Monatsarchiv: Januar 2008

Tom: Right and Wrong

Ok, where shall I start? Well I did the first ride on my new home trainer on Friday evening for about 30 minutes. And I noticed two things: I use to much energy to make my bike move from right to left, i am just not pedaling smooth enough. What can be done, any ideas guys are similar experience when you are riding on a home trainer?

Then, when I went after the training to take a shower I noticed that something seems strange with my ellbow. Hm, all violet and yellow. Probably something has built up inside after the crash in Saiko in November and now suddenly bursted, can’t think of any other accident I had with my ellbow recently.
This is really the disadvantage of getting older, it just takes so much longer until wounds heal and one recovers from this and that. And the other disadvantage is that one constantly would like to talk about one health problem and share them with other people. I know this from my grand parents, my parents and finally I have also reached the age to start the same thing.
My apologies.

So I started late this morning and left the house at 11 AM. Tom is right here. Instead of going fast along the Tamagawa I tried to stay concentrated and stay in a 150er pulse range with 80 rpm cadence. This went very well until I met a fast guy at the Tamagawa who overtook me. I just couldn‘ hold myself back and I chased after him. He was really fast – but I knew all the shortcuts along the road so we made it together until shortly after Y park where he made a stop. I crossed over the Tamagawa some bridges later and continued on the velosoph country road to Itsukaichi. I saw Tom coming back on the other side shouting „Michael“, so I stopped. But he didn’t, so I went on as well.

I was checking out my new Assos gear: Robocap was pretty warm and is well fixed, also the new shoe covers and the early winter gloves. I had one undershirt, one thick full arm jersey and over that another Assos Windblocker. I was feeling pretty warm. Also I bought a new Giro Atmos helmet at Friends last week. Really lost my trust in the old one.

I came to Itsukaichi station and instead of going right to Jerome hill what Tom was suspecting, I went left and made a break at the 7-Eleven because I was finally running out of energy. I got one sweet and one chocolate as service and then I continue to go along the road until I came to the Honjuku crossing. I started my timer and then to attack the Tominnomura TT. Almost immediately after Honjuku, still at elevation 250m or so, the first patches of snow appeared on the sides of the road. I continued to go and tried to restrain myself not to use all power in the lower reaches of the approach. It was getting colder and colder and there was more and more snow to see. At elevation 700 m the first patches of ice where visible on the road and it was now only 1 degree plus. I would have turned back, but I was even more afraid of going down on the icy road so I kept going up. At the deserted tollstation at elevation 900 m I took a break as I was really pumped out. To early in the season to go up in one stretch I thought.

So after a short break I continued to go up and the next curves very really full of icy patches, even the cars where going slow. Didn’t saw a single bicycle going up and down all the way from Itsukaichi and even only a few bikes. Luckily not so many cars as well, but there were some Mazda and BMW roadsters with removed tops.

Basically it was just me, „Mutterseelenallein“ or „moi tout seule“. I write this for my new teammates from the NFCC.
So I passed another construction site just before Tominomura. There were at least three I recall, perhaps even four but it is coming close to the end of the fiscal year and allocated budgets must be spend. It is really crazy, close to the Honjuku intersection there is this huge new bridge construction which is completely useless. Unless it make sense to cut 100 – 200 m on a road which is leading anywhere to nowhere and where the living population is anyway in average 60 years plus and will be completely vanished in 20 years to come.

And close to Tominnomura another slope work construction site. Really, I hate three things from the construction industry in Japan: a) slopeworks b) costal defenses c) river dykes. Ok, and basically everything what Mori Building did. Why can things not be let in their natural shape, even if there is a slight risk that some minor disaster happens in some super remote part of the country.

As you can already understand from this I was not in the best of all moods and I just tried to reach Tominnomura. I took one more break to make a nice picture of me with all the snow in the background

I tried to pretend that I am having fun, hope that I could fool all of you. And then finally I was there. I looked at my watch: 1:27:01 hm, not good but at least a first time for the toge no baka. So Tom, this is where you were wrong.

A lot of cars, but no motorcycles and no bicycles. Bought a cafe and looked around but I was getting cold. The Assos gloves are not warm for 0 degrees and alsomy feets were freezing cold. But who I am to complain! Just as I was freezing I saw a young women with skintight high heels and miniskirt going hiking with her boyfriend. Only those of us who spend 12 winters in mini skirted school uniforms can do this kind of things without complains. I am not one of them.
Then after having a hot coffee I decided to go back to Itsukaichi. No way that I would make it in time before the darkness to Ome and there were all this warnings about ice on the road on the Okutama side of the Kazahari. So I descended. Very slowly. This must have been the slowest descent ever from Kazahari I did. David Litt would have probably died laughing if he would have seen me. I was so slow and it was so cold.

Anyway, I somehow made it to Itsukaichi where I backed my bike in the bag and took the train home. I was really done and I am just waiting to finish this blog to take a hot shower.

I guess I must intensify training nevertheless, the first JCRC race for this year is already scheduled for March 16th in Kawagoe. Anybody interested to join me?

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Deserted Tomin-no-Mori

RdV at Koremasa Bridge with Jerome (NFCC), Adam (NFCC) and Nishibe-san at 8:30…everyone on time…not a small feat with today’s freezing temperatures! A midwinter ride it turned out to be indeed. Like last week, there was a fairly strong and chilly headwind blowing from the northwest slowing us down far below 30km/h. Nishibe-san left us at the Itsukaichi 7/11 and the 3 of us headed towards the Honjuku T-junction undecided where to go from there as we had entered twilight snow zone. I was intent to break my previous TT-record and as soon as we passed the T-junction, I began to give everything in my might. Sorry for leaving you guys behind! Once I passed the Uenohara Y-junction, roadside snow and ice on the road began to take increasingly frightful proportions. For some reason (the cold?) I just couldn’t find the right cadence today and was shifting gears constantly…no good for the legs – I tell you! As soon as I drove into Tomin-no-Mori’s parking lot, I stopped my stopwatch….1:04:10…sh*(*)t! I had just failed to reach my under-1h goal. It has got to be the season….only way to defend myself. Wrong season for breaking records…yeah yeah! Tomin-no-Mori was completely deserted, just like when I got there the day after last fall’s typhoon. Tried on one of those special „heat-tech“ face masks (the kind that makes you appear like a bank robber) for the descent…wow this feels great…except my big nose felt like freezing off and so did my fingers….gloves being of very little avail. Heartbeat dropped down to 110 during the descent and this does not help to keep warm. I was careful not to gain any speed in order to avoid slipping and slamming down the surface on those „Eisbahns“ that were lurking around most shadowy curves. I reached Itsukaichi safely and it then occured to me that I had not crossed Jerome and Adam…they must have wisely turned to the left at the Uenohara Y-junction. Saw Michael who was cycling on the other side of Mutsumibashi-dori direction Itsukaichi…quite a late start you made there Michael! I bet you did the Jerome hill… Took a long 42C hot bath right after I reached home a little before 14:00…wow this felt good! Can’t wait for my next 大寒 ride!

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Saturday Jan. 19 Ride / Tomin-no-Mori TT

Jerome, Adam and I will brave the elements tomorrow and go for a TT of Tomin-no-Mori. Anyone more than welcome to join!!

Rendez-vous times:
7:30 Futako Tamagawa Bridge: Jerome/Adam/…./…./….
8:30 Koremasa Bridge (a.k.a. „Guillotine Bridge“): Tom/…./

(* Koremasa Bridge is one bridge ahead of Sekidobashi Bridge when going stream upwards – about 9 minutes on the bike between them)

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Bike Jump

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Physiology of Pedaling Cadence

an interesting article I found in regards to Cadence :

Using a slightly lower gear with a faster cadence can be more efficient than riding a higher gear with a slower cadence. The difference in efficiency is due to the unique physiological demands of each style. A high cadence pedaling style involves frequent, low muscular force productions while a low cadence pedaling style is comprised of less frequent, but more forceful muscular contractions. Since the slower cadence requires more muscular force per each pedal stroke, a greater percentage of fast twitch muscle fibers are recruited. Fast twitch muscles are not as efficient in their use of glycogen, so your body’s energy resources are drained more quickly when they are used. This can lead to increased fatigue late into your rides. During a stage race or when training frequency is high this becomes very important since stresses are compounded from one day to the next. On the other hand, the relatively low muscular force used with a high cadence relies more heavily on the slow twitch fibers, which are more aerobically efficient in using the body’s energy stores to produce work.

Typically, a cyclist will be most efficient with a cadence of 80 to 90 revolutions per minute (RPM). Cadences lower than 80 RPM require greater muscular forces, while cadences over 100 RPM place a higher demand on the aerobic system. Incorporating low and high cadence workouts into your routine will have you best prepared for your goals, though a majority of your riding should be done with an average cadence of 80 to 90 RPM.

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Lance’s new job

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Manly spending

“ One of the great joys of being a man, along with not needing to multitask and not having your legs ogled in bars, is that you have the ability to gain disproportionate pleasure from all sorts of gadgets and equipment. It doesn’t really matter what sort of kit it is – tennis racket, wetsuit, toaster – as long as it does something clever.

In normal circumstances, it is hard to get excited about insoles but these ones had a remote control. Any clothing with a remote control is exciting.

..the hours wore on and the least well-equipped members of the group started to whimper, I remained almost disturbingly immune to the deteriorating conditions. The lesson from my Peak District adventure was clear. Flashy kit is not a waste of money. I can’t tell you that it’s the difference between life and death. But it’s close. It wasn’t me, after all, that stopped in a muddy, windswept field on the brink of tears, no longer able to feel anything important, and say: “You lot carry on. I’m just going to stay here. I can’t pedal any more. Just leave. I’ll be all right.”“

OR without the spending..

“ The cheapest tip is to put newspaper under your jersey, a trick used by early Tour de France competitors, though it can quickly get soggy Put a layer of aluminium foil under your insoles for extra insulation Cycle against the wind on the way out and with it on the way back.


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Otarumi TT & Attack of Suzugane Tour

David, Marek and me met at David`s house at 8 AM and left for Sekidobashi, where we met Tom. We went first to Otarumi Toge and than decided how to proceed. Tom was pushing us very hard against the headwind. For some reasons there were many firemen matsuri along the road, with one big one just before Hachioji.
When we were resting at the 7-Eleven at Takao we saw a group of mixed Japanese riders; we greeted the girls and tried to ignore the guys as good as we could. They went ahead but made a rest halfway where we overtook them. But they had some strong riders, including one of the girls and they overtook at least me again and perhaps also Marek…(Tom’s comment…don’t worry; it happened to me too 3 years ago and I was devastated. This young tiny lady with ponytail going up and down overtook me and no matter how hard I tried I could not stay in her wheel. It was the biggest affront to my pride I ever suffered in my life and from that day I swore to myself I would never ever let it happen again!)
Nevertheless I set a new personal best for the way up despite the traffic jam and a crazy bus driver who was trying to kill Marek and me backwards.
After the descent to Sagamiko Station we decided to split: Tom and Marek rode on in direction Otsuki and David and me went back over Otarumi Toge. I decided to push it again and was very much faster than my previous first try.
Now we had a good tailwind and constantly rode in the 35 – 40 km/h bracket home. After a break at the Y-Park 7-Eleven we continued our way home and were pushed by a newcomer who wanted to keep up with us but, because he didn`t know the pecularities of the Tamagawa track, almost crashed into one of the chainlinks on the closed portion of the road.
Shortly before Futagotamagawa David and me accelerated and he had no power left to stay with us.
My first trip of the year 2008, I am feeling well with the newly positioned saddle by Nagai-San. Let’s see, if the weather is good tomorrow and I am feeling ok, perhaps I will go for another ride.
Don’t know now what happened to Tom and Marek but I am sure we will read on either of their blogs later.
Tom: As we were making headway along a Koshukaido with very little traffic (for a change!), it occured to me that I had taken Marek to the Tawa & Tsuru touges (originally planned destination of today) last Summer so I proposed the Suzugane/Hinazuru touges instead. Marek always open to challenge as he is, liked the idea and off we were going at a real strong pace taking turns. A deja-vu was waiting for me…at almost exactly the same spot where Michael suffered his puncture last month, I heard Marek behind me using plenty of four-letter words. „It’s your back tire, right?“ My intuition was right but I had already noticed during our approach to Takao that Marek’s tire was pretty much deflated…a typical case of スローパンク. We took turns pumping up the new inner tube after Marek removed a metal splinter that had penetrated the tire some time ago. Ate a few sandwiches at the 7/11 near Saruhashi and then we took the left turn towards Tsuru City for the attack of Suzugane…this whole area is pretty much virgin land for cyclists I guess…never encountered another cyclist on this Rd 159! Near the summit, a middle-aged couple who had just hiked to Suzugane’s peak took our picture. Hinazuru touge was cleared in no time and we soon found ourselves zooming our way down Rd 35 direction Akiyamamura – almost one straight descent ending at the wide Katsuragawa river. I had no power left to try a reverse Otarumi TT and it wouldn’t have made sense as we encountered a traffic jam on our way up…car accident. Parted with Marek nearby Y’s shop on the Tamagawa. Marek has made a lot of progress since last Spring…super cadence! Keep it up and you’ll be Positivo Espresso’s champ Marek! What!? I just checked my stopwatch 17:57….I did break the record after all!! When asked by Michael, I had the previous time of the reverse Otarumi TT in my mind and with disappointment in my voice, I replied „just made it under 18 minutes…“ I feel exalted right now….got to update the record!
Marek : What a ride … thanks Tom for dragging me all the way (and for waiting) .. Apologies if I slowed you down. Please find my side of the story in my newly updated blog.

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One more T-Shirt & One More Great Jersey !

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