty dismal pretty quickly and I did what every good cyclist does when training time is short - order lots of crap from Wiggle.

So I'm intending 2011 will be a lot better - I think I'll quit work if I have to. My list, modest as things go:
- Enter a few more events: at a minimum Kusatsu Hill climb, as well as Tokyo-Itoigawa (hopefully without a case of Montezuma's Revenge this time round...) and Fuji again.
- I also really want to try some brevets. I seem to have acquired a couple Carradice saddle bags during my online shopping frenzy and I'd really like to put them to use on some long distance rides.
- A bike + camp trip, ideally overseas, anywhere from quick jaunt round Taiwan to a longer trip through, say, Ladakh, if I can somehow get the time off.

Also I've really got to post more, lurk less on these message boards :eek: ...

Oh - and a happy 2011 to you all !

2010 was a year of changes. After having stayed in Japan for more than 12 years I moved with my family to Bremen in Germany. My friends and the mountains West of Tokyo stayed where they were and that had some consequences.

Flipping through the photos of 2010, I recognize that the cycling year started exactly one year ago with the Ekiden ride. I arrived after 55 minutes, confirming that I was in good form for the year.
After that I attended the Motegi 100km race with Phil, Jdd, and others and was doing pretty well there. Although no contender at all for podiums and prices.

It was still cold when Ludwig and me did some nice trips until March. First I went solo in January and then we went up together notorious road 76 to Daikoshi Toge on our cross bikes. We discovered Iriyama Toge and the rinko approach to Wada with Steve and James. Later we circumvented Tokyo along the Arakawa with Fumiki, took a 184 km shortcut from Mishima to Atami in order to avoid riding through the mountains and instead circumventing Izu pensinsular,discovered Kando, Tsukui Ko North route and rode with Fumiki through the snow further on from Yamanakako und Saiko. Another trip to Chichibu was added, spectacular as usual.

All very nice memories and great rides. In March I also fullfilled two dreams, riding from Tokyo to Hamamatsu and from Kyoto over Hie-san to Sakamoto, visiting the place were I stayed the first time in 1985.

I had a great Sayonara ride with Positivo Espresso and TCC.

Then I had to leave. Bremen was flat, I didn't knew any cyclists. I attended a bicycle marathon, got lost, barely made it home. Then I went to Berlin to race at the Velothon - and was faster than Erik Zabel who attended as well. Went to London to meet and ride with PEE (Positivo Espresso Europe)

In May I made one last rip to Japan, went up solo Yabitsu, on workdays still one of my favourite rides. I like the place when you ride around a long curve and the valley and the river opens up on the left side. Another last trip with Ludwig, mechanical problems but Ludwig pulled me up Otarumi so I could clock the best time ever. That was probably the peak of my lifetime.

I made somewhat regular rides in Bremen, but not as long in distance and virtually no elevation compared to Japan. I found some guys from the local racing club and rode with them from time to time. Lots of rain followed by even more snow. But...I was on the bike every single day, commuting to work, making small trips here and there regardless of the weather conditions outside. I bought a winter bike with mud guards, so I could ride in the rain without covering myself in plastic sheets.

I discovered that I like to fix bikes although I am not really good at it and I bought a lot of stuff to built up my own bikes. I got a letter from the UN high commissioner for bicycle rights, informing me that I must not torture historical bikes with modern parts such as bullhorn handle bars. I was frustrated, so I did what I always do when I am in this state of mind: I took a long look at a photo of David Hasselhoff.

Whereas I was doing 1.000 km plus in Tokyo every month, I am doing now only 200 - 400 km. Obviously I am not in best shape but at least I got adopted and I am full with plans for this year. The nice thing about Europe is, that everything is so close by ... and relatively cheap. I take the tram from my house, in 20 minutes I am at the airport, four hours later I am on Mallorca.

This year I would like to do some bike holidays, ride again the Velothon in Berlin, do the Transalp in June with David and PEE and perhaps L'eroica in October.

With many bikes in the garage, I will have plenty of choices to do interesting rides in 2011.

All the best for the TCC, stay healthy and wishing you an injury-free year.
I was frustrated, so I did what I always do when I am in this state of mind: I took a long look at a photo of David Hasselhoff.

The best sentence ever written, surely?

Me; 2010.

Finally gave up BMX. Too many injuries, and turning 31 meant that these took longer to heal. Kind of sad about that. I still ride it to the shops. Pulled a giant manual last night, as it happens - easily 1km long (slight downhill all the way to the shops). Chucked the bars off a kerb at the end and actually landed. My farewell song, so to speak.

Got into road bike from April. Had some good rides, but need to get out more. Discovered that road bikes are totally different to riding BMX (funny that).

Was a good year though, and I am looking forward to 2011. Very happy to become part of this community.

Special thanks to Yamabushi for taking me on my first proper road ride, Thomas for being sound, and James for being an all-round good bloke. Oh, and Mike HF for the banter.

Thanks everyone.
Having enjoyed riding bicycles all my life it would take until August 2010 for me to try some "real" road cycling.
Shortly after getting the bicycle I joined a TCC ride together with Pete, Travis and Tim. This was a real eye opener to me.....usually my non cyclist friends and colleagues are quite impressed by my 50km daily commute...but that didn't get me anywhere in the company of these guys.
From this moment I decided that my goal would be to become fit enough to join these type of rides.

I put about 3000km's on the bicycle from August to the end of the year. Lost 6kg's and feel a lot better.

My goal for 2011 is to loose around 10 more kg's and increase my general fitness enough to make it up the tougher climbs.
I have started to ride harder on my commute and shifted my weight training to include more core and leg work.

I am very happy to be a part of this nice community!

2010 was great! I got my first proper road bike, a CAAD9, at the beginning of June and was climbing(suffering up) Tomin no Mori with James Machin, Tim Smith, and a host of others a few short weeks later. That first descent sealed it for me, I was definitely hooked!

From there, I road most consistently with Tim Smith doing amongst others Yabitsu Toge, Takao, Wada Toge, Boso, Nagano-ken and a whole lot of exploration up and around the Green Line including nearby Shomaru Toge and my namesake, Yamabushi Toge.

I met and rode with a lot of quality people including James Machin, Tim Smith, Phil, Thomas, Travis, Ludwig, Mike, Mike (Half-fast), Owen, Andreas, the Positivo guys, James Ferrer and many, many others!

I'm looking forward to my first full year of road biking, with lots of group rides, plenty of exploration, and racking up at least 5000 quality kilometers. I hope to see each and everyone one of you out there on the road this year!
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