Nov. 10th / JCRC Saiko

Yair

Maximum Pace
Nov 10, 2009
122
13
48
Hachioji
#1
Does anyone from TCC plan on racing this? I didn't see any foreign name on the final members' list except mine...
 

Gunjira

Maximum Pace
Oct 2, 2009
1,003
176
83
Tokyo
#5
Longest race I have done during tour de Okinawa. Saiko is beautiful, but dangerous because the pack stays together for a mass sprint
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,443
916
133
Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
#6
I didn't like the looks of the metal grates in the 90 degree turns, especially the one before the last ~2 km, where everybody will be trying to get into position for the sprint. Not much fun when it starts to drizzle.
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#7
I didn't like the looks of the metal grates in the 90 degree turns, especially the one before the last ~2 km, where everybody will be trying to get into position for the sprint. Not much fun when it starts to drizzle.
Those grates aren't an issue.... in the years I have raced there nobody has gone down while riding over them, even in last years appalling conditions the crashes that occurred where due to rider error out on the back side of the loop.
 

Gunjira

Maximum Pace
Oct 2, 2009
1,003
176
83
Tokyo
#8
Exactly, the speed over the grates is quite low especially if you are not front row. 500m after with the left and right turns at full speed is where the carnage happens.
 
Likes: FarEast
Jan 14, 2007
2,516
213
83
Noda
japanichiban.com
#9
Love Saiko...hope to race again there one day...
Many moons ago these 2 bastards broke away early and sucked me in completely... I was the only one to go after them...they both then forced me to lead them out from the bat caves...or get swallowed by the pack...This is about 100m out where they both wore me down and I finished 3rd...

Need some revenge.....
 

Attachments

#10
All I have to say is you are never safe there. Last year I was in a 3 man break away 2 minutes ahead of the peleton and still, the one weekend rider up there with me crashed on his own and took me out. I ended up with a broken collar bone split in 3 places. Surprisingly the metal grates are not the reason for the crashes, it's the inexperienced riders jumping into A and S class races. Thankfully Joe was there to rescue me and bring my mangled self back to Tokyo.

I think if Shintaro has kept up with his training, he has a good chance to podium again this year if not win his class.
 

Attachments

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,443
916
133
Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
#11
...and bring my mangled self back to Tokyo.

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...when we proved that you can fit 4 adults, a tent, 2 full size road bikes, a sleeping bag, a back pack plus bicycle pumps, bike stands, helmets, shoes, etc, inside one Toyota Prius without roof rack. You had a few uncomfortable weeks after that.

We'll be out there on late Saturday afternoon for the signup & briefing, then back again on Sunday morning (including my wife) for the race.
 
#13
Well let me set it up:

Saiko last year was a cold and wet one. The weather held out until the start of the A class race (my class). Within minutes of the start it was heavy rain on the course with about 1mm of standing water on the road. Absolutely terrible riding weather for most people but for me it was my favorite racing weather. I overheat easily so the colder it is the harder I can go. This race I was set up with my Di2 Carbon road bike and I was riding on Astuto 50mm Elite Tubulars. My tire of choice was the Veloflex Carbon (the best racing tire in my opinion) set at 6.5 bar. This low pressure increased grip dramatically without adding any more rolling resistance. The race starts and I notice that 20 of the 40-60 riders in my class were all from the same club/team. Some club from Shizuoka if I remember. Most of them were weekend rider and this was their only race. I, however, was in a dead heat race for points to take GC for the JCRC A Class that year. I think you see where I am going with this.

The race starts in heavy rain and the peleton starts going down the first slope and heads around the south side of the lake. With all the water flying up, it was hard to see in the middle of the peleton so I moved up to the front by the end of the first lap. On the start of the second lap I see 1 guy had a gap on us and was pushing hard. In my opinion the peleton was going quite slow and although the conditions were pretty bad, I felt we could have pushed harder. So I take off to jump the gap. A couple of guys from that shizuoka club jump on my wheel and the 3 of us chase after the lead guy. Halfway through the 2nd lap we catch the guy but we had dropped one of the shizuoka guys that took my wheel. So by the start of the 3rd lap, it's me and 2 other guys. Surprisingly I was able to get them to work with me and we were taking 10 second pulls at full power. Garmin showed us doing about 45kph with the wind and rain. On the 3rd lap, when we made the 90 degree over the grates and start the north side of the lake, I looked back and saw nobody. By the first right hander where you can see across I saw the Peleton maybe still 300m away from the grates so our lead was quite large. I urge the guys to push harder and keep it up for the remaining 4 laps. But it was on the 3rd lap, as we rotated through our pace line, the guy in front of me entered one of the sharper hairpins on the north side faster than normal and he got scared. The second he freaked out he used his front brake, and with all that water on the ground he slid out literally 5 cm in front of me. With no time to react and nowhere to go, I ran over him directly over the center of his back. I got tossed over my bars and landed on my shoulder hitting the same collar bone I had broken 2 years earlier when I got hit by a taxi. It broke in the same spot and then some.

What I could never get over is why did this guy freak out? I had more than enough grip to turn tighter if I felt like it and even with the line he had, he would have cleared the corner, although he would have been right up next to the guardrail. His inexperience and joining a class he wasn't ready for costed me my GC win, and possible the stage win as well ( I knew I could out sprint the 2 guys with me as they seemed more the climber types barely pushing 60kg body weight). The race officials put me in the back of a truck and dropped me off at the aid tent. After a while Joe found me and rescued me as I had no way back home other than riding the train with my bike and camping gear.

In the end, I found out that my nearest rival didn't race that stage and all I had to do was finish high in the standings to win. I had to have surgery, a pin placed in my collar bone to fuse the 3 pieces together (which cost me over 150,000 yen even with health insurance).

Saiko is a great course and a great race, but it attracts the skilled and unskilled. Without properly separating them out you end up with large crashes every year in every class. If you are racing there be careful and don't stay in the middle of the peleton. On the last corner to the finish, make sure you are on the right side or the middle otherwise you will get squeezed.
 

Gunjira

Maximum Pace
Oct 2, 2009
1,003
176
83
Tokyo
#14
A story you sure want to forget, so thanks for telling. My Saiko crash wasn't any more glorious, and bleeding and hurting I completed that 3hour or so train voyage back. ThAt RaaCe Is JiiiiInXeD!
 

TokyoTurtle

Speeding Up
Jun 6, 2013
119
18
38
40
#16
so thanks for telling

+1, thanks Eric. In a related note, you didn't try to claim some of the cost back from your insurance? There is a maximum you have to pay for any procedure/treatment course based on your income. Unless you're minted you should have been able to claim some of the cost back. Might not be too late. Call the insurance co!
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,443
916
133
Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
#17
I could be wrong, but while the personal share of medical costs under the national health insurance is normally a percentage, it's supposed to be capped at 60,000 yen per quarter. I was told this a couple of years ago, so something might have changed.

Anyway, I hope we all won't be needing it this year!
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#18
This is why joining the JBCF and JCF is beneficial - your license also comes with insurance that covers you while racing and training. (Training requires you to be out with 2 other members of the same registered team)
 

TokyoTurtle

Speeding Up
Jun 6, 2013
119
18
38
40
#19
but while the personal share of medical costs under the national health insurance is normally a percentage
yes, 30%


t's supposed to be capped at 60,000 yen per quarter
I was told it's capped at 40000/month for a single procedure/treatment course if you're "low" income, 80000/month if you're "normal" and 150000 if you're "high". What is low, normal or high? Good question. You can claim related expenses as well (e.g. xrays and doctor visits before deciding on surgery) if they total 21000 or more within a calendar month. That said, you need to pay whatever the hospital asks (30%), keep the paperwork and make a claim to the insurance to get anything back.
 
#20
Well I was told by the race organizers to keep all my receipts because the race insurance was to cover my out of pocket cost. When I called them up to make my claim, their insurance company said they only pay out a small amount for every visit you make to the doctor. like 2000 yen per visit. It was a joke and I am still waiting for that money to show up. Get your own 3rd party insurance like Mont Bell or something because you will need it at some point.

@FarEast This winter I am going to be getting back in shape and get myself into the JCBF, I hope to ride with you again!