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Old 05-09-22, 03:16 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Tokyo, Japan
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Bikes: Elephant Bikes National Forest Explorer, Bike Friday Pocket Rocket

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I did my first Century ride for May on Saturday (190 km with 2464 m of elevation gain, on Strava with pictures). Another is planned for the coming weekend, a 400 km brevet that starts in Machida and first climbs to Yamanakako via Doshi road (Rt413). This was a training ride for it.

I only left around 08:00 because it had been raining earlier in the morning. I brought my rain gear but didn't have to use it. Like on my ride two weeks ago near Ogose I didn't feel in shape for the first couple of hours but the second half of the ride was just fine. I took my first break at a convenience store in Sagamihara, about 2 1/2 hours from the start.

The 2nd major break was at Michi no Eki Doshi, where I had lunch (curry rice with coffee and apple pie for dessert). Doshi village tries to make the most of the publicity gained from the Olympic road race last summer.

The scenery was beautiful. Lots of azalea in bloom and fresh green.

I often stopped for pictures, noticing details that I had not come across before, such as this mask collection by a Doshi resident who backpacked around the world from 1986-1993.

I used my 24T small chain ring a lot. The last part of the Doshi michi climb, especially the last 5 km or so before the tunnel always feels hard but this not being the real event with the clock ticking I took it a bit easier.

About 1.5 km and 100 m of elevation gain before the tunnel I saw a cyclist pushing his road bike. He was really struggling. I think his legs were cramping and he could barely walk. I stopped after passing him and asked if he was alright. He put down his bike and sat on the ground exhausted. He looked young and the bike was a light carbon road bike. Perhaps this was his virgin ride to Yamanakako. I offered him a banana, which he gladly accepted and some words of encouragement for the last part of the climb.

It was quite cool at this elevation. I put on my windbreaker and descended to Yamanakako. I didn't stop at any convenience store there as I still had some food and drinks and took the turn-off to Mikuni. The climb there is not very steep and you can get a good view of the lake and Mt Fuji. This time much of Fuji was obscured by rain clouds (see view at the top). As I climbed higher, I entered the fog, i.e. other clouds. You really couldn't see much at the top but I came across some very late sakura (cherry blossoms) at about 1165 m elevation.

I was glad about my hydraulic disk brakes on the Mikuni descent which gets as steep as 18% in places.

The long descent down to Oyama and beyond was great for recovery. I stopped at a 7-11 in Oyama for food and topped up my bottles with water.

For the return route from Matsuda to Tokyo I followed route 246 and rode it in the dark. It's not a great road but had less traffic than the last few times I rode it. I got home about 15 hours after I set off.

I am now at 117 consecutive months of "Century a Month". Next weekend I'l be riding BRM514 (route on RWGPS). I booked a hotel near the start and will ride out there on Friday night.
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