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joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
3,254
2,966
It's getting cooler. I have a harder time deciding what to wear on some of the rides since mornings and evenings can be quite chilly now.

Last month I did three Century rides (160.9+ km), one of my best months of the year so far.

Next weekend I'll do a ride in Chichibu to Mitsumine shrine, something like this ride three years ago, and then ride back to Tokyo.

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adventurous cyclist

turtle speed cyclist
May 16, 2019
960
993
It's getting cooler. I have a harder time deciding what to wear on some of the rides since mornings and evenings can be quite chilly now.

Last month I did three Century rides (160.9+ km), one of my best months of the year so far.

Next weekend I'll do a ride in Chichibu to Mitsumine shrine, something like this ride three years ago, and then ride back to Tokyo.

View attachment 33426
Them little gushing waterfalls are so beautiful in the fall.
 

bloaker

Sincerely A Dick
Nov 14, 2011
3,067
4,604
I was unable to secure a bike here....

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Chuck

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
1,307
1,500
I'm a cheapskate, but I broke down and bought a Varia today. @RRditch and @OreoCookie confirmed that it is a good product, so thanks for that. Cycling on roads up around Saitama or Ibaraki, my trusty mirror wasn't doing it for me. Fast moving cars would pass me before I could hear them (yes...I was actually going fast enough for the wind to make it hard to hear approaching cars :p ) or spot them in the mirror. DC Rainmaker says that the Varia isn't so useful in the city (kinda what I figured), but where traffic volume isn't so heavy, like Saitama, I hope it will help me avoid cars sneaking up on me. Hopefully handy in tunnels too, where I otherwise can't judge how far the car or truck is behind me.
 

luka

Maximum Pace
Jan 13, 2015
2,217
2,049
so is this like some kind of impregnable shield? or at least a way to neutralize creeping traffic swiftly, like a flame thrower or something? I'm thinking Twisted Metal II

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joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
3,254
2,966
I'm a cheapskate, but I broke down and bought a Varia today.
Isn't this essentially just a bright tail light?

Yes, it alerts you of cars approaching from behind, but that information is not really actionable unless you want to pull off the road every time a car is passing you. If some idiot is busy texting and doesn't see you, he will hit you regardless of whether the radar tells of his approach or not. And likewise, if he's a responsible driver, he won't, regardless of whether you get alerted or not. Like it or not, our safety as cyclists depends on the drivers around us.
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
3,254
2,966
Amazing achievement by ultra-cyclist Amanda Coker: On Saturday, Oct 23 she set a new world record for distance cycled in 24 hours by a woman, covering 824.8 km at an average speed of 34.37 km/h on a road in a state park in Florida.

In 2016 she broke Kurt Searvogel's world record for the highest annual distance cycled (76,076 mi / 122,432 km), improving it by over 10,000 miles / 16,000 km to 86,573.2 mi / 139,326 km.
 

Chuck

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
1,307
1,500
Isn't this essentially just a bright tail light?

Yes, it alerts you of cars approaching from behind, but that information is not really actionable unless you want to pull off the road every time a car is passing you. If some idiot is busy texting and doesn't see you, he will hit you regardless of whether the radar tells of his approach or not. And likewise, if he's a responsible driver, he won't, regardless of whether you get alerted or not. Like it or not, our safety as cyclists depends on the drivers around us.
I figure that it will give me a heads up on cars/trucks that I don't notice in time. If there is a narrow road or approaching traffic, I just have more info to help me decide what is the safest way to go ahead. I had pretty much the same opinion as you about whether it would be worth buying, but after looking at lots of YouTuber videos of folks whose channel I follow, they all agreed it was something that helped them with safety and now wouldn't ride without one. I guess I'll see soon enough, but I'm very safety conscious and if this lets me focus on the road more w/o worrying about what's coming up behind me, then it will be worth it to me.

They also sell the radar only without the light. It's cheaper but battery doesn't last as long.
 

OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
1,832
1,626
Yes, it alerts you of cars approaching from behind, but that information is not really actionable unless you want to pull off the road every time a car is passing you.
I think you do get actionable info out of it. For example, the Varia will actually count cars and animate them (at least on Wahoo and Garmin head units). So if your Varia shows you 4 cars behind you, and only 3 have overtaken you, you know there is still one more to go. Very fast moving cars will also trigger a fast mover alert.

Another use case I can think of are hybrid or electric cars: they can be very quiet, too quiet for me to hear. I no longer ride with headphones, but these can be hard to anticipate sometimes.
If some idiot is busy texting and doesn't see you, he will hit you regardless of whether the radar tells of his approach or not. And likewise, if he's a responsible driver, he won't, regardless of whether you get alerted or not. Like it or not, our safety as cyclists depends on the drivers around us.
Sure, but a mirror or looking over your shoulder won't do you any good in that respect either … Consider it another layer in the security onion that protects us.
 

Kangaeroo

Maximum Pace
Jan 24, 2018
926
1,102
Amazing achievement by ultra-cyclist Amanda Coker: On Saturday, Oct 23 she set a new world record for distance cycled in 24 hours by a woman, covering 824.8 km at an average speed of 34.37 km/h on a road in a state park in Florida.

In 2016 she broke Kurt Searvogel's world record for the highest annual distance cycled (76,076 mi / 122,432 km), improving it by over 10,000 miles / 16,000 km to 86,573.2 mi / 139,326 km.
Average of 381+km/day for her world record in 2016. Staggering! 825 km @ 34.37 km/h....bloody unbelievable! Amazing cyclist.
 

Ruda

Maximum Pace
Nov 22, 2019
76
82
Next weekend I'll do a ride in Chichibu to Mitsumine shrine, something like this ride three years ago, and then ride back to Tokyo.
Went up there last weekend.
The climb is blocked in 2 different spots, but it is doable. There are some loose rocks, not so many potholes and a LOT of leaves covering the ground (it was just after a lot of rain, so maybe now it is a little bit better in this regard)
Also, i couldn`t even see the shrine itself. Too crowded for my taste
 
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luka

Maximum Pace
Jan 13, 2015
2,217
2,049
I hear ya. been there at least 5-6 times, never ever went to the shrine, or had the slightest interest in doing so, considering the crowds. there can be kms of cars and buses waiting for open parking space at times... pfffft
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
3,254
2,966
I hear ya. been there at least 5-6 times, never ever went to the shrine, or had the slightest interest in doing so, considering the crowds. there can be kms of cars and buses waiting for open parking space at times... pfffft
As cyclists you don't need to queue for the car park and the cars and buses queueing for it aren't an issue for me: They're the reason I'll be heading there from the east since the queues are all on the west. So I won't even have to pass the stationary cars. No worries about traffic on the empty rindo on the east side, where all you meet are a few hikers and people heading for the fishing spot at the bottom of the climb.

The shrine itself is well worth a visit. To me it's absolutely gorgeous, right up there with major tourist spots such as Nikko, yet none of my non-Japanese friends ever seemed to have heard of it. It's a well kept secret, so please don't tell anyone ;-)
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
3,254
2,966
A few years ago we made the mistake of doing Mitsumine counter-clockwise during peak autumn leaves season, climbing from the west and having to pass about 4 km of tailback to the car park. That was not fun but I learnt my lesson from that.

The east approach is by far preferable. Not only do you avoid the potential traffic jams, since it follows the river for quite a while you do get to enjoy the rocks and waterfalls there for longer as you climb. If you climb from the west, you spend more time with less scenic views on the main road and if you then descend to the east, less time on the more scenic views. This is the same reason why I prefer Yabitsu in the lake to toge direction instead of the opposite (though I tend to do lake-toge-lake more recently), to spend the climbing time on the scenic part of the route.

The crowds on the shrine grounds are always much smaller than you expect from the traffic jam. It kind of self-regulates due to limited car park space ;)
 

Chuck

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
1,307
1,500
I think you do get actionable info out of it. For example, the Varia will actually count cars and animate them (at least on Wahoo and Garmin head units). So if your Varia shows you 4 cars behind you, and only 3 have overtaken you, you know there is still one more to go. Very fast moving cars will also trigger a fast mover alert.

Another use case I can think of are hybrid or electric cars: they can be very quiet, too quiet for me to hear. I no longer ride with headphones, but these can be hard to anticipate sometimes.

Sure, but a mirror or looking over your shoulder won't do you any good in that respect either … Consider it another layer in the security onion that protects us.
Maiden voyage with the Varia today. I was 'varia impressed.' I really liked how it kept track of how many cars were passing and when they passed. Especially nice in the tunnels when you don't know if the noise is coming from the car in front or from one behind. On the long descent, it is nice to know that it's 'all clear' behind me so I could take a line further from the far left when no cars were coming. I still check my mirror and look behind me, but the Varia gives me confidence that I didn't miss anything.

I also downloaded the iPhone app for the Varia. The display on the phone was really good and easier to discern the details of cars or motorcycles as they approach.

So, first impression, really good!
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
3,254
2,966
Earlier this week I signed up for my first brevet of the 2022 season, which started on November 1 (randonneuring seasons run November to October). It's a 300 km AJ Kanagawa ride from Kamakura to Shimoda and back to Zushi on November 20/21 (overnight). Usually they hold it early in the year, but everything is different now.

I have not yet taken the eastern coastal road all the way down to Shimoda by bike (only by car), so this will be a new experience and a few new tiles. My furthest excursion had been to seafood restaurant Isobe in Minami-Izu town, about halfway between Izu-Kogen and Shimoda. It's going to be a lot of hills in the middle 200 km portion of the ride, but no worse than the west coast I am told.
 
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