Tokyo Bay Enduro - Saturday December 7th 2013

Doug3

Maximum Pace
Jun 24, 2010
720
179
63
Setagaya
www.tokyocyclingcoach.com
#1
This is a nice team enduro (2hrs/4hrs/both) on a 2.4km auto racing circuit down in Chiba. I have participated in it for the past 3 years. (Last year with Yair, https://tokyocycle.com/bbs/threads/tokyo-bay-enduro-saturday-december-8th-2012.3864/).

If there are any TCC'ers who though that they might like to try a road race, this is highly recommended. It is a good chance to practice riding in a pack if you do not have much experience doing so. Even if you are dropped, because the course is short, another group of similar paced riders will be around shortly.

It is also good for spectators.

Let's coordinate a bunch of entries (in advance of the closing date in early November)

Who is interested?

http://www.tokyoenduro.jp/bay/index.shtml
 

wexford

Maximum Pace
Jul 3, 2012
1,031
624
133
Tokyo
#2
Just had a look at the course. It's Sodegaura Forest Raceway... Driven on it a few times. Quite wide for a small Japanese circuit. Should be a great riding surface. Would be interesting to ride on it but I'm probably not going to beat my lap time:rolleyes: I'm going to be out of the country though. Would be less hard than Fuji Speedway I imagine. Pretty cool how you can do this. Only circuit I had a ride on was Laguna Seca in the states. That was great but quite hard as I was pretty unfit when I did it. One lap and I was nearly throwing up when I got back. The crowd was good to me though... Go Jeans man! I was on a trail bike from Trek on the eve of a big endurance race so the place was packed.
 

Gunjira

Maximum Pace
Oct 2, 2009
1,003
176
83
Tokyo
#10
Considering that my ride is still without working brakes and shifting and I won't get home before midnight, we will see. Probably I will just whip the bike in shape in the pits or borrow a bike. I'm racing the second part of the 4hrs.

I already booked Arashiro for some drafting on the course
 

Doug3

Maximum Pace
Jun 24, 2010
720
179
63
Setagaya
www.tokyocyclingcoach.com
#12
I joined the 4 hour enduro on a 2 person mixed team. For my partner it was going to be her first race ever.

We arrived at the track a couple of hours before the start to give us time to get organized and warmed up. Weather was perfect with relatively clear skies, warm temperatures, and only a very light breeze. I was trying to decide on shorts versus long tights, but in the end went with the safety of warmth. One layer of wicking and a wool shirt on top turned out to be perfect.

The time sure flew by and soon the track was open for practice laps. We rode the track for a couple of laps (set the Garmin auto-lap function) and I pointed out the most difficult places to her. In particular the fastest downhill on the track leading into the 90degree bend to the right and then going uphill. This turned out to be where all of my drama happened later on.

Having participated in many team enduros in the past, I knew the strategy would be to have minimum stops, ideally one. Riding hard for a short pull, then cooling off and going out again later is not good. We decided that I would start the race and try to stay in the main group for 3 hours, then hand off to her to finish up.

I did not hurry off to stand and wait at the start, knowing that the first lap would be neutralized, giving me time to work to the front. The start was smooth and I aggressively made my way to the front in the group in the first half a lap. The first lap we averaged 30kph, and crossing the start finish things went green and the guys at the front really turned up the wick to immediately spread things out. The second lap we averaged 43kph. It was taking time for people to really settle down into a rhythm, with a lot of accordion action going on and some not so clean lines. Love the smell of burning cork.

I was trying to keep myself up in the top 20 to reduce the surges that were required further back in the pack, but everyone else seemed to be thinking the same thing too. On the 7th lap, I was probably about 30th approaching the tightest corner on the track, towards the outside of the corner. Suddenly yelling and 3 guys go down on the inside in front of me, there momentum carrying them to the outside of the corner on target with my line. Managed to avoid the guy sliding on his face and the rest of the bunch after slowing a bit. The leaders took advantage of this to split the group and I had to put in a big dig to get back on.

From there I just sat in at about 15th wheel. Everyone else seemed happy to be pulling. Most of the top teams were on 1-2hr stints, so when people would pit to change riders, teammates would try to slow the group down, while opponents would try to speed up so the people rejoining the track could not get back on the main group, which had shrunk to about 40 riders. I stuck to my strategy of staying hydrated and fueled (I had 6 bars of youkan, 750ml of water, and 750ml sports drink) and was counting down the laps.

With the enduros you get all levels of riders out on the track. Slower riders are supposed to keep right. 2 hours 15 minutes into the race I had been leading my category already for the past 30minutes. Approaching the dangerous corner on the outside line, after apexing several fast guys are yelling to slower riders to keep right while they were moving left. I was forced off the track and immediately punctured the rear after hitting something pretty solid (enough to trash my rim). I kept going and rode the puncture the 1.5kms back into the pits. Luckily my partner had figured something was up after not seeing me at the front, and was ready to go when I came in. Up until the puncture the pace had averaged 41.5kph.

I put on the spare wheel and went to the wall to cheer on my partner while rehydrating and taking on plenty of energy. Saw Gunjira out on trac and cheered him on. Luckily we had talked about the strategy if I had a mechanical, and she went around as best she could for about an hour at 28kph, then came into the pits in 10th place. We switched off again, just as she had been passed by the main group, but there was no way I could catch them coming out on cool legs after resting for an hour. I tried hard to get people to work together, but it was difficult. Everyone seemed to want to ride their own race. Eventually I got 2 guys to somewhat work together for a few laps, then the leaders came by, and I jumped in. Soon after as it was the closing laps, there was a break. The chase group was hauling and it was too much for me to stay with them at that point. My legs were fried and I regrouped with about 10 guys for the last 2 laps.

With the enduro, your laps/time are counted before the time limit. In my second stint I was averaging about 4 minutes a lap, and we crossed the start finish with just under 8 minutes to go. So should I sprint on the next lap, or save it for another lap? My group looked pretty tired, so I decided to put in my sprint on the next lap and bet we would not make the time cut for another.

I sat in and as we came on the front straight no one was making a move. I just sat in and with 200 to go took off and led the bunch across the line. We still had 3min50sec on the clock, and nobody slowed down... So I found the biggest guy in the group and tried to recover behind him for the last lap. As we came on the front straight the final time, I was watching the clock. My legs were tired and I did not have another sprint in me. This time there were some moves and I tried to hang in there, but just before my group crossed the line the clock hit 4 hours. I would have been 7th in that group had we made it.

Ended up with 9th place, beating out 10th place by 1 second on the previous laps sprint. At least something went right. My second short stint average was 35kph, giving me an overall of 40kph for the 3 hours. As a team we averaged 36.6kph. I think that without the puncture we would have ended up in 4th or 5th out of 78.

We stuck around for the ceremony and the chance to play rock paper scissors with Arashiro, and let the parking lot clear out. This was my 4th attempt, and no podium yet. Next year that is my goal!

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/413019995


Arashiro


Maybe a podium next time?


My team mate searching for a draft.
 
Last edited:

Gunjira

Maximum Pace
Oct 2, 2009
1,003
176
83
Tokyo
#13
Good writeup!
Glad I'm not the only one who couldn't stick to the plan. Everything went well, apart from lack of sleep best prep ever and then everything fell apart. We even had race radio for 2 of our 5 teams!!
I was warming up on the trainer when my mate announced that he would come in not right away, but sooner than his full two hours. So I gets to the toilet and back to the pit, just to hear that he already came imams went out again. Next lap we switched leaving me in No-mansland, as there I no chance o make up a minute on a speeding bunch by yourself on this course. My plan accordingly was to just stick to it and reunite with the bunch, after they changed. When they finally caught and lapped me, I was already so spent that after two more laps I fell off the back. Basically imploded throwing up the wei@der sportsdrink in my mouth. So we switched once more just for the last 30mins, basically riding like a four man team finishing 11th and well below our expectations.

Now I definitely know about enduro strategy.