Today Nov 2018

A

andywood

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#21
Andy,

To qualify for PBP you need to complete a Super Randonneur (SR) series in the same season as PBP. SR consists of 200, 300, 400 and 600 km brevet rides. AFAIK you can also substitute longer rides for shorter ones (e.g. do two 400s instead of the 300 and the 400), but you do need four rides of at least these distances and you need them before July.

The Japanese event calendar for 2019 will be published shortly as Audax Japan has just had its annual meeting. Event signups are mostly handled via SportsEntry. There are about half a dozen clubs in the Kanto area, just about all of which will offer a full SR series and more than 20 clubs countrywide.

You don't necessarily have to do the rides in Japan. Any ACP-sanctioned events worldwide (e.g. US, Canada, Europe) will do. Audax Club Parisien is the organisation that homologates all the rides.

I can't guarantee that if you complete SR you will be allowed to start at PBP, but I think it's highly likely, at least for people who have done brevets before. In 2015 the PBP website mentioned a rider limit. People who have completed at least one brevet in 2018 will be able to pre-register at an earlier date which reserves a slot, with the opening date depending on the longest distance completed (e.g. 1000/1200 km first, 600 km next, etc). This will have to be converted into a full reservation by some date in late June. Without pre-registration you can do the full registration when you have done at least 3 of the 4 qualification events, with a cut-off in early July. The exact dates are not yet on the PBP website.

Personally, I am not really aiming for PBP. Completing a 600 within the 40 hours time limit is a tough one for me, as I've been too slow to be left with enough time to sleep as needed for any distance too long to ride by staying awake throughout. That is simply not going to work for a 4 day ride. So I would need a less challenging 600 km course than the one I have been attempting 3 or 4 times so far. Also my business travel schedule would have to not conflict with my brevet schedule so I could fit in enough rides and alternate rides in case of bad weather to make SR. Having said that, riding with thousands of long distance cyclists from all over the world in France, with spectacular local support, would be the experience of a lifetime.

Official PBP flyer in English here (PDF)
Thanks for all the details Joe. Really appreciate it!

Andy
 
leicaman

leicaman

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#22
Another year, another Chichibu autumn foliage ride :)



I was joined by four others on Saturday. Early in the morning I drove to Ogawamachi and parked the car at Michi no Eki Ogawamachi, then cycled 40 km from there to Seibu-Chichibu station where we were supposed to meet at 09:00. Everybody was there on time.

The course was similar to the Ghost Town loop from previous years, but due to the road being closed for tunnel repairs below the Ogurazawa post office below the mine (which we knew about, it's been like this for months with no end date in sight), we turned around after exploring the riverside next to two tunnels that are still open. I always found that part the most scenic on previous rides. We were not disappointed.

Instead of the climb past the Ghost Town up to the tunnel and down to Rt 299 on the other side we headed over to Mitsumine shrine and over the mountains near Kirimogamine. The momiji (Japanese maple) were fiery red up there while they were still all kinds of colours down in the valley.

Five km of backed up traffic from cars trying to get into the shrine car park slowed us down a bit, as did two punctures in our group that were relatively quickly fixed. It became really chilly and it got dark about half way through the descent back to the main road on the wild east side of the mountain.

Ideally we should have climbed to Mitsumine from the east on the way out to the lake, but I wanted to save the bright midday sunlight for the canyon near the ghost town. Nevertheless it was a great ride. It would have been even more fun without the holiday traffic jam at the shrine and with warmer clothing for the final part of the ride!

After seeing everyone off at Seibu-Chichibu for their train returns I cycled back to Ogawamachi in the dark and drove home. With 173 km for this ride, my November Century is done. That's 75 consecutive months and counting! :)



Cheers for the info Joe. What were the road conditions like on the east side of Mitsumine? No landslides?
 
joewein

joewein

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#23
@leicaman, the road conditions on the east side of Mitsumine are OK, just like your average rindo. Some leaves on the road of course, some cracked surface in places and a little debris, but nothing out of the ordinary :)

When I rode there in the summer the upper part of the descent had a lot of sand on it (perhaps still from the winter service?) and I needed to be careful, but I didn't notice that this time.

Clockwise is definitely my favourite way of doing Mitsumine, as you get to enjoy the picturesque east side longer.

 
leicaman

leicaman

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#24
@leicaman, the road conditions on the east side of Mitsumine are OK, just like your average rindo. Some leaves on the road of course, some cracked surface in places and a little debris, but nothing out of the ordinary :)

When I rode there in the summer the upper part of the descent had a lot of sand on it (perhaps still from the winter service?) and I needed to be careful, but I didn't notice that this time.

Clockwise is definitely my favourite way of doing Mitsumine, as you get to enjoy the picturesque east side longer.

Thanks, Joe. I prefer clockwise, too.
 
stu_kawagoe

stu_kawagoe

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#25
I took a ride out to Hanno today. Great autumn conditions and I basically had the forest roads to myself. I'm also starting to enjoy the ride up the 299 to Chichibu. I sort of plow up there in the big ring for 15km and the gentle gradient makes it feel like a decent workout. The route and a couple of photos here.

Edit - I asked for some advice about winter kit a few weeks ago so I wanted to give an update about some stuff that just arrived from Amazon. I went for a thermal windproof jacket and bib tights from Pearl Izumi in a 3L (I’m 182cm and about 75 kilos). They don’t fit too bad, particularly in the arms, where I always struggle with a Japanese sizing. If I was choosing again, I’d probably go for the race fit stuff but I’m pretty happy with my choice for the time being.
 

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stu_kawagoe

stu_kawagoe

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#26
I just noticed a reasonably large nick in my tyre tread. Sorry the picture isn’t great but I can see a little bit of the yellow protective layer. Is it worth trying to repair or forget about and hope for the best? I have long ride tomorrow and don’t want this to be a problem but I’m pretty sure if I take it to the bike shop they’ll tell me to buy a new one. This is my first time to get this problem so I’m not sure what to do.
 

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leicaman

leicaman

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#27
Difficult to see from that photo. Can you focus on the nick? Some people use superglue if the nick isn’t too big. Sometimes it just not worth it though and it’s better to get a new tyre. Peace of mind for around 3000-4000 yen is worth it in my opinion
 
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stu_kawagoe

stu_kawagoe

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#28
Difficult to see from that photo. Can you focus on the nick? Some people use superglue if the nick isn’t too big. Sometimes it just not worth it though and it’s better to get a new tyre. Peace of mind for around 3000-4000 yen is worth it in my opinion
Thanks for the quick reply! Sorry about the photo; It was hard to get it in focus. I have a bit of free time this afternoon so I think it’s probably best to get a new tyre rather than trying to bodge a fix and be worrying about it tomorrow.
 
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andywood

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#29
Thanks for the quick reply! Sorry about the photo; It was hard to get it in focus. I have a bit of free time this afternoon so I think it’s probably best to get a new tyre rather than trying to bodge a fix and be worrying about it tomorrow.
For a quick fix, assuming it's a clincher, switch that tyre to the front wheel. Put some electrical tape on the inside of the tyre behind the nick. Put some super glue in the nick. I think you'll get a long ride out of that.

Andy
 
leicaman

leicaman

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#30
For a quick fix, assuming it's a clincher, switch that tyre to the front wheel. Put some electrical tape on the inside of the tyre behind the nick. Put some super glue in the nick. I think you'll get a long ride out of that.

Andy
Personally I wouldn’t put it on the front. If it did go while riding I’d much prefer it to go on my rear than front.
 
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O

OreoCookie

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#31
For a quick fix, assuming it's a clincher, switch that tyre to the front wheel. Put some electrical tape on the inside of the tyre behind the nick. Put some super glue in the nick. I think you'll get a long ride out of that.

Andy
I would strongly suggest to not put the old, damaged tire on the front wheel. Having a problem with the rear tire is almost always way more benign than having a problem on the front tire. Usually a deflated rear tire will cause you to slide out at worst, but a sudden deflation of the front tire can send you over the handle bars. This is especially true for a tire that already looks quite worn.

@stu_kawagoe
The tire looks well worn, you have a clear “flat plateau” on it already. Without the gash, you might get a few more hundred kilometers out of it, but you will have worse handling characteristics. Your life is precious, get a new tire, or perhaps two.
 
A

andywood

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#32
Sorry, was just saying put it on the front as it is less likely to puncture as there is less load.

But that's a quick fix and safety should always come first.

Save the tyre for the trainer.

Andy
 
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stu_kawagoe

stu_kawagoe

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#33
I replaced the tyre. I also bought a new headlight (Giant Recon 500) and saddle bag:) Thanks for the advice lads.
 
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andywood

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#34
First time to wear the winter bibs this morning.

6 degrees at 6am. We always ride the coast in the winter until it warms up.

55k up the coast and at the pass behind Mt. Yahiko it was still 6 degrees. We thought about climbing the mountain, but my basic math tells me it would be 0 degrees or there abouts at the top.

Instead we follow the Shinano river inland.

It warms up steadily. Dreams of a a hot coffee change to dreams for an ice cream...

My mate Tojo san is flying and he doesn't even know it. He's a few watts short of my FTP but many kgs lighter and a much smaller bullet into the wind.

Next week we'll race Motegi.

Then I'm looking forward to some off season gym work, snow shoes, other cross training... and some zwifting!

Some pics from today's ride below.

Ride on!

Andy

 
O

OreoCookie

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#35
Sendai is also getting cold: when I headed out, with wind chill it was a mere 2 degrees (6 degrees), and I was glad that I had all the right gear on. I love cycling like that: the sky was beautiful, the leaves spectacular and I was relatively toasty. When I returned my hands were a bit warm and sweaty, but I will be the last to complain that my hands were too warm ;)
 
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WattsUp

WattsUp

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#36
Brother-in-law and I hit the Arakawa Cycling Route today for a long ride. A bit of a PITA to get there from my house about 15km of nasty congested roads with minimal space. It's been years since I've been on the Arakawa. Slightly colder than yesterday, but still a fun ride, we got in a good 100km of riding. I felt reasonably good given that I ran 21km the day before.

Next time will probably just take the car out somewhere close and ride the Arakawa from there. The ride there and back is too stressful for my liking.
 
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bloaker

bloaker

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#37
Saturday I hit the local trails with a new to the area rider. I was pleasantly surprised at his excitement over the trails. Most new guys bitch and moan about either the steep climbs or technical descents. But this guy just gutted it out with the rest of us. Climbing he pretty much handed me my ass. Descending my trail knowledge was the difference, so give it a week or two and he will be right there. Stoked to find people who love working for every bit of trail we ride.

https://www.relive.cc/view/1968676081
 
stu_kawagoe

stu_kawagoe

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#38
Saturday I hit the local trails with a new to the area rider. I was pleasantly surprised at his excitement over the trails. Most new guys bitch and moan about either the steep climbs or technical descents. But this guy just gutted it out with the rest of us. Climbing he pretty much handed me my ass. Descending my trail knowledge was the difference, so give it a week or two and he will be right there. Stoked to find people who love working for every bit of trail we ride.

https://www.relive.cc/view/1968676081
I never saw relive before. Very cool. Thanks for sharing your ride.
 
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joewein

joewein

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#39


On Saturday I headed down the east coast of Izu with 4 others, riding a shortened version of the 200 km AJ Kanagawa brevet I participated in back in January 2017. I started from and finished at Fujisawa instead of Zushi as in the original route, while my friends joined me from Odawara. One rode back to Odawara, while two others jumped on the train in Atami before it got dark and one returned from Ito. Having a train line run in parallel to a ride route definitely gives a lot of flexibility!



The weather was gorgeous, more like a Spring day than mid-November. I started out in shorts and a LS jersey at 07:15 and saw many cyclists in winter gear along the coastal road. I was glad I didn't dress warmer when we hit the first hills south of Odawara, as I would have seriously overheated.

Conscious of the distance (124 km Odawara to Odawara), the short day length and that we'd be doing a sit-down lunch at a seafood restaurant near the turn-around point, I kept the pace up and the stops few and short. I took a lot fewer pictures than I normally would. Overall the speed was very similar to when I do brevets rather than my more relaxed social ride pace. I'll take it easier again on the next ride :)



As you could expect on a weekend, the coastal road (Rt135) was busy, but the middle 44 km of the ride, from Ito to Izu-Kogen and back, was off the main road (on Rt109) and fairly quiet. Just before we rejoined Rt135 to Ito, we had Mt Fuji right in front of us. I had also seen it for about an hour on the way from Fujisawa to Odawara. On the way back I again chose Rt740 at Manazuru (like on the Hakone loop the week before) to minimize the coastal road. It got dark as we started descending Rt740 on the Odawara side and we made it back to the station around 17:10.

Together with my ride in from Fujisawa and the return there (I had parked the car in a coin parking space for 700 yen a day), the ride came to 189.5 km with about 1500 m of elevation gain. This was my 27th ride of 160.9 km (100 mi) or more this year, already matching my 2017 annual total :) So as long as I'll do at least one more Century ride in December to continue my "Century a Month" challenge, I'll also break my personal record for the number Centuries a year.
 
joewein

joewein

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#40
Is it worth trying to repair or forget about and hope for the best? I have long ride tomorrow and don’t want this to be a problem but I’m pretty sure if I take it to the bike shop they’ll tell me to buy a new one.
I know you've already replaced it and that is definitely the safest option. Peace of mind is priceless!

But just for the record, besides the superglue option for repairs of tread cuts, there's also the old-school way of applying bits of rubber (e.g. an old inner tube ground with sand paper) with vulcanization liquid - the thick liquid in a small tube that comes with traditional puncture kits which dissolves rubber in order to fuse rubber patches to punctured tubes. With that liquid the rubber powder and the rubber of the tread will turn into a thick goo which fuses together and hardens back into solid rubber. I have no idea if it works any better than super glue but it has worked for me before.

When I detected a marginal sidewall before my big ride on Saturday, I also changed the tire immediately rather than trying to patch it up in some way. During a ride, I don't really want to have to worry about my tires.