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Ride VeloViewer tiling in Japan

Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
4,268
2,973
Kudos on the unshaven look
Santa Mode is Activated

Recalculations haven't fixed it so guess I'll have to gain some weight.
Nice try! I'll bring you back a wild goose.

I'm not planning to recalculate any more rides on that site. However, for that coast ride, have you tried both options: Precision and Interpolate? I found that the other one fixed some inconsistencies when the first didn't.

Another solution might be multiple devices, à la DC Rainmaker

how-and-why-i-mount-cycling-gadget-devices-on-my-aerobars-11-thumb.jpg

or me, ten years or so ago...

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Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
4,268
2,973
That video of your exploits, set to Desperado, had me honestly laughing out loud. Were you actually wearing your HFC jersey when you did the tandem jump?
I'm glad you are entertained! Back in September 2009 we were just finishing a HFC group 'Rin-Rin Road' ride at Tsuchiura Station, and I announced that I was planning to ride all the way from home from there: I was training for the Taupo Cycle Challenge a few weeks later in NZ. A couple of friends came up with the first line of the song, and we laughed about it. I spotted that "jitenshas" rhymes with "senses", and we dropped our beers due to uncontrollable giggling. Once there's a silly idea in my head, it won't budge. I couldn't think about much else, and composed most of the rest in my head during my 90 km ride home.

So now I had a shooting script, and for the next several months – especially the NZ trip – I made sure to always have HFC kit and a camera if there was a chance to get a shot I needed. Cajoled the security guards at work into helping with the 'could get detention' sequence. Cajoled the club into literally riding in circles one day. Lance Armstrong's fall from grace in 2012 dates it a little, but I'm quite proud of these four minutes that took so long to assemble.
 
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Kangaeroo

Maximum Pace
Jan 24, 2018
785
917
Santa Mode is Activated


Nice try! I'll bring you back a wild goose.

I'm not planning to recalculate any more rides on that site. However, for that coast ride, have you tried both options: Precision and Interpolate? I found that the other one fixed some inconsistencies when the first didn't.

Another solution might be multiple devices, à la DC Rainmaker

View attachment 28874

or me, ten years or so ago...

View attachment 28876

That was absolutely hilarious! I'm also among those laughing out loud! What a great job! (And you continue to amaze me with yet another string in your bow. How many more talents do you have?). Magnificent creation!
(Incidentally, first time I have ever been able to enjoy an Eagles song)
 

Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
4,268
2,973
Planning a 110 km adventure on the east side of my territory tomorrow. It's easy enough to get to the start - Kandatsu station in Ibaraki is just one stop past Tsuchiura. The finish is a different matter. Motegi station in Tochigi barely sees one train per hour, and depending on timing it takes between 3.5 and 4 hours to get back home. Fortunately I have a good book (The Dark Forest - part two of The "Three-Body Problem" trilogy) to read.

Route seems mostly flat, with a few little mountains. I'm looking forward to this rindō toward the end. It's the only major section that doesn't show up on StreetView.

Google Earth ProSnap 001.jpg
 

Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
4,268
2,973
Got the train at 05.25 :sleep: and then realized too late that I'd forgotten to bring my earplugs. This was bad. I couldn't snooze for all the annoyncements. It wasn't so bad years ago when they were just in Japanese, but my brain insists on registering English. Coffee and a quick breakfast by Kandatsu station, and I hit the road.

The first 40-odd-km were very flat. Early sunshine hadn't yet burnt off the Kasumigaura haze. Lots of empty fields, with mountains away to the west.

20201212-083756-Exploring-Kandatsu-Motegi-Utsunomiya.jpg

My meandering course to collect tiles took in many similar views - either long straight roads between square fields, or twisty ones where the low hills get in the way of geometric perfection.

20201212-090429-Exploring-Kandatsu-Motegi-Utsunomiya.jpg

After a couple of hours I was slowly getting closer to the mountains.

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The first noticeable climb of the day was out-and-back in a valley, ending with an access road to a hiking trail. Not terribly long or steep, compared to others I've done, but it got the blood pumping.

20201212-102846-Exploring-Kandatsu-Motegi-Utsunomiya.jpg

Another climb later on took me past a series of dusty quarries. My original Stravr route would have required me to enter one of these and climb up to the rim of the 'crater'. Fortunately I'd spotted this on a Google Earth review, and made plans to get that tile in a much more sensible way.

20201212-122209-Exploring-Kandatsu-Motegi-Utsunomiya.jpg

...followed shortly by a little track alongside a solar panel 'field'. This was the nearest I came to having to get off and push. Managed to ride it though - dismounting only to turn around at the top. (I was on my racing bike, with 28 mm Conti 5000 tires.)

20201212-123111-Exploring-Kandatsu-Motegi-Utsunomiya.jpg

The 'main event' rindō was fairly humdrum. It exists just to provide logging access, rather than to entertain cyclists, and so mostly surrounded by thick forest. Lots of ups and downs. Didn't see a soul. Just a couple of spots offered a decent view, where trees had been cleared.

20201212-135440-Exploring-Kandatsu-Motegi-Utsunomiya.jpg

Although the pavement is in very good condition, descending wasn't a lot of fun; I had to be constantly wary of slippery black lichen in the middle of the road.

I hadn't known how long all this was going to take. When I stopped to refuel at a 7-Eleven 2 km short of my intended destination, Motegi station, it was only 14.30. So much lovely day left! I cobbled together a route just above the top of my cluster to end at Utsunomiya, where I knew there'd be many more trains than at Motegi, and set off at 15.00. This 53 km jaunt turned out to be rather more hilly - and my legs rather more tired - than I expected. The last hour was ridden in the dark. No photos from that. I arrived at the station 7 minutes before a train that would take me straight home. Yay!

20201212-190339-Exploring-Kandatsu-Motegi-Utsunomiya.jpg

Two rides in one, then. Exploring Kandatsu - Motegi - Utsunomiya 163.5 km, 1,832 m climbing, +86 new tiles

This adds two more 49*49 MaxSquare 'options' on the east; lake Kasumigaura prevents me from getting any more of those, until I go kayaking. Or swimming... I could get the first two I need with a 400-meter dog paddle, but the water doesn't look very inviting. In the west, reclaiming the 'lost tile' will provide another.

NE Corner 2020.gif
 
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joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,988
2,289
I arrived at the station 7 minutes before a train that would take me straight home. Yay!

View attachment 28977

That bicycle picture is out of focus... oh wait!

This adds two more 49*49 MaxSquare 'options' on the east; lake Kasumigaura prevents me from getting any more of those, until I go kayaking. Or swimming... I could get the first two I need with a 400-meter dog paddle, but the water doesn't look very inviting. In the west, reclaiming the 'lost tile' will provide another.

View attachment 28978

I managed to turn my 28x28 with 3 options into a 29x29 with 2 options by doing some tiling (+37T) in the mountains around Nihongi toge and then around Shinrin koen. Ideally I would also have cleared a few rows of tiles on the NE corner of my max square, but I started too late and was too slow and too lazy to do that. Looks like the cluster is up by 80.

I may post a report with pics tomorrow.
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,988
2,289
101 km to collect 37 tiles around the NW corner of my max square (on Strava). As I am expanding further to the north it gets difficult to do rides from and back to Setagaya by bike in a day and still collect larger number of tiles.

At least the recent "Tora-san" expedition was all flat so I could still do that, but for Sunday I wanted to clean up the last parts inside the bow of the Arakawa around the Greenline that I had yet to visit, which involved close to 1,500 m of climbing with some gnarly Wada-like bits. So I put the NFE into the back of the Prius, drove to Michi no Eki Ogawamachi (道の駅 おがわまち) and did the loop from there.

There were three clusters of tiles I had my eyes on: hilly ones near the Greenline, flat-ish ones relatively close to the Michi no Eki and finally flat ones further east (near Kuki). Since I definitely didn't want to run out of daylight in the mountains I decided to do those first, followed by the middle group. No time left for the last group, so will do those another day. Since my Max Square was already lined by an extra row of cleared tiles in the third cluster and the old 28x28 had enough slack to slide east-west by 3, completing the first two clusters gave me all I needed to bump the 28x28 up to 29x29.


Fresh cream omanju from Komatsuyahonten


Cheapest mikan ever

First I headed up two valleys to touch on tiles that didn't need a full climb, before heading up Rt361 / Nihogi toge. On that climb I came across an unattended stall selling mikan for 100 yen a bag. I only had about 145 yen in coins with me, everything else was paper or plastic so it was just as well they were that affordable. They weren't as easy to peel as your average supermarket stuff, but hey, at that price you really can't complain and they tasted great!

I felt less in shape than on most recent rides and stopped often to check maps, take pictures, eat mikan and whatever other excuse presented itself. Once up at the top there was a long and steep descent to the Chichibu side. That's why we have hydraulic disk brakes, right? Some of the scenery there reminded me of alpine foothills. Then a climb back up again further north, this one Wada-ish steep in places :(


Rocks and waterfall

Finally as I came close to the top it levelled out.


Autumn leaves meet bicycle wheel (650B, 32 spokes, handbuilt by GS Astuto)

Above where the Rt140 bypass and toll road crosses the mountain in a tunnel I visited Kamayama jinja. The lights where on inside the shrine but not a soul in sight anywhere on the grounds.


Kamayama jinja


Greenline view

The descent to the Arakawa passed through a nice valley with a few hikers. For the rest of the afternoon I battled the gloomy, windy weather and propped up my soul with comfort food at conbini stops while checking off tile after tile. There were so many golf courses that I either crossed or rode next to, I later counted fourteen of them listed on the Strava map for the ride! Thanks to the 1980s bubble era, I guess. Anyway, there was very little climbing in the second half of the ride, which was very welcome after the Greenline climbs.

I got back to the car without problems, loaded the bike and changed into my other shoes. Then I called my mother in law to let her know I was in the area (half an hour by car). We had some coffee and cake (a takeout from Cafe Kranz, Kitasakado) at her place before I drove back to Tokyo.
 
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joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,988
2,289
lake Kasumigaura prevents me from getting any more of those, until I go kayaking. Or swimming... I could get the first two I need with a 400-meter dog paddle, but the water doesn't look very inviting.
I have access to a rubber dinghy, just saying. It's probably not the most efficient boat out there, but it works.
 

Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
4,268
2,973
I have access to a rubber dinghy, just saying. It's probably not the most efficient boat out there, but it works.
Kind offer! Would it be practical to carry it by bicycle? I've seen some inflatable kayaks, but even packed-up they are rather unwieldy - essentially need a trailer, although that could be kinda fun.
 

Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
4,268
2,973
A kind offer of a place to crash from a friend of a friend led to a couple of days cleaning up tiles in the very south end of Chiba's Bōsō Peninsula, with said friend and new friend who doesn't use Strava but definitely knows how to ride - he kicked our butts on the climbs, of which there were many.

tateyama.gif

Monday: Exploring Tateyama (+14T) 62 km, 623 m
Tuesday: Exploring Kamogawand back again (+27T) 93.4 km, 913 m

There are still some substantial gaps in my Chiba coverage, but I'll fill them up in due course.

Mostly paved. Only a few diversions from the beaten track got muddy. Although the forecast was for light rain most of the riding hours on Monday, it stopped by the time we got there and started riding, and stayed stopped all day.

20201228-112955-Exploring-Tateyama-cc-2-days.jpg
A moderately muddy rindō.


20201228-120401-Exploring-Tateyama-cc-2-days.jpg
A moment after taking this photo of bee hives, my front wheel fell into a drainage ditch and I crashed quite spectacularly. No harm done except to the skin of my left shin.


20201228-121559-Exploring-Tateyama-cc-2-days.jpg
This mountainside used to be at the bottom of the sea, according to the nearby information board. It was one of the local geological points of interest we were unable to visit on a group ride in October.


20201228-123707-Exploring-Tateyama-cc-2-days.jpg
Southernmost tip of dry land in Chiba. Next stop due south - Papua New Guinea.

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For Monday's lunch we fortuitously stumbled across Bluto's restaurant, at Shirahama Club hotel. A rather idiosyncratic establishment, with an ISO 30' container on the roof painted as a French tricoleur and a classic Ducati 996 in the toilet. The food was great... very much worth the very short diversion.

20201228-150525-Exploring-Tateyama-cc-2-days.jpg
As diversions go, the next tile-grabbing exercise was a little frustrating. The 'road' on the route became a swamp. Another unmapped access road got us into the tile, but not over the mountain, so we rerouted. Only after finishing did we realize that we'd left a lonely tile on the other side o_O.


20201228-154759-Exploring-Tateyama-cc-2-days.jpg
In blissful ignorance, believing that all the planned tiles for the day were collected, we spent the last hour of sunlight visiting Tateyama Castle and park...


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...followed by a dash to Tateyama Sunset Pier for the obvious.

Tuesday's ride was a lot longer and harder, and resulted in far fewer photographs. The main 'adventure', per se, was a steep rindō clearly marked as closed to traffic 通行止. There was lots of evidence of excellent reconstruction work, but no workers were in evidence - presumably they were enjoying a year-end holiday - and we were able to pass without incident.


20201229-100707-Exploring-Tateyama-cc-2-days.jpg
Most of the scenery was like this - fallow or late-crop rice fields. Many farmers were burning-off their surplus rice straw, which [cough-cough] added to the fun. (The straw can be reprocessed in several ways, including making biogas, if they'd only try. Grrr...)

After a tiring morning, the afternoon riding along the coast and then cutting across back to Tateyama was flat and fast and fun. Even the 10-km diversion to reclaim the carelessly-omitted tile from the previous day was OK, and just after that we stumbled upon a stall selling peanut ice cream. How splendid to sit outside eating ice cream in 17ºC weather on 29th December!

I suppose that's all the new tiles I will collect this year. Expansion of my MaxSquare in Gunma must wait for warmer days - probably March/April at the earliest.
 

Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
4,268
2,973
Well, that was 2020 for tiling.

At the end of 2019, I believed my MaxSquare to be 49*49. That turned out to be 'fake' due to a Veloviewer false-positive lonely tile, and my real score was 36*36. The problem was rectified a few weeks ago by my longest ride of 2020, to collect a single errant tile. So 49*49 was restored, and the MaxSquare is plump for expansion in 2021.

I haven't done much commuting on my bicycle this year. That wasn't exactly deliberate; coronavirus and fatigue from staffing pressures at work had me using my motorcycle each day instead. However, the rides I have done this year have been wonderful adventures, mostly in search of new places (and their tiles).

Where shall I go next...?

2020 vs 2019.gif
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,988
2,289
This adds two more 49*49 MaxSquare 'options' on the east; lake Kasumigaura prevents me from getting any more of those, until I go kayaking. Or swimming... I could get the first two I need with a 400-meter dog paddle, but the water doesn't look very inviting.

If I ask Shintaro nicely, I am sure he will let us borrow the rubber dinghy.

1609620420462.png
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,988
2,289
Mission accomplished: 31 by 31

All it took was a 200 km ride in January with temperatures down to -2 C ;)

Any increase from there will involve some hiking in the Tanzawa mountains and/or Okutama, so it may not happen so soon.
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,988
2,289
I'm up to 32 by 32! (Ride on Strava with pictures)

My previous Max Square could slide up and down as I had cleared enough extra tiles at the top, but on its western boundary there was only one tile that blocked expansion. So my mission today was to grab that tile and the one west of it. On top of that I also cleared 4 tiles near Uenohara, then rode home again after sunset.
 

Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
1,041
1,137
@joewein Wow! You've really knocked out the tiles. In 2020, due to the tile 'recomputing' error, I'm down from 31 to something like 23x23. Just one more reason 2020 sucked. But you seem to have the tiling bug good and proper. Are you going to try to expand up into the Saitama metropolitan sprawl area and give Mike a run for his money?
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,988
2,289
@joewein Wow! You've really knocked out the tiles. In 2020, due to the tile 'recomputing' error, I'm down from 31 to something like 23x23. Just one more reason 2020 sucked. But you seem to have the tiling bug good and proper. Are you going to try to expand up into the Saitama metropolitan sprawl area and give Mike a run for his money?
@Karl, I know I will never catch up with @Half-Fast Mike but knowing your (former) Max Square and that you will reclaim it and in due course expand it has added a competitive element.

I thought I'd never be interested in the Kanto plain tiling, but having sampled some of the area because it was the easiest way to let my Max Square grow, I actually found it more appealing than I expected. Not as appealing that I would organise group rides there, but there are always things to discover if you look for them, even if it's just experiencing the seasons or a local sunset.

Mike's Max Square borders Tokyo Bay to the south. Mine still borders it to the east. That means rather soon the tiling efforts will mean serious hiking in the west or a lot of tiling to the north and east to just shift the Max Square to north of Tokyo bay without growing it much.
 
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