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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

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Old 01-04-17, 01:34 AM   #1
joewein
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2017 Century-A-Month Club

The rules are the same as every year:

Quote:
The rules are simple, as always:

1. Ride a century every month.
2. Post a report here. Pictures are always nice if you have them.

Just to answer a few questions that may come up:

(a) A century is one 100-mile bike ride completed in one 24-hour day. Feel free to be more strict on how you define a century, but here we'll try to include as many people as possible.
(b) A century is not necessarily a group ride. It is simply a 100-mile ride which may or may not be done with a group and/or part of an organized event.
This was last year's thread:

2016 Century-A-Month Club

Last edited by joewein; 01-04-17 at 01:38 AM.
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Old 01-08-17, 10:45 AM   #2
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The century for January is complete. That extends the CAM streak to 53 months.

I joined BRM107 by Audax Japan Kanagawa on Jan 7. This 200 km brevet ran from Zushi (near the ancient city of Kamakura) to the resort town of Izukogen on Izu peninsula and back to Zushi. It was my first brevet with AJ Kanagawa, or any brevet of a club other than AJ Nishi-Tokyo, whose events I normally join.

The start was 50 km from here and the briefing started at 06:20, so I decided to load the bike in the car the night before and drive down there in the morning. I set my alarm for 04:00, planning to leave at 04:50. However, I woke up at 04:25 without the alarm having gone off (it ended up set for the wrong weekday). So I just got dressed in a hurry, quickly grabbed some bananas and a slice of toast and managed to leave almost on time. The roads were mostly empty and I arrived ahead of schedule.

The ride reception and briefing took place on the grounds of an old Shinto shrine.



The course was actually significantly longer than 200, as it was a mostly out-and-back course with the halfway point 105 km from the start. The course largely hugged the Pacific coastline between Miura peninsula and Izu peninsula. There were 100 participants. A couple of years ago a friend of mine tried to sign up for the event, but it filled up within 3 1/2 minutes of online signup opening at midnight. So he and I and a couple of other friends shadowed that event, riding it without official signup. I then managed to get back 40 minutes before closing time.

This time I had no problems signing up. At the start I could talk to other participants and to organizers, including Mrs Ide, one of the pioneers of Randonneuring in Japan.

It was chilly for the first few hours, as we started before sunrise, with temperatures forecast from 1-10 C (34-50 F). One km from the start we reached the main coastal road and I saw my first view of Mt Fuji for the ride and for 2017. A few km further I would see a pink snow-capped Fuji in the warm light of the sunrise towering behind Enoshima island. Mt Fuji remained more or less in front of me for the first 40 km. I could ride with other cyclists for much of the first quarter of the ride.

At the start I wore lined long trousers over long johns and a base layer, a long sleeve jersey, cycling winter jacket and a wind breaker at the top (plus reflective vest). Despite the full-fingered gloves the tips of some of my fingers felt cold. My toes were cold too. As the sun rose further I could take off first my wind breaker and later also my jacket.

I met several familiar faces from AJ Nishi-Tokyo events. One of them rode the event in jeans on a shopping bike. I met Miss K., a cyclist who told me she had never cycled beyond Odawara, about halfway to the turnaround point. She rode her first brevet 3 years ago, but then stopped because of back problems, before resuming it again. I met her several times along the course.

Other than for the morning chill and some initial headwind, the weather was perfect all day with blue skies.

Unlike most brevets I didn't really pay much attention to numbers but just rode hard. Still I was surprised when got to the halfway point at 12:07, with almost 8 1/2 hours to cover the second 105 km, so I'd be OK with less than 13 km/h average. I kept all the stops short and didn't take a lot of pictures.



Most of the elevation gain was in the 2nd and 3rd quarter of the ride. While I rode slower than in the first half during the return, I was happy with my progress. The final big climb was route 740 above Manazuru, a small local backroad that takes you past terraced orange groves high above the coast, very picturesque with beautiful views. There I caught up with Miss K. again. She seemed dispirited by the climb and it sounded like she was considering giving up. I encouraged her, telling here she was at the top of the highest climb. We were almost at the start of a 5 km descent, the longest of the course and most of the last 50 km were pretty flat. We were 15 km from PC3, with over 3 hours before PC closing time. There really was no reason to give up at this point. The rest of the ride was perfectly doable within the remaining time.

Around PC3 it got dark and Miss K. tried to attach a lamp to her helmet to read the cue sheet in the dark, but had trouble. So I decided to lead her back to the goal with my GPS, instead of going for the best time possible for myself. There were lots of cars on the road in dense traffic and we often passed them next to the shoulder. We could make it as long as we didn't have an accident.

To be honest, the last two hours of riding in the dark past cars waiting at red lights weren't very appealing, but finally we got back to Zushi. We pulled up outside the McDonald's restaurant, the official goal, with over 2 hours spare. This was my fastest 200 km brevet so far, despite it actually being 10 km longer. The weather was perfect and I had a good time. I am particularly happy with my result because I didn't really do many fast rides in December, mostly just riding to get used to the cold or to ride with friends.

Today I also signed up for my next brevets in March and April.
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Old 01-22-17, 10:17 PM   #3
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Very nice, where is your next brevet going to be?
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Old 01-26-17, 05:31 AM   #4
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Thursday 26 January -- Australia Day

Rowan and I made a somewhat spur of the moment decision to cycle a century this month. This was made a bit more difficult by the fact that Rowan is in his busy season at work ... he has been working long days and lots of days. So at the last minute, we decided to squeeze a century into Australia Day.

Today reached 23C, and was partly cloudy. That part was nice. It was also very windy. Roughly 30 km/h gusting to 60 km/h most of the day.

Our route had us riding into the wind for the first 54 km. We were planning to go further, but by the 54 km point we had enough. We also wanted to turn around and take advantage of the tailwind while there was still a tailwind. Winds here have this habit of changing direction mid-afternoon.

It was such a relief to have a strong tail wind all the way back into Hobart.

Because we had changed the route, our new plan was to cycle back out the cycleway to the end, into the wind. Fortunately the cycleway is somewhat sheltered so it wasn't as bad as it could have been. Then a quick dash back into Hobart. And finally a short run out the cycleway to make up the distance ... and at long last, back to the start point.

That's our first century since our 600 km attempt in October. Not the nicest century, but it felt good to be out there cycling all day long again.


Distance: 161.9km
Elevation: 1,096m
Moving Time: 8:40:35
Elapsed Time: 9:42:08
Avg Speed: 18.7km/h
Max Speed: 50.8km/h


So, we're not positive we'll make it all the way through the CAM challenge, but we've made a start!
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Old 01-29-17, 07:29 PM   #5
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What bag is on your bike? It looks nice.
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Old 01-29-17, 08:00 PM   #6
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Is there anyone else doing a century this month ... only a couple days to go!
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Old 01-30-17, 03:30 AM   #7
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@Piff: My next brevet will be on March 18, then another on April 8.

I rode another century yesterday, the first I've done on my Bike Friday in a year. Mostly I have switched to using the Elephant National Forest Explorer for the long ones. The wider tires make for a more comfortable ride and the Ozette XL bag on the Haulin' Colin porteur rack is great for extra clothes, food, cameras, etc. Nevertheless, the Bike Friday is a lot of fun, too. I took my "rinko" bag along, so I had the option of taking the train back if I continued on to Odawara station. In the end I opted to instead cycle back the way I came, which got me more distance for the day.

I rode to a "road station" (michi no eki) in Doshi Village, in the mountains west of Tokyo, towards Mt Fuji. They have a restaurant and souvenir shops there. I like their coffee and cresson cake (apparently, a recipe from Normandy).



Doshi is above 700 m and there was snow by the roadside, but it was a mild day. Once it gets warm enough, the countryside feels and smells like spring, even when it's still too early for the cold to leave for good for this season.



Looking forward to my first February century!
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Old 01-30-17, 06:42 PM   #8
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~1/28 got me first century on the year in and solo style. Was feeling pretty solid on the bike, staying on the throttle most the ride. Tail wind was awesome and PR'd allot of stuff heading south to Torrey Pines. I was hoping to see some of the action at the golf course but they were on the back 9 already. Head when back north about 25 miles worth kicked my freaking butt and glad I wasn't the only one. Sunset flipped my garmin at mile 99 so racing daylight and taking short stops paid off. Diet on the bike was light today, 2 banans, 1 cinnamon roll, one vanilla latte, one 20oz coke, 1 snickers bar and about 7 bottles of fluids

100.1mi
Distance

5:51:42
Moving Time

3,215ft
Elevation Gain
162W
Estimated Avg Power

3,424kJ
Energy Output
Show Less
Avg Max
Speed 17.1mi/h 37.6mi/h
Calories 3,818
Temperature 64℉
Elapsed Time 7:03:27
Device: Garmin Edge 800
Bike: F4









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Old 01-31-17, 10:24 PM   #9
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I had to break it up between one 44 miler yesterday evening and 58 this morning due to time/work constraints, but, finished within the 24 hours. Total ride time was 7 hours and 5 minutes, average speed was 14.5 mph. I got slow over the holidays, but, now I've got nowhere to go but up. Looking forward to checking in next month!
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Old 02-05-17, 10:41 PM   #10
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Last Saturday I did a 209 km ride that I've been meaning to do for a long time. With that, February is my 54th consecutive month of CAM.

The mouth of Tokyo bay sits between Miura peninsula (in Kanagawa prefecture) to the west and Boso peninsula (in Chiba prefecture) to the east. A roll on/roll off car ferry connects Kurihama in Miura to Kanaya in Boso at roughly one hour intervals. The return trip by bicycle is 2180 yen (less than $20). It's about 40 minutes / 15 km each way. I love ferry rides. The idea was to ride down from Tokyo to Kurihama, take the ferry, cycle in the hills of Boso and then return the same way I came.

Here is the view of Kurihama port as the ferry was departing for Boso, with Mt Fuji in the background:



The southern part of Boso peninsula is very rural, with some extremely quiet roads. One of my local bike clubs organized a ride from Kurihama to Kurihama, with two ferry crossings and a 55+ km loop in the mountains of Boso on the other side. I knew it was at least 65 km down to the train station near the ferry port, so if I rode down and back up again instead of taking my bike on the train, that would make for a century overall. So that's what I did.

I got up at 04:00, left the house in Tokyo a little after 04:30 and rode towards Kawasaki. Traffic already picked up around 05:00, but at around 6 C (43F) it wasn't too cold. I never had to put on a wind breaker on top of my cycling winter jacket as I had to on a couple of rides in December and January. The sun rose around when I got to Yokohama:



The road all the way down to the Yokosuka naval base is one big urban sprawl and so basically this is what 2/3 of this century were about: Cars, trucks and traffic lights. But then again, many brevets I ride have urban stretches at the beginning and at the end, so it's something I have to be used to.

As I got closer to Yokosuka and Kurihama, I could tell that my timing had been conservative enough. I could afford to take it a bit easier and also to stop for coffee and some food 4 km before the meeting point. I arrived in front of the station some 5 minutes before the train came in and then everyone else unpacked and set up their bikes. At the ferry port another participant joined us, who had driven down there in his car. We bought tickets and cycled up the loading ramp to the upper vehicle deck. The staff tied up our bikes to a railing for safety while we went up to one of the passenger lounges.

I spent most of the crossing on the deck, taking pictures of huge LNG tankers, container ships and bulk carriers crossing our path. One of them was a Kawasaki-bound 200,000 DWT bulk carrier sailing from an Australian coal port, as I later found out when I googled the ship's name, probably supplying steel mills or power stations.



As soon as the ferry landed, we could roll down the ramp and out on the road. The first 8 km or so were flat. We stopped at one convenience store to pick up food for lunch, as there wouldn't be much in the way of shops up in the hills. It was very mild on the Boso side. I could take off my jacket and cycle in my long sleeve jersey.

We cycled up a ridge line, with the highest point about 360 m (1200 ft) above sea level. There was almost zero traffic. We could easily ride side by side and chat. Near the highest point we had our lunch break and I shared some of the dried mango strips I had brought along.

The ride leader extended the course a bit from the planned 55 km figure of eight, which brought it to 69 km altogether. We passed a shop in the countryside and asked to borrow their restroom. I bought some mikan (tangerines) which I shared with everyone and topped up my water, as I had used up both my bottles.

Everybody survived the hills, nobody got permanently dropped or lost and we made it back to the ferry port just in time for the 15:20 (3:20pm) ferry back to Kurihama. I treated myself to some hot coffee and ice cream in lounge. I saw off everyone else at the station and then rode home by myself for the final 71 km back to Tokyo in mostly busy weekend evening traffic on the main coastal road.

I passed this plum tree in full bloom outside a drinking place in Kawasaki. It will still be a few more weeks before spring, but I am already looking forward to my March rides and later on, the cherry blossom season.

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Old 02-11-17, 11:49 PM   #11
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Saturday -- Rowan and I rode our February century and our Petite Year Round Randonneur event today ... 161.3 km.

For me, this was my 100th century ride!!

(But I've done about 75 additional rides longer than that as well.)

We took a trip to northern Tasmania in order to ride the Hint of Hadspen Hike 160K. The Hint of Hadspen Hike 160K is a leg of the Hadspen Hike 600K coming up in September ... a ride we're organising ... so we wanted to do this particular ride in order to check the route.

This is a nice part of Tasmania and the route was interesting. Much of the route was along the ocean, so there was lots of scenery, and a bit of variety in the terrain. The route also passes through several towns which keeps things interesting as well. What with following the cue sheet to ensure everything was OK (there are a few things which need to be changed) and looking at the scenery and everything, we were busy the whole way ... no time for getting bored!

The temp was nice -- about 22C -- but it was windy, gusting to about 55 km/h. For the first 70 km, the wind was lovely because we had a tailwind. We were able to bank quite a lot of time, fortunately, because then we had to turn around. Fortunately also, the route kind of zigged and zagged a little so we did get a few moments of reprieve now and then ... but for the most part, we were into the wind on the way back.

One other thing ... I forgot to bring my cycling shoes with me. I packed everything else, but not the cycling shoes! I do have dual-sided pedals with platform on one side and cleats on the other, so I opted to wear running shoes. There's a reason why cyclists wear cycling shoes. My poor feet!


Distance: 161.3km
Elapsed Time: 8:40:17
Moving Time: 7:57:41
Elevation: 1,018m
Speed: Avg: 20.3km/h; Max: 46.4km/h

Last edited by Machka; 02-11-17 at 11:57 PM.
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Old 02-12-17, 01:14 AM   #12
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It's also appropriate that we are staying for the weekend right next door to the Cam River. (CaM = Cam)

Better also that we did the ride yesterday with the headwind on the way back, than today when the gusts are up around 80km/h (near 50 mph) with rain squalls.
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Old 02-12-17, 05:03 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Saturday -- Rowan and I rode our February century and our Petite Year Round Randonneur event today ... 161.3 km.
The Petit Yeear Round Randonneur can be a bit confusing to those who don't quite understand the concept. It requires a rider to do 12 registered rides -- one a month -- over a year, and the total distance at the end must be 1200km (which fits with the long randonnees such as Paris-Brest-Paris).

The thing is, you can ride a minimum distance of 50km, but if you do that, you have to make up in a second month with a 150km ride to keep the total going towards that 1200 total.

So, we've put some kilometres in the bank by doing the 150km ride this month to go with the 100 we did last month.

This means that if the weather turns sour in any of the later months this year, we just have to go out and do a 50km ride and still be right on track. Of course, we will continue doing the 150/century rides to build up the advantage, and to keep the CaM going.

It's an excellent way for a rider to make their way back into randonneuring if they have had an extended time off or are coming back from injury/illness.

The full Year Round Randonneur in Australia required completing 200km rides each month for a year, which can be quite the ask for some Audax Australia members.
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Old 02-23-17, 01:19 PM   #14
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Finished 2/12 yesterday! The weather in North Texas is very nice, I think the high was 91. I started at 11:44 A.M. and finished at 7:50something P.M. I'm not sure what ride vs. rest time was, avg speed 14 mph. It's already getting green out so I'll actually head out of town next month and take some pictures. Until then!
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Old 02-27-17, 02:08 PM   #15
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~ 2/15 Skipped work to play on the bike. Lost 6-7 miles on the upload due to not starting my garmin after the first coffee shop. Just more miles to make up so I can upload my feb century

100.1mi
Distance

6:04:38
Moving Time

3,169ft
Elevation Gain
149W
Estimated Avg Power

3,262kJ
Energy Output
Show Less
Avg Max
Speed 16.5mi/h 36.7mi/h
Calories 3,637
Temperature 63℉
Elapsed Time 7:52:58
Device: Garmin Edge 800
Bike: F4







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Old 02-28-17, 10:47 AM   #16
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Good to see a thread on this!

I'm in and on track. I have full journal entries but will summarize below. ps I am in Chicago, so the winter months are not easy.

Jan 2017 - Flew to Naples Florida (I had a place to stay there) to ride in the Cape Coral century (Tour de Cape). Rented a Specialized Allez (didnt want to lug a bike down). Only brought my gear and pedals. Florida had great weather for the month up to the event date, which was then blowing 30+ mph steady with storms forecasted to start later in the day. They shortened the course to a 31 mile loop and effectively cancelled the century. Arg! Still went out, did two laps (62 miles), and was heading out for third and (mistakenly in hindsight?) asked the organizer if the course was still open. She radio'd out to the guy on the course, and said it would not be supported and they advised against it. So I went back to Naples, rode another 20 miles in the neighborhood there, returned my bike, and did 20 miles on the trainer to hit the 100+ miles in a day. My highlight was getting into a paceline with 3 women and on a 3 mile stretch into the wind, we were holding down 21+ mph. I look down and I was at 172 bpm and had to give it up. Nearly felt nauseous. These women rocked. (I am a 115 kg clyde).

Feb 2017 - Plan was to do the Stagecoach Century in southern California. However this too fell through! My mother in law is not well, so had to plan a trip to see her with the family over that weekend. Which meant I had to scramble for a century. The weather in Chicago got up to 42 degrees on a Saturday so I went out and rode to Wisconsin and back, and some side excursions, for 101 miles. Solo. No real highlights. Lowlight being that I decided to stop for a bite to eat at mile 75 (why not, I was in no rush) - except that walking back outdoors to the cold weather was demoralizing. Lesson learned - don't stop - because that 10 minute period of time between getting back on the bike to warming up to a sweat again was very unpleasant. The other lowlight was that I decided to kit out my road bike with 28m tires to convert it to a quasi-gravel bike for the day, as some of the path to Wisconsin is on crushed gravel. Well, even riding on 28s, the gravel was wet and sandy, so it was like riding through quicksand. Bike got filthy too. I suppose there was one highlight - I took a wrong turn around Waukegan and discovered the Jelly Belly factory. Who knew it was there!

I have a few photos on my Strava page, but nothing close to the bar that has been set here. I'll be more serious about memorializing each century going forward.

So 2 months in, 2 centuries down. Neither of them quite what I had hoped for. Can only get better.

Last edited by Lightchop; 02-28-17 at 10:52 AM. Reason: I'm a 115 kg Clyde, not 115 pound Clyde!
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Old 03-05-17, 03:09 AM   #17
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March Century Done!!

http://www.bikeforums.net/19419493-post18.html
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Old 03-05-17, 01:07 PM   #18
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~3/4 Some club guys wanted extra credit plus I had to still ride home. At least there was good pizza and beer @ mile 108. I got my March century, I'm on track for one century a month for this yr. Gotta keep the streak alive!

120.7mi
Distance

6:53:40
Moving Time

4,544ft
Elevation Gain
180W
Estimated Avg Power

4,473kJ
Energy Output
Show Less
Avg Max
Speed 17.5mi/h 44.7mi/h
Calories 4,988
Temperature 59℉
Elapsed Time 8:42:38
Device: Garmin Edge 800
Bike: F4

cement boobies






Steep ups


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Old 03-07-17, 01:04 AM   #19
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CAM month #55 complete. Five more to go for five straight years of CAM :-)

I rode 190 km (118 mi) across the mountains of rural Saitama near Tokyo on Sunday, with 1755 m (5700 ft) of elevation gain.





My friend Peter who wanted to join me for a ride suggested heading out towards Chichibu, a town the other sideof a range of mountains from Tokyo. I go there once or twice a year for the "Ghost Town Ride", which I usually do in early November when the autumn leaves are at their prime.

This time I would cross the mountain range between here and Chichibu twice, once via Yamabushi toge (Yamabushi pass, about 625 m / 2050 ft) and once via Shiraishi toge and Mt Dodaira (876 m / 2900 ft). It was my first ever Shiraishi climb.

Mt Dodaira, only 2 km from the top of the pass, is the site of an observatory that has been there since 1962.



The location was picked for its remoteness (i.e. minimal light pollution) and elevation. Due to that elevation there was still snow on the road in shaded locations, but I worked up enough of a sweat on the 12 km climb that I could take off all my jackets and cycled in short sleeves.



I got up at 05:00, left home at 06:15 and headed up the Tamagawa river, enjoying clear early morning Mt Fuji views. Around 08:30 I met up with Peter and we cycled on to Oume, the last major town before the mountains, where we stocked up on bananas at a fruit shop.

I love the villages and small towns along the mountain valleys we cycled up. None of the climbs were too challenging until we got to Yamabushi toge, the major climb before Chichibu. The route goes uphill for about 14 km (9 mi), but most of the climbing is in the final third. Peter, who felt seriously out of shape, fell behind soon. Once I got to the top I took some pictures, then headed back until I caught him and finished the climb a second time.

At the pass road sign we met another cyclist from Oume who had finished his climb. He admired my Elephant Bikes NFE and asked if he could take pictures of the bike for his Facebook page. So we chatted for a while, then headed on, him back to Oume, us on to Chichibu.

It's a long fast descent of about 14 km (9 mi) down to the city, but we stopped around the halfway point where there's a Road Station, a place with a car park, shops and restaurants for tourists. Peter had some soba noodles and I went for fresh coffee and my bananas. He decided to catch the train home from the nearest station, while I explored the new route to Shiraishi-toge and Dodaira-san.

The Shiraishi climb was about another 14 km. I loved the smell of forest and how quiet is was. There wasn't much traffic. It was sunny until the mid afternoon and it wasn't cold until I got to the top. On a clear day the view must be pretty nice as it's the highest mountain around, but this time it was already too overcast. I put on my long sleeve jersey, my jacket and my windbreaker for the descent, along with full fingered gloves, which made the descent pretty comfortable.

I love how little effort my new hydraulic disc brakes take. I'm glad I switched from my previous 10-speed + TRP Spyre setup to 11 speed Shimano with hydros.

As it gradually got dark, I plotted my way back to Tokyo past the town where my mother in law (she's 82) lives. I decided to drop in on her for a cup of tea and a chat, which made her happy.

The last four hours were not very scenic, along mostly suburban roads of the conglomeration around Tokyo. I stopped for a curry at an Indian place and compared notes with the waiter about what it's like to live in Japan as a foreigner. I only got home at 23:30, tired and sweaty but full of impressions from a day spent in the mountains, away from the computer and all the daily routines.

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Old 03-20-17, 07:26 AM   #20
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The best view from my third century this month. This was a 200 km brevet with 3350 m (11,200 ft) of elevation gain. The first half alone had more climbing than most 180+ km mountain rides I do.

I knew this was going to be a stretch for me making it within the 13 1/2 hour time limit and in fact, I didn't. It was my first 200 km brevet ever that I didn't complete within the time limit, but I already completed one 200 km in January and have another one coming up next month.

The course climbed high above Izu peninsula, with spectacular views of the Pacific and Mt Fuji. After a 20 km descent from the last major pass I didn't stop at the very first convenience store. This was a mistake, as the road soon turned up into the hills again, with nowhere to refill my water bottles (I had only half a bottle left). Despite getting dehydrated I rushed to make it to PC1 before closing time. I did make it there with no more than 5 minutes spare, but the effort had taken its toll. I soon found myself half an hour behind the minimum and the time deficit only increased.

In the last 50 km of the ride I came across a friend who was accompanying a colleague of his on his very first brevet. The colleague was an accomplished ultra-distance runner but with little cycling experience, so it was very tough for him. Still, the three of us rode every single meter of the course that remained and arrived safely at the goal two hours after closing time.



Three days before the event, Mr Mitsuaki Inagaki, chairman of Audax Japan, was killed by a truck while running a 1200 km brevet in New Zealand. This ride was dedicated to his memory, with riders wearing a black ribbon on our randonneur vests and a minute of silence before we set off.
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Old 03-24-17, 08:15 AM   #21
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I guess I can join in this club, though I don't have GPS data to prove it...Completed a coast to coast tour starting in San Diego 1/16 and finishing in Jacksonville on 3/11. First century ever came on day three of the trip to get out of Cali and into Yuma AZ after dark estimated 105 miles on 1/18.

February's century came along at some point in west Texas. There was a stretch from Big Bend to Austin that I reckon I did three century days in a row. Day one of the streak was Terlingua to Marathon via Big Bend National Park (may have been just under a century but I did have to ride around Marathon for a bit when I got there so I count it) Day two was Marathon to Bakersfield.

March brought the last week of the trip and the last stretch from Mardi Gras in New Orleans through the panhandle to Jacksonville. Second to last day (3/10) we rolled from Monticello all the way through a lovely sunset and full moon rise into Macclenny along Highway 90 for around 115 miles.

My faithful Steed for this journey is the lovely and lively (when not loaded down) Singlespeed Vassago Fisticuff: Had to use attached images cause I don't have ten posts yet...
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Old 03-30-17, 01:51 PM   #22
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3-15 The Ides of March

Sorry I didn't post about this sooner, life has a way of getting people distracted.

My boss scheduled a meeting that morning at 9 a.m. No respect for the CaM Challenge. I almost ditched the ride because of that, but decided to soldier on. And besides, I have an extra hour of daylight now.

After riding to the meeting and running a couple errands on the way home I was at 12 miles. Got some bad news upon returning home and almost ditched the ride again, but, I knew I would feel a lot better about things after an all-day ride. Final departure time was a little after 11. I rode the completed part of the MUP, there are a couple sections where one has to ride in the roadway, not sure when that'll be finished, to the other side of town and then I hopped onto a local Farm to Market road and headed North with no clear route. Last time I'll do that. After 45ish miles I made it to one of our "greater areas", not the one I had intended, though. I made a stop in Burkburnett, TX for some fuel. Rode around the town for a bit trying to decide the next leg of my journey, finally deciding to just go back the way I came. Heading back I made the brutal discovery that the wind had shifted! My pleasant cross-wind was now bearing directly upon me as a head-wind. Shucks. Coupled with the rolling hills and NO trees anywhere, I wasn't very quick heading home. I had an iced coffee drink in Burkburnett that was making me rethink my fueling strategies, I tried one the last time out and it was like rocket fuel! I was now feeling a little abdominal distress. I pulled over, sipped some water and watched the cows watch me for a bit, then continued on when I was feeling better. I made another stop at mile 65, and at 80, and I think at 90 in order to regard the sunset. I finally made it home at 8ish p.m. with one of the worst feelings of nausea ever. I'm usually ravenous after a ride, but, this time it was all I could do to drink liquids and finally manage to get down some rice. I was then up most the night with a stomach bug, which really sucked. But, at least it wasn't the coffee. Oh, and the next day I pulled 5 little shards of glass out of my back tire after it went flat. All in all, though, it was a good ride. Beware the Ides of March.

I don't have a Garmin, and I didn't denote 'stats' for the day, sorry. But, I recall getting home with 100.3 miles for the day, 8ish hours of riding time, and an undetermined amount of time off the bike figuring in work meeting, being home for a bit inbetween, and then all the stops.

My slowest century to date, but, there's always next month.
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Old 03-31-17, 09:15 AM   #23
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March century

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

I rode my first Gran Fondo last year at a Giordana event in Asheville NC (which nearly killed me). So after a winter of training indoors, thought I'd try another in Florida. Biggest difference is this one only had 3,000 ft of climbing. They are a well organized event, complete with a single start for everyone, and 4 timed sections. This year I actually tried to race through the timed sections.

134 entrants on the 100-mile route, and I came in 86th, averaging 20.8 mph in the timed sections, which involve climbs. I was pretty pleased with that, except the winner appears to have averaged 30.2 mph!!!

Here is the start line:


One downside is that the "100-mile" event is only 96.5 miles. So as usual I had to make up that 3.5 miles. Turns out this event was literally 10 miles from the state park that Amanda Coker is doing her 250 miles per day to break the world record. So I went down there and did a 7 mile lap. Was good to put her efforts into perspective. Very nice, flat road - wide path really - with the only traffic being families out strolling on their huffies. I didnt see her on my lap, so I stopped at the water station they have on the path. Yes - there are I recall 3 stations, all with ice cold water. I suppose I behaved like a bit of a stalker - but sat there to get a glimpse of her flying by. While I sat and rehydrated, 3 separate groups of recreational riders stopped by, all locals, and all very chatty. Incredibly nice folks. But after 20 minutes, no Amanda. So I went back to the parking lot, where I hosed myself down from a day of riding, and then toweled off with an old tee-shirt in the mens room and put on fresh clothes. What a great way to end it.

This is the parking lot for the state park ($2 to park):


I think I spotted Amanda's support car in the parking lot. But I was feeling like too much of a stalker already, so didnt approach them. I know she's been verbal about no random companions on her rides, so didnt think appropriate to go strike up a conversation with them. Oh well.

Sitting down planning out April now...
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Old 04-09-17, 08:13 AM   #24
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CAM month #56 complete. I rode 238 km (148 mi) with 2900 m (9400 ft) of elevation gain in a 200 brevet on Saturday (BRM408 by AJ Nishi-Tokyo) plus the ride home from the finish.

I'd been watching the weather forecast for a week and invariably it predicted rain. "You don't have to go!" my rational wife told me. That would have been the easy thing to do, but long distance cycling is not about doing the easy thing, is it?

The night before I packed my stuff, including rain gear, and rode to a cheap but clean hotel near the start. The sky was still mostly clear. I didn't go to bed until midnight and woke up again to my 05:30 alarm. When I looked out of the window the roads were wet and I could see the raindrops hit a roof. It kept raining as I cycled to the start, wearing my nylon pants and rain jacket.

I hadn't cycled much for the past two weeks, after a couple of days of bicycle touring in Italy with my son where we did about 80 km a day from Perugia to Florence (Italy was fabulous!).

I met many friends and familiar faces at the start, but quite a few people chose not to start because of the weather forecast. The rain gradually eased into a slight drizzle. As we got closer to the mountains I decided to take off my rain jacket. I would get wet either way, if from drizzle or from sweat, so why not opt for drizzle and conserve the electrolytes? Even the drizzle stopped completely after about two hours.

I had made myself a short summary of the cue sheet for the map pouch of my front bag. Normally I only carry the cue sheet for emergencies and navigate only by computer, but I did use this summary to remind myself of PC distances from the start, distances to highest passes and their respective elevations plus a few important but not so obvious turns. Another reminder was the location of the last convenience store before the turn-off to a rural road where I stocked up on bananas.

The first pass was Akiyama-toge, some 650 m high, about 50 km from the start. The climb took its toll and I was wondering how I would feel later in the event, if I was feeling this tired after one quarter. But then I could recover on the 8 km descent to Tsuru. I kept the stop at PC1 short.

From Tsuru the road climbed for about 20 km to Lake Kawaguchiko near Mt Fuji. I passed this waterfall with hexagonal basalt columns. Last time the bridge in front of it was under construction, this time I could take a picture from it:



I cycled around the lake and then on to Lake Yamanakako, both at the foot of the mountain, but never saw Fuji, not even the base of it. It was simply too overcast. The clouds to the south, towards Kagosaka pass looked grey and intimidating. Feeling low on energy I stopped for food at a convenience store between the two lakes. At Kawaguchiko the sun had come out briefly and it was surprisingly warm. Normally temperatures are quite a bit lower at the Fuji 5 lakes at around 900 m than down in Tokyo at sea level, but I was comfortable in shorts and t-shirt.

That changed as I climbed up to Kagosaka Pass at 1100 m. The wind picked up and got quite fierce. I could feel the first drizzle. At the pass I put on my rain jacket and nylon pants. I had to be careful with the wind and the rain to not get blown off the road. Normally the Pacific side of the pass has the warmer weather and the Yamanako side is the chilly one, but not this time.

I was glad about the ease of use of my new hydraulic disc brakes on the 20 km descent. When I reached PC2 at km 130 I was about 40 minutes ahead of cutoff time, an improvement from PC1. After this came the steepest part, the climb to Ashigara Pass. On the other side I had to climb once more to a barbecue site up a valley. This was an untimed control. We were served barbecued sausages and chicken. Mostly I met the same group of 5-7 people during the second half of the ride.

Even after Ashigara Pass there were plenty of hills on the way back to the start. Even on the last kilometers the route climbed out of two river valleys. Having made PC3 with 14 minutes spare I knew I'd have 24 minutes spare with a 15 km/h average to the end, so I took it a bit easy. In the end I arrived with only 8 minutes spare, just before one couple that arrived just after me as the final participants.

Today I feel pretty beat up still. The ride definitely has left its mark, but I should be fine tomorrow. The amount of climbing was about as much as in the 300 km brevet I'll be doing next month (but with a 50% longer time limit), so I feel well prepared. Having ridden in the rain I also have confidence again that I can do long rides in all kinds of weather.


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Old 04-30-17, 03:46 PM   #25
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April Century

Finished April:
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)

Another not-very-interesting century. Sorry to disappoint. Combination of work and in-laws that need attention have kept me grounded. But I kept the mission and did another century. Once again, grand plans for something exotic and organzied (this time in southern Indiana), but ended up jumping on the bike and riding local for 100 miles.

To spice it up, I bought a new bike - a 2017 Trek Domane. Took 10 days to get delivered, built, and get fit for it. My first ride was the century. Much nicer than my aluminum Trek with 8-speed Claris components.

Only issue was there was a road blocked off at around mile 40. So had to go around the barricade. Which brought me onto the soft, sloping, gravel shoulder. I unclipped my left foot (as there was a small ravine/creek to the left), and as I was going around the barricade, came to a halt and fell over to the right!

Brand new bike, 40 miles on the clock, and I was sideways on the gravel. I think my shoulder hit the pavement.

Was cussing myself out for not unclipping and walking the 10 feet around it. But brifters survived it well, and quick check it all looked like nothing happened. Then I got back on to ride and noticed something certainly wasnt right :


Even though I fell right, two odd things:
1) the stem/handles tweaked right
2) my left shoulder hurt!

#1 I could perhaps explain. And we did flip the stem at the fitting and perhaps didnt tighten it completely. But not sure why my left shoulder took the pain of the fall.

Anyhow, all better, I rode that for another 35 miles to get back home and straighten things up, then finished up the century.

I promise my rides will get more interesting!
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