Today - August 2013

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,443
916
133
Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
#1
I closed July with a "Cinderella express" ride (to the Palace and back before midnight) to cram a few more km in before the clock strikes 12. I only made it back to Shibuya by midnight, so I stopped my Garmin and restarted it, to record a separate "pumpkin ride" from there.

July was my most active month of the year so far, with 870 km logged on Strava and about 11,000 m of elevation gain. I also crossed the 5,000 km threshold, which means I'm averaging 700 km a month vs. 600 km last year.

The highlight of the month was the ShineOn Norikura event by Half-Fast Cycling. I did a couple of hilly rides to prepare for that, including Otsuki 4.5+Matsuhime, Setagya-Fuji 5gome-Odawara and Oume Temple Loop. Each of these had more total elevation than Norikura and the Fuji climb from R139 even had a longer uninterrupted elevation gain than Norikura and is now my biggest climb on Strava.

I will probably take it a bit easier in August. My only real goal for the month is one century ride (perhaps Okutama BOOB), which will complete a full year of one per calendar month, and my weekly target of 100 km. The next big milestone will be the the September 21-22 走行会921西東京600km富士・諏訪湖 ride with AJ NishiTokyo :)
 
May 22, 2007
3,617
1,454
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#2
Rain this morning seemed to displace most cyclists onto the trains or into their cars. (But not me.) Sadly this increases the number of witless pedestrians and motorists on my road.

One of the more frustrating R246 phenomena for me these days is being in the rush hour bus lane, stuck behind a bus that's driving really slowly. It usually transpires that the bus is so slow because it's stuck behind a really slow cyclist. Ah, the irony.

Patience, Mike.
 

Sibreen

Maximum Pace
Jul 23, 2010
565
244
63
Hanno, Saitama
#5
720km for July - my highest ever distance by a long way (505km in June was my previous best).
Hoping to do at least one metric century in August (prob do double Arima again), explore some new areas, and PB my regular climbs.

Wanna get some proper shoes and pedals, also..!
 

Musashi13

Maximum Pace
Aug 27, 2012
1,778
1,110
143
41
Ichikawa, Chiba
#6
720km for July - my highest ever distance by a long way (505km in June was my previous best).
Hoping to do at least one metric century in August (prob do double Arima again), explore some new areas, and PB my regular climbs.

Wanna get some proper shoes and pedals, also..!

My advice is to just buy the pedals and shoes and never look back. I've seen you climb and I know you enjoy your rides so I doubt you'd regret it. If you are in anyway worried about it cramping your style on your shopping runs you could either get double sided SPD/flat pedals or the better idea converters for the better pedals mentioned in the other thread. I started not long ago with the double sided and got rid quick. I found it more rewarding to go all out. I am about a year in to my proper cycling experience and I advise no more dilly dallying for you.

I wound out July with 1399km and over 8000m climbed. That is a best for me but I haven't been doing this for long. I took today off and I'm debating having another rest tomorrow.

My life in this Japan heat is longer than some here (13 years) and my cycling history is shorter than most here but I can certainly tell you that the summer is way more bearable when you get yourself out there than when you don't.
 
May 22, 2007
3,617
1,454
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#7

wexford

Maximum Pace
Jul 3, 2012
1,040
632
133
Tokyo
#8
Hmmm. It's Friday. I seem to have had a well deserved rest week compliments of some drinking buddies and the weather. July was my second full month on the bike. 722km for me up from 459km in June. I'm thinking of doing the boob ride tomorrow but the lowest gear I have is still a 39-25. I'm stronger than when I did the Takao ride but I'm not so fond of walking. Is it steeper (or as steep) as the first climb we did on Takao? The other two climbs were fine (after that first one killed me).
 

leicaman

Maximum Pace
Sep 20, 2012
2,561
2,253
133
Asakadai, Saitama
#10
^This. For years I have used Specialized Sport MTB shoes ca, 9,000 yen (no trouble walking around the shops or on trails) plus Shimano PD-M520 pedals (includes cleats) ca. 3,500 yen. These pedals are the cheapest and perfectly adequate.
I run the same pedals. Perfectly fine. They seem pretty much bulletproof. At a wild guess they have over 4000km on them and they feel smoother now than the day I bought them.
 

leicaman

Maximum Pace
Sep 20, 2012
2,561
2,253
133
Asakadai, Saitama
#13
Quick blast down the arakawa this morning. I've never had anyone trying to get a free ride from me before until this week when I had two. First was Tuesday when I went past a youngish Japanese rider. He saw me coming and picked up his pace as I overtook, grabbing my wheel and proceeding to draft for about 1km pretty damn close to my rear wheel. Decided enough was enough, stood up and put a few decent turns on the pedals. Didn't see him again.
Then today I was rising along the Arakawa when I overtook an older guy that I've seen a few times on that stretch. He's a foreigner and he always wears a moviestar top. Anyone know him? He decided he wanted a free ride too so he stuck to my rear wheel. He then had the cheek to stand up and try to out sprint me when we got to the slope near Kawaguchi city. I didn't take the bait and took it at my own pace (which was about 1/4 of a bike length behind him). He then dropped back behind my rear wheel for yet another free ride. After a km or so I think he decided he would take a turn pulling. He moved out of my slipstream to pass, but he couldn't get his wheel past my crank which is a shame as it would have been nice for him to pull for a while ;). He gave up and slotted back in behind my rear wheel. Unfortunately for him there was a gate nearby. As soon as we hit the gate he lost my wheel and he was long gone (I didn't even try to lose him. Just kept a nice steady pace. Was feeling a little sickly actually having overstuffed myself at breakfast.... When will I ever learn).
Is it common for strangers to get a free ride? Personally I wouldn't dream of it. Just seems wrong.
 
Likes: Musashi13
Jan 14, 2007
2,516
213
83
Noda
japanichiban.com
#14
Came up to my brother's place up in Hakuba last Sunday night hoping to get in a lot of rides before I head to Aus this Monday. Politely inited my in-laws who I thought would be too busy... They came up on Monday with my nephew. Rained a lot and between being a good host and doing family stuff didn't get a chance to ride till today. Got on the bike exactly an hour after the in-laws headed home. Due to lack of fitness and my still weak knee...all I wanted to do was my regular Rt 406 hill climb. 5 years ago I could get up the mountain in just over 30 minutes. Today it took me over an hour and I had to stop about 5 times. That's how far backwards my fitness has gone. Not to mention all the extra weight. Was good to get to the top though. I may have given up had I not brought the Go-Pro for the descent. On the way home I went to the usual foot onsen and soaked up some rays and rest.
Will come up again at the end of August and try and improve on my time....

Love it up here....

Here is what we spent the first two days doing...
Father in-law is a mad inventor... Needs a bit more work but educational for me and the nephew.... He made version one of this with my son about 5 years ago and that youtube clip now has close to 1.5 million views. I get lots of questions about it...

Heading home in the morning to pack my bags for 3 weeks in Aus...
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,443
916
133
Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
#15
Is it common for strangers to get a free ride? Personally I wouldn't dream of it. Just seems wrong.
I don't know about other countries, but in Japan it's considered bad etiquette to closely draft someone you don't know.

I understand why people object to it from a safety point of view. You don't want some i***t take you down when you suddenly have to brake while they're not paying attention.

From a physics point of view though, you both get a free ride. Apparently, in a group of 4 riders at some defined speed I can't remember now, the lead man spends 2-3% less energy than he would on his own. The gain is much higher for the second guy and the other two (25% or so), but basically there is an efficiency gain for everyone involved, not just the people drafting but also the lead man being drafted.

Personally I don't particularly mind being drafted, though it doesn't happen very often. Once a guy was tailing me for 10 km along the Tamagawa and I was working hard to stay ahead. When we finally parted he commented in English: "Nice pace!" I liked that :)
 

Musashi13

Maximum Pace
Aug 27, 2012
1,778
1,110
143
41
Ichikawa, Chiba
#16
Quick blast down the arakawa this morning. I've never had anyone trying to get a free ride from me before until this week when I had two. First was Tuesday when I went past a youngish Japanese rider. He saw me coming and picked up his pace as I overtook, grabbing my wheel and proceeding to draft for about 1km pretty damn close to my rear wheel. Decided enough was enough, stood up and put a few decent turns on the pedals. Didn't see him again.
Then today I was rising along the Arakawa when I overtook an older guy that I've seen a few times on that stretch. He's a foreigner and he always wears a moviestar top. Anyone know him? He decided he wanted a free ride too so he stuck to my rear wheel. He then had the cheek to stand up and try to out sprint me when we got to the slope near Kawaguchi city. I didn't take the bait and took it at my own pace (which was about 1/4 of a bike length behind him). He then dropped back behind my rear wheel for yet another free ride. After a km or so I think he decided he would take a turn pulling. He moved out of my slipstream to pass, but he couldn't get his wheel past my crank which is a shame as it would have been nice for him to pull for a while ;). He gave up and slotted back in behind my rear wheel. Unfortunately for him there was a gate nearby. As soon as we hit the gate he lost my wheel and he was long gone (I didn't even try to lose him. Just kept a nice steady pace. Was feeling a little sickly actually having overstuffed myself at breakfast.... When will I ever learn).
Is it common for strangers to get a free ride? Personally I wouldn't dream of it. Just seems wrong.


Me and saibot took 1min turns into the wind back from Sekiyado a couple of months back and we had some draft dodger with us for nearly 10km then as we approached the lights he went under the bridge and popped up ahead of us on the other side only to keep his distance. Saibot wouldn't let this lie and forced the pace until we were almost on him again...then he turned off...scum:mad: Good workout! They are out there, keep 'em peeled!
 
Likes: leicaman

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#17
Love it up here....

Here is what we spent the first two days doing...
Father in-law is a mad inventor... Needs a bit more work but educational for me and the nephew.... He made version one of this with my son about 5 years ago and that youtube clip now has close to 1.5 million views. I get lots of questions about it.
That is awesome!

You do know that with your bike knowledge you can help out here....... gear ratios to increase the revolution speed and thus produce more wattage! (lighter fly wheel would also be benifitial)

But seriously that is a brilliant bit of old school tech being used for modern day use.
 

theBlob

Bokeh master
Sep 28, 2011
2,865
1,451
129
...
#18
I rode 1200km, 8000m vert in July at an average pace of 29.5km/hr.

On 1st of August I dropped something heavy on my toe. Fucked my toe up, its still seeping shit from under the nail. I should be back on the bike tomorrow for a light one as the pain is subsiding, and the goop is slowing. (The nail seems to be lifting too)