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Today November 2021

OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
1,832
1,626
I'm looking forward to giving it a try. But probably won't be till next year that I hit a trail with much gravel.
When riding outdoors on my road bike in the offseason, I would often run slightly lower pressures, trading grip for rolling resistance. So you might start testing lower tire pressures on the road, too.

PS If I had gravel nearby, I'd prefer riding gravel to riding road in the the offseason, hands down. Speeds will be lower (i. e. safer) and there will be less traffic, presumably.
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
3,254
2,966
Tonight I'll drive to Zushi, park my car there, cycle to Kamakura and ride BRM1120 by Audax Japan Kanagawa down to Shimoda and back to Zushi (hence the choice of parking location).

It will be my first 300 km brevet since the infamous VCR Aoba 300 km in March 2019 that we did not finish because of Ice and snow above the Michi no Eki Doshi. That is not going happen in east Izu for sure but a 20:00 start and a 16:00 goal closing time the next day means riding the first half through the night. Assuming all goes well, it will be the first time I cycle all the way down to Shimoda or back from there.
 

bloaker

Sincerely A Dick
Nov 14, 2011
3,067
4,604
Tonight I'll drive to Zushi, park my car there, cycle to Kamakura and ride BRM1120 by Audax Japan Kanagawa down to Shimoda and back to Zushi (hence the choice of parking location).

It will be my first 300 km brevet since the infamous VCR Aoba 300 km in March 2019 that we did not finish because of Ice and snow above the Michi no Eki Doshi. That is not going happen in east Izu for sure but a 20:00 start and a 16:00 goal closing time the next day means riding the first half through the night. Assuming all goes well, it will be the first time I cycle all the way down to Shimoda or back from there.
Good Luck! The weather is gonna be a bit chilly tonight, hope you have your layers!
 

bloaker

Sincerely A Dick
Nov 14, 2011
3,067
4,604
I got in a ride this morning!!!
I am still in quarantine, so I am only allowed to go to and from base and I am free to do what I want on base. We have a few miles of trails, so I did a couple loops. We also have old live munitions that are discovered every now and then... so it is kind of fun keeping an eye out for potential death! :D

J4egLUtnC5NPRVvuYOo-ZnI3ZZ3kcd4w7Uj7FCfimNeJQB6aGeaGZb8FgvlCtBqtgQhQUj25_j93aq75i1Lzbbxl6DoV9u68uGEAco1_Yt1T1FeiGzMPsAP5gWLaYt27mx8qUinhkY1aAYELF8iFidXd3uCr8e-W71M6yG93vdVR2fah9-NXS1dWgJqYCEouL5pSGjmBBC2ZLjUXl5shtBWwRoIrnrOqGS2I3-2ZcQOTknMwJvlGjtIA5RAttXDzCX7Y3MUiJcorZpGMQjjLk-mJle6aeGtXceERmtk8a7AoNihBQ3kAWy34Ni-pT8rE6SZ2twpzDYM87z_ev0q8V62j4CGTYmqaQVp-P9htJDmoRdzyoHynb6QNcJkSftNzZ8AUmPAhu4xpSarmhCW3qVWzKlOB8hNHwqV8l7Sr1uILgRpr-V4bpJJLPOr_VxrN0UQioor1Y-wRBljQXF62p9S-JRBhlckjvPoWxoPCMenLsOGq4rYF0oKu9996XPkR3FAVvIxMewbS6pKS9Foe7MHFZDvB2N-GE1VVI3wq5Mf5MSwpWuqNycx98rcdi-U8Q8ril2oWs_Ik7TFLb0Qh4xN6rs0MCkAo4y5h8qlcJ_ZDh9zBDigs0vzMU_pGTMNGcM5wNWyTs0qULcXLalO-ED50xruPZu8I-nzbZLDVaSxNWJwGqyKF-I8hk3QApacDgAbfEZM_QSoLA1qXBPdns_8t0w=w1919-h1440-no
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
3,254
2,966
We have a few miles of trails, so I did a couple loops. We also have old live munitions that are discovered every now and then... so it is kind of fun keeping an eye out for potential death! :D
Enjoy the ride!
I presume those Maxxis are not the "Maxxis Detonator" model ;)
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
3,254
2,966
Evan Plews a racer in the US posted these stats today , check out his climbing YTD.
Unless my math is badly off, that's over 3000 m climbed for every 100 km ridden, or riding courses where the average gradient is 6 percent.

OTOH there is so much bad elevation data out there, especially from phones without barometric sensor, that I tend to not take it seriously until I have an idea how it was recorded.
 

Benedikt

Cruising
Nov 5, 2021
8
15
I joined @joewein's challenge for a 300km brevet down to Shimoda and back up and somehow made it.
For someone whose idea of climbing is into bed, the up and downs of Izu left me unable to ride even the flats of Shonan and I had to stop a couple of times to regain my bearings.
On the bright side, riding these roads through the night under a full moon with nearly no traffic was an absolute joy and well worth the effort.

 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
3,254
2,966
s800.jpg

From Saturday night to Sunday afternoon I rode the BRM1120 brevet by Audax Japan Kanagawa (on Strava). It was a 302 km course with about 2,800 m of elevation gain starting from Kamakura at 20:00, down to Shimoda on the southern tip of Izu and back up again to finish at Zushi by 16:00 on Sunday (20 hour time limit). I rode the entire course with a friend of mine, Mr D. who is the leader of our AJ NishiTokyo Flèche team.

At the AJ NishiTokyo west Izu brevet (aka as "Shiokatsuo", the salt bonito ride) I had met Maya Ide of AJ Kanagawa who invited me to join the Shimoda event.

s800.jpg

I had some concerns because of the hilly route but she assured me that if I could handle the hilly route in west Izu (2,600 m over 204 km), east Izu would not be a problem either. And she was kind of right. Given the extra 100 km of distance, the extra climbing was moderate as overall the course was more flat. On the other hand it was a night start brevet, which adds sleep deprivation to the mix.

The night start time was picked to minimize the distance shared with busy car traffic. The coastal road between Atami and Odawara and also further east from Hiratsuka to Zushi can become Kanagawa's longest parking lot at times, but due to the timing we didn't encounter much traffic until we got back to around Manazuru.

We had a guest at a family lunch on Saturday and I wanted to still take a nap before the ride, so I had to prepare and plan carefully. I prepared most things I needed by Friday night. On Saturday I only still had to lubricate the bicycle chain, get changed and load everything that I had already set aside into the car. The start and the goal were about 4 km apart, so I picked Zushi (the goal) for parking as it has more plentiful cheap coin parking locations.

I cycled the 4 km from the coin parking to the start and found my way around Kamakura station with two other randonneurs (there's a pedestrian tunnel on the north side of the station that connects its east and west side). Many cyclists had already gathered at the meeting point at the clock tower on the west side an hour before the start. Besides me there were two other non-Japanese, my friend David and @Benedikt from Iceland who was the only one in shorts.

s800.jpg

The weather forecast was for 10-18°C and it did stay within that range. On the coast it never dropped below 12°C even in the early morning hours, but the course went 10 km beyond Shimoda and turned away from the coast. At PC3 (checkpoint #3), the turn-around point it was down to only 7°C. When we passed Shimoda harbour again on the way back and there was a light breeze off the water, it actually felt warm! I rode most of the return route in a short sleeve jersey but long trousers with around 14°C. For the night time part, I wore my unqlo windbreaker on top of it but that was all. I never needed my shoe covers or warm gloves and only wore the winter jacket for the ride back to the car park after it had started raining at the goal. Nevertheless, these extra clothes in my string backpack made for a comfortable pillow when I took naps, as sleep deprivation proved to be a bigger challenge than elevation gain or temperatures.

At the start I met several old friends. There were 74 participants, quite a crowd for a long distance events after these troubled years where many events had to be cancelled. Only two members of 5 member Flèche team ultimately participated. The start was divided into in waves according to numbers on the brevet cards, but I moved to the back to ride with Mr. D who had a higher number than me.

s800.jpg

The pace on the coastal road to Odawara was high because we were riding as a group so we could ride fast at moderate effort. Strava showed a personal record for Enoshima to Odawara.

s800.jpg

We reached PC1 just before Manazuru about an hour ahead of event pace. It's always good to have a time buffer from early in a brevet, in case you need to sleep or have punctures or other issues, so you can still make closing times. The moon was high in the sky, so we didn't really see it much. We could see some stars but not too many. Traffic got lighter and lighter as we passed through seaside town after seaside town at night. At Atami we passed near where the mud slide had destroyed many houses during the typhoon. We also saw cherries in bloom. Atami has a special variety of cherry that blooms in the winter, made possible by the mild ocean side temperatures.

s800.jpg

From other rides around east Izu I always remembered four climbs between Odawara and Ito, but riding with others I didn't really experience them the same way. The effort felt more constant and maybe it's harder to tell how much you slow down when it's dark. The windbreaker was on the warm side on climbs and I was wondering if I wouldn't have been better off wearing a long sleeve winter jersey instead of a short sleeve jersey plus the windbreaker, but then I was also thinking of warmer temperatures at daytime and that could have been too warm.

After Ito three of us turned off N135 onto K109. This was after midnight. There was virtually no traffic by then. I counted down the km towards PC2 in Izu-Kogen, which was about 2/3 of the way to the turn-around point. In fact AJ Kanagawa also has a 200 km event on the same route that uses this PC2 as the turn-around point. We were welcomed by the organizers at the check point who were there by car. All other participants had passed us before this point.

s800.jpg

I had ventured beyond Izu-Kogen by bike only once, to ride to Isobe (磯辺), a sea food restaurant in Higashiizu. We passed that in the early morning hours. After that I entered new territory which I had previously only visited by car. There were some more big climbs on the way to Shimoda and Mr D who had not had a chance to get a good pre-ride nap struggled with sleep deprivation. We pulled into a bus stop, set the phone timer to 15 minutes and both of us lied down on the benches. I was very glad about our 1+ hour time buffer then. It was relief to get to Shirahama because I knew that was close to Shimoda. As we passed the Shimoda harbour, early morning traffic was already picking up again.

It got chillier on the way PC3. It turned out to be the same Familymart that had been a PC during a brevet in west Izu 8 years ago, so my west Izu and east Izu rides finally connected there.

We both were very sleepy. We found some benches outside a train station -- 15 minute nap time! The sky was brightening and I was wondering when we would see the morning sun.

s800.jpg

The milder temperatures along the coast on the way back to PC4, which was the same Lawson in Izu-Kogen as PC2, were welcome. I eventually took off my windbreaker, riding in short sleeves now.

s800.jpg

At different times we still met other participants, as we leapfrogged each other when someone was taking a break. The fastest participants made it to the goal when we were still in the middle of the return ride.

We passed many shops selling dried fish and also many mikan stands, including unattended ones where you drop coins in a box. I bought a 100 yen bag of mikan to bring home to my family while Mr D bought his as a souvenir for the ride organisers.

s800.jpg

We took our last big rest at Manazuru station (PC5). After that we passed queues of dense traffic on the way back to Tokyo, which started to build up from noon. With the end in sight, Mr D put in a great effort for the final hours pulling us back to Zushi. We made it back without incident. For the last two hours we had started feeling tiny rain drops.

At Zushi station, other cyclists were already busy packing their bikes into rinko bags as they had finished having their receipts checked. We stepped into the McDonald's that served as the goal and ordered something. After queuing I got my order in at 15:38, Mr D at 15:39.

s800.jpg

The organizers were upstairs and we filled in the brevet cards with the times from the receipts of the PCs. I asked about Benedikt and was pleased to hear he had finished the course in about 14 hours! We still chatted for a while but then it was time to head home. I used the GPS-data from a photograph of the car park to find my way back there in the rain, which had started pouring by then. We were lucky it had spared us on the ride.

After loading the bike in the car I headed back to the expressway but soon found I was too sleepy. I stopped the car at a tollgate and slept for an hour before finishing the drive back home.
 
Last edited:

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
3,254
2,966
Thanks for sharing this one -- I can actually ride this course with minimal risk of not getting home in case something goes wrong!
If my registration goes through I'll be joining you on the day.
It was a pleasure to meet you in Kamakura. My first question to Mrs Ide at the goal after they had processed my brevet card was how you'd been doing and it seems you did really well. Congratulations!

Traditionally November and December are the off-season for most randonneuring clubs in Japan. Around the Kanto, most rides are only from January to October and with a gap in August which is simply too hot. There will be quite a few events again from January. In fact, AJ Kanagawa does a 200 km version of the event we just completed, skipping the part south of Izu-Kogen. I did this one a couple of years ago and it's going to be in January.

Here is the complete event schedule for randonneuring events in Japan for the 2022 season that started this month.
 

dgl2

Maximum Pace
Nov 3, 2007
285
50
View attachment 33535

From Saturday night to Sunday afternoon I rode the BRM1120 brevet by Audax Japan Kanagawa (on Strava). It was a 302 km course with about 2,800 m of elevation gain starting from Kamakura at 20:00, down to Shimoda on the southern tip of Izu and back up again to finish at Zushi by 16:00 on Sunday (20 hour time limit). I rode the entire course with a friend of mine, Mr D. who is the leader of our AJ NishiTokyo Flèche team.

At the AJ NishiTokyo west Izu brevet (aka as "Shiokatsuo", the salt bonito ride) I had met Maya Ide of AJ Kanagawa who invited me to join the Shimoda event.

View attachment 33536

I had some concerns because of the hilly route but she assured me that if I could handle the hilly route in west Izu (2,600 m over 204 km), east Izu would not be a problem either. And she was kind of right. Given the extra 100 km of distance, the extra climbing was moderate as overall the course was more flat. On the other hand it was a night start brevet, which adds sleep deprivation to the mix.

The night start time was picked to minimize the distance shared with busy car traffic. The coastal road between Atami and Odawara and also further east from Hiratsuka to Zushi can become Kanagawa's longest parking lot at times, but due to the timing we didn't encounter much traffic until we got back to around Manazuru.

We had a guest at a family lunch on Saturday and I wanted to still take a nap before the ride, so I had to prepare and plan carefully. I prepared most things I needed by Friday night. On Saturday I only still had to lubricate the bicycle chain, get changed and load everything that I had already set aside into the car. The start and the goal were about 4 km apart, so I picked Zushi (the goal) for parking as it has more plentiful cheap coin parking locations.

I cycled the 4 km from the coin parking to the start and found my way around Kamakura station with two other randonneurs (there's a pedestrian tunnel on the north side of the station that connects its east and west side). Many cyclists had already gathered at the meeting point at the clock tower on the west side an hour before the start. Besides me there were two other non-Japanese, my friend David and @Benedikt from Iceland who was the only one in shorts.

View attachment 33537

The weather forecast was for 10-18°C and it did stay within that range. On the coast it never dropped below 12°C even in the early morning hours, but the course went 10 km beyond Shimoda and turned away from the coast. At PC3 (checkpoint #3), the turn-around point it was down to only 7°C. When we passed Shimoda harbour again on the way back and there was a light breeze off the water, it actually felt warm! I rode most of the return route in a short sleeve jersey but long trousers with around 14°C. For the night time part, I wore my unqlo windbreaker on top of it but that was all. I never needed my shoe covers or warm gloves and only wore the winter jacket for the ride back to the car park after it had started raining at the goal. Nevertheless, these extra clothes in my string backpack made for a comfortable pillow when I took naps, as sleep deprivation proved to be a bigger challenge than elevation gain or temperatures.

At the start I met several old friends. There were 74 participants, quite a crowd for a long distance events after these troubled years where many events had to be cancelled. Only two members of 5 member Flèche team ultimately participated. The start was divided into in waves according to numbers on the brevet cards, but I moved to the back to ride with Mr. D who had a higher number than me.

View attachment 33538

The pace on the coastal road to Odawara was high because we were riding as a group so we could ride fast at moderate effort. Strava showed a personal record for Enoshima to Odawara.

View attachment 33539

We reached PC1 just before Manazuru about an hour ahead of event pace. It's always good to have a time buffer from early in a brevet, in case you need to sleep or have punctures or other issues, so you can still make closing times. The moon was high in the sky, so we didn't really see it much. We could see some stars but not too many. Traffic got lighter and lighter as we passed through seaside town after seaside town at night. At Atami we passed near where the mud slide had destroyed many houses during the typhoon. We also saw cherries in bloom. Atami has a special variety of cherry that blooms in the winter, made possible by the mild ocean side temperatures.

View attachment 33540

From other rides around east Izu I always remembered four climbs between Odawara and Ito, but riding with others I didn't really experience them the same way. The effort felt more constant and maybe it's harder to tell how much you slow down when it's dark. The windbreaker was on the warm side on climbs and I was wondering if I wouldn't have been better off wearing a long sleeve winter jersey instead of a short sleeve jersey plus the windbreaker, but then I was also thinking of warmer temperatures at daytime and that could have been too warm.

After Ito three of us turned off N135 onto K109. This was after midnight. There was virtually no traffic by then. I counted down the km towards PC2 in Izu-Kogen, which was about 2/3 of the way to the turn-around point. In fact AJ Kanagawa also has a 200 km event on the same route that uses this PC2 as the turn-around point. We were welcomed by the organizers at the check point who were there by car. All other participants had passed us before this point.

View attachment 33541

I had ventured beyond Izu-Kogen by bike only once, to ride to Isobe (磯辺), a sea food restaurant in Higashiizu. We passed that in the early morning hours. After that I entered new territory which I had previously only visited by car. There were some more big climbs on the way to Shimoda and Mr D who had not had a chance to get a good pre-ride nap struggled with sleep deprivation. We pulled into a bus stop, set the phone timer to 15 minutes and both of us lied down on the benches. I was very glad about our 1+ hour time buffer then. It was relief to get to Shirahama because I knew that was close to Shimoda. As we passed the Shimoda harbour, early morning traffic was already picking up again.

It got chillier on the way PC3. It turned out to be the same Familymart that had been a PC during a brevet in west Izu 8 years ago, so my west Izu and east Izu rides finally connected there.

We both were very sleepy. We found some benches outside a train station -- 15 minute nap time! The sky was brightening and I was wondering when we would see the morning sun.

View attachment 33542

The milder temperatures along the coast on the way back to PC4, which was the same Lawson in Izu-Kogen as PC2, were welcome. I eventually took off my windbreaker, riding in short sleeves now.

View attachment 33543

At different times we still met other participants, as we leapfrogged each other when someone was taking a break. The fastest participants made it to the goal when we were still in the middle of the return ride.

We passed many shops selling dried fish and also many mikan stands, including unattended ones where you drop coins in a box. I bought a 100 yen bag of mikan to bring home to my family while Mr D bought his as a souvenir for the ride organisers.

View attachment 33544

We took our last big rest at Manazuru station (PC5). After that we passed queues of dense traffic on the way back to Tokyo, which started to build up from noon. With the end in sight, Mr D put in a great effort for the final hours pulling us back to Zushi. We made it back without incident. For the last two hours we had started feeling tiny rain drops.

At Zushi station, other cyclists were already busy packing their bikes into rinko bags as they had finished having their receipts checked. We stepped into the McDonald's that served as the goal and ordered something. After queuing I got my order in at 15:38, Mr D at 15:39.

View attachment 33545

The organizers were upstairs and we filled in the brevet cards with the times from the receipts of the PCs. I asked about Benedikt and was pleased to hear he had finished the course in about 14 hours! We still chatted for a while but then it was time to head home. I used the GPS-data from a photograph of the car park to find my way back there in the rain, which had started pouring by then. We were lucky it had spared us on the ride.

After loading the bike in the car I headed back to the expressway but soon found I was too sleepy. I stopped the car at a tollgate and slept for an hour before finishing the drive back home.
It was good to see you and to meet Benedikt.
What a lovely night and morning for a ride along the coast. I am afraid that November is the new October.
My report is here: https://positivo-espresso.blogspot.com/2021/11/some-quality-time-alone-with-sakamoto.html
 

Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
4,464
3,391
I've been completely off the bike for a couple of weeks, due to a swollen, arthritic knee :-(

Fortunately it seems to have recovered enough now for me to dust off my smart rollers and gingerly attempt an indoor ride. First Zwift of the season is always free :)

It took a while to get all the kit set up again. 'Adjusted' the prefs.xml file to force the world I wanted, as the Makuri Islands/Neokyo theatre wasn't available today. Distracted by the scenery and following the corners, I rode off the side of the rollers many times! But I enjoyed it and my knee still seems fine a couple of hours later.

IMG_1663.JPG

IMG_1665.JPG
 

Chuck

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
1,307
1,500
I've been completely off the bike for a couple of weeks, due to a swollen, arthritic knee :-(

Fortunately it seems to have recovered enough now for me to dust off my smart rollers and gingerly attempt an indoor ride. First Zwift of the season is always free :)

Did you do something to hurt the knee, or is this just what happens sometimes due to the arthritis?
 
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