Today - June 2010

May 22, 2007
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halffastcycling.com
#1
Shall we have a "Today" thread for each month? If not, it will become incredibly long.

Today I attacked a road paullb mentioned to me a while ago. It's the windy road that goes up Mitake-san, starting from Mitake station between Ohme and Okutama.

Ouch! That's the hardest thing I've ever almost done on two wheels. By comparison, the Kazahari Rindo was a breeze. The steep bit goes from 280 m to 880 m in a shade over 4 km, yielding an average of 15% grade, but some of the corners were more like 30% -- real wheelie-popping stuff, even with my lamentable body mass. No way I could ride it in one go, on the first attempt. I kept stopping, but then pressed on. Spent a lot of time with my HR above 180 bpm and my speed below 5 kph :cry: (I think MapMyRide's gradient thingy runs out of shades of black here!)

From the maps I'd hoped it would be possible to ride on Hinode-san and carry on back down to Musashi-itsukaichi. This was not to be. The road changes to a trail shortly after the summit. Talked to a lady who said this trail is something of a mecca for cyclo-crossers; they bring their bikes up on the cable-car and ride away, carrying their bikes over rocks as necessary.

So back down the way I'd come; death grip on the brakes all the way down!

Rode 35 km from there to Takao-san for ramen and gyoza in glorious sunshine at the wonderfully hospitable Fujiya Ramen Emporium, just 100 m from the Otarumi summit. :D

--HF Mike--
 

paullb

Warming-Up
May 24, 2010
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Fuchu
#2
Shall we have a "Today" thread for each month? If not, it will become incredibly long.

Today I attacked a road paullb mentioned to me a while ago. It's the windy road that goes up Mitake-san, starting from Mitake station between Ohme and Okutama.
Good to hear you made it up (and down) in one piece. I only walked up it as a hike but I did see a couple bikes take the cablecar and I saw a couple ride up it. But from the looks of their bikes, the gearing was super-light. Almost certainly an easier ride up for them than for you on the roadbike.

If you want the ultimate in steep road riding, Kuragari Pass (暗峠), Osaka approach.
 
Sep 2, 2009
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#4
Went for a ride around after work, in the suit I was wearing for work.

Lent into the hoods made my suit all tight, but I caught a view of myself in the back of a truck; tight pin stripe suit, white shirt, white socks, white Mavic shoes, white bike.

Yeah man.

Acted like a car all the way home, getting in middle lane for turning, and all that (why is that such an alien concept for these people???)

Stormed it to my house.

Then went for a twisty turny ride around the tight winding hills of the local shrine area. Loved it.

Met a mysterious girl on a bright pink single speed Bianchi. Rode around with her without saying a word, until we departed... 'bye' she said...

Looking forward to tomorrow, when we meet again...
 
May 22, 2007
3,617
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Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#5
[...]getting in middle lane for turning, and all that (why is that such an alien concept for these people???)
It's actually against the "rules and manners" of the road, as discussed (disgust) recently. Normally it being illegal would ensure that everyone does it. Go figure.
Met a mysterious girl on a bright pink single speed Bianchi. Rode around with her without saying a word, until we departed... 'bye' she said...
Uh-oh. Check the saddle area carefully.
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Meanwhile, this morning I showed remarkable and untypical restraint :angel: by not slapping the idiot coming the wrong way down the hill between Ohashi and Nanpeidai on R246, at around 40 kph on his BMX.

At a relative speed of 65, there's not enough time to explain "Look buddy, if you want to kill yourself that's your affair, but don't take other folks with you", so a very loud "BAKA!" has to suffice.

--HF Mike--
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
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#10
Great ride with Mike this afternoon up and out to Aiko and back. 100km and feeling the burn from Sunday.... absolutely no power in the motor.
 
Jan 14, 2007
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Noda
japanichiban.com
#11
Finally back in the winner's circle. One hour race training tonight...been a long time since I was able to kick a bit of a#se. Been on the Paleo diet for the last week and I feel like a teenager again.
Got to keep it up.
 
May 22, 2007
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halffastcycling.com
#12
June 10th

[...] and I feel like a teenager again.
Funnily enough, I felt like one yesterday. (Don't tell the wife!)

Beautiful weather for my ride in to the office today. Managed to get the legs moving despite last night's HF revelry at the Pink Cow.

Also this morning brought a genuinely new experience. I was waiting at a light (No, that's not the new experience) and a Japanese guy - I guess in his 60's - on a mamachari sidles up to me and hails me: "Pleased to meet you!" is what I though he said, although it sounded strange. His next utterance sounded like something about scouring powder and skiing.

Then he looked down at my chest, and the penny dropped. I was wearing my Foska Soviet Union jersey and so it seems he thought I was from the USSR or something and was showing off that he could speak, presumably, Russian.

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Are you Russian?

No - I've got plenty of time today.​

BA-BOOM!! :D

I have a rack full of jerseys, and don't really pay much attention to what I put on in the morning unless my platoon has morning parade that day.

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Later played cat and mouse with a gaijin riding a white Trek and wearing earphones, all the way from Shibuya to Hanzomon. If you're reading this: yes you can ride faster than me. I'm quicker because I cheat.

--HF Mike--
 

Phil

Maximum Pace
#15
:confused:You ride with your shifters at a very high angle! :confused:
Not so much, the angle of the photo makes them look more vertical than they are...although I do cheat them up about a 1cm from "standard" configuration. It's one of the reasons I love the previous generation of Shimano shifters, you have more angle options than the more strictly flat styles of, say, SRAM.
 

Deej

Maximum Pace
Oct 13, 2007
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Setagaya
#16
HF Mike -- Great anecdotes! I look forward to hearing more snippets from your commutes.

Phil -- That's a beauty. Congratulations! I'm loving the clean lines. Looks like a well-built, no-nonsense machine.

As for me, I've been regularly commuting to work for about three weeks now and am loving it. A busy family life means my rides to and from the office are my training. I'm logging only about 32km round-trip a day, but I suppose that adds up, especially if you treat every other person on a bike as your mortal enemy who must not, ever, be allowed to be faster that you. :)

Today, a foreign cyclist (British?) pulled up next to me at an intersection, looked at my bike, and said something like: "Left your good bike at home, eh?" I was momentarily at a loss, because it implied one of two things -- 1) He thinks my bike is a piece a crap, or 2) He somehow knows who I am, and that I also ride Black Thunder.

Either way, he was quite friendly, and I'm sure was just making casual conversation. Are you by any chance reading this?

Deej
 

Mike

Maximum Pace
Sep 24, 2007
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Kanagawa
#17
Deej, I probably would've said the same thing to you mate. Are you sure you're not confusing accents coz it sounds like a typical Aussie thing to say:p BTW, you almost had your Wada West time crushed today. Just thank your lucky stars I'm still blown from Fuji and the ride home after the race with our very own Terminator, Clay. You now as I summited the climb today I had to to do a double take as I thought a guy there was you. Black bike, black kit and he looked fast. What a classic that would've been, two warriors summiting Wada from either side at exactly the same time!
 

Deej

Maximum Pace
Oct 13, 2007
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Setagaya
#18
Deej, I probably would've said the same thing to you mate.
Yowch. :) The bomber isn't the finest specimen on the road, but it's a freaking tank. 'Specially with those nice fat tires. I will say that I've removed the kickstand and have clipless pedals on now. BB is getting swapped out this weekend, and the rear derailleur comes off tomorrow, leaving only one cog in the back -- simple and strong.

Are you sure you're not confusing accents coz it sounds like a typical Aussie thing to say:p
Hah! You've got a point there, buddy. Could have been an Aussie, though I'm usually pretty decent at placing accents.

BTW, you almost had your Wada West time crushed today. Just thank your lucky stars I'm still blown from Fuji and the ride home after the race with our very own Terminator, Clay.
I think we all know that if I trained half as much as some of you guys, that if I didn't have, like, 13 kids to raise, the TCC Hall of Fame would be monopolized by one man. A strong yet sensitive man. A man who combines raw athleticism with an almost childlike sense of joy and an artist's sense of ... uh ... art. Moi. So keep trying to crack my Wada record, my Tasmanian compadre. Because even if you do beat my time, the truth is I'll always be faster than you, even when I'm not. ;)

Deej
 
May 22, 2007
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Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#20
June 12th - Nokogiri-plus

Today tackled the Nokogiri-rindo in Okutama. Bearing in mind recent discussions I started from Musashiitsukaichi Sta. and so approached from the South, after taking a few minutes to visit Hossawa-no-taki; one of my favourite waterfalls.

The road up was fine, I suppose. The bumpity-bumpity concrete-paved sections really sap momentum, and I wasn't expecting the unlit tunnel or the unlit cyclist coming the other way through it. Prat.

Stopped at the top, hid bike behind toilets, and hiked up to the Nokogiriyama peak. It's a tough-ish climb in cleats, 30 min out and back, and there is no view from the 1109 m summit. Don't bother. Saw a lot of trail runners running on trails - funny, that.

The road down towards Okutama Station was free from landslides, although there were plenty of rocks and sand and potholes to keep me guessing.

Continued north on r204. This is a nice road with a few flat and downhill sections as is proceeds up the valley. Destination was the Nippara limestone caves (日原鍾乳洞). The 600 yen price to get seemed a bit steep, but the caves were reasonably impressive, nice and cool inside, and full of stairs and ladders to aggravate my leg muscle pain. Ramen at the nearby restaurant was palatable and arrived very quickly.

Rolled back down to the main road and all the way home. 120 km total including the hike. A good day :)

--HF Mike--