Today Today - July 2014


Feb 3, 2014
Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa, Japan
Decided to call it a day at 8am after the second scary ordeal happened. The first one was near the tamagawa where a guy standing next to his car waiting to cross the street, bolts right in front of me. I've never hit my breaks that hard and was skiing across the pavement on my tires. It's amazing I didn't do more than just clip him with my elbow. Turned around to have a few words with him and he bolts into the convenience store.
The second one happened as I was flying down a hill probably around 50kph, when a car who was all the way in the right turn lane and stopped, decided suddenly to pull into my lane. Somehow avoided dying and made my way home, very slowly.
Last edited:


Bokeh master
Sep 28, 2011
130km this morning the first 90min with a 290w average. The last 90min with a 244w average. The middle power readings were messed up when my power meter ran our of batteries and I had to head to a combini to get a new one. Turned round after a short climb up near shiraishi then rode home. Home by a bit after 10am. 31km/hr average for the ride was decent, stops were minimal. My legs are really hurting after yesterday's run/ride effort. Pretty much exclusively from the running, so I didn't really notice it until I stepped off the bike.

Getting a bit tired of this rain but I am grateful for the cooler temperatures that come with it. I am certainly not at my best in the heat so enjoying this respite before the real heat starts.

On with the day!!!
Likes: leicaman
Dec 21, 2013
France - moving to Shizuoka
Decided to call it a day at 8am after the second scary ordeal happened. The first one was near the tamagawa where a guy standing next to his car waiting to cross the street, bolts right in front of me. I've never hit my breaks that hard and was skiing across the pavement on my tires. It's amazing I didn't do more than just clip him with my elbow. Turned around to have a few words with him and he bolts into the convenience store.
The second one happened as I was flying down a hill probably around 50kph, when a car who was all the way in the right turn lane and stopped, decided suddenly to pull into my lane. Somehow avoided dying and made my way home, very slowly.
Welcome to Japan - they have no road sense!!!!

Andy in Tokyo

Maximum Pace
Dec 16, 2012
Yesterday's stage was a bit of a mental one. I set off for Grinton Moor at about 11am along the backroads. It was fairly quiet until I hit Grinton village, which was absolutely rammed. The entire road up to the summit was, as you'd expect, absolutely heaving, and this was a good 3-4 hours before the race came through:


I found a decent place to watch the race about 300m from the top. It was just before a steepish rise in the road:


After an hour or so the caravan came through, as well as an unbelievable amount of police and event cars/bikes:


Things started to get a bit more exciting when a few team cars pulled up nearby, getting wheels ready in case anyone needed to change. I had Sky down at the far left, BMC to the left, Movistar directly opposite and Lotto-Belisol to the right:


At about 3pm Jensie came whizzing past. Note the crazy amount of motorbikes:

About 30 seconds later, the peloton. It was very much a case of blink and you'll miss them (apologies for the poor camerawork. I just kept the camera at chest-height as I watched the riders go past):

There were a few stragglers:


About five minutes after the last of the riders came through everyone left en masse. I decided to head up to the summit for a gander, and have never seen so many cyclists together before in my life. Literally thousands, all going the same way. It was crazy stuff:



So a lot of waiting for about 5 minutes of action, but I really didn't mind. The atmosphere was great and everyone had a great time. I'd definitely do it again if I had the chance.

Oh and one more thing: as I was stood watching the peloton fly by, one of the Lotto-Belisol riders threw a little gift my way:


I've already extracted his DNA from it, and will be taking orders for a special performance-boosting supplement shortly.


Maximum Pace
Hardest Crash
Jul 26, 2008
Not TCC km, but at least 46km early on, then some shopping & errands. Lentil soup done, along with baked tandori chicken (marinated since yesterday) and rice for dinner. And there will be leftovers for lunches this coming week.

No pool today. :( But the coming week is looking rainy so probably more swimming. :)


Maximum Pace
Jul 3, 2012
Got up at 4am on Sunday, ate breakfast and left for the station. First time to use the bike bag in how long? Destination Takao. Arrived at 6:33 and headed up Wada with @ninjagoat. I was so happy to be out riding in the mountains again. Lush green and mountain fog still lingering. I'd forgotten what a beast Wada is. Looked at my heart rate at the bottom of wada and it was already 170. Was it the excitement? Struggled up a bit better than I thought I would and even gave the top a little sprint and then collapsed on those little benches for a while. Still don't understand why I love this, but I do :)

West gate was closed but we went down anyway. No cars although the road was a little wet still. I prefer that descent to east wada any day. We continued down the hill until we got to the bus car park and then went back up again. This time there was about 10 k-vans at the bottom gate on their way up for some mass mountain clean up. Unfortunately just past this @ninjagoat got a big blow out and ripped the side wall of his tire. After patching the tire, we continued back up wada west but it was bulging. Repatched the tire at the bottom again. At that point, I was wondering if we should rindo or not rindo but as he'd never rindo'd before and the tire was looking like it would hold we decided to push on.

The rindo is from the 3 sisters ride and the incline up to it is worse than the rindo itself. Fantastic ride to the top with the ditches eating away at the road. Gotta watch out for those sharp rocks though. Since @ninjagoat had the dodgy tire, I let him go ahead on the descent so I would know if he had any issues. Road wasn't as bad on the way down as I remembered it from before. No flowing water across it as there usually is. Towards the bottom though it was filthy with wet leaves and my ninja disappeared to a clanging metal noise. I didn't know exactly what to expect so I slowed right down and was scanning the ditches for a bright orange jersey. He was on the road though around the next right hander and was a little bloody. I'll let him fill you in on things (if he wants to) but his rear mech was twisted and at that point we decided to bail and headed for the closest station which thankfully was all down hill.

Learned a couple of things. Discovered that my bike bag didn't have patches as I thought it did, remembered that these pieces are rather fragile and they can break in a spill so you gotta be prepared for what to do (like remove it and shorten the chain perhaps) and also learned that I'd no first aid of any kind. It also confirms a little more that solo rindo rides require special care in both bike handling and telling folks where you are going as you'll likely not be meeting anyone except for a monkey and we all know that they are useless unless they are called Skippy or Lassy.

I was pretty high though to be out again. It was only 49k in the end but each one was special.


Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
Setagaya, Tokyo

I left home around 05:00 yesterday for a train connection to Okutama for an adventure around Otsuki.

I had been meaning to have another go at @WhiteGiant's Otsuki 4.5 peaks loop since last year, when I had done it with Tim and Eric. Any ride that involves a mountain over 1000 m high is an achievement, but this course has 4 of them, with about 3400 m of total climbing.

Yesterday no rain was forecast by my favourite weather site, unlike the complete week before or after it so I was going to give it a try.

It turned out overcast for most of the day, but it was still hot until I got into the Daibosatsu area, where I was cycling just under or in the clouds. Up there I was wearing my wind breaker quite a bit, as it was much cooler and it was that cooler part that I enjoyed the most.

I also wanted to give my new GPS, the o_synce navi2coach a good shakedown and see how it compares to the Garmin Edge 500, which I also mounted on the handle bar (N2C on the left, Samsung Galaxy III in the middle, Edge 500 on the right). I'll probably do a separate write-up for the results.

I didn't want to start again at 02:00 in the morning like last time, when we took the last train out to Otsuki and I wanted to add more distance so it would qualify as my century of the month ride (160+ km). Therefore I decided to start from Okutama station, join the loop after Matsuhime toge (normally the first climb), start with Imagawa toge that normally comes second, do the loop to Otsuki, then Matsuhime and ride back down to Okutama station for the train home. It didn't quite work out that way.

The leg in from Okutama took me longer than expected, though I enjoyed the views of the lake. A fellow cyclist pointed out some monkeys that had climbed the power / phone lines and were using them as overhead walk ways.

Imagawa toge is brutally steep in places, up to 17% according to the Garmin. After that came Yanagisawa toge, a seemingly never ending climb - 37 km uphill.

After that things markedly improved. Freshly brewed coffee and some vanilla ice cream at the restaurant at the toge restored me.

The long sweeping descent, much of it on bridges was a welcome chance to recover while absorbing the views.

The climb to Kamihikawa toge at over 1600 m, the tallest of the 4 1/2, was the most enjoyable to me, even though it was steeper than Yanagisawa toge. The road wasn't busy, mostly just hikers and I liked the scenery more than at Yanagisawa where the traffic distracted from the nice views of the wild upper part of the Tamagawa.

It was getting late in the day when I descended towards Rt20 before the last climb before Otsuki. While climbing Sasago toge in the fading daylight I considered my options.

I could either continue as planned over Matsuhime, but that would mean climbing it in the dark and I still vividly remember my fear of bears when I had climbed it before sunrise last year. I didn't meet a single human being on Sasago toge, not one car that passed. I came across some deer though.

Traffic on Rt20 after the descent from Sasago toge was busy. I hated the big trucks in the dark. Heading down to Uenohara and Tokyo on that route didn't seem like a good idea, even with my reflective brevet vest. So I headed to Otsuki station, packed the bike and hopped on the next train towards Tokyo, got off at Takao station and cycled home from there (38 km).

5 km from home it started to rain. It was already after midnight, so I decided against distance top-up loops around Baji koen to make sure I'd get over 160 km.

According to Strava, my ride came to 122+38 = 160 km. According to RWGPS it was only 113+38=151 km. The Garmin, which I didn't upload to either site, basically agrees with RWGPS, so I did miss my century target for this ride (total elevation gain: 2839 m). Luckily there are more weekends left this months to try again, if I want my 21-month series of one Century a month to continue.
Last edited:


Maximum Pace
Sep 4, 2011
Hello all. I said earlier in the year that I would go to Flanders this summer. I didnt quite make it but have just got back from a week in Northern France & Wallonia. While on a ride I made my way to a small forest track near Wallers that might look a little familiar.

DSCz_20030.jpg DSCz_20031.jpg DSCz_20039.jpg

Apart from the Stablinski monument the only mark was a small PR stencilled on the road in yellow to mark the route. I had ridden some well kept pave earlier in the ride and that was astonishingly rough. I was thinking of riding through but one look at the condition of the cobbles was enough to kill that idea. I was surprised how much of a slope the approach has. The racers must hit the cobbles at well over 50km/h. I have an even higher regard for all those who race Paris Roubaix now.

On an unrelated note I have just found the photos of the Half Fast Hanami ride this April on Picasa. Thanks to all who were there for putting up with my wittering & making that a very memorable day


Feb 4, 2014
Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan
A nice act of kindness yesterday which deserves to be recognised. At the top of Iriyama, one of the three of us had a tyre explosion - a lot of debris on the road up there. We didn`t notice the split in the tyre until two tubes (and being buzzed by the biggest hornet I have ever seen) later...and the third did not make it down the other side. At the bottom, the Wada rindo road, we asked the owner of one of the houses if he could call a taxi. He did better than that, and offered to take the afflicted to Takao. He was taking his son to baseball practice anyway, but what a nice thing to do. And Takao is a decent distance away too.

Andy in Tokyo

Maximum Pace
Dec 16, 2012
Was off the bike yesterday for recuperation reasons (i.e. I got massively drunk on Saturday and spent much of the day curled up in front of the toilet). Today saw me on another lumpy and fairly short excursion to some of the wilder parts of the dales:

tan hill map.jpg

I started off by heading north, towards Barnard Castle and into County Durham along some lovely little roads:



After about 23km I then turned south, taking in the first climb of the day: the Stang. It's 5.5km with an average gradient of 5%. It cuts through a pine wood, which smells fantastically, erm... piney, at this time of year, like a very posh car air-freshener:


As always with the hills around here, there were a few sudden but short 20% bits. The forests gave way gave way to moorland and the Yorkshire Dales once again:


After a shortish bumpy descent into Arkengarthdale with more than a few close encounters with errant sheep, I headed north again up towards Tan Hill. This is a really wild part of the dales where few people go, and where the wind can blast you off the road. I'll never complain about wind along the Arakawa again:


Tan Hill is the perfect place for a Rapha moment:


After 10km of moorland I reached Britain's highest pub, the Tan Hill Inn. I didn't go in because it's ruddy awful:


From the Tan Hill Inn I turned south again and down into Swaledale for something to eat. I nearly met my end at this nasty little hairpin turn:


The further down into the dale I went, the more tame the scenery became:


(Continued in the next post...)

Andy in Tokyo

Maximum Pace
Dec 16, 2012
I had planned on stopping at a cafe in Mucker for something, but it had been cleaned out of supplies at the weekend. The owner did make me a cup of coffee anyway, which was nice of him, and I also got a brownie to tide me over for the next leg of today's outing, Oxsnop Scar. As I was sat outside the cafe the heavens opened. The shower was brief, but it left the roads very slippery. This was a bit of a problem as the first little ramp up to Oxsnop Scar is as steep as 25% in places. If I tried to get out of the saddle my wheel would start to slip; if I put too much weight over the back wheel my front end started to lift off the road. Thankfully, it's not all like that. In fact most of it is undulating and fairly tame, at 4km long and with an average gradient of 6%:


After reaching the top of Oxsnop Scar, I went back a little bit, climbed a hill and took a shot of the road I climbed up:


The descent from Oxsnop Scar, on slippery, narrow roads, was hair-raising to say the least. I had to empty out my bib shorts at the bottom of it. Shortly before hitting the village of Askrigg I turned north once again and up the final "big" climb of the day, Long Band Road, which is 2.3km long with an average grade of 8%:


As I was about halfway up the sun came out, and by the time I neared the top I was a sweaty mess:


Again, this is a little-used road, which means that's it's not exactly made for aluminium-framed bikes on 23mm tyres. The descent was perhaps my favourite of the day, but it was as rough as a badger's rear end: I think a few of my teeth fell out from the vibrations and I fear that I may never be able to have children:


The road led back into Swaledale, and after a few more lumpy bits I was back home, where I dislocated my jaw and devoured a live foal to replace lost calories (full of protein, foals).

Total for the day: 95km with 2,240m of climbing.


Dec 21, 2013
France - moving to Shizuoka
Road bike bits arrived today :) so rebuilt it. How time moves on from 6500 I had before. One thing I miss is my flight deck. Had to buy cordless computer with cadence ( as only used speed and cadence on Flight Deck). New one, to get the correct signal it has to be around 30 degrees from vertical (bottom edge of computer must to a straight line to cadence monitor) looks f__king strange. Plus new one has to many things on the screen at the same time......


Maximum Pace
Mar 20, 2013
I wish! I nicked the image from a random website.
Yeah that's a proper beast. They go for an arm and a leg, but they're great. Weird thing is, the grinder isn't anything special, which any espresso geek knows is where the money should go. Great machine + crap grinder = crap coffee. Okay machine + great grinder = stellar coffee.
Likes: rommelgc