Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

2017 Century-A-Month Club

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Old 04-30-17, 11:27 PM
  #26  
Gaelen
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Finished up April's earlier today. It was super windy all day so I cruised the MUP a few times for the sake of having shelter from the wind and being close to town in case anything happened.

7:35 minutes moving time.
13.3 average mph.
29.7 mph top speed.
100.38 miles altogether.
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Old 05-03-17, 12:49 AM
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joining up late! did a century in january https://www.strava.com/activities/849926116
ran out of daylight so took the train the last 30+ miles home in addition to taking it to los angeles.

knocked out 3 centuries in 3 days here in april. two on a little cycling vacuum up in paso robles, ca
area and another in los angeles on a really windy day.

https://www.strava.com/activities/956735291
https://www.strava.com/activities/958298977
https://www.strava.com/activities/959596554

guess i'm back on track. prefer to do 2 centuries a month so i've got some catching up to do.
caught the century bug again.
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Old 05-05-17, 08:32 AM
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Month #57 of "A Century A Month" complete!



About once a year I do a ride known as the "Ome Temple Loop", as it starts from Ome to the west of Tokyo and passes numerous temples in the mountains of Saitama prefecture. It's pretty hilly: I accumulated 2,700 m (9,000 ft) of climbing over 190 km (118 mi). There is one climb that goes uphill for about 8 km (5 mi) and gradually gets steeper and steeper, peaking at over 20% just before you get to the top.

This year I actually did this loop twice, once on the last Saturday in April (my third April century) and this week on Thursday for my May century. Each time I was joined by someone who had not done the course before, but we all survived



On both days I got up at 05:00, left home at 06:15 and arrived in Ome, 47 km from home around 08:50. Both my friends arrived by train. We stocked up on food and water and headed into the hills. The area is very rural. We cycled through many rural valleys. We stopped in front of one house and got talking to its owner, a sculptor and retired art professor from Kyoto university.

For my May loop the weather was warmer and sunnier than last weekend. On Saturday it had actually started raining and even hailing, but on Thursday it remained warm and dry throughout the day.



The main temple we visited has an unusual collection of footwear, including oversize straw sandals, huge geta (wooden clogs) and a 2 m long high heeled shoe.



After numerous climbs and descents and not many cars on most of these roads we got back to Ome a little before 18:00. From there I cycled home to Tokyo alone for another three hours.

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Old 05-06-17, 05:24 AM
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Saturday -- We completed our May PYRR (Petite Year Round Randonneur) and our May CAM Challenge all in one ride!

Our high temperature reached about 16C ... the low was about 4C along the Derwent River as the mist rolled down the river. No wonder my feet felt a nip of cold as we cycled there.

The forecast predicted a lot of rain, and we went prepared, but we only had about 20 km of light rain on the way back.

And wind ... the forecast predicted fairly strong N/NW wind which would have meant we we would have had a headwind all the way out. But we didn't. I just checked the last 24-hours, and somehow we managed to dodge the wind!

It was relatively calm when we set off at 8 am, but about 10:30 am in our start location, the wind came up and was strong for 2 or 3 hours. However, we were past the area where the wind was, and it remained relatively calm all the way out. Then we turned, and almost the moment we turned the wind came up behind us, along with quite a bit of rain, but it was settled where we were the whole day!!!

The start and end of the ride were in a familiar location but the middle section of the ride was relatively new to me. We have been there, but not on bicycles and not frequently. It's a really pretty part of Tasmania ... especially in autumn.


Distance: 163.3 km
Elevation: 1,016 m
Moving Time: 8:51:34
Elapsed Time: 9:38:46
Speed: Avg: 18.4 km/h | Max: 48.6 km/h










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Old 05-06-17, 05:29 AM
  #30  
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I might have missed posting the April Century ...

http://www.bikeforums.net/19521294-post22.html
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Old 05-31-17, 08:58 PM
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Last day of the month, so, I rode a century!

Total ride time: 7:14 minutes.
Distance: 100.4 miles
Average speed: 13.8 mph
Max speed said 75.5 mph, lol, definitely not!
The highest temperature said 103, but, I checked the weather and it said it only got up to 89, it definitely seemed hotter than that.

Until next month!
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Old 05-31-17, 09:59 PM
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May is done.
Jan 2017 - "Tour De Cape" in Cape Coral FL
Feb 2017 - Solo century, 40 degree F, Illinois-Wisconsin
Mar 2017 - "Giordana Gran Fondo Florida", San Antonio FL
Apr 2017 - Another local century (Chicago IL)
May 2017 - YET ANOTHER local, solo century (Chicago IL)

Once again, great plans go to waste. Took my bike to Northern Minnesota for a cool century over Memorial Day weekend, and it lightning and thundered for 2 days. So didnt happen. Came back to Illinois and knocked out the century today. 50 miles in the morning, did some work from home, then another 50 miles at the end of the work day.

Surely I'll get my act together for a proper organized century in June.
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Old 06-09-17, 05:36 PM
  #33  
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On Wednesday I rode 163 km for me to ensure I have a century for CAM month #58. I had gone on a business trip towards the end of May and got back on Sunday (6/4). I was due to leave for another trip on the following Friday, leaving only the last 9 days of the June for rides. June being the rainy season in Tokyo, I didn't want to take too many chances and decided to head out mid-week in the 4 day break between the two business trips (I think I'll spend pretty much the whole month jet-lagged! :-( )

I posted the Wednesday ride the day before in a closed cycling group, in case anybody wanted to join me. I got one taker and we arranged to meet up at a bridge over the Tamagawa river at 06:40 in the morning. He was an ironman triathlete who had no problems with the distance, but wasn't so familiar with the routes where I was heading, so it was great for him to explore new territory, see new views and learn new routes.

We headed out to Doshi village in a mountain valley on Rt413 on the way to Yamanakako (Lake Yamanaka) at the foot of Mt Fuji. We weren't going all the way to the lake, only to the Road Station beyond the village. I've made it a tradition to stop there for coffee and cresson cake (watercress cake). We actually spotted one of the ponds where they cultivate the watercress in the valley. I like the valley for its rural scenery and it usually doesn't have much traffic.

I rode basically the same route for my first century ride I did on my then new Elephant Bikes NFE in February 2016

We stopped a couple of times for pictures. We also stopped for a cup of coffee and some food at convenience stores on the way out and on the way back (nowadays you can find freshly brewed coffee for under $1 at most Japanese convenience stores). We also had some warm lunch at the Road Station, besides the coffee and cake and talked quite a lot. So overall it was a pretty relaxed ride.

On the way back I rode more of a brevet pace, with few stops. Since Doshi was the highest point of the route, much of the return was extended downhills and we made good time. My friend didn't have lights on his bike, but there was never any worry it would get dark before we got back.

For the last hour or so I did not pick the most direct return route, otherwise I would have staid slightly under a century distance. We got to ride together a bit further than our meeting point in the morning.

I'll be doing a bike tour of Lisbon (Portugal) this weekend and next week I'll be able to ride with my younger brother in Germany. So even though I won't be doing that much distance this month because of business travel, there'll be some variety beyond the century ride.

Two more months and I'll have done 5 straight years of one century a month :-)

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Old 06-25-17, 11:40 PM
  #34  
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Got our June century in!!

http://www.bikeforums.net/long-dista...donnees-2.html
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Old 06-30-17, 10:59 PM
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I got my ride in yesterday, 108 miles, 7.5 hours moving time. 13.8 mph.
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Old 07-02-17, 02:35 PM
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Saturday 01 July -- Canada Day!

We cycled our first Canada Day Populaire ... 150 km for Canada's 150th birthday.

There were about 600 riders on this event which ran throughout the lower mainland BC. We got some hills, some flat, lots of wind and lots of sun!

And then we cycled a bit more to get our century.

Distance: 161.5km
Elevation: 1270 metres
Moving Time: 7:49:22
Elapsed Time: 9:06:31
Speed: Avg: 20.6km/h | Max: 50.8km/h


It's been a busy couple weeks!

The goals we completed:

1. We successfully completed yet another Petite Year Round Randonneur cycling distance, making this the 9th month in a row.

2. We successfully completed yet another Century (100 mile) ride, making this the 7th month in a row for that.

And as a bonus, we did two long rides (the 213 km ride last weekend and the 161 km ride this weekend) in Canada with a club I have ridden with in the past, and got to see several people I knew back then.
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Old 07-10-17, 02:43 AM
  #37  
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On Saturday I rode my first century of the month, 171 km (106 mi) with 1900 m (6200 ft) of elevation gain. The weekend before I could only go for a ride on Sunday afternoon, leaving only enough time for a metric century. With Saturday's ride, I am now up to 59 consecutive months of "A Century A Month."

A friend had announced a ride in the mountains that included a forest road I had never tried, plus a canyon with a waterfall that looked interesting. I set off early to make sure I wouldn't be late for the meeting at 08:45 some 45 km from home, but ended up making it there so early, I was almost an hour ahead of schedule. So I messaged my friend that I was going to meet him on the course and then headed to a cafe nearby for breakfast. From there I headed up the first climbs. It starts in a rural mountain valley and the trees offered welcome shade in what was going to be a very hot day.

After the last village the road turns into a closed forest road, with no vehicle traffic. It also gets pretty steep (15-18%). I only encountered 3 other bicycles on the whole climb, which I took slowly. The normal climb to the pass that is also open to cars and motorcycles is "only" 12-15%. Once at the top of the forest road, it descends again a little, then turns into a gravel path for a few hundred meters before finally joining the main road at Wada pass.



At the little refreshment place at the pass I was greeted by my friend Byron, who had made the climb on the main road and was just about to head down to the train station again. I told him about my friends' ride and soon they arrived behind us. He decided to join us for an unspecified portion of our planned route. Every time we came to a split in the road where he could have bailed out, he decided to stick with us. In the end he rode with us the whole day, including all the new bits to discover and explore!

First we bought some cool drinks and water and rested a bit, then we descended the west side of Wada pass while a team of high school girls was racing up the mountain on their bikes. In this heat every bit of tree cover was welcome, to escape the sun. The Sky was blue and the temperature was well into the 30s (C) from the morning.

Following a rural backroad we made our way to a local restaurant run by a local farmers' cooperative. The food was really inexpensive and the shop next door sold ice cream bars from the freezer.



It was a bit hard to get rolling again after lunch, but we made our way up a lengthy climb with a long tunnel at the top. The temperature inside the tunnel, which was over a km long, was very refreshing and the long sweeping descent on the other side exhilarating.

At the T-junction at the bottom, Byron again abandoned an easy return downhill to the station and climbed 4 km on the main road with us, then another 4 km of forest road, some of it quite steep. He had not done much serious climbing all year so he was feeling it in his legs, but this was the last major climb. The descent on the other side was fun. However, a part of the descent was unsurfaced. We were rolling over a bed of washed-out gravel. Some of us dismounted and ran next to their bikes to not risk their tires, but I took advantage of my 650Bx42 tires and went as fast as I safely could, getting ahead of everyone to take pictures as they all arrived at the bottom.

After about 10 km downhill on the main road we took a brief detour up another valley and again Byron joined us. Two km up the road we came to a small car park, behind which there was a canyon with waterfalls.



Some aluminium ladders, steps made from rebar and chains anchored in the cliff face to hold onto made it possible to hike up the canyon. We splashed in the cool water. One of us went for a swim. It was great!

Together we headed down to Musashiitsukaichi train station, where my friends got on a train back to Tokyo. I cycled the last 45 km back home. I saw the sunset on the Tamagawa river and the red full moon rise on the other side. I got home tired but satisfied.

I think this summer I will look for some more of these small mountain valleys with waterfalls, limestone caves and other spots off the beaten track.

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Old 08-01-17, 03:52 PM
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The weather yesterday was perfect for riding, unseasonably cool and overcast, very nice.
Next month's century will be the Hotter n Hell Hundred. I'm more than excited. Until then!

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Old 08-07-17, 01:43 AM
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With Saturday's ride, 60 consecutive months (5 years) of "A Century A Month" are now complete!



August is the peak typhoon season. We can have pouring rain any time. On Saturday it was mostly overcast, but I never felt a raindrop. Meanwhile, Yakushima island, where I had been hiking the weekend before, was being battered by the storm, with power outages. It had taken my legs 4 complete days to recover from the 11 hour hike to Jomon Sugi, the 7000 year old tree in the center of the island, but I felt OK on Saturday.

I was going to do a loop through the mountains of Saitama west of Tokyo and announced it in a closed Facebook ride planning group the day before, but nobody decided to join me, so I felt a bit more adventurous and changed the course to try out a mountain road I had never done before.

Normally when I cycle to Chichibu I take the Yamabushi Toge pass (about 600 m / 2,000 ft elevation), but this time I took the turn-off for Arima dam, planning to climb to Arima Toge pass (about 1,100 m / 3,600 ft), then descend to Urayama dam. There were very few cars and almost no bicycles.

I had not downloaded the route to my Navi2Coach GPS and the route was mostly out of cell phone reach. At one campground I followed what I thought was the main road. After several km of climbing there was a barrier across the road but I slipped the bike underneath. A guy walking his dogs there asked me if I was going to climb here. "Yes, to the pass and down to the dam the other side," I replied.



But as I continued I encountered another barrier, behind which the road turned to dirt and gravel. And that dirt was wet, which made it so slippery that often it was impossible to start after a stop because the rear wheel would slip on the steep climb. I would have to push to a shallower part to remount the bike. This continued for a few km until I finally hit a spot with mobile phone reception again. According to the map, I was still 14 km (9 mi) from the pass at basically walking speeds on a very sketchy road. I decided I must have taken a wrong turn and turned back. Descending on the wet mud and gravel was a bit easier, at least I didn't have to get off and walk.



Back near the last camp ground I checked the map again and found where I had gone wrong. In total I did about 8 km (5 mi) of detour with about an extra 350 m (1,200 ft) of climbing. It was another 11 km (7 mi) to the pass, most of it at about 9%. Once I reached 1000 m it kind of leveled off, but there were no views. The pass was stuck in the clouds, which looked like fog from close-up.



I put on my wind breaker because it got a little cool, especially in my sweat-soaked jersey. At the other side it was a pretty comfortable 18 km (11 mi) descent, still with virtually no traffic. I reached Urayama lake and followed the road through a tunnel to the dam. I washed my upper body at the public restrooms next to the dam, then descended into Chichibu.

Welcome back to convenience store land, with hot coffee and all kinds of food!

Looking at how much distance I had covered so far (105 km) and the time, I decided that my original route back to Tokyo or a flatter but longer alternative both would take me far into the night. So I decided to head back via Yamabushi toge, the pass on which I had originally planned to ride here. It was my most predictable route back.

I made it back to Oume on the outskirts of Tokyo before sunset, from there it was another three hours until home. I got back at 21:45 and picked up a curry at the local Nepalese take-out before I rolled up to my front door, with 200 km (124 mi) for the day.
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Old 08-20-17, 10:18 PM
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Saturday 19 August -- Rowan and I travelled to the north of the state with the intention of starting ... and perhaps finishing ... a 400 km. We weren't sure if we'd complete the 400 because we haven't been well in recent weeks, and haven't done nearly enough cycling recently ... so we figured it might be a bit of a struggle.

Also, while this weekend presented us with sunshine during the day, it was not at all warm. Shortly after we started, Rowan's thermometer read -1.8C and the high reached 12C for a little while. Tonight it is supposed to drop below freezing again with frost.

So, we started the 400 km, and covered the part of the route I really wanted to ride ... a section we've driven but have never ridden. And it is beautiful! The route twists and turns and climbs a little and has some flat sections, and presents riders with a lovely view of the Great Western Tiers which are topped with snow at this time of year.

All up, we covered 183.8 km and I really enjoyed the ride. I was so pleased to be able to do that distance, and had fun out there!


Also ... when we reached 157 km, Rowan and I decided to go out for dinner to celebrate our anniversary (it's next week). Evil Rowan made the booking for 6 pm, which gave us an hour and a quarter to cover the last 27 km, a quarter hour to get ready and half an hour to get there. We made it! I can move briskly when there's Mexican food at stake.

To be fair to Rowan, he did try to get a booking for later, but this place is popular and busy and 6 pm was the only time we could get in.


Distance 183.8 km
Elevation: 1256 metres
Moving Time 9:02
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Old 08-23-17, 08:15 PM
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Jun, Jul & Aug Centuries

Jan 2017 - "Tour De Cape" in Cape Coral FL
Feb 2017 - Solo century, 40 degree F, Illinois-Wisconsin
Mar 2017 - "Giordana Gran Fondo Florida", San Antonio FL
Apr 2017 - Another local century (Chicago IL)
May 2017 - YET ANOTHER local, solo century (Chicago IL)
Jun 2017 - Swedish Days Fox Valley Ride
Jul 2017 - Silver Comet Trail - 200k Smyrna GA to Alabama and back
Aug 2017 - Solo Boundary waters century

I've been knocking out the centuries as prescribed

Since my last update I've done June, July and August:
June - https://www.strava.com/activities/1053968903
Swedish Days organized ride. Signed up for the 200k. Such a windy day that it was frankly dangerous to be out there. The ride had some loops that allowed me to bail on a 20 mile redundant loop near the end, and make it a more traditional 102 miles instead of 200k. I actually lost my love of cycling out there at around mile 70, just getting badly beaten up by the wind and fearing for my life. The highlight was seeing a tractor that I could have readily ridden under. I wish I took a photo but found this online. I swear the one I saw was even larger!


July - https://www.strava.com/activities/1096594660
Not wanting to be defeated by the failed 200k in June, I set out to do my 200k in Georgia on my favorite cycling trail. If you havent done it, you have to ride the Silver Comet from Smyrna. I went a couple miles into Alabama and turned around. I bonked at about mile 80, but had a wonderful last 12 miles through a constant thunderstorm. Had never ridden in a storm like that - dark, with continous loud cracking thunder while being drenched as if in a shower. So peaceful. Had hit 100 degrees F before the storm, then dropped to 65! Almost makes me want to ride in a storm again.

August - https://www.strava.com/activities/1120738653
On our typical summer vacation in Ely, MN in the boundary waters canoe area, I jumped on my bike and knocked out 100m.


Upcoming planned trips are:
Sep: St Charles MO - Ride the Rivers
Oct: Ottawa IL - Pumpkin Pie ride
Nov: Tuscon AZ - Tour De Tuscon

Anybody know a good December century or Fondo? Very few I can see online.
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Old 08-30-17, 03:53 PM
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Hotter N Hell 100

Woo hoo! August's century was the locally held Hotter N Hell 100. We had a little more than 12,000 riders participate, I think a quarter of that number did the century. Hurricane Harvey ensured that the weather was mild all weekend, a little anticlimactic for something named Hotter N Hell, but lovely weather for a bike ride. I really pushed myself this time out because it was so cool and overcast for most of the day and, there were rest stops and 30 SAG wagons in case I went to hard. In the end it paid off because I set a PR at 6:49. I didn't take many pics out on the route, just one selfie with a Roy Rogers cutout and one with my bike in the background. All in all it was a great weekend with a large consumer/trade show, criteriums on friday night and sunday morning, mountain bike races friday morning and afternoon, the endurance ride and USAC road race on Saturday, and a 10k run Sunday morning, so, lots for everybody to do and I highly recommend riding next year if anybody has the opportunity.





Art bikes courtesy of the Bike Zoo


The wings on this flapped as it was pedaled.





See y'all next month!
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Old 09-02-17, 05:47 AM
  #43  
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Got September done:

http://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycli...ber-2-3-a.html
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Old 09-05-17, 08:52 PM
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On Monday I did my century ride (171 km with 1600 m of elevation gain) for CAM month #61.

I cycled to Nanayono-taki, a set of waterfalls in the mountains, about 60 km from here, then over Nokogiri, a mountain pass on a forest road. The latter was supposed to be closed to traffic due to logging work, but I managed to slip through.

The waterfall was at the end of a remote mountain valley. Not many cyclists go there because the road is a dead end, you go out and have to come back and a lot of cyclists prefer loop courses. Also, part of the route was on gravel, which road cyclists on skinny tires tend to be afraid of.

The waterfall was a ten minute hike from the end of the road. It was a bit of a challenge in my SPD cleat shoes.

The last couple of km of road were fairly steep, 10% and more.



The descent back gave me a chance to properly bed it my recently swapped resin brake pads and rotors. Now they're silent and grippy, just like the front brake. I love the Shimano hydraulic brakes.

For the logging operation near Nokogiri pass they run steel cables across the valley from one tree to another to lift felled trees off the slopes. The end points are secured to tree stumps with multiple cables.



It was my first climb of Nokogiri. I had heard the road was in bad condition and you should only climb it from the Okutama side to the Hinohara side (north to south). Indeed the north side I descended on was rougher than the fairly well maintained south side, with exposed gravel in some places and debris in others, but it was far from the worst road I had recently cycled on. On my wide Compass tires it really wasn't an issue.

I want to explore more of these dead-end mountain valleys, with their temples and shrines, water falls and limestone caves, plus the odd gravel road. The Elephant NFE is more than enough bike for it
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Old 09-05-17, 08:54 PM
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P.S. Probably due to the large size pictures posted by a previous poster in this thread, I have to scroll horizontally to see the "Submit Reply" button on the web interface. Uploading images in a size no greater than an ordinary screen not only saves memory on the server, it also helps other forum users
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Old 10-02-17, 07:47 AM
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Sep & Oct complete

Knocked off both Sep & Oct in one weekend.

Jan 2017 - "Tour De Cape" in Cape Coral FL
Feb 2017 - Solo century, 40 degree F, Illinois-Wisconsin
Mar 2017 - "Giordana Gran Fondo Florida", San Antonio FL
Apr 2017 - Another local century (Chicago IL)
May 2017 - YET ANOTHER local, solo century (Chicago IL)
Jun 2017 - Swedish Days Fox Valley Ride
Jul 2017 - Silver Comet Trail - 200k Smyrna GA to Alabama and back
Aug 2017 - Solo Boundary waters century
Sep 2017 - Ride The Rivers, St Louis MO
Oct 2017 - Pumpkin Pie Ride, Ottawa IL

SEPTEMBER - RIDE THE RIVERS

First up on Saturday was the Ride The Rivers which started in St Charles MO. Took ferries across the Mississippi into Illinois, and then another ferry to cross the Illinois River. Last 20 miles went through the streets of St Louis. Nice ride with one major setback - EVERYBODY was getting lost. At least, those that were not local. The GPS map I had downloaded was from the previous year, in which they rode the route the other direction (counter-clockwise instead of clockwise). So that didnt work. And then the street markings were not-so-great and not-very-frequent.

The upshot of the ride was that, because of the ferry boat river crossings, it meant that riders ended up congregating, which led to being able to team up with folks more readily. I put down some good speed early on in a couple groups. Unfortunately, due to worng turns and city stop/go traffic, and some technical sections, my average speed was the worst of the year.



OCTOBER - PUMPKIN PIE RIDE

After finishing up in St Louis, I jumped in the car and drove 4 hours to Ottawa, just in enough time to grab dinner and get some sleep. Surprisingly, my legs felt fine.

The Pumpkin Pie ride was an interesting format - basically 4 separate loops that shared the same rest stop, which meant that it was well stocked with good facilities, including potato soup and sloppy joes!

Only frustration was that much of the last 50 miles was into a strong headwind. Not to mention my legs finally began to feel the efforts of the previous day.

And yes - another tractor picture - this guy was coming at me taking up the entire road! (I pulled over)



Next up - November I'll be in Arizona for the Tour De Tuscon. Anybody have a good organized December century?
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Old 10-03-17, 01:27 PM
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Flat tire 38 minutes into the ride, in the rain. My bike computer got too wet and turned itself off at mile 86, it dried out and came back to life, it will continue to be used for the rest of the year, but, an upgrade sounds like a fine xmas gift to myself.

Other than that it was a boring (straight) route going through flat farmland. All in all a fun day out in the rain.
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Old 10-21-17, 12:16 AM
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I was away on a business trip that included the first two weekends of the month. A few days after I got back it started raining. One wet, cold and miserable day after another! The next weekend was washed out again. Finally, the forecast for Wednesday looked better, then after that more rain! So I seized the day and decided to do a century ride so my legs wouldn't turn rusty.

I announced the ride in a private Facebook group and got some interest from my friend Peter. We arranged to meet at Musashiitsukaichi station at 09:00. I got up at 05:00, aiming to leave by 06:00 but by the time I made it out of the door I was running 20 minutes late. It was a gorgeous day, blue sky and sunny. I loved it!

About 20 km from home, outside a public restroom near the Tamagawa river I met another cyclist. Ko had been transferred to Tokyo by his company while his family lived in Sendai. This is pretty typical for large Japanese companies. Many employees spend weeks and weeks away from their spouses, for years on end. He had been exploring various routes around Tokyo and was on his way to Tomin no Mori in the mountains, the same same place I was heading for. So he decided to join me.

We met up with Peter at a convenience store across the street from the station and had some coffee and food. Then the three of us set off for the mountains. Peter had done the least amount of cycling recently and he fell behind, but we waited for him at various junctions. I talked to Ko in Japanese and to Peter in English, as neither was very confident in the other language.

The Tomin no Mori hiking trailhead is at close to 1000 m (3300 ft) of elevation. The last 8 km of the 30 or so km from the station are the steepest. Ko followed me until we were 4 km from the top, then pulled ahead. We had some food together outside the trailhead shop and exchanged Facebook contacts. Peter caught up with us soon. Ko decided to head back down to the station again, while Peter and I would ride on to Kazahari Toge, the pass at a bit over 1100m (3600 ft). By now it was overcast and chilly at this elevation. We all wore our windbreakers.

After a couple of km Peter and I reached the pass and started our descent from the highest point of our route. Almost all of the next 50 km were downhill, starting with a fast descent to Lake Okutama. On the way down I pulled into one of the car parks with view point. I saw about a dozen photographers with cameras on tripods and huge telephoto lenses lined up at the fence overlooking the lake. I asked one of them what they were taking pictures of and he just replied: "Taka", a Japanese word I wasn't familiar with.

I resumed my descent and met up with Peter near the bottom of the 12 km descent to Lake Okutama. Together we followed the road around the lake, over colourful bridges and through many tunnels.

As we exited one of the tunnels between Lake Okutama and Okutama station along the Tamagawa river, I noticed a man sitting on the ground by the side of the road. On his gloved left hand sat a large bird of prey, a falcon. This is what the mysterious "taka" (鷹) turned out to be! Apparently, Okutama town had been a popular location for falconry by noblemen back in the Edo era. Since the Meiji era commoners could also pursue the sport.

Peter decided not to get on a train at Okutama station. Instead we rode together another 20 km or so mostly downhill to Ome station, where we parted. Another three hours later I got home, with 180 km for the day. CAM month #62 complete! :-)

The next day it was raining again and it's still raining this weekend, but the forecast looks better next week.

My first century in November will probably be the traditional "Nichitsu Ghost Town ride", a very scenic autumn leaves viewing ride near an abandoned mining town in the mountains west of Chichibu.

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Old 10-21-17, 04:43 AM
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Saturday -- Rowan and I got our October Century today. Getting that century this month was a bit of a challenge because both of us have become quite a bit busier than we had imagined we would be ... and somewhere along the way we realised that we needed to get it done this weekend because we won't have an opportunity next weekend.

Next we had to decide where we wanted to ride. We've been doing centuries in northern Tasmania or in Canada lately, but this one would have to be done in the Hobart area, where it isn't particularly flat. We picked a century route Rowan had designed and which we rode several months ago as a Permanent. But we weren't riding this one as a Permanent because we didn't want the time limit.

It has been 7 weeks since we've ridden a century, and we haven't done a lot of longer rides in those 7 weeks so we just wanted to make it through.

The route was more or less an out and back from Hobart to Maydena, and back.

Although the temperature reached 19C in Hobart, it was only 13C up at Maydena. And it was windy with quite a strong west wind gusting up around 45 km/h. We encountered a bit of mist up near Maydena but it was pretty much dry for the rest of the ride.

To distract us from the wind, the scenery was beautiful. It's spring here, so everything is green. We topped one particular hill and were presented with a gorgeous view of the green valley and hills ... and a rainbow off to one side.

There were also quite a number of animals out and about ... mostly domestic, but not all. There are wild hens, geese, black swans, cockatoos, plovers, and an eagle. And also cows, sheep and chickens ... including a flock of chickens who were milling about the road and in no hurry to actually cross until we were almost on top of them.

The Stats
Distance: 164.0 km
Elevation: 1,301 m
Moving Time: 8:59:19
Elapsed Time: 10:05:06
Speed: Avg: 18.3 km/h | Max: 52.6 km/h


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Old 10-31-17, 08:50 AM
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On Friday I rode a second century this month, just before the last typhoon passed through. When I rode in the mountains, there was the smell of resin everywhere from branches that had been broken off by the strong winds of the previous typhoon. A lot of the forest roads were covered in carpets of pine needles and small branches.

The rice harvest is virtually over. We still saw some farmers finishing off the harvest in a race against time, as rain was forcast for the next two days.



I rode through 62 km of mostly urban roads in Tokyo and Saitama prefecture to Tokigawa, a small town at the foot of the mountains. From there Peter and I started climbing up route 172 to Shiraishi pass and the Dodaira Observatory.



This was my second visit to this location, but the first from the west side (Tokigawa). Previously I had climbed from the east (Chichibu). The observatory was built there 55 years ago because of the remoteness of the location and hence the relative absence of light pollution from street lights. Unlike my previous visit the sky was clear this time and I enjoyed views of faraway mountains, including some mountains in Chichibu I am planning to visit next weekend.

From Shiraishi Pass we followed the Greenline (a ridge road) south to Kabasaka Pass, a route I had not done before. Previously I had always approached Kabasaka Pass from the south. On the weekend there's usually a guy there selling freshly brewed coffee out of the back of his mini van parked at the parking lot, but not on a Friday.

After taking pictures at the pass sign and putting on all of our jackets, Peter and I descended to near route 299. From there Peter caught a train home while I climbed to Shomaru pass.

At the turn-off to the pass I met an old man sweeping the road with a broom. It seemed a bit pointless, with another storm forecast for the weekend, but in a way it was very Shinto: The traditional Japanese folk religion puts a lot of emphasis on cleanliness. I recognized the man: a few years earlier I had passed the same road on a hot July day, with both of my bidons empty, and he let me fill them up from the tap outside his house. I mentioned this to him and thanked him again and he smiled

I didn't meet any cars or bicycles on the way up. Almost at the top I encountered another man with a broom, cleaning the forest road. Not far away stood his parked car, a Subaru 4WD with the engine running...

It was mostly chilly during the return ride to Tokyo, though it got milder instead of colder as the evening wore on, as I was descending. The ride gave me a good idea of how to dress for the "ghost town ride" in the Chichibu mountains next weekend. The autumn and spring are always the trickiest times to decide what to wear, as one could easily be overheating at midday or shivering with cold on a mountain or after nightfall.

173 km with 2000 m of elevation gain. That's 22 centuries in the first 10 months of the year.
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