Today - August 2011

Edogawakikkoman

Maximum Pace
Jan 14, 2007
2,540
240
83
Noda
japanichiban.com
First Sunday off work this year and first time this year to go to Sunday training with my team. Started off 15 minutes ahead of the fast group and just TT'd it all the way (slowly) to the end. Was nice to see everybody again.
:eek:

Moriya Loop:
 

Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
4,138
2,665
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
Sunday 7th

Nice gentle (and hot) jaunt out to Odaiba with mi Half-Fast crew, innit. (Sorry - forgot to post it on TCC. Again.) 14 riders in all. Although advertised as a Beginners' Ride, none there were beginners. Even had Yamabushi moonlighting with us! Fine - faster riding means more time for beer drinking. I only fell over once, after four beers. Not bad. :cool: Good company. Good times.
 

Ludwig

Speeding Up
Oct 9, 2008
871
0
36
Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
Ex-pros can't remember the even bigger pain when they started... Too long ago I guess...

Having started only three years ago, I certainly still remember. After my first ride with MOB, I had to take a day off, so sick I was from what now seems like a bit of climbing on a hot summer day.
 

snoogly

Maximum Pace
Oct 14, 2007
695
48
48
Machida, Tokyo
Ex-pros can't remember the even bigger pain when they started... Too long ago I guess...

Having started only three years ago, I certainly still remember. After my first ride with MOB, I had to take a day off, so sick I was from what now seems like a bit of climbing on a hot summer day.
Three years ... Unbelievable! But you are obviously a reincarnation of a wheeled creature. :bike:
 

Sikochi

Maximum Pace
Sep 13, 2010
1,185
80
68
Kochi
Our local century `ride`

Today was our local century `ride` – not a race as that would be illegal apparently in this prefecture. So no list of finishers and finishing times, otherwise the police would complain. Choice was either 90K or 170K. To avoid what would be 700+ m of climbing before the start, I opted for the train, so my bike bag got its second outing. This meant 5K to train station, 15K from other end to the start and with another 50K to get home afterwards, so opted for the 90K route. Mapmyride said total climbing of 1600m, but I only clocked 1,000m for the course.

I set off in the penultimate group, but they were going barely faster than the pace I`d trundled along from the station, so left them and went off after some of the previous starters. I knew there would be a fast group along soon, as a club was starting last and one of them was the guy who won my age category at the hill climb last week - a lot of cyclists from last week and all over Shikoku were there. So sure enough, they came steaming past along with two interlopers, so jumped on the back of them. The first part was a steady climb (5K, 220m) and as it picked up, one interloper fell off the back, and soon after the other one, so it was just me and their club. Just before the break in the middle, the team split up, then regrouped and as we neared the end of the second half, they split up again, so decided to stick with the leaders. The leaders waited at the top for the rest of their team, so decided to carry on and then rejoin them when they came back past me. Eventually two did, so jumped on the back of them to the first check-in.

Each check-in, so many just wanted to have a long rest and chat, but other than a quick drink, I had no desire to wait. Next part was main climb, (3K 90m, break, then 7K, 400m) so as drafting wasn`t an issue, set off solo. Was saving 1st gear, as mapmyride said the last 1.3K was 177m gain, but again, none of the gradients matched my computer on the way, so ignored it this week and was fine – think mapmyride height gain must include top of the hill section above the tunnel. After hill, just TT`ed it to 2nd check point.

Got there just as one group was leaving, so decided to try and leave with the next group/team. So waited, and went with them, but on the downhill to the turn, was having to brake (obviously, those doing the 170K were riding at a more conservative pace, but it was impossible to know who was doing what) so being brave/foolhardy, opted to go past them rather than waste free watts, and let them catch me up after turn. One came past with a show-off sprint, which was funny as he then blew up slightly. 4 came past in total, so sat on the back of them.

This section was all rolling, but they rode it strange, as did anaerobic out of saddle sprints up each uphill (so they initailly gapped me, which I then pulled back with my aerobic seated climbing), then didn`t attack the downhill - again I had to brake to stay behind them. Eventually, one slight uphill section was longer than the others, so debated whether to stay behind or go in front, so again, being brave/foolhardy, went away from them, attacked the downhill and waited for them to come back past, but they never did. So did last 20K to finish as a TT again. Struggled for a bit in the mid-70`s but once the mileometer clicked over to 80K was fine, but noticeably tiring, as badly mis-judged a corner – luckily nothing was coming. So got back to start for an official time of 3:10:30 – unofficial without stops, around 3 hours 5 mins. Didn`t think I could break 3 hours – was scheduling for 3 hrs 30 mins, so well pleased with that – much better than last week. Have got my cancellation entry for hill-climb in October, so can try again then.

After a rest, off to the combini for some yoghurt/milk and protein. Then home, but the 500m climb on way back was a step too far like I thought, so that was 1st gear/8 kph crawling and then a long, long rest. Anyway, 160K for the day 1,700??? m of climbing – my highest totals. Tomorrow could well be a crawled commute.

It`s noticeable at these events that there are so many cyclists with beautifully sculpted calves and bigger thighs than I have, yet they were already climbing in the small ring, when I was still in the big ring – though 50-34 11-28 gives more scope for that than an 53-39 11-21. I`m only riding at (at most, maybe its increased slightly?) 4W/kg (borderline cat 3/2) but went past everyone on the climb, and no-one caught me up. Cycling is not about power, it`s an aerobic sport and too many, I can only presume, are forgetting the basic rule – L4, L4, L4.
 

Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
4,138
2,665
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
Today was our local century `ride`
Thanks for the report. Very interesting. Love Shikoku but it's a bit far to go for a day trip :(
think mapmyride height gain must include top of the hill section above the tunnel.
Yes it does. It's a Google Maps shortcoming, I believe, so it applies to all the mapping utilities that employ Google maps. If you have a route with a lot of tunnels, this can seriously make a mess of your plan. The tunnel points are registered for most major roads, but few of the minor ones. Here's an example.

Thanks again for the post!
 

Sikochi

Maximum Pace
Sep 13, 2010
1,185
80
68
Kochi
Any tips for better climbing welcome. Route link below.
Basically, climbing is power at threshold, so the best way to train is to improve this through what is classed as L4. This raises your threshold level - sustainable power. Some research also backs 30 secs on/30 secs off, but for now, stick to L4. Doesn`t have to be hard, basically anything from 85% of FTP (power you can sustain for an hour) works. Some people swear by 88%-91%, but it doesn`t have to be exact. Either do it as intervals (at least 10 mins or you are hitting VO2 territory) or one long session (60 mins) or just any variation in between that takes your fancy. Best advice is the read this link (I`ve posted this before)
http://www.cyclingforums.com/forum/thread/314849/it-s-killing-me-but
Don`t worry, you only have to read the first 40 pages but it is an excellent introduction to structured training.

Practice, practice, practice... The start is hard, but it will get better, and enjoyable.
I`m with this. It does get easier. For me, cycling only hurts when I am unfit, like last year. After fitness improves, it is more degrees of discomfort. With raising threshold, what this means is that you can handle steeper gradients without having to go into the red, and this will have the most noticeable effect on comfort/discomfort/enjoyment. For instance, last year anything over 10% had me in trouble, nowadays it is more like 14%/15% (assuming my computer is correct!)
 

Sikochi

Maximum Pace
Sep 13, 2010
1,185
80
68
Kochi
Yes it does. It's a Google Maps shortcoming, I believe, so it applies to all the mapping utilities that employ Google maps. If you have a route with a lot of tunnels, this can seriously make a mess of your plan. The tunnel points are registered for most major roads, but few of the minor ones.
Cheers, it did seem strange to me that the tunnel was uphill with a 20% gradient, but like I said, I kinda ignored it, so it didn`t have any real bearing on how I rode.

PS: Thanks for the mapmyride link. I worked out how to link to a ride so for anyone interested, this was the route. First check point at 27K, second at 53K. For those doing the 170K ride, they turned around just before the 85K marker and rode backwards...not literally of course!
http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/44645982
 

Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
4,138
2,665
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
Mike, do you know whether this part of the Super Rindo is passable? The start from the Abo Toge climb looks overgrown, but maybe it's only the first section?
Hi Ludwig. Yes that section (Section B) is OK but you'll have to come back the same way. Currently the only way in and out of Shirahone is from the junction on r84.



Chuck (a.k.a. ProRaceMechanic) bravely attempted Section C and found it to be a "dangerous 12 km hike". They're building a tunnel on r300 between Shirahone and the valley R158 so that the village is accessible throughout the year. But not scheduled to be completed until Nov 2012.
 

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
3,269
1,313
133
Japan
Got to ride a 6.8kg Boma carbon bike with Dura Di2 groupset. The LBS owner encouraged me to mash it, the shifting was crisp but unnervingly remote from my efforts. Nice set up but like he said the Ultegra option is the price performance one to get. He has already had about 10 pre orders.
 

Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
4,138
2,665
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
Two relatively uneventful commutes. The sky was threatening more torrential rain on the way home, but I only got hit by a few spots. As usual it's "Park in the Bus Lane" day.

Got home and fed/watered my S&S couplers.

Have enjoyed reading and contributing to the "Crackdown on Brakeless..." thread. Reminds me about the many conversations I have with newbies, trying to explain why they would probably find road riding easier on a road bike than their mountain bike. It's about having the right tool for the job.

A track bike is for riding on a track
A road bike is for riding on the road
A mountain bike is for riding through the mountains
(the pattern is starting to break down now)
A cross bike is for riding... what?
A BMX is for riding... without vowels.
A pist bike is for wondering about: wondering why it has such a stupid name. Maybe the bloke who thought it up, was.
 

jdd

Maximum Pace
Hardest Crash
Jul 26, 2008
2,795
1,091
133
Kanazawa
I assume you got some proofhide with it? That goes on and soaks in really well in the summer heat/sun. An old toothbrush works well to lather it on the underside.
 

Lawrence

Speeding Up
Jul 23, 2011
124
2
36
Chiba City
Please tell us how it rides (I know it takes some time to form to your 'posterior").

And I'm now part of the 3 digit club!

I'll put the whole story in my blog but here's the lowdown:
Took my bike on the train (no prob) and rode on the Arakawa cycling road (106.25km).
My goal was to finish (I did) and keep it at around 90 RPM the whole time (I did).

YAY!
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
Woo-hoo! My first ever Brooks saddle just arrived. A B-17 Narrow, in black.

Now to read up about care and feeding.
Im suprised nobody has mentioned saddle soap, Lets face it the stuff was designed to help supple up horse saddles yet offer water proofing and conditioning.
 

Gunjira

Maximum Pace
Oct 2, 2009
1,028
211
83
Tokyo
Had a nice weekend ride yesterday - Tuesday is my Sunday. Itsukaichi, Tomin no Mori, Tsuru and Wada. It's only my second longer ride after undergoing Lasik and being able to enjoy the sights makes heat (tomin top 23C) and suffering much more bearable.
With too much time off the bike definitely have less power, but a better rhythm made my crunch my way up anywhere regardless.

Apart from the Takao JR episode, had a much scarier Wu experience on top of Wada:

Wada killer bees!

Just needing to stretch and reduce bodyweight in seconds after stopping had one of those huge Japanese bees/wasps straight sitting down on the back of my neck and starting to painfully chew on me. Wanting to carefully wash it of, I walks over to the water fountain and at least two more insects come swarming. Me thinks, whoa, I need to get out of here before it's to late. Maybe the wind descending will drop the hitchhiker on my neck. But it's hard to get good speed on Wada East and that beast was using its mandibles to cling on - ouch. So out comes the drinkbottle, swoosh, gone, no sting thank god.
Better watch out in those parts Wu.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
947
243
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
Wada looper today. Wanted to leave at 500 - but too tired - so left at 547. Early morning is nice - though 650 departure from Takao is really too late - need the 30min earlier to avoid the commuting traffic. Other than that, managed to knock another 200m from my previous ride (virtual partner) on each climb. Since Nairiki is coming up, I'll probably switch directions so I can just focus on the short, harder climb a few times and supplement it with a few runs at Nairiki. Anyone game? Leave Tokyo by 0500 - and then rinko to the station and back. Getting used to geared bike - my lower back is very sore due to major change in riding position- but it's the 'right kind' of sore. Every run I get a little better and can boost my power average a few watts more. Hoping to get at least 300w sustained for Nairiki (doable now) with 600 - 700w bursts (almost there). Dropping weight to my target of 63kg seems 50/50 at this point - but I'll try.

(p.s. Thanks to Far East for letting me 'experiment' with his PowerTap - wow, this is very cool - and laced up to my lightest 50mm 3D rim makes a very nice 'do all' wheel - not sure I want to give it back)