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Race The Training Thread

I'm bummed I missed out on that one. Always feels special when you can pedal from your front door to the start line of a race.
I won the TT there and at Niseko in June 2019.
A great month on the bike!
5 years ago already!

Andy
 
My wife is looking to get a helmet and sunglasses, but wants to get western/non-asian fit.

Previously I used Wiggle to order overseas/imported cycling gear, but obv now that's dead. Anyone got a good source for non-AF helmets/sunglasses.
+1 for Kask

My head is too long for asian and too wide for "european fit".
Got a kask a couple years ago and been happy with that
 
I'm in another period of unsteady training: 17 days ago, our third child was born and we will move from Austria to Germany in two weeks. Next week I might get some training in, but life is quite unsteady at the moment.

My wife's hormones are more out of whack than with the previous two pregnancies (not trying to be an a-hole, I know my wife and she is having unusually strong mood swings … keeping an eye on those). So I am de-prioritizing training for the moment and spend more time taking care of our other two kids.
 
+1 for Kask

My head is too long for asian and too wide for "european fit".
Got a kask a couple years ago and been happy with that
I think MET also does not offer Asian fit helmets? So they are a pretty safe choice.

You can get non-Asian fit glasses on Oakley's Japanese website. Non-AF glasses are referred to as "high bridge" models now, as they stopped using the term Asia/Asian fit. Low-bridge is Asian fit.

Some models only come as standard (high-bridge) fit, but the packaging never seems to mention which one it is... Which is why I refuse to buy Oakley products from brick and mortar stores here (other than the prices being insane).

I'm in another period of unsteady training: 17 days ago, our third child was born and we will move from Austria to Germany in two weeks. Next week I might get some training in, but life is quite unsteady at the moment.

My wife's hormones are more out of whack than with the previous two pregnancies (not trying to be an a-hole, I know my wife and she is having unusually strong mood swings … keeping an eye on those). So I am de-prioritizing training for the moment and spend more time taking care of our other two kids.
How is the family is adapting to life in Europe?
 
I think MET also does not offer Asian fit helmets? So they are a pretty safe choice.

You can get non-Asian fit glasses on Oakley's Japanese website. Non-AF glasses are referred to as "high bridge" models now, as they stopped using the term Asia/Asian fit. Low-bridge is Asian fit.

Some models only come as standard (high-bridge) fit, but the packaging never seems to mention which one it is... Which is why I refuse to buy Oakley products from brick and mortar stores here (other than the prices being insane).


How is the family is adapting to life in Europe?
From prior research online, MET helmets are considered rounder (aka Asian fit) in general. In my own experience I agree and that's why I wear them.
 
From prior research online, MET helmets are considered rounder (aka Asian fit) in general. In my own experience I agree and that's why I wear them.
METs aren't very round. I have a typical long Caucasian head and mine fits fine. Proper Japan Fit helmets look like they were designed for bowling balls.
 
How is the family is adapting to life in Europe?
Our kids and I are doing very well, but my wife is struggling a bit. Our daughter switched to German as her primary language about two weeks after entering kindergarten. She is talking exclusively in German to her younger brothers. She has found friends and we reckon, she won't be happy when we will move again in two weeks. Due to the business the company is in, we have several other Asian kids in kindergarten, so she isn't the odd one out.

My wife feels a bit isolated even though there are several neighbors around with similar life stories (above us we have an Indian family, next to us a single mother from Egypt and across the street a Chinese couple with their son) and kids in the same age range. She is a bit of an introvert and needs time to open up. Plus, post partum her hormones are out of whack, which, coupled to the stress of moving again, is not a great combination. We will have a consultation soon to make sure she is ok.

In Potsdam/Berlin she'll have access to a greater community and can finally start learning German … once we get child care.
 
Quick race report from JBCF Moka Haga road race:

Miserable conditions of 5deg C and snow/rain mix meant a rough race. Weirdly, everyone dropped their jackets at the start despite conditions. I need to research if there's a rule about covering body numbers... but I practically froze to death. Spent an hour in the car afterward trying to stop shivering!

I barely DNFed... the guy 30 meters up the road from me was let through for the final lap but me and everyone behind me got pulled.

I actually still had fun. People were being extremely conservative in the downhills/corners. I was passing 20-30 people just pedalling down straight-line downhills and braking ~30 meters before the corner.

Question for the brainiacs: it seems like JBCF _requires_ helmets to have the JCF sticker. They let me off easy this time and let me race, but I don't want to be at the mercy of the inspector. Sounds like I'm stuck buying yet another helmet then, because my non-AF, imported helmet doesn't have it. Guess I'll go with MET as you all noted, they don't sell AF helmets.
 
Yeah, JBCF requires it along with some other road races. I've heard stories of people in similar situations buying a cheap second-hand helmet with the JCF sticker like this from Mercari or a similar site then skillfully transferring the sticker it to their imported helmet, but I that would be a bad idea and I would never recommend it.

Edit: Or perhaps even easier worse, buying just the sticker itself like this. I honestly cannot believe people would do things like that.
 
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If you need a legit JCL sticker, go to your local bike shop and buy a cheap JCL-approved helmet that you can put to some use.
E.g., a winter helmet (with fewer vent holes and larger size to fit a winter cycling cap) or an offroad helmet (if you have an MTB).
The new helmet should come with a new sticker ready to be applied to the helmet. Do make sure the shop owner hasn't already applied it.

I have a spare JCL sticker ready to go if I ever need it...

Quite a few people totaled their bikes last weekend, I hear.
 
Anyone else off to Ibukiyama this coming weekend? I'm excited to be headed to my first race of the year. Training has been going well. We saw snow on March 22nd, but the weather turned around since then. Feels like winter is finally letting go. Conviently that was around when my "Spring Break" started. Gap between the school years when we still have to go sit in the office... but I used a lot of my PTO.

Got in 42 hours & 1160km over 14 days. Tapering now a little towards Ibukiyama, but I plan to mostly train through it since it's my B race and Ontake is the A event. So I expect to be a little over-extended, hopefully not too much though. On Day 12 of this block I hit my 2024 5 Minute power PR & my All-Time 10 minute PR... too bad Ibukiyama is closer to 30.
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Kudos on some hefty miles. A few people from my team are going but I'm skipping it for Gunma the week after. Been trying to get some fitness back after I was taken out in the first JBCF race of the season. Not sure I'll be ready in time but at least the mornings are getting easier to bear with these spring temps. My training just consists of trying to keep up with younger, fitter guys.

Btw, @Tsuga if you spot a guy in an orange jersey and black shorts riding a purple aeroad, he is a bit of a local phenom. Could be a good draft.
 
Kudos on some hefty miles. A few people from my team are going but I'm skipping it for Gunma the week after. Been trying to get some fitness back after I was taken out in the first JBCF race of the season. Not sure I'll be ready in time but at least the mornings are getting easier to bear with these spring temps. My training just consists of trying to keep up with younger, fitter guys.

Btw, @Tsuga if you spot a guy in an orange jersey and black shorts riding a purple aeroad, he is a bit of a local phenom. Could be a good draft.
Dang, I guess at least it was the first race in the "worst" part of the season. Not bad to have a reason to take it easy on the bike when the weather is so rough. Glad to hear you're on the mend for the good weather.

I'll have to keep an eye out for him. Still on the fence about my strategy. Last year at Ontake I treated it like a TT and basically ignored everyone else and followed my own pace. Ibukiyama is tricky because it's (maybe) half the distance of Ontake. So in theory I could race it more like an uphill crit and allow myself to go a little deeper to follow moves. Harder to rely on consistency in the 2nd half of the climb to catch people when it's short.

I've been doing a lot of analyzing and I think a podium place is realistic based on my current form. But, good to keep expectations realistic. This is more of an experiment & prep for Ontake in May. Trying to plan my taper & peak for then. I might go out there and implode.
 
That's something I always struggle with, even on longer courses. Often times, a shallower drag comes right aftet the first steep section, so i think I should stick with the faster guys at least until the first half.
Not sure if it actually helps me that much, but mentally it's very hard to not try to follow
 
Haha, yeah, when people start going it's hard to not follow. From my limited experience it seems like people treat hill climbs more like crits than TTs. Last year at Ontake I was out the back of the lead group not even 10-15 minutes into the climb... but I finished 6th overall. People followed the wheels and exploded.

Either way it's a huge gamble. Maybe you can ride at 105-110% for 66% of a climb. But then you completely fall apart, how much time will you lose in the last 33%? Or you can ride at 100% for 100% of the climb, how much time will you gain on the guys that blow?

Since Ibukiyama is my B event a big part of me just wants to absolutely push the limit and see where I end up. On the other hand I have a lot of confidence in my 30 minute power, and that in itself is a fun experiment. Can I really hold XXXw for 30? Sitting here on my lunch break and I keep going back and forth with myself about el plan.

* - I forgot to add that most of these seem to be a % grade where drafting seems really limited. Yes, pro riders can draft on steep climbs... but they're riding significantly faster at 6+w/kg. I think in the amateur ranks it's more of a mental benefit/detriment.

** - Just saw they released the technical guide and it looks like we'll be doing the full 15km climb instead of the adjusted 10km one. So an extra ~15 minutes or riding. Probably pushes me into the stare at my power meter and ignore everyone else strategy.
 
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So I did a bit more lurking on that rider I mentioned, and he might not be the best wheel to follow after all.
Just yesterday he averaged 5.8 w/kg during a 40 minute Zwift race.
Now, I have seen this guy around and can confirm he is human, despite being capable of alien level power...
 
So I did a bit more lurking on that rider I mentioned, and he might not be the best wheel to follow after all.
Just yesterday he averaged 5.8 w/kg during a 40 minute Zwift race.
Now, I have seen this guy around and can confirm he is human, despite being capable of alien level power...
Haha, yeah, that's a bit much. I wonder what his weight is set at.

I can do in the range of 5-5.3 for ~60 minutes. But, I'm floating around 63kg at the moment. If his weight is accurate... last year's winner at Ibukiyama weighed sub 54kg. He "only" averaged 300w, but that put him around 5.5 - 5.7w/kg for 30 minutes. Sub 60kg, let alone sub 55 is unimaginable for me.

In (almost) any road race, I'd be considered a climber. But the nature of living here in Japan and riding against people that can get to sub 60kg with apparent relative ease, not so much. But, that's obviously part of the game when the race only goes uphill.
 
@Tsuga Congrats on the podium! Impressively close to the local phenom as well. He was out taking KOMs from local pros just last weekend so was in good shape too. Win anything nice?
 
@Tsuga Congrats on the podium! Impressively close to the local phenom as well. He was out taking KOMs from local pros just last weekend so was in good shape too. Win anything nice?
Thanks! Just got home. I'll post some data during down time at work tomorrow... but, it was a good day out. 1st place was 1 minute 13 up, 2nd place was 10 seconds ahead... then me. Race started / progressed a lot slower than I expected. I basically was in it for the win until 4km to go when 1st place attacked taking 2nd with him. I rejoined 2nd with around 500m to go, but didn't have the fight in me and lost the wheel with 250m to go :( - I'll be thinking about the last 1km for a while!

1st place won an IRC Jacket, 2nd got an umbrella & 3rd got a towel. In hindsight 3rd place was perfect. I had to ride 18km back to Nagahama to get my car. Wouldn't have been able to take an umbrella and the towel came in an A4 plastic case... which fit my certificate perfectly and I was able to stash under jersey for the ride home.
 
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