Today May 2020

bloaker

Sincerely A Dick
Nov 14, 2011
2,485
3,180
433
Miura, Japan
I have run marathons and have done training plans... It makes things feel like training and thus... a chore.
Add to it the crapshoot we have here for weather - I don't miss 'having' to go out and do a run because it is scheduled.
I got to a point of missing running for the sake of running.

I have no race, goal or anything set... I am just trying to get the miles in and enjoy it. If data comes with it that could expose a way to get more enjoyment somehow... I want to understand it. Riding my bike is 100% my mental release from work, kids, wife, responsibility, etc... the last thing I want to do is to turn it into another responsibility.

I do get your point and if faster was my goal... I would be structured.
I am not going to claim I am fast enough - but I am not embarrassing myself when I do ride with others.
So if faster is a byproduct, yay! but it is not the goal.
 

speedwobble

Scorpions - I can't get enough!
Jun 26, 2017
113
156
63
51
Just with bloaker's point about enjoyment, if you are a mountain biker (like bloaker) or live in the mountains (like me), I would say fitness is actually connected to "enjoyment". On a road bike, most basic advice about climbing says "just spin a low gear". Well, let's look at what that means. To spin 90 on a 10% climb on 34-32, the lowest gear you'll find on most commercial road bikes, you need 4W/kg. If your bike is 36-28, spinning 75 even will require a lot of power. Japan has lots of climbs with 10% sections. Nagano certainly does. So anyone saying "just spin a low gear" is saying "just put out lots of power when it's steep". For a beginner or maybe a Clydesdale, that is completely useless advice.

Of course, you can fit mtb or touring cranks on a road bike like some posters on here, but that's because they are experienced, knowledgeable cyclists who want a bike suited to them, not a facsimile of what Chris Froome might ride in the Tour de France. The bike industry is set up to sell the latter.

Greg Lemond is famously held as saying "it doesn't get easier, you just get faster", but with climbing, getting fitter definitely makes it easier. The magic line is a fitness level where you can climb anything you are likely to ride in the lowest gear on your bike at 10 or 15% below max effort. If you know your power curve and have a power meter on your bike, you should also be able to pace any climb you know about, going much faster than an idle pedal that is, without red-lining. A ride where you do not red-line is "easier" than one where you do. Any mtb descent you do when not wiped out by the climb is going to be more fun.
 

OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
1,172
870
143
43
I have run marathons and have done training plans... It makes things feel like training and thus... a chore.
Add to it the crapshoot we have here for weather - I don't miss 'having' to go out and do a run because it is scheduled.
I got to a point of missing running for the sake of running.
I feel you. I am on a rest week now and I have spent every day outside on my mountain bike. Mentally, it is sooo good. I have really felt cooped up lately, and being outside but safe is really nice. (I've passed one person in all of these days.)
I have no race, goal or anything set... I am just trying to get the miles in and enjoy it. If data comes with it that could expose a way to get more enjoyment somehow... I want to understand it. Riding my bike is 100% my mental release from work, kids, wife, responsibility, etc... the last thing I want to do is to turn it into another responsibility.
Then unless you feel depleted, continue doing what works for you :)
And when you do feel exhausted, you could take a peek at your your fitness/fatigue scores and see if you have been hitting it hard.
I do get your point and if faster was my goal... I would be structured.
The really nice thing is that you know what your goals are — and aren't. So if going faster is a nice-to-have, a bonus, I wouldn't change anything.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kangaeroo

OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
1,172
870
143
43
Just with bloaker's point about enjoyment, if you are a mountain biker (like bloaker) or live in the mountains (like me), I would say fitness is actually connected to "enjoyment". On a road bike, most basic advice about climbing says "just spin a low gear". Well, let's look at what that means. To spin 90 on a 10% climb on 34-32, the lowest gear you'll find on most commercial road bikes, you need 4W/kg.
Truth. I was reminded of this a few weeks ago. I wanted to take a stab at climbing Mt. Zao, which is a one-hour climb roughly and 1,000 m of elevation or so. The pitch is fairly steep at 10+ % in many places. But I'd have to go 40 km one way just to get to the foot of the mountain, and I wasn't fueling right that day. By the time I arrived I was in ketosis. I could reliably put out 65–70 % of my FTP and no more, i. e. 200–220 W. And even in my smallest gear, 34:32, I was grinding up at about 60 rpm or so. At about the 1/3rd way point, I decided today wasn't the day and I turned around. And if you are on the mountain bike, then you need to go full gas just to get up some of the steeper bits.

So yeah, when climbing (which I love, love) fitness definitely adds to the enjoyment.
If your bike is 36-28, spinning 75 even will require a lot of power. Japan has lots of climbs with 10% sections. Nagano certainly does. So anyone saying "just spin a low gear" is saying "just put out lots of power when it's steep". For a beginner or maybe a Clydesdale, that is completely useless advice.
“I never met a gear I didn't like.” or so the adage goes (I heard that one from Amber Malika, former pro). The gearing on road bikes is still way too hard for the general, even fitter population. I'm reasonably fit and I sometimes need another gear on steep climbs, so imagine how the population must feel. Even if you can turn, say, 34:25 or 34:28, perhaps it'd still be better to use 34:32 at a higher cadence. Recently I PRed without going for it at a roughly 8-9-minute climb. Before getting my bike computer, I would try to stay in higher gears to “motivate me to go faster”. (Yeah, I should know better …) This time I used all of my gears, including the 34:32 but really spin at a high consistent cadence. Not only did I PR, I felt completely chill at the top and didn't need to take a break.
Of course, you can fit mtb or touring cranks on a road bike like some posters on here, but that's because they are experienced, knowledgeable cyclists who want a bike suited to them, not a facsimile of what Chris Froome might ride in the Tour de France. The bike industry is set up to sell the latter.
I think a lot of people would be better of with something like a gravel bike crank or 1x and a really tall climbing gear. Once you get used to spinning at high rpm especially, When I was in Chile, my mountain bike rental had a 28-tooth chain ring, and I could still hit about 35 km/h when spinning.
The magic line is a fitness level where you can climb anything you are likely to ride in the lowest gear on your bike at 10 or 15% below max effort.
Exactly. You are still relaxed going up and you didn't have to grind up.
 

Karl

Faster than molasses
Feb 7, 2011
896
921
113
Yokohama
I have run marathons and have done training plans... It makes things feel like training and thus... a chore.
Add to it the crapshoot we have here for weather - I don't miss 'having' to go out and do a run because it is scheduled.
I got to a point of missing running for the sake of running.

I have no race, goal or anything set... I am just trying to get the miles in and enjoy it. If data comes with it that could expose a way to get more enjoyment somehow... I want to understand it. Riding my bike is 100% my mental release from work, kids, wife, responsibility, etc... the last thing I want to do is to turn it into another responsibility.

I do get your point and if faster was my goal... I would be structured.
I am not going to claim I am fast enough - but I am not embarrassing myself when I do ride with others.
So if faster is a byproduct, yay! but it is not the goal.
Agreed. Whenever I've tried to train for something and stay with it long-term, something always gets in the way... life commitments, injury, or sickness. Then I get discouraged because most of the work was for naught and I feel like doing less cycling instead of more. Plus, at this stage of my life, I just prefer to enjoy the ride and stay safe. For me, hard, consistent training makes cycling too much like work. That said, I do wish I could hang a bit better when riding with others, but I just don't want to work for it. Maybe there's a pill for that?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kangaeroo

Kangaeroo

Maximum Pace
Jan 24, 2018
690
779
113
64
I'm just so glad to get on a bike and ride. Almost nothing gives me as much pleasure.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Karl

Karl

Faster than molasses
Feb 7, 2011
896
921
113
Yokohama
Yes there is. It's called an e-bike ;)

I see myself as an injury or knee breakdown away from riding one. I don't want one now, but never say never!
I just can't see myself going to an e-bike unless it is either an e-bike or quit biking. Just doesn't seem right. But, yeah...never say never.
 

wexford

Maximum Pace
Jul 3, 2012
1,288
1,075
133
Tokyo
Speaking of ebikes. My dad who just turned 84 has been talking about getting one for the last two years but hates the look of the things and doesn’t want something heavy. I finally had some time to search out some choices and we decided on the ribble endurance sle. I think it looks pretty great for an ebike and not too heavy at 12kg. He’s pretty excited about this new era as the wind and hills have been getting that bit tougher recently and this will open everything back up again.

1590670045865.png
 

bloaker

Sincerely A Dick
Nov 14, 2011
2,485
3,180
433
Miura, Japan
This morning - my brain and heart were not into Zwift. I could not get motivated and my legs were not too excited either.
Around 4km my knees kinda said "no" but I pushed assuming I just needed a longer warm up than usual.
Around 7km my knees ratchets up the "No" a bit, but I pushed anyway - but tried high cadence, tried grinding, tried anything to make them happier.
Around 10km my knees said "NO!" and I stopped. My knees usually are not the complainers and if they were, my SS would make them upset (one would think). But I hopped off the trainer and stood there for about ten seconds.

Took off the SPD shoes, grabbed my gravel bike and some flat shoes.
Took a 20km spin around the local area avoiding hills and keeping the pace low. Just taking in the fresh air and low traffic 0500 gives you. Road by the beach and saw people out enjoying the morning responsibly. I headed into Kamakura and enjoyed the quiet and stillness until............... ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss.................

Yup, I could tell it was the front tire, but not sure where. Hopped off the bike and leaned it to one side, spun the wheel slowly, when the hole got to the bottom, I saw some sealant shoot out. So I moved the wheel just a tad back and forth swishing the sealant around the hole. Within 20 seconds.. solid. Tubeless is awesome. I road the last 8km home event free and feeling good.

Trainer - 200 calories in 20 minutes.
Aimless wanders - 330 calories in 1 hour.

20200529_051227.jpg 20200529_052613.jpg
 

OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
1,172
870
143
43
Speaking of ebikes. My dad who just turned 84 has been talking about getting one for the last two years but hates the look of the things and doesn’t want something heavy. I finally had some time to search out some choices and we decided on the ribble endurance sle. I think it looks pretty great for an ebike and not too heavy at 12kg. He’s pretty excited about this new era as the wind and hills have been getting that bit tougher recently and this will open everything back up again.
I think ebikes are a great option to attract more people to the sport and to share enjoyment. Just imagine if your dad could ride with you again (and you would probably have trouble keeping up with him on the climbs) …
 
  • Like
Reactions: Karl and Kangaeroo

speedwobble

Scorpions - I can't get enough!
Jun 26, 2017
113
156
63
51
E-bikes that replace cars or motorcycles are epic, great for everyone. E-bikes that replace less active forms of leisure are great too. I hope I'll have the eyesight, hearing, and coordination to ride a bike at 84, motorized or otherwise. If I get to ride one with dropped seat stays like the one above, so much the better!

I suppose the main sticking point with e-bikes is e-mtb and the question of trail access. Pretty much everyone in Japan is afraid of losing their trails, which are usually on other people's private land. Having to pedal up climbs limits access and ultimately protects trails from overuse. Japan is a very wet country and wet trails are much easier to damage than dry ones.
 

bloaker

Sincerely A Dick
Nov 14, 2011
2,485
3,180
433
Miura, Japan
I suppose the main sticking point with e-bikes is e-mtb and the question of trail access. Pretty much everyone in Japan is afraid of losing their trails, which are usually on other people's private land. Having to pedal up climbs limits access and ultimately protects trails from overuse. Japan is a very wet country and wet trails are much easier to damage than dry ones.
That is one part.
Another part... If you are not fit enough to get that far out in the woods, then you aren't fit enough to carry your broken bike out.
If you use a motor to get you places your legs cannot get you, then I don't think EMTs, or anyone else needs to help you get out.
If you crash and get seriously hurt - yes, you need to be taken care of like anyone else on the trail. But if you can't ride out there, you can't carry a 15-20kg bike out on your own. It is not anyone else's responsibility to get you out of an area you were never fit to be in.

I am 100% behind ebikes as car replacements. I am in no way supportive of them as ways to get yourself in deeper trouble.
If you want an EMTB - I would be fine if they were confined to places an ambulance can drive to (or a pickup). Jeep roads or other multi use double track is where they belong.
 

speedwobble

Scorpions - I can't get enough!
Jun 26, 2017
113
156
63
51
I hadn't thought of that but yes, some kind of self-responsibility is important. I take a very dim view of people who hike in poor weather. If it's 10C and drizzle at the bottom of a trail, 1200m up could easily be whiteout and blizzard. Or people who go on multiday excursions when the first item on the news is the trajectory of a typhoon. People who think doing stuff in bad weather will somehow be "character-building" are the worst. The rescue guys working on the helis do a very dangerous job and shouldn't be called out more than necessary.
 

OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
1,172
870
143
43
Last time I was hiking near Munich I noticed just how popular e-MTBs have gotten. I rarely saw any human-only powered specimen. Most riders were not-that-fit gentlemen who wanted to enjoy the sun. (Kudos to you, whatever brings you joy. I celebrate anyone that moves from 4 to 2 wheels.)

While @bloaker has a point, I think this is more of an issue if you are on less populated routes. (Japan seems to qualify here.) Many places in Europe have a much more robust MTB culture (and I am sure parts of the US and Canada do, too, but I don't want to speculate).
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kangaeroo

wexford

Maximum Pace
Jul 3, 2012
1,288
1,075
133
Tokyo
I think ebikes are a great option to attract more people to the sport and to share enjoyment. Just imagine if your dad could ride with you again (and you would probably have trouble keeping up with him on the climbs) …
Yeah, I ride with my dad every year when I get home. Although it has been maybe 5 years since we climbed anything long together. The man started cycling 24 years ago when I left Ireland (on my old race bike that was lying idle) and been loving it ever since. His current bike is a Carbon Fibre Trek with US Postal Team paintwork so a few years old at this point. It's a pretty light bike and still looks good. Hoping that he gets many more years of cycling enjoyment out of the new one. I'll definitely be looking forward to him dropping me on a climb and putting me back in my place. I'm also looking forward to trying it out if he lets me :) I think if you forget about Strava, PRs, KOMs and all that crap and just concentrate on the joy of moving through the wind on two wheels then the ebike is just the same as any other bike that fits your needs.
 

pedalist

Maximum Pace
This morning - my brain and heart were not into Zwift. I could not get motivated and my legs were not too excited either.
Around 4km my knees kinda said "no" but I pushed assuming I just needed a longer warm up than usual.
Around 7km my knees ratchets up the "No" a bit, but I pushed anyway - but tried high cadence, tried grinding, tried anything to make them happier.
Around 10km my knees said "NO!" and I stopped. My knees usually are not the complainers and if they were, my SS would make them upset (one would think). But I hopped off the trainer and stood there for about ten seconds.

Took off the SPD shoes, grabbed my gravel bike and some flat shoes.
Took a 20km spin around the local area avoiding hills and keeping the pace low. Just taking in the fresh air and low traffic 0500 gives you. Road by the beach and saw people out enjoying the morning responsibly. I headed into Kamakura and enjoyed the quiet and stillness until............... ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss.................

Yup, I could tell it was the front tire, but not sure where. Hopped off the bike and leaned it to one side, spun the wheel slowly, when the hole got to the bottom, I saw some sealant shoot out. So I moved the wheel just a tad back and forth swishing the sealant around the hole. Within 20 seconds.. solid. Tubeless is awesome. I road the last 8km home event free and feeling good.

Trainer - 200 calories in 20 minutes.
Aimless wanders - 330 calories in 1 hour.

View attachment 20189 View attachment 20190
Oh, I miss that place. You took the first pic from Nagisa Bashi, right? The Nagisa Bashi Café was our place to go when I and my wife were cycling in that area or after a day at the beach. Nice retro-feel place with a great view of the bay.
I'm looking forward to go back there in hopefully not to far future.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kangaeroo

bloaker

Sincerely A Dick
Nov 14, 2011
2,485
3,180
433
Miura, Japan
Oh, I miss that place. You took the first pic from Nagisa Bashi, right? The Nagisa Bashi Café was our place to go when I and my wife were cycling in that area or after a day at the beach. Nice retro-feel place with a great view of the bay.
I'm looking forward to go back there in hopefully not to far future.
Yup. The first pic was from the bridge right next to the Cafe. The second was several KMs down the road.
 

bloaker

Sincerely A Dick
Nov 14, 2011
2,485
3,180
433
Miura, Japan
I am sleeping in tomorrow and I already feel guilty about it. :(
But I need the time off the bike. I have not had a 0 day in months.
I plan to ride casually with the trailer and my girls. I expect to fry my legs... but in a relaxed fashion.
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,788
1,768
133
Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
Active cases (official numbers):
  1. Japan: 3,992
  2. Republic of Korea: 877
  3. Australia: 556
  4. Vietnam: 61
  5. New Zealand: 40
  6. Taiwan: 35
I'm intending to do another lengthy rural ride on Sunday. The weather forecast is for "overcast", but that just suits me fine. I don't want to wither in the heat or get sunburnt.

I'm worried that a lot of people will go back to business as usual now that the State of Emergency has ended. People were already starting to relax before the change had even been officially announced. Japan is far from having eradicated the virus.

Active cases (official numbers):
  1. Japan: 1669
  2. Korea: 735
  3. Australia: 488
  4. Vietnam: 48
  5. Taiwan: 15
  6. New Zealand: 1

Nobody really understands why the official numbers are as low as they are, given how the government has prioritized the economy over anything else (the person officially in charge isn't a health expert but the Minister for Economic Revitalization, of all people).