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Ride Too many traffic signals - how to do outdoor structured training in Tokyo

Kanamori2017

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2017
78
37
Hi All,

Trying to do some structured training, but seriously even finding a section of road where you can ride for 5 minutes without a signal if nearly impossible.

Apart from cycle paths next to the river, any suggestions or tools to find these elusive roads.
 

Kanamori2017

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2017
78
37
I am in Machida. Not really training for anything specific, just following a TrainingPeaks structured plan.
 

OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
2,310
1,983
I have never lived in Tokyo. What you want is a really, really tall order even in much smaller Japanese cities like Sendai, Nagoya or Fukuoka.

Personally, I'd do all structured training indoors: it is safer and more time efficient. I cannot fathom having to pay attention to traffic when I am doing VO2max intervals or am deeply in the hurt locker, and have to make the decision whether to stop pedaling as it would be safer or whether to keep going.

Endurance rides are much easier in that respect, because having to stop is not as big of an issue.
 

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
4,012
2,238
second what OreoCookie said.
Most improvement is in training on a stationary bike at home.
Save the rides outside for LSD and a mental break.
Racing once or twice a month is also good training.
 

gktm

Warming-Up
May 18, 2022
2
1
From Machida, I'd go to the Aikawa/Miyagase area, that's pretty close by, and you can find fairly long stretches (by Japanese standards) of road there w/o traffic lights. Take a look at the climbs on Strava, you can definitely find a decent place for shorter/mid-length intervals.
If you are trying to do longer stuff, like 20-30min intervals, finding a suitable place will be hard, perhaps Yabitsu-toge is you only choice, or maybe further up Doushi road. But then you're looking at a long day in the saddle, so depending on your goals it might not be optimal.
 

Cactaur

Maximum Pace
Feb 3, 2014
303
235
Saitama, near Asaka Suimon (the spaceship)? The access roads alongside the paddy fields might be good. Watch out for tractors.
 
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TokyoLiving

Maximum Pace
Dec 9, 2015
813
473
We have a great route in the Machida area we call Cool Hand Loop. It's got some really good climbs and fast flats, with very little traffic. It is my favorite route these days. All told from my place in Koganei it is 70km. I am sure you can squeeze out 30-40 km if you live in that area. Add more do it twice.

I am on strava if you want to check it out - Allen L (on strava)
 

OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
2,310
1,983
From Machida, I'd go to the Aikawa/Miyagase area, that's pretty close by, and you can find fairly long stretches (by Japanese standards) of road there w/o traffic lights. Take a look at the climbs on Strava, you can definitely find a decent place for shorter/mid-length intervals.
This is an important factor. Here in Sendai, I can basically go North, East or South. The Northern routes look great on paper, but it takes me 30–40 km until I get clear of roads with tons of traffic lights. The Southern routes are a little bit better, but completely flat. The Eastern routes are best, but it gets hilly. I like them best, but they aren’t great if you want to do endurance miles: I’d need much easier gearing to stay within Z2.

The other factor is traffic. When I dig deep, I just can’t concentrate as well on the traffic. That’s not an issue on many backcountry roads, but it disqualifies many routes out of hand.
 

Kanamori2017

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2017
78
37
From Machida, I'd go to the Aikawa/Miyagase area, that's pretty close by, and you can find fairly long stretches (by Japanese standards) of road there w/o traffic lights. Take a look at the climbs on Strava, you can definitely find a decent place for shorter/mid-length intervals.
If you are trying to do longer stuff, like 20-30min intervals, finding a suitable place will be hard, perhaps Yabitsu-toge is you only choice, or maybe further up Doushi road. But then you're looking at a long day in the saddle, so depending on your goals it might not be optimal.
Thanks I had forgotten about Aikawa.
 

OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
2,310
1,983
Sorry, I should have emphasized that I am not living in Tokyo, but Sendai. So please disregard this as specific advice. In Sendai going east west means heading towards mountains. Heading south means you are hugging the coast. Heading north means you are staying close to the coast, but not quite tracing the coastline.

In principle, there are some nice routes in the north, but you have to suffer through 30–40 km of moderate traffic and traffic lights.
Just doesn't exist east of the Sagami River. Like @gktm says checking Strava for climb segments is a good idea.
A few ideas for 5-minute climbing segments would be the southern climb up to Shiroyama Lake (https://www.strava.com/segments/2755071), this one behind Takao (https://www.strava.com/segments/13974073), and Mimase from the south (https://www.strava.com/segments/12587408).
That’s a good suggestion, hill climb repeats are a staple.
 
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Kanamori2017

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2017
78
37
We have a great route in the Machida area we call Cool Hand Loop. It's got some really good climbs and fast flats, with very little traffic. It is my favorite route these days. All told from my place in Koganei it is 70km. I am sure you can squeeze out 30-40 km if you live in that area. Add more do it twice.

I am on strava if you want to check it out - Allen L (on strava)
Thanks I will check it out.
 
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