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Today March 2023

hellerphant

Maximum Pace
Mar 23, 2022
112
177
Lake Kawaguchi is about a 20 km around and is pretty flat from what I remember during a run I did out there.

There is a good resource here about some of the courses around the various lakes.
Oh wow, that is a super good site. Thanks for the recommendation. I think I might do the Yamanakako viewing platform course!
 

BeerTengoku

Maximum Pace
Mar 14, 2021
229
351
Popped out for a ride and I think we're on the cusp of winter / spring clothing. I left at about 9:30 and there was still a chill in the air, and going along the Sakaigawa down to Enoshima, there were points during the ride I thought, I'm glad I had a long sleeved jersey + trousers on. As soon as the midday sun hit, I was overheating and in dire need to strip off. Thankfully, I had reached my stopping point for lunch, and cooled down with a nice cold drink, but I was amazed with how temperamental the weather was. The cherry blossoms are starting to pop out at random places around the Shonan area, so perhaps in a couple of weeks, the cycling routes should be busy with pedestrians looking at their phones and not what is around them.
 

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hellerphant

Maximum Pace
Mar 23, 2022
112
177
Popped out for a ride and I think we're on the cusp of winter / spring clothing. I left at about 9:30 and there was still a chill in the air, and going along the Sakaigawa down to Enoshima, there were points during the ride I thought, I'm glad I had a long sleeved jersey + trousers on. As soon as the midday sun hit, I was overheating and in dire need to strip off. Thankfully, I had reached my stopping point for lunch, and cooled down with a nice cold drink, but I was amazed with how temperamental the weather was. The cherry blossoms are starting to pop out at random places around the Shonan area, so perhaps in a couple of weeks, the cycling routes should be busy with pedestrians looking at their phones and not what is around them.
Yeah, when I was riding down there on the weekend I was pretty warm by around midday. Thankfully I was only wearing a long-sleeved mid-layer, and had my bib shorts on so just rolled the sleeves up to get some air going. Definitely getting closer to the warmer season which is exciting.

Shonan Beer worth a stop? Might add that to the route next time haha.
 

BeerTengoku

Maximum Pace
Mar 14, 2021
229
351
It is if you have a bike bag with you - it's very easy to drink a fair few pints there when the sun is out and the courtyard is quiet. It's a go to place for me in spring / summer, then walk back to Samukawa station and then train it home. If you don't, then the food is bloody great - in-house made sausages, bread, and wood fired pizzas.
 

microcord

Maximum Pace
Aug 28, 2012
1,460
1,006
Today I swapped my Shimano PD-M520 pedals (SPD, silver) for a new pair of the same.

Checking my Amazon order history, I had bought the previous pair only a little over two years ago for the same reason: Clicking noises at a certain point of the pedal rotation that had been plaguing the bike for months.
;)
Could this be Nature's Way of nudging you to try "clipless"-less?

These days I always use "platform" (i.e. sissy) pedals. But I combine them with running shoes. Whatever benefits these may have, water resistance isn't among them. A few weeks back, I thought that a ride would involve a little trudging through slush. Not wanting to ride in shoes and socks soaked with icy slush, I dug out my Shimano SPD shoes. I'm sure I hadn't worn them for six years or longer; but I found the bits of sole to replace the SPD cleats, and a few minutes of faffing around with a hex key transformed them to Shimano sissy shoes.

I was relieved to find that my newly-reassembled Heisei-period shoes were as comfortable as I'd hoped. But they quickly made me think of how otherwise sane people had claimed, seemingly in all seriousness, that if you weren't clipped in, you risked slipping and perhaps even falling (in front of a truck, down a precipice, wherever). The grip of these shoes on the (MKS Sylvan Touring Next) pedals was ... well, I'll grade it C. By contrast, that of my running shoes on the same pedals is A+. I infer that if cycling shoes (even cleatless ones) are to be used on sissy pedals, the latter should be bigger and uglier.

The bike's Sylvan Touring Next pedals are three or four years old and show no signs of wear that I notice. My new/old bike is equipped with bog-standard Sylvan Touring pedals that I bought used for peanuts at Buychari; they seem fine too.
 

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
4,097
2,308
Last step in getting my bike ready for the season was wrapping the bars again.
For fun I started at the tops and wound down to the plugs. Nice stretchy cushioned tape wrapped nicely and TBH I prefer the look and feel. Time will tell if it leads to unwrapping itself.
Longish ride tomorrow to shake the knees out.
 

bloaker

Sincerely A Dick
Nov 14, 2011
3,574
5,606
I have not been on a bike in a short bit.
This morning I had enough - I grabbed my fargo, threw on bags and headed to work.
A little wet, but it was nice to be back out on a bike.
I still have not ridden my road bike in 2023.
I am sure it will happen....
 

bloaker

Sincerely A Dick
Nov 14, 2011
3,574
5,606
Yesterday was NBD for my youngest.
One of the guys on Yokosuka CC was ready to pass this along to another kiddo to love and enjoy!
His goal is accomplished!

I spent about an hour cleaning and 700 yen on new grips.
All she wants now is a fun bell to ring and it will be perfect!

5fItj1NpMfUqrvXdHvpNH_DhSMZZfk0N1-b91_xbjoaaFzOKQkRPciF8mMMl6jxoN78SS_odmHdSJsGgxk5_6OE3hf-7lZkbtFyZWuubgcMD7EtKNT6r18prv-sykEw4ZFRvElOftqLSRE46xW9vQkIp4BL_Ap-LOPaxlmetfFTb0wYvLgU-95BgGj_t0OmNwNQI9KCFSpOgIzy4iOTtOBXIIv9fUwkGks_cTgMS5rvlEj3BOSl42uewDFNsSLmqSrpqP5WmDFkldgRLqCKdvHx5UwUwo4FIMe2PSoWfd8h4tK4n1oGgFSrQKrWNf9lRD6A9wrnq_Jo3GmufFeJ-2vmWAGDoo-TXDnOdNSTk6uctzfMug_xprBm8gwwmazZ5P6p5niayMQit-V4Y7XrUfHPfsXwIQpH-3S_gVNBAMNQZygqAZPqC3scLhBBOJdwiu1Yt3QYactw-KoN60ZfjmI2d65DLTGhx7t955RkFUW5nrX7LYfZp8xHv48YbSM4ZlUlg5iDW7o7YatVJlWO8WmFgF0o_KaOLcwLF0jdtZJCXtB8qBDyqfFrJpe9ENjkSwZKIF6N_AIlBxNuFWYd3Lg3YWMIxsd-8m5dpyXxfjaB7VONqM2xa0Uy8leeHkNIsuGrXCPI8YClnvRhQnSxok6z4lB9GKa9zPodd1EAnfwsiWEzAcbrW2q8TCXG_TRm0-wgMoURiFw_pWFa4v0hN9bD67bKsxmWCvGBeSKJI8IlWNTLmpiffOtHex61DpL2c1TdShcrmtnXs8DXexeRuYOafT-od-CA0wWgGRfXbalxEnMNTZIz5KFPeafSVt1fsgZM1iMGwZUWbntJW-9oPwpMrR3KhrOMP6_cIJxrit1CJ9qp_W1xtL3UDk67AF38mhmYUhAMkJKwi0Nce-xK9ntExNu9pFf8teJh98btxABpn-lydU7oAaG1xTfo_XpNzrCec03yV7Lo2Z8kxh2Y=w1258-h947-no
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
3,428
3,432
Could this be Nature's Way of nudging you to try "clipless"-less?

I'm totally totally sold on SPD (if only they were as durable as they used to be). I will never go back to flat pedals, at least for long distance and without electric assist.

At the beginning of my cycling career in the 1970s I rode with toe clips.

When I bought my Bike Friday in 2011 I started off with flat pedals and sneakers but found the feet would start to tingle at some point, probably because the soles of the sneakers are too soft so pressure is concentrated too much on one part of the foot. The stiffer soles of the cycling-specific shoes totally solved that problem.

When you are clipped in with toe straps or cleated in with SPD you can unweight the other foot while pushing down on the opposite side, which reduces the needed pressure, without fear of slipping off. Also I think higher cadence / lower torque to get the same power works better when the foot is secured. Both effects help with protecting my knees.

If your feet are OK with the pressure and your legs and knees are OK with higher torque then flat pedals may work fine for you. They don't for me.

These days I always use "platform" (i.e. sissy) pedals. But I combine them with running shoes.

It's not about status but functionality. The SPD shoes work well enough for walking into shops, I basically do all my grocery shopping in SPD shoes.

If you did care about status, it would have to be SPD-SL or some such hard to walk in shoe. A lot of road cyclists still think of SPD as "mountain bike" shoes.

Originally I avoided SPD because I was too worried about falling (and I did when I started using them, as everyone does while getting used to them). My first SPD pedals were flat on one side, cleated on the other side but I ended up never using the flat side. The symmetric PD-M520's mean I never have to hunt for the correct side. If there was one thing I would like improved it's the amount of grip of the soles when walking - the shoes I have now are a bit too slippery on wet ground so I have to be careful. Sneakers would still be better then.

Whatever benefits these may have, water resistance isn't among them.

If there's any chance of rain and it's not the height of summer where I basically don't care, I bring along my CXWXC overshoes. They do a good job keeping off rain and splashes from puddles. I hate cycling in wet socks, especially on long rides.

Two more weeks to my brevet. I better head out somewhere this weekend and climb some hills. I love the temperatures these days!
 

microcord

Maximum Pace
Aug 28, 2012
1,460
1,006
@joewein , my [perverse choice of] cycling shoes were marketed as running shoes rather than general-purpose sneakers: they're a bit spongy at the bottom, of course, and the soles aren't as stiff as those of genuine cycling shoes, but the soles are pretty stiff all the same. This relative stiffness of the sole may or may not be why I haven't had, or have only very rarely had, tingling of the feet.

I can't compare them with other sneakers, because they're all I wear, other than for rides of under 10 km or so (where it really doesn't matter).

Another oddity about cycling shoes is weight. My [designed for cycling] cycling shoes may be heavier than average, but anyway they're a lot heavier than my running shoes. The weight difference is of course minor compared with the weight of my stumpy legs, but I suppose it would have some small effect -- yet I've rarely heard people say much about the weight of cycling shoes.

I've a hunch that in cold weather, the orthodox "rat-trap" pedal isn't as efficient a heat sink as are various newer designs, but it's only a hunch.

As for hilly rides, I know of one on Sunday 12 that you'd be welcome to join. . . .

(I did a moderately hilly 166 km ride yesterday and I think I've already recovered from that.)
 

adventurous cyclist

turtle speed cyclist
May 16, 2019
1,190
1,344
Beautiful day in Yamaguchi. IMG_20230307_163035.jpg

Large park in Yamaguchi.

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IMG_20230305_153706.jpg

Mountain 🏔️ coming up

IMG_20230309_161731.jpg

Chinese noodles. The real McCoy.
 

Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
4,606
3,649
I'll join the Knights in White Lycra (KIWL) four-day 500-km charity ride again in June this year, raising money for Mirai-no-mori to support their objective of empowering marginalized young people in Japan through outdoor activities.

Yesterday we held a nice spring warm-up ride with about half of the riders who'll participate 1- 4 June. I hadn't been to Zebra Coffee before, but I expect I shall be back.

1678583418064.png
 

OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
2,479
2,094
@joewein , my [perverse choice of] cycling shoes were marketed as running shoes rather than general-purpose sneakers: they're a bit spongy at the bottom, of course, and the soles aren't as stiff as those of genuine cycling shoes, but the soles are pretty stiff all the same. This relative stiffness of the sole may or may not be why I haven't had, or have only very rarely had, tingling of the feet.
In my experience, running shoes fared horribly as cycling shoes (apart from commutes): the sponginess meant I left a lot of energy on the table, the pedals would chew up my sole and I'd actually get some numb spots.

Have you tried cycling shoes made for flat pedals? (Something like this.) They have a stiffer, reinforced sole.
 

microcord

Maximum Pace
Aug 28, 2012
1,460
1,006
@OreoCookie , no, I haven't tried them or anything like them. I do recognize the name "Five Ten": I remember reading at least one very favorable review. I didn't know that Five Ten was part of, or distributed by, Adidas. Here in Japan at least, Adidas is informative about widths as well as lengths; strangely, even clicking on "Details" in this web page brings no mention of width.

Perhaps they're these (Amazon). Width is medium, so they wouldn't fit; and they cost more than I've paid for any kind of footwear, ever.

Taking a look at AliExpress, I see that shoes looking at least mildly interesting start at around 6,000, and that those write-ups I bothered to look at don't mention width. Also, and as is normal for AliExpress, my first reaction is "Wow, so many choices!"; but after a very few seconds I weary of browsing. (It would help if I knew of two or three respected brand names for cheapo Chinese shoes.)

If I'm paying more than 4000 yen, I want to try before I buy. My [Euro-] size, as Adidas measures it, for this kind of thing is 46. I've no strong reason to assume that rival brands would call it 46. But whatever it's called, it's unusually big for Japan. I don't suppose that any store bothers with shoes in that size for sissy platform pedals. I do have a backup pair of running shoes in my size: I bought them cheaply in Book Off, used but as new. The annoying thing about Book Off these days is that shoes are sorted by brand, not size. For me, it's much more important that shoes fit than that they have this or that logo on the sides, but I guess that this just makes me a hen na gaijin.
 

OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
2,479
2,094
Here in Japan at least, Adidas is informative about widths as well as lengths; strangely, even clicking on "Details" in this web page brings no mention of width.
Oh, you have wide feet, too. Then things will probably get trickier. I haven't tried Five Tens myself (I have been riding clipless pedals for close to 20 years now).
If I'm paying more than 4000 yen, I want to try before I buy.
If you have wide feet, then this isn't going to happen. My cycling shoes always had to be specially ordered. However, I did make sure that someone from the bike shop measured my feet so that I wasn't on the hook for “giving them the wrong size.”
Perhaps they're these (Amazon). Width is medium, so they wouldn't fit; and they cost more than I've paid for any kind of footwear, ever.
Cycling shoes are just expensive.

I think the cheapest ones I have bought cost me the equivalent of 10,000 ¥, and that was 15 years ago. They were Northwaves, and they fit well despite me having wide feet. (Just to give you an idea, all subsequent cycling shoes had to be specially ordered wide versions, my running shoes are superwide.) Northwave offers flat pedal shoes for $100.

PS Since moving to Japan, it has been impossible for me to find cheap shoes. Apart from a pair of Crocs, my cheapest pair of shoes are my running shoes that cost ¥12,000, I think. Nothing else literally fits. It is super frustrating.
 

hellerphant

Maximum Pace
Mar 23, 2022
112
177
Did my biggest ride yet yesterday, and my legs are definitely feeling fatigued today. 88kms down to Enoshima, out towards Odawara, and back to Machida. Strava sent me along the 246 for a spell which was a bit of a strange route, so had to make some adjustments, but made it home safely.

I am thinking about getting into Zwift. While I definitely took up cycling to see more of Japan, the fact is that work is an absolute nightmare and eats a lot of my time these days, and is likely to for the foreseeable future. Training at night with a social aspect could be a good way for me to make it though those weeks when I can't get out for a ride during the week.

Anyone have experience with the cheapest Zwift setup? A standard turbo trainer, and some cadence sensors? Is that the best way to go? The other concern is having a training tire, and having to swap it all the time for when I do want to go out. Maybe it would be fine to just use my regular tire? I cannot seem to get a good consenus, and I just cannot afford a "good" setup.

The other option is I could save and get something like this. Never heard of the brand though, and ultimately unsure if it is worth the trouble. Some advice here would be appreciated.
 
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