Race Races - July 13 and July 15!

sean-e

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Mar 4, 2019
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大田区
Post report: the Soga criterium was LIT.

I opted for the scenic 55km warmup route and rode up to Chiba from the Tama.
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The Soga criterium course had brick roads, tons of road furniture, and ~10 turns per 3.3km loop. Witnessed 4 separate crashes in my group. Two guys flew into the bushes early on due to rows of circular speed bumps to prevent people from riding in the park.

Alas, on the final bell lap, was in the front group and the guy in front of me hit the barricades, I flipped over him and got ran over by the guy behind me :eek: Luckily, after disentangling the resulting bike carnage, exchanging some daijoubu's and handshakes, I put my chain back on and was able to finish 2 minutes down from the winner (with my handlebars pointing 30 degrees off). I ended up 15th/32, 33:04 on the 23.1km course, could have been worse. Bit bruised and bloodied, but no serious injuries to bike or body. After the finish line, the lady running the medical tent saw me flushing my road rash with pocari sweat, deduced that I don't have a medical degree, and expertly bandaged me up.

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Anyways, forget about my bike, you should have seen the OTHER guy's bike! Carbon wheels anyone?

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Rode back home after watching Paul's group. Good times despite the crash! Props again to @prglewis for finding this race and good luck to those riding on Monday.
 

stu_kawagoe

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Jun 23, 2018
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@baribari Sorry to hear about your broken collar bone, mate. What's the recovery time on something like that? I got told about 6-8 weeks with my elbow, but it's still a bit sore/stiff at 12 weeks.

@sean-e Nice race report:warau: I'm glad you made it back home in one piece but it was a real shame about that guy's bike. Oh, you missed a good one with TCC up Shiraishi on Saturday. Lots of fast riders to test the legs against. Unfortunately, I came in dead last!
 

Elzico2012

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Jan 29, 2014
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There is normally a lottery at the end of the Sodegaura event after the finals with nice presents to win, the first price last year being a bike. If you are still around, and you will as you will be in the finals, it might be worth to have a try. Not so many people left at that time as other races are over for a while, so indeed, a high chance to win.
Good luck for the race

@sean-e
Good to hear you are ok. I have heard before this course was dangerous due to the numerous corners and narrow road. From your description, and with tons of road furnitures, it seems worst than I imagined. I actually often went nearby to the soccer stadium, but never walk where the course is,
 

baribari

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May 28, 2010
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Fukushima
@baribari Sorry to hear about your broken collar bone, mate. What's the recovery time on something like that? I got told about 6-8 weeks with my elbow, but it's still a bit sore/stiff at 12 weeks.
I think 12 weeks, but it might be twice that before I get the go ahead to race. Depending on how fast it knits.
 

OreoCookie

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Dec 2, 2017
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I think 12 weeks, but it might be twice that before I get the go ahead to race. Depending on how fast it knits.
I talked to my mom today, who works in an orthopedic hospital and deals with athletes on a daily basis, and she said that as far as shoulder injuries go, broken collar bones are (comparatively speaking) not as bad as other shoulder injuries cyclists frequently have.
 

baribari

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May 28, 2010
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Fukushima
I talked to my mom today, who works in an orthopedic hospital and deals with athletes on a daily basis, and she said that as far as shoulder injuries go, broken collar bones are (comparatively speaking) not as bad as other shoulder injuries cyclists frequently have.
This is true, although apparently they heal faster if you get surgery, but the doctor said I don't need it.
 

prglewis

Warming-Up
Jun 2, 2019
21
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3
38
Race reports...

July 13 - I've never seen such a dangerous course! Every corner had sleeping policeman bollards spaced across the road about a meter apart and sticking up a few inches out of the tarmac, and they had been taped over with duck tape and some sort of black vinyl which looked like bin bag material. Riding in a group at speed and threading ourselves through these things felt like an accident waiting to happen, and I dropped off the back after one lap and rode it by myself to stay safe. Personally I wouldn't recommend this race to anyone, it was terrible! Sean seemed to love it though! 😛

July 15 - Sodegaura Race Way. The track was really nice, and the race seemed well run overall. Unfortunately right at the beginning of the first lap on a right hand turn someone came around the outside and hooked my handlebars on the left side, bringing us both down. No serious injuries thankfully, just a bunch of road rash (and I was very very annoyed with him!). After bending back my level hoods and fixing up my rear derailleur I rejoined on the next lap, rode with the group and came 5th or 6th in the sprint. It didn't get counted though because of the crash and missed lap, so this was the end of my day.

Ugh so not the best start to racing in Japan! It's quite pricey too - today was about 6000 entry, 6000 rental car, 7500 in tolls!!, gas, etc...

Right I'm off to try and find some tegaderm!
 

stu_kawagoe

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Jun 23, 2018
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I think 12 weeks, but it might be twice that before I get the go ahead to race. Depending on how fast it knits.
That's tough, mate. I checked and this Friday will be 12 weeks since my crash. I've been able to ride the last three days (all outside as I don't have a trainer) and my elbow isn't in bits like when I tried riding a few weeks ago. To be fair, I'm still a bit nervy on the bike (particularly descents). I'm hoping that's going to get better with time, and it's not like I was super experienced before anyway. When do you think you can ride outside again? I waited until the bone was officially mended before I tried an outside ride. I've heard of people going out earlier but that's asking for trouble.

Oh, yeah, definitely keep an eye on your weight. I went off the rails and I've got a hard couple of months ahead of me trying to lose what I gained!
 
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OreoCookie

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Dec 2, 2017
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July 13 - I've never seen such a dangerous course! Every corner had sleeping policeman bollards spaced across the road about a meter apart and sticking up a few inches out of the tarmac, and they had been taped over with duck tape and some sort of black vinyl which looked like bin bag material.
Hmmm, what could go wrong …

July 15 - Sodegaura Race Way. The track was really nice, and the race seemed well run overall. Unfortunately right at the beginning of the first lap on a right hand turn someone came around the outside and hooked my handlebars on the left side, bringing us both down. No serious injuries thankfully, just a bunch of road rash (and I was very very annoyed with him!). After bending back my level hoods and fixing up my rear derailleur I rejoined on the next lap, rode with the group and came 5th or 6th in the sprint. It didn't get counted though because of the crash and missed lap, so this was the end of my day.
Glad to hear you are alright apart from road rash. But I am somewhat surprised you crashed during this race and not the crit race.

Ugh so not the best start to racing in Japan! It's quite pricey too - today was about 6000 entry, 6000 rental car, 7500 in tolls!!, gas, etc...
That seems to be the going rate. Anyway, congrats on the races. Have you decided to enter any others?
 
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baribari

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May 28, 2010
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That's tough, mate. I checked and this Friday will be 12 weeks since my crash. I've been able to ride the last three days (all outside as I don't have a trainer) and my elbow isn't in bits like when I tried riding a few weeks ago. To be fair, I'm still a bit nervy on the bike (particularly descents). I'm hoping that's going to get better with time, and it's not like I was super experienced before anyway. When do you think you can ride outside again? I waited until the bone was officially mended before I tried an outside ride. I've heard of people going out earlier but that's asking for trouble.

Oh, yeah, definitely keep an eye on your weight. I went off the rails and I've got a hard couple of months ahead of me trying to lose what I gained!
I planning on losing weight as I've been drinking less and training more. Hahaha.
 
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prglewis

Warming-Up
Jun 2, 2019
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Glad to hear you are alright apart from road rash. But I am somewhat surprised you crashed during this race and not the crit race.
Yeah me too. He came from behind and hooked his bars into mine, so not much I could have done I don't think. I guess there are stupid people everywhere - or perhaps stupid mistakes can happen anywhere, if I want to be a bit nicer... I'd still recommend the race though, it's a good course and shouldn't have been dangerous. Riding the rest of it was fine even in the wet.

Have you decided to enter any others?
I don't know of any other races at this point. Any ideas on what's coming up next?
 

wexford

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Jul 3, 2012
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Tokyo
I rode in the Beginner race. Only 5 laps of the 2.4km circuit. It was wet though and this Irish lad has not been seen in the wet in quite some time. (weird that!) Tried to warm up a little in the car park before the race but didn't notice that there was time when the circuit was open for riding, so I lined up blind, not really knowing what it would be like.

Race start was neutralized round the first bend and up the hill. I was enjoying the pack. Then the whistle went and the speed increased, still easy riding to stay in the pack. I was nervous though and was questioning myself. How good are my brakes in the wet compared to others? Did I pump my tires too much? What is this first corner like and which way does it go? I eased off. Needed some space. Got passed and let folks pass me. Down the next hill getting to know the turf. Bunch was gone. Stragglers behind. I was daudling. My race over? Survived the first lap. I was on my own but had lots of energy. Legs felt great.

Powered up to the guy ahead of me. He was toast. Somehow that gave me a boost and onwards I went. Up to the next group, Jumped them on the hill and bridged to the one in front. Corner. Slow. Got gapped again. I could feel the rear slipping slightly if I pedalled around the corner. Was it in my head, tire choice, too much air? Just a patch or road? Anyway, power up quick again. Gapped again next corner. Power on again. Was having fun now.

4 man group with me making it 5 every straight (but not on the corners). Very consistent but good pace. Felt like jumping them up the hill but corners would waste the effort. Laps were running out on me learning to corner in the wet. The 4th guy was a fast cornerer and I was trying to watch what he was doing. But anyway. Last hairpin I was right on the back of the little group, try to stay on. Nope. Gapped. Got the bike straight and sprinted up to try catch the last wheel. We were catching others now too. Last corner around safe and not too far off. Nice long straight to the finish line. Gave it a good go and passed 2 of the guys before the line. Felt good and had fun. Not sure what I learned except that I need to figure out cornering in the wet. Probably the dry too but that will have to wait for a dry race. Finished 26th out of 50 someting over all just missing the first 25 cut off to race in the next race. Happy with that though as my wife was dying to get home.

My kids race was interesting. He is 5. Tiny 5 year old though. His bike is geared for a first bike so all cadence and getting nowhere fast. There were kids on bikes that were too big for them which looked quite funny but they were way faster so my guy was at a bit of a disadvantage. He didn't complain though and looks like he had a fun race. My wife mentioned that we should buy him a bigger bike if we bring him to race again... that was kind of a surprise to me. Glad she enjoyed the race. He finished 14th out of 23 and was delighted when I told him that he had beat his dad as I only got 26th :)

Anyway - that was a fun race and am looking forward to doing it again.