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So What's Your Excuse....?


Maximum Pace
Dec 3, 2010
Today when I woke up at 5 AM to meet up with the group riding out to Musashiitsukaichi station for the very long ride that was planned >> HERE << I had lots of excuses NOT to go, I had only gotten 4 hours of fitful sleep, I had the trots most of the day before, I was tired, it was cold out there and my bed was nice and warm. I negotiated with myself to get up, get dressed and then ride to Nishi-Eifuku to meet up with Joe and others, it was about an 8 Km ride, I knew by then I'd be warmed up, and if I still felt like crap warmed over, I'd just head home and call it a day. When I got to the meet point I was the first one there, for once, and it was still cold, but a hot tea warmed me up, then Joe and Ed showed up with Andreas waiting for us just up the road. I decided that I was good to go, I was not planning nor did I have time for the whole ride, had to be back to Shinjuku for work by about 1 PM, but I figured I'd ride out to the meet up place at Musashiitsukaichi and then head home, would be a good 100Km ride.

Now let me show you something that I found inspiring, and I'm not meaning to be negative in any way shape or form, so don't go there, this is only to be positive and hold up a great example.

This is Joe Wein, our fearless leader on the ride today, notice the super light bike, and all the high tech clothing..... me neither :D

Yes those are blue jeans folks, BLUE JEANS :eek:

and the next item up.....

How about those cotton work gloves :cool:

Joe you inspire, really, you are a hard man, and you have fun and get a lot of great miles in, thanks!

So, I ask again, "What's your excuse?" :D



Maximum Pace
Hardest Crash
Jul 26, 2008
Orange is great! Orange is the most visible/noticeable/safest color.

(Just don't try to rhyme it with anything.)

And I'm jealous of most any BF bike. I'm on their mailing list, and I wish they'd ship one or another of their 'pre-loved' :rolleyes: bikes to Japan, instead of being so picky about it all.


My excuse today was that it was chilly and windy. Today's swim was relaxed and easy. Water was 29, air was 31. After, endless hot water in the showers and I can shave without shivering--they also supply the towels so less laundry at home. (will probably do the same tomorrow)

Excuse #2, shaken day. Dropped the car off late yesterday and picked it up about 2:30. Turned out cheaper than I thought it would be.


Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
This was my most fun ride this year so far (closely followed by the Machida-Yamanakako training loop with Jose and the HFC Sarah Outen Miura trip). What makes it so enjoyable is the great company of people who share a passion for cycling and for being out there in nature, free and independent.

I'm somebody who tends to spend very little money on clothes. My parents weren't rich, they had 5 kids and my upbringing was frugal. In my bachelor days, most of my trousers and shirts were second hand. These days, 95% of my clothes are from Uniqlo. So far it has served me well enough for cycling, even for rides of 10 hours and more.

Having said that, with oppressively hot and humid Japanese summer in mind I do have both the new 2012 TCC kit and a HFC jersey on order and I am looking forward to experiencing the benefits of proper cycling wear once the kit arrives, by which time hopefully it will be warm enough to wear short sleeved stuff.

My orange trend started while I was running and mountain biking, primarily because it's a very noticeable colour and I want drivers to see me. Orange is hard not to notice (a quality taken advantage of by a popular movement in Ukraine a few years ago, who managed to defeat an authoritarian regime partly by starting to wear orange items as a sign of defiance, which made it obvious just how widespread support for a revolution was).

Other than for some headwind in the morning on the way out towards Fussa and Musashiitsukaichi the weather was perfect for me. I was never really too cold or too hot. During the ride we layered up and down as necessary. I started off with two layers (one 100% polyester, the other a 75/25 polyester/cotton mix, by Uniqlo) under my wind breaker. I wore a folded cotton headscarf around the head under the helmet to keep my ears warm.

Under my Uniqlo jeans I wore Uniqlo Heattech long johns under a pair of boxer shorts, a combination that served me well for all my winter rides this year. I wore Tim's "Belgian shoe covers" (i.e. old cotton socks with holes for the SPD clip in) on top of my 9000 yen Shimano SPD shoes the whole day and never had cold feet.

I took off my windbreaker and the headscarf under the helmet during the climb. For the descent to Okutama-ko I put on another long sleeve Heattech layer under the windbreaker, put back the headscarf under the helmet, wore a scarf around my neck and changed from 20 yen a pair cotton work gloves to ski gloves.

In my back pack I carried the trousers from my rain gear set (about 5000 yen from a home centre) that I originally bought for hiking. It has served me well in wet and cold weather, even if I look like a roadworks guy in it.

My food was simple too. Breakfast was oatmeal (slow carbs) with low fat milk. In my backpack I carried 9 bananas and three sliced apples. I brought along 1.7 l of water and bought a 0.5 l bottle of sport drink from a vending machine, as well as refilling the water bottle at a public toilet. I used most of that during the day. At Okutama-ko we had sansai soba (buckwheat noodle in a warm soup with mountain vegetables) at a restaurant run by a husband-wife team, both 80 years old and still genki.

I never tried to make my bike as light as possible. Climbing hills is meant to be exercise, right? ;) Neither the dynamo hub nor the Brooks saddle make it any lighter, but they make long rides more practical for me. There is not a single piece of titanium or carbon fibre on the bike because so far the most effective way of dropping the weight of the bike+rider combination has been for the rider to burn some more fat, which I've been doing for a year. I have lost 5 kg since September, which would have cost a fortune in titanium. Actually, it will cost me money too, because my jeans are really to wide by now! :eek:

For practical reasons my bike has a bike stand and I go out with mudguards (fenders) unless I'm absolutely certain there won't be any rain or drizzle (I can remove them before the ride in a minute using an Allen key).

My first bike back in 1978 was a 10 speed touring bike with a stand, mudguards and a rear rack, which worked great for me, even though I could never keep up with that neighbour working in a bike shop, who had a road bike with tubeless tyres and who was far fitter than I was. "The more things change, the more they stay the same."

My advice for anyone who wants to get more km per day or overall: Get up early and ride all day (family and work permitting). Start with what you can manage and go a bit further or higher into the hills next time. You'll surprise yourself!


Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
i like this thread. My first day commuting by regular bike since December and even then I spun out twice.


Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
Maybe the bananas you eat were not mature? I find them easy to digest. I had about 3 at a time during food stops. They provide quick energy, potassium and vitamin C. Apples also work well for me.

Eat what works for you! :)


Maximum Pace
Feb 6, 2012
My advice for anyone who wants to get more km per day or overall: Get up early and ride all day (family and work permitting). Start with what you can manage and go a bit further or higher into the hills next time. You'll surprise yourself!

Great advice!:bike:
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