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Today - September 2013

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,991
2,296
@AlanW , impressive result after that horrible accident. And Naomi, what a fighter! That is incredible!

Isn't that the bike Sagan rides?

Actually what is the point of podium girls at all?

To get guys in the audience to pay attention!
 

Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
4,269
2,975
Got to within 1.5 km of the office this morning without getting rained on. Then flash - bang- downpour. Could not be wetter. Fun!
 

macrophotofly

Maximum Pace
Aug 27, 2012
581
234
Well one year ago I joined up to TCC, found Half Fast, and took delivery of my Hybrid. Six months before that when I moved to Tokyo I know I weighed 80kg (don't know what I was by September, probably a k or 2 lighter). I had never ridden up a mountain, let alone descended one. My previous biking history being made up of lots of teenage cycling for fun and a few cyclocross races - then discovered cars + pause for 12 years while playing rugby every weekend - one London to Brighton (50 miles) event on a borrowed bike and hence then bought an MTB which was bashed around (UK) Epping forest/New Forest/etc for a few years
I started out last September with some small rides around the Palace and a memorable early Sep ride along the Arakawa (I thought I was going to melt cycling in the heat - it was my first summer in Tokyo). My phone battery nearly ran out that day guiding me on the route, so I made my mind up to order a Garmin 800 that night. Once it had arrived, I was able to figure out how to get to Roponghi and join my first Half Fast ride (Odaiba) on the 22nd September. October brought my first ride up Takao (seemed huge at the time) and the usual Ara and Tama HFC rides. By the time the ski season had started I'd done only 750km's but it seemed a lot to me.
2013 brought a Stationary trainer for me to sit on when it was too cold outside at the weekends, my first 100km ride, my first continuous 1000m+ ascent, then Norikura, my first ride guiding for HFC, and my new road bike that I built with much help from you guys.
So whilst I'm only a weekend warrior, I've ridden over 3000kms in the last year, I now weigh 72.5kg, I feel a lot healthier, have a far more positive attitude looking forward all week to the weekends and have found some great friends.
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,991
2,296
Left home at noon for a double Wada and got back 7 hours later. 119 km, 1181 m of climbing.



This is pretty close to 1/5 of both the distance and climbing of my biggest ride of the year that will start two weeks from today.



I love the area around the east side of Wada. It's so Old Japan.





The climb was hard though and it didn't even register as a segment ("521 Jinba complete", "和田峠 standard") in Strava this time. Checking the recording it looks like I was 3 minutes faster on "和田峠 standard" this time, but somewhere up the mountain the GPS location started to wander wildly before returning to the trail on the last couple of turns before the toge. Maybe that threw the segment matching off. Never mind.

I stopped at the top. There was some kind of of trail run event going on. One of the staff members started talking to me about cycling and running. He felt sorry for me for climbing the mountain on "that bike". He didn't understand why I wanted to descend the west side and then come right back up again. Uhm, exercise? (I wonder why people run trails.)

After I had finished two bananas, I headed down the Kanagawa side, descending from about 700 m down to about 250 m until the T-junction, then turned around and climbed back up again. It definitely felt easier than Wada-East. I did most of the climb after the last village in my second lowest gear and shaved 11 minutes off my previous climb time.

It felt pretty good to be at the top again, having done most of the climbing for the day. Started talking to a lady at the trail run event. She told me she was the manager of a pro-cycling team, Team UKYO. They had been to the Tour de East Java this year. She showed me a picture of a team member from Spain. She also felt sorry for me because of "that bike", though I insisted the lighter gearing implied by smaller wheels actually makes it easier to climb steep hills (though not necessarily any faster).



On the way back, even though the clouds started looking darker and I felt the occasional rain drops, I got home dry and felt pretty good with my pace on the hills and flats today.

I can't say I'm ready yet, but readier than I have been at any time this summer.

 
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joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,991
2,296
She told me she was the manager of a pro-cycling team, Team UKYO.

I thought I heard the name somewhere before.

Sometime last year someone posted a picture of a race where a cyclist was holding on to the side of a team support car that was pulling him up the mountain. Does that ring a bell with anyone?
 

zenbiker

Maximum Pace
Mar 4, 2008
809
250
I thought I heard the name somewhere before.

Sometime last year someone posted a picture of a race where a cyclist was holding on to the side of a team support car that was pulling him up the mountain. Does that ring a bell with anyone?
Doesn't ring any bells but with a support crew like that it's a team I want to join!:rolleyes:
 

leicaman

Maximum Pace
Sep 20, 2012
2,875
2,690
I realised that I passed two milestones this past week. Since I started logging on garmin connect in March I broke the 5000km mark this morning. I also passed the 1000km mark for running. I think that cycling and running go hand in hand especially in Japan. During the summertime I find it really difficult to run more than 12km in the baking heat so cycling is a godsend. Likewise, the winter chill certainly makes cycling a little uncomfortable at times....perfect timing for a looooong run.
 

Doug3

Maximum Pace
Jun 24, 2010
723
180
I thought I heard the name somewhere before.

Sometime last year someone posted a picture of a race where a cyclist was holding on to the side of a team support car that was pulling him up the mountain. Does that ring a bell with anyone?

Ukyo Katayama, former F1 driver now runs a team, amongst other ventures. (About 10 years ago I made a very brief appearance alongside him on an NHK BS TV show)
http://www.teamukyo.com/
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
I thought I heard the name somewhere before.

Sometime last year someone posted a picture of a race where a cyclist was holding on to the side of a team support car that was pulling him up the mountain. Does that ring a bell with anyone?

Yeah it was the Tour of Japan, 3rd stage and they got a very hefty fine for the mechanical assist. It is owned by Ukyo Katayama, as Doug points out and he also races. I've kicked his butt on several occasions as he is a regular in the JCRC S-class series as well as race E2 in the JBCF. He's a really nice guy and he was very upset about the assist at the ToJ.

The trail running event is hardcore - the sales manager and owner of Champion System Japan both entered the 60km event - nutters!
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,991
2,296
It is owned by Ukyo Katayama, as Doug points out and he also races (...) He's a really nice guy and he was very upset about the assist at the ToJ.
There seem to be quite a few race car drivers cum cyclists like him, see the recent article posted by @mrkamot in "In the News".

This is Ukyo Katayama at the Tokyo Enduro in 2007:


Tim (@GSAstuto) met ex-F1 driver Alain Prost at Haute Route last year.

The trail running event is hardcore - the sales manager and owner of Champion System Japan both entered the 60km event - nutters!
I have some trail running friends too, and we have also ridden brevets together. One of them will do a 600 km brevet in Chiba, Tochigi and Fukushima on the weekend after next. Cycling and running really complement each other, but to my shame I haven't done any running this year yet.
 

Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
4,269
2,975
Spent a large part of the day on cleaning and maintenance. Three mistresses -- sorry... bikes -- is a labour of love.

Most annoying is that the rubber hoods on my Tiagra 4400 brifters have gone all icky-sticky, and Shimano don't make them any more. Bidding on ST4500 levers on Yahoo! Auction...
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
1st session this morning was on the trainer and was supposed to be followed by the 1st CX session in the afternoon. Wrong

After my warm up and then the 1st 1minute interval at 400w the cranks suddenly felt off - then they physically felt like they fell off.

Complete destruction of the inner race on the drive side and the bearing cage on the left.

IMG_4375.JPG

Switched the bikes over and did the session on my compact cranks - which felt odd as I couldn't quite find that sweet spot for the 20 minute all out effort. Then I had to can the afternoon ride and take the frame over to the shop to get the new bearings pressed in. At least I got one session in but I was looking forward to the wet muddy cx session this afternoon.
 

AlanW

Maximum Pace
Jan 30, 2007
1,214
438
Racing again today at the Manza hillclimb in Nagano. This route goes up the other side of the mountain that is used for the Kusatsu HC in April. The Manza Highway is normally closed to bicycles, but on the day of the race only bikes are allowed.
The course is 17.6 km and climbs 883 m, finishing at 1750m.
Today's race was held in miserable conditions. Heavy rain all through the previous night continued until we had finished racing and gone back down the hill, at which point the sun came out....There were many DNS and quite a few DNFs who didn't make the cut-off points in the bad conditions. The road was awash at some points, which was exciting on the flatter sections where my speed was pretty high.
I was racing in Expert class - not able to hold onto the lead group today, which is bad on a fast course where drafting is a help, but still fast enough for 7th place. Naomi-san blew away the womens' Expert class, finishing 1 and a half minutes ahead of the second placed lady.
http://www.enjoysport.jp/event/koihill/2013/pdf/result01.pdf

 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,991
2,296
I headed out towards Machida on Onekansen (tank road) to ride some more hills. There were the odd rain drops on the way, but it picked up later. It was pouring seriously by the time I was 5 km from Machida but I didn't want to turn around at that stage. I finished Onekansen in its whole length and got a PR on "Onekan West" :)

By then I started feeling chilly, but luckily I had brought along my @GSAstuto wind breaker. Took off my soaked jersey, put on the dry wind breaker and wore the jersey as a second layer. It wasn't perfect because my feet were still wet, but I felt almost comfortable despite the worsening rain, when before I had been approaching hypothermia. Two bananas later I was ready for the return trip.

On the way home I took it easy, considering the wet rim brakes, the slippery conditions on the road (metal grates, sewer lids, etc) and the reduced visibility for other drivers. I just wanted to get home safely.

Altogether I got about 60 km with 500 m of climbing. Not bad for a rainy afternoon :)
 

macrophotofly

Maximum Pace
Aug 27, 2012
581
234
Saturday I took (some of) the HFC guys back over the The Three Sisters - the same route that Mike led in early June with a few regular TTC posters'. That time it was hot (32C) and we had three punctures on the Rindo (you know who you are, that was unlucky enough to get two of them). That day the heat killed me on Jinba (or is it called Wada? - I see Joe using that term above) and I'm not too proud to admit I had to walk up part of it, then.
We had Dean, Akira, Harry, Fumi and two new guys, Josh and Simon (the latter with some rather funky new carbon clincher lightweight wheels - sorry don't remember the make/model). This time with the heat turned down and my legs in better shape I ploughed up the hill only being beaten by Simon (it is not a race, but I had something to prove to myself)- haven't uploaded it yet to know how it compares. Was a showering quite hard on the way up, so the descent was a little restricted speed-wise until the lower slopes (and even "unrestricted", none of us are particluarly fast:p). Thankfully rain stopped before we got to the Rindo and dried quite quickly. This time the Rindo took our group for two punctures (it feels a little like me at golf; I have feel like it is a good round when I only lose a couple of balls...). During one of the repairs I checked the rocks on the road and they somewhere short of a slate but certainly shale-like, so that when a rock hits the road it sends out shards with very sharp edges - hit one at the wrong angle and it leaves a little cut on the tire. Everyone really enjoyed the Rindo though - for all but Dean it was a new experience for them. We popped up Takao and enjoyed a lengthy lunch at the Ramen cafe before heading back to Tokyo

Sunday morning I decided to leave the bike and go for a run - without the sun, and with the promise of heavy rain (I love running in rain, must be all those cross-country runs I did as a student) I thought it would be an easy return after no running through the summer. Didn't account for the humidity and latent heat in the road. After a speedy 8km my legs felt shot, and, with all but the most minscule of showers, I returned home a tad defeated.

Then spent the afternoon/evening pimping-up my wife's mountain bike...:cool: but thats for another post......
 

leicaman

Maximum Pace
Sep 20, 2012
2,875
2,690
I'm liking the rather cooler weather at the moment. Looking forward to giving Shiraishi my best shot this Autumn. Think I need to get some more metres in my legs first though as I haven't done much climbing in the last couple of weeks.
 

Gunjira

Maximum Pace
Oct 2, 2009
1,028
211
Racing again today at the Manza hillclimb in Nagano. This route goes up the other side of the mountain that is used for the Kusatsu HC in April. The Manza Highway is normally closed to bicycles, but on the day of the race only bikes are allowed.
The course is 17.6 km and climbs 883 m, finishing at 1750m.

Good going, great to see that TCC's winningest couple is at it again especially after your crash. Congrats and looking forward to Hotaka...

About Manza line. I had this recommended and high on my todo list. Is it really true, that its forbidden for bicycles? Do they have guards like Norikura?
 

AlanW

Maximum Pace
Jan 30, 2007
1,214
438
Gunnar, yep Manza Highway is definitely off-limits to bicycles and there are toll booths either end - I don't think you could sneak past.

I recommend going up from Suzakato Shirane-san via routes 54, 112 and 456 - that is a monster climb with spectacular views!
 
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