Race niigata gravel event?

andywood

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I've been exploring the local gravel roads recently and been amazed with what is out there.

IMG_20200309_114216.jpg

An endless network of off road trails. Suitable for CX, gravel and MTBs.

IMG_20200309_093830.jpg

Having attended Nobeyama Gravel Challenge last year and after reading up on the Grinduro event, I think these roads are potentially better.

Screenshot_20200309-124848.png

They are not as extreme as Otaki either, so full suspension is okay but not necessary.

IMG_20200309_114547.jpg

I'm thinking about organising a gravel event on these roads.

From my experience I think things to have or aim for are:

・a loop that is long enough to be a challenge but completable by everyone
・low entry costs
・as much specific road surface as possible, stuff you wouldn't want to ride your road bike on
・a sociable atmosphere where you can ride with friends and enjoy the nature and scenery
・two or three strava segments opened on race day to add a competitive edge for those who crave it
・certification for your time on the segments
・post event food, beer, party

IMG_20200309_113955.jpg

Is there anything you would add?

Would you be interested in an event like this?

Just putting the feelers out.

Cheers, Andy
 

stu_kawagoe

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Yeah, if I can sort out a bike for the job I’m interested in this too. I might be able to do double-duty with a family trip to Nigata if the dates work out. Would you be looking to do it summer or save it till autumn? September/October is always a nice time of year in Japan.
 

luka

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the routes like these is what I'd consider traveling for. unfortunately (from the event planning respect) I don't do events. the biggest turnoff for me is that you have to fix a day in advance and commit. then the weather can really screw you. I wouldn't do it if it's muddy, and that means I'd only consider going if there's been almost a week of no rain going into a weekend. but a fixed event does not allow for such a flexibility...... well, to each their own I suppose. I'm thinking of going actually on a weekend in mid to late April, if I can get the weather and other issues to align
 

kiwisimon

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Great looking course you have there. Not for the novices I'd imagine.

Keeping it on the downlow and having a bunch of people just doing it with brews and BBQ the first time can make getting official permission easier. You know plenty of townsfolk in the 市役所, Ask them to sort out any permissions needed as they will likely carry more cache than you, even though you are world famous in Kashiwazaki.

Start laying the roots this summer for a more publicized event next year. I'd also recommend capping entries very low and charging more to cover costs (enthusists will pay more than novices) . . Too often good ideas die on the table of overselling.
 
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andywood

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Yeah, if I can sort out a bike for the job I’m interested in this too. I might be able to do double-duty with a family trip to Nigata if the dates work out. Would you be looking to do it summer or save it till autumn? September/October is always a nice time of year in Japan.
Cheers, I need to think about dates.

Summer is the best time to visit Niigata timed in with time on the beach, festivals and fireworks. Not so much fun climbing mountains though! So yeah, spring or autumn I guess.

Andy
 
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andywood

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the routes like these is what I'd consider traveling for. unfortunately (from the event planning respect) I don't do events. the biggest turnoff for me is that you have to fix a day in advance and commit. then the weather can really screw you. I wouldn't do it if it's muddy, and that means I'd only consider going if there's been almost a week of no rain going into a weekend. but a fixed event does not allow for such a flexibility...... well, to each their own I suppose. I'm thinking of going actually on a weekend in mid to late April, if I can get the weather and other issues to align
The bigger problem now is the virus! Already had Fukushima CX cancelled. Now I'm worried about Otaki in May, which I've already paid for.

That's another reason I was thinking of a low key event if these big ones keep getting cancelled.

Rode those roads in the rain today. All good. But I am from Manchester!

Let me know when you get plans moving. Will check my schedule too.

Andy
 
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andywood

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Great looking course you have there. Not for the novices I'd imagine.

Keeping it on the downlow and having a bunch of people just doing it with brews and BBQ the first time can make getting official permission easier. You know plenty of townsfolk in the 市役所, Ask them to sort out any permissions needed as they will likely carry more cache than you, even though you are world famous in Kashiwazaki.

Start laying the roots this summer for a more publicized event next year. I'd also recommend capping entries very low and charging more to cover costs (enthusists will pay more than novices) . . Too often good ideas die on the table of overselling.

Yes, that's kind of how our Gururin event works.

Need to talk to Enosan at the shop. Do it as a low key publicised event? Or just by word of mouth? Which we do for another event the 100km marathon in Obon.

The difficulty of the course is probably determined by how much climbing you put in it rather than the road surface.

Screenshot_20200310-210058.png
Stravaでアクティビティをしました: https://strava.app.link/6qNWCX5XJ4


Tweaked the course today and added a significant amount of climbing. Pretty safe course even in the rain.

In addition to fitness, bike preparation and self maintenance on the go is important. SDA as they say. Self Discovery Adventure.

Andy
 

leicaman

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I wouldn't do it if it's muddy,
Ha ha. Out of curiosity, what’s the reason you would ride in mud? I find that rides in hard conditions are often the most memorable. Your bike will wash clean afterwards. It’s what it was built for. Not fannying around the suburbs of Tokyo 😘😜
 
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andywood

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I’d be interested in this is the date lined up well. What kind of accommodation would be available around btw? Camping? Hotels?
Kashiwazaki is a popular seaside destination in summer, so lots of hotels, plus the usual business hotels.

Official camp sites are a bit out of town. Many people camp by the beach in summer as there are clean toilets and free showers. Three ofuro options by the beach too.

Will have a think about dates.

We have a local race at the Kakuda trail this weekend.

Next weekend I hope to do a mock ride with some mates, get their input, and then think about potential dates.

Cheers, Andy
 

pedalist

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It'd be great to see you making this actually happen.
I'm not in for it this year, since I'm not in the country. But the idea really does sound nice and I'd love to join once I'm back.

Maybe this is the start of an inofficial event series by TCC members.
Bring the people together.
 
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luka

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what’s the reason you would ride in mud?
it's doable but becomes a chore really. not just cleaning everything up afterwards, but even riding itself. you're slowed down to snail pace, never know when you might lose grip, front or rear, distance does not get covered, only you and your bike - in muck......
 

andywood

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it's doable but becomes a chore really. not just cleaning everything up afterwards, but even riding itself. you're slowed down to snail pace, never know when you might lose grip, front or rear, distance does not get covered, only you and your bike - in muck......
Did the course this morning after rain and snow yesterday.

Just a sprinkling on the tops of the climbs.

IMG_20200317_112650.jpg

I simplified the course a bit. And made 7 short segments, mostly uphill to keep it safe, for those who want to contest it.

The latest course looks like this.

Stravaでアクティビティをしました: https://strava.app.link/LXnUKjE9U4

A group of us will ride it on Friday.

Facebook link and cut and paste:


We'll be doing a Kashiwazaki Off-Road Classic this Friday. The start and goal is the parking area at Kashiwazaki Yumenomori Park. Start at 8:00 and finish at 12:00. The course is a beautiful loop of 60km / 1,600m up. Forest 'rindo' roads make up most of the course with gravel, concrete and even pristine tarmac. People who have CX bikes and MTBs can participate. The pace will be such that everyone can enjoy the ride. There are several strava segments, so if you want to compete, go all out on just the segments! Let's regroup at segment goals. All are welcome from beginners to experts! Waiting for your participation! See you there!

I'll get feedback on any ways to make it even better.

Then think of some potential dates. If the corona troubles continue, it may even become a monthly series.

Anyway will update here.

Cheers, Andy
 

luka

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this is so inviting I actually checked Shinkansen times and prices etc. but I'm afraid it's just too much accumulative cost per riding time to justify the whole trip (esp since I gotta be back in Tokyo by Sat midday). maybe next time
 

andywood

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this is so inviting I actually checked Shinkansen times and prices etc. but I'm afraid it's just too much accumulative cost per riding time to justify the whole trip (esp since I gotta be back in Tokyo by Sat midday). maybe next time
Actually the long-term weather forecast is a bit hit and miss for Friday, so best not to risk it.

For future reference an alternative to the shinkansen is the highway bus between Ikebukuro and Kashiwazaki.


They will take bikes if bagged up properly and the midnight bus is always a good choice🍻 especially in summer.

Andy
 
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andywood

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After 3 glorious days...

IMG_20200319_070138.jpg

it looks like a storm is rolling in tomorrow.

So we decided to postpone the test run event till next weekend.

Will update here.

Cheers, Andy
 
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