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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 12-27-17, 07:29 AM   #1
joewein
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2018 Century-A-Month Club

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 (160.9 km) 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.

If you can't complete a century every calendar month but you rode one or more centuries, look for the "2018 -- Century Challenge" thread.


2017 thread: 2017 Century-A-Month
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Old 01-02-18, 11:08 PM   #2
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The first January century is done: 172 km (107 mi). Yesterday's ride extends the CAM streak to 65 months.

My friend Luka wanted to do a New Year ride, but didn't find anyone to join him so he decided to postpone it to January 2.

Here in Japan the whole country shuts down for January 1-3. Many people will visit a shrine or temple either after midnight or during the holidays. On January 2-3, many families will be gathered in front of TV, peeling mikan (satsuma oranges) while watching the Hakone Ekiden relay race from Tokyo to Hakone and back.

I had walked to a shrine with my family on New Year's day and much preferred going for a ride the next day than spending it watching other people exercise on TV. So after checking with my wife, I contacted Luka and we agreed on a route and a meeting point.

In the morning I got up at 05:00, got dressed and loaded the bike. I skipped breakfast to not wake grandma who is staying with us over the holidays. The full moon was still in the night sky when I left, close to setting as I passed a local shrine.



The night sky was clear, with stars visible. It was pretty chilly, but I had covered my ears and was wearing my winter jacket over my warmest long sleeve jersey and a base layer. About an hour into the ride the sun came up. Once it got warm enough I took off my ear cover and switched from full fingered gloves to fingerless gloves.

Traffic was very light - probably the lightest I had ever experienced on this route. I could often sneak across red lights because there were no cars or people in sight.

I had arranged to meet with Luka at Hanno station by 09:30. That left me 3 1/2 hours for the 42 km of mostly urban roads. I soon caught up on my skipped breakfast at a convenience store and got some bananas for the road. I rode at a relaxed pace since I had plenty of time and wanted to save my energy for the hills. The last third of the route to Hanno was mostly on a wide busy road. Once I got closer, Luka and I exchanged emails to confirm we were both on schedule and where exactly to meet up. We left the station together on time.

After a short stretch on a busy national road we branched off onto a small road heading up into the mountains. Our climbing pace was well matched. We kept talking pretty much all the way. I had lived in the area until the turn of the millennium and knew those hills well. The road, known as the "Greenline" follows the ridge line, rising and descending through the forest.

Our first stop was going to be at a friend of Luka, about 20 km from Hanno. He was a mountain guide who lived in a log house on the mountain road. We had coffee and shared our chocolate and bananas.

After the break we hiked up to a local peak for a 360 degree view. The weather was perfect for scenic views. During the winter months the Pacific coast around Tokyo experiences primarily dry, sunny weather. Prevailing winter winds from the Asian mainland dump all their moisture as snow when they hit the mountains in Niigata and then warm up again when descending to the Kanto plain. That dry air makes for amazing visibility. From up at the ridge we could clearly make out Tokyo Sky Tree, Japan's highest broadcast tower at 634 m (2080 ft) about 60 km away, the skyscrapers of Shinjuku 50 km away, Yokohama Landmark Tower about 70 km away and at the very back right on the horizon, the hills of Boso peninsula in Chiba, over 100 km away. There was one view of Mt Fuji after another whenever the road emerged from the trees.

Once we got to Shiraishi Toge, the last pass, we put on all our warm clothes for the long descent back down into the Kanto plain. We kept the speed down because of the risk of ice. Fortunately there was almost none.



After a break at the first convenience store in the valley we headed to the Arakawa river, Luka leading and me following close behind. The sun still sets early around 16:35, so we tried to make the most of the daylight and pushed harder to make good progress before it got dark. Along the Arakawa we saw the full moon rising again, opposite a pink silhouette of Mt Fuji after sunset.

The cycling road along the river banks kept us away from traffic. Luka's battery operated headlight and my dynamo headlight provided enough light. 149 km into my ride our paths separated. For the last 23 km I rode through Tokyo, slower than we had been riding together.

I will do at least another century this month when I ride a 200 km brevet on Jan 20. It will be in Miura peninsula and the Shonan coast, so there's a good chance I'll get many more clear January Fuji views on that one.


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