2011年7月アーカイブ

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じょんのびマニアの皆さん!
こんにちは!
梅雨があけたはずなのに?
新潟県は!またまた水害でございます!被害にあわれた方はおりませぬか?お陰様で?
上越は今のところ?全くと言って良いくらい被害は無いと思われます!

被害に会われてヘルプが必要な方はぜひ!申し付けてください!

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Another asaren. Another 5am start. Strong winds this morning so I skipped the hills and headed for Rochdale Canal. A bit of shelter and some nice easy riding.

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As kids we’d ride the towpaths on our Grifters. Oh how excited we’d be to enter Mexico (a.k.a. Yorkshire). These would be day trips to see how far we could get. Kind of like a “Stand by me” adventure.

Today I cover similar ground in a couple of hours. The towpaths are in excellent condition. Open to bikes as part of the national cycle network. Riding fast on the flats and a little dig to get over the rise at each lock is good fun.

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Over the “summit”, the highest lock in England, and downhill to Hebden Bridge.

Back home on the roads with a quick loop of Hollingworth lake.

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Friday’s asaren: MTB off road / on road (2h 10 mins, 350 m climbing)

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Beautiful morning today. Up at 5. Banana and cereal bar in the back pocket. Deserted streets. A chance to ride through town. Over Scouthead with the sun coming up. Down into Greenfield. Dovestones Reservopir. The long on - road / off - road climb up to Chew Reservoir. Fantastic views from the top. Does asaren get any better than this?

Thursday's training: MTB (2h 10 mins, 800 m climbing)

saddleworth2.JPG saddleworth3.JPG saddleworth4.JPG saddleworth5.JPGA beautiful English summer's day today. Perfect for exploring the Saddleworth hills.

Tuesday's training: MTB (2h 10 mins, 900 m climbing)

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Drove back from the North East today. Dinner. A couple of pints of Boddingtons. Put the kids to bed. 8pm. Time for a ride!

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On the longest day, June 21st, it stays light till about 10:30 pm in the UK. After that, each day becomes shorter by about 2 minutes. Even now, as we approach August, you can still ride your bike till 9:30 at night.

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Monday’s evening spin took in 3 decent climbs:

1. Uppermill to Stanedge moor
2. Delph to Grains Bar
3. Denshaw to Milnrow

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(1h 10 mins, 550 m climbing, 131 / 184 HR AV / MAX)

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For a travelling cyclist on the go, running is good training to keep your fitness. All you need are some shorts and a pair of running shoes. Running on the beach is always great on holiday. In recent years I’ve run on beaches all over the world; Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Saipan, Vietnam, Malaysia.... Whitley Bay!

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I’ve just come back from 3 days staying with my sister and family in Whitley Bay, NE England. Each morning I got up at 5am for a run. The weather is brighter on the east coast, but it’s bloody cold! The beaches are beautiful though. White sand. Roaring surf. Deserted in the morning. I did a run each day.

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DAY 1 (Saturday) St. Mary’s lighthouse return (1h)

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DAY 2 (Sunday) Tynemouth long sands return (1h)

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DAY 3 (Monday) Monskeaton running track 400m x 25 laps (10 km, 43 mins)

今日でツールも終わり。

エヴァンスがマイヨを着て個人的にはうれしい限りです。
BMCがかっこ良く見える。
これでランディスで出来たイメージも払拭できるかな。

仕事が忙しく自転車に乗れません。
夏を謳歌して自転車にのっているブログを
うらやましくチェックしています。

サラリーマンとして生活の糧は稼がねば。
くぅ〜〜〜〜夏の日差しがうらやましい!

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The moors make fantastic cycling. Long steep ascents. Wind swept rolling tops. Long fast descents. These will make you a hardened cyclist.

Today I did a loop over Standedge and the “Isle of Skye” Saddleworth Moor.

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Set out from home. The climb up Buckstones Road to Grains Bar is steep and winding, taking about 10 minutes to the top. Drop down the fast descent from Grains Bar into Delph.

The climb from here up to the tops at Standedge is a tough one. I love the feeling of climbing out of villages and seeing the white and black “National Speed Limit” signs.

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Wind in my face, a real long drag. Pass a roadie out of the saddle. Feeling good. The road swings right. Wind on my back now. Fantastic sweeping views. Swing left and back into the headwind. Cross the Pennine Way. The last drag to the summit.

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Now the long fast descent into Marsden. Take a right for Meltham and its steep straight away. Small ring. Up to the top and a chance to enjoy some of the rolling moorland.

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Drop down again to Meltham village. On the horizon I can see today’s big climb. Take a right in the village. Up, up, up up. Heart rate upto 180. A real tough climb.

At the top is Marsden Moor. Higher than the clouds in the distance. The landscape is so wide here. On top of the world.

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The road forms a rollercoaster all the way to Saddleworth Moor. With the wind on my back I’m flying. Wishing I had a bigger gear.

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The last long drop down to Greenfield. Looks a bit like Snakes Pass this one. It’s long, fast and dangerous. Feathering the brakes all the way. Nice views of Dovestones reservoir.

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Into Greenfield. A shower at my sister’s place. The Kingfisher for lunch. Peroni beer on tap and the sun is out. Perfect!

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Thursday’s training:

Asaren walking: Tandle Hills (1h)

MTB on road: Standedge Moor / Saddleworth Moor loop (1h 45m, 141 / 180 HR av / max, 950 m climbing)

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Tandle Hill Country Park is literally 5 minutes from my parents’ house. A beautiful park of Beach and Fir trees. The hill itself is home to a war memorial and offers sweeping views of Greater Manchester and even the South Wales mountains on a clear day.

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As kids we spent endless summer days playing in the woods, jumping streams, making dens.

When I visit the park these days, it’s for walking, running or biking.

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On our first two days in the UK we’ve had an early morning walk each day before breakfast. The tracks are rough and steep in places, which makes it quite tough pushing the two baby buggies.

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This afternoon I did a pair run with Luke. Tied in with his afternoon nap, pushing the baby buggy while running is great endurance training.

A guy on a horse asked me, “What are you training for?”
“The Japan Cup!” I replied.

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Tandle Hill training:

Tuesday AM: asaren walking (1h30)

Wednesday AM: asaren walking (1h30)

Wednesday PM: pair run (1h15, 150 m climbing, 182 HR max)

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Oldham? The Latics, The Inspiral Carpets , The Moors.

First day back in the UK today. 3 days “off”. Two days boozing in Tokyo. One day boozing on a flight to London. Just 3 hours sleep. Jet lag. I feel surprisingly good!

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Open the garage door. Two mountain bikes in the corner. Last summer’s mud coated in a year of dust. Flat tyres all round.

Lift up the Diamondback, “Bloody ‘ell, that’s heavy!” Lift up the Raleigh, “That’s even heavier!”. Opt for the Diamondback as it has slick (but very chunky tyres) and mudguards.

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Like my place in Kashiwazaki, from my parents’ house, I am in the countryside in no time. Hills, hills, hills. But these hills are shorter, often steeper.

First up the climb to The Puckersley. Steep but short. I’m using heart rate and time only. The heart reacts well.
Next up, Buckstones Road from Shaw to Grains Bar. It’s long and steep. Heart rate in the mid 170s.

Next, the long downhill from Grains Bar to Delph. I love this road. It’s so fast and the views are so fantastic.

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If you are lucky, you can meet the GB team training on these roads from their base at Manchester Velodrome.

In Delph and I catch up with two cyclists with shirts of the “Manchester Velo” club. The biggest gear on the MTB is used a lot on the flats. To keep up with these guys on their road bikes, I really have to spin it in the big gear. Me on my bomber, trainers, toe straps, no helmet, they really wanted to drop me. That was the only motivation I needed.

We parted ways in Uppermill. I have bigger things on my mind.

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Into Greenfiled. Next Dovestones Reservoir, the gateway to the Peak District.

From here the narrow gravel track up to Chew Reservoir. The highest reservoir in England. Into the smallest of the front three chain rings for the steepest parts. It’s sheep, not cars, you have to watch out for here.

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I haven’t climbed this track by bike before. As a kid, I hiked up there with my dad who would tell me stories of plane crashes and ghost houses.

A fantastic climb. At the top, you really do feel on top of the world. A quick descent down to my sister’s place in Greenfield. New babies are greeted. A couple of beers drank.

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Ride home, Uppermill, Delph, this time the lower Grains Bar Road. Between Denshaw and Milnrow is a really steep pass. Time to dig in here. So windy at the top. Purple heather rooted into the rocks trying to fight the wind.

Descend into Milnrow, Shaw, and back home.

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Great ride. As the the pros say “I had good sensations in my legs today”. Feels good to be on old roads. On my old bike. Riding for fun.

Tuesday’s training: MTB on road / off road (2h30, HR 130 / 178, 850 m climbing)

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Today, I went out for a spin. The computer was saying 35 C. The plan was an assault of Ogami Dake.

However this was all put to a halt on Komura Pass, when my free wheel turned into a fixed wheel. I knew the rear hub was on its way out for a while. The odd nasty clunk now and again. But it froze up dramatically. The rear hub fixed up. Rideable, but you have to pedal faster than the rear wheel turns. Alright going up but tricky on the way down.

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Cut the ride short and headed for the beach. Great to meet up with Atsushi and his two children.

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As dusk settled, time for a few beers and the Kenno criterium, which seems to take place nightly. An hour or so on a technical circuit around uncle Hiroshi's back yard. Stamina and endurance are of little use here. It's all about balance and the ability to stop yourself going dizzy.

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1st: Kei kun (4)
2nd: Uncle Hiroshi (63)
3rd: Haru kun (6)
4th: Hiro san (32) / Andy (36)

Tomorrow we head for Tokyo, Monday for England. 17 C and raining. Can't wait!

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Norikura marked the end of the first part of my season. Like last year, I’ll take a break in the summer and try to come back strong in the autumn.

Part 1:

  • Kusatsu HC
  • Tokyo ~ Itoigawa
  • Tsugaike HC
  • Uchinada TTT / RR
  • Norikura HC

<< 3 weeks off >>

Part 2 (plan):

  • August (?) じょんのび marathon
  • August 21 Minami Uonoma Road Race
  • September 4 JBCF Time Trial championships (Saitama)
  • September 19 Ishikawa Masters Road Race
  • October 16 Wajima (JBCF) OR October 22 Gunma CSC Arts Cup
  • October 29 Japan Cup Road Race
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I’ll stop riding the bike tomorrow (July 15th) and be back in Japan on August 11th. That’ll be almost a month off the bike.

In the UK I’ll try to keep basic fitness, alternating between mountain biking and running. I may even do some weights. Most of all I want to refresh.

Back in Japan, I want to do some summer asaren in a big way. Perhaps an Ogami Dake loop each morning.

Performing well at Minami Uonoma in August will be difficult. Hopefully it will be good training.

I really want to go to the TT champs in Saitama. Hopefully 3 weeks will be enough time to be ready for this.

I've been a bit disappointed with my performance in hill climbs this year. I seem to be a couple of minutes off the pace. Hill climbs perhaps require me to be stricter in terms of diet and resting habits. In the second part of the season I'll be focusing more on road racing.

Of course the best way to end the season is the Japan Cup weekend. Would love to go to Okinawa in November but it's probably best to save the money for a beach holiday at Christmas......

Oh, the life of an amateur cyclist!

Today's training: bike to work (15 km), beach time with Luke

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Wednesdays = Takayanagi = Isonobe.

A quick climb before work. A dodgy pedal (bearings gone) and a worn chain on the Vitus aren't enough to put me off. Already 30 degrees in the morning.

Nice and steady. 150 to 160 HR. Shirt wide open. Dripping in sweat. Try to cool down on the descent.

An hour and half on the bike in this weather and you are really cooking. Like a furnace. The best way to cool down is to stick your head under a cold tap. Cold water on the back of the neck brings the body temperature down quickly. A wet towel rub down. An iced drink. Ready for work.

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In the afternoon I'm working further up the hill in Kadoide. Only a 6 km ride but it's 36 degrees now! An ice cream on the go from Hashimotoya. I'm cooking again. This time I head for the pool. It's warm though. 34 degree water temperature. Like a “nurui” onsen! A cold shower feels good though.

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On the way home I make the turn for Isonobe again on impulse. What am I doing? Save it for another day.

Head straight home. Cycling gear into the washing machine. Grab some swimming shorts. Head to the beach with Luke.

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The sea. The best way to cool down. A great way to end the day.

Wednesday's training: Isonobe x 1 (75 km, 600 m climbing)

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One of the great things about living in Niigata are the beautiful quiet roads for cycling. Well surfaced, up and down, and no cars in sight. You could ride all day and count the numbers of cars on one hand. Even then, it's mostly old guys in their little K-trucks, not likely to blow you off the road.

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Another scorcher today. Two frozen bottles are melted and consumed in no time. Two more from the spring. How can it be so cold? Feels fantastic through the holes in the helmet.

Nice rolling terrain. All at tempo pace. Keep wide right on Sakurazaka Pass as there are no guard rails on the left hand side. I've gone over the edge twice on this pass! Twice going up hill! That's the dangers of summer for you. Drink fast, ride slow.

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Tuesday's training: Betsumata rolling course / Sakurazaka Pass loop (55 km, 600 m climbing)

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Today was so hot. Perhaps the hottest day I've ever experienced. Dripping with sweat all day long. No air conditioning at work. Not even a senpuki fan. Efforts are being made to save electricity. All you can do is drink, drink, drink. Try to drink more than you lose. An endless battle.

I took in a short ride too. You have to be careful. Drink lots. Ice sock around the neck. Hunt out shaded roads.

I've nothing to train for now. No specific training. No peaking to be done. No tapering necessary. Just ride for riding sakes. Stretch the legs. Keep things ticking over. Nice and easy

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Monday's training: Nota valley loop (40 km)

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乗鞍ヒルクライムに行ってきました。先週はメカニカルトラブルもあったし体調も心配だったので、スタート前はローテンションでした。でもメカニックからカセットを借りて、アップしました。ハートレートが170まで上がりました。

スタート直後が一番急なのでマイペースで上がりました。いつもヒルクライムの時は180ハートレートの80ケイデンスで登ります。今日は170-175HRまでしか上がりませんでした。ケイデンスも低かったです。ケイデンスをオフして、無視しながら重いギアで登りました。

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コース途中で忍ちゃんといぶきちゃんが応援していました。とても嬉しかった。

そのあと前にいる選手をどんどんパスして、30人位パスしました。エキサイティングなレース展開とはいえないけど、それしかできなかった。

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山の上の方ではハートレートが160位までしか上がりませんでした。トレーニングライドみたいでした。

でもとても景色がいい素晴らしいコースなので、それを考えながら頑張って走りました。ゴールで12位でした(1時間9分44秒)

リザルトはまあまあでしたが、もっといけると思うのでこれからまたがんばります!

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来週末から3週間イギリスに行ってきます。太らないように気をつけます!

リフレッシュして、ニューフレームを持って帰って、BIKE FITをしてもらって、2011シーズンの後半をハイテンションではしりまーーーす。

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This weekend we went to the JBCF Norikura Hill Climb. Last week was a week of bike mechanical problems and of body condition problems, meaning I arrived at the start line less than enthusiastic about the race ahead. Bike racing is 50 physical and 50 mental and I wasn't in the zone today.

I managed to get another cassette off a mechanic in the start area and did my warm up, forcing my heart rate up to 170.

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The first 5 or 6 kilometres from the start line are the steepest. I decided to just take this on at my own rhythm. In hill climbs I usually set 180 HR / 80 cadence as my yardstick. Today I could only manage 170 ~ 175 on the steep section and little cadence at all. I turned off the cadence in frustration and set about pushing some heavier gears than normal.

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I was surprised to see Shinobu and Ibuki chan out on the course. This cheered me up no end.

From there I pressed on a little harder and one by one, managed to reel in 30 or so riders up the road. Hardly the most exciting style of racing but all I had available to me today.

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By the upper reaches, the HR was now stuck in the low 160s. Like a training ride. I even pulled some faces for the cameras.

The road is absolutely stunning and the views breathtaking though, so with these in mind I pushed on as hard as I could.

At the finish a time of 1h 9m 44s was good enough for 12th place. Only a couple of minutes behind the likes of Murayama san and Zac so not too bad. I know I can and will go faster though.

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Next weekend we are heading to the UK for 3 weeks. I'll be trying to keep the weight gain to a minimum!

A chance to refresh, I'll bring a new frame back with me, get “Bike Fitted” by Enosan and be raring to go for the latter half of the season.

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33 degrees in Matsumoto. 28 degrees in Norikura. I thought we'd be escaping the heat!

A quick ride up the lower reaches of the course. Very steep. The 27 will come in handy. Unfortunately this “new” cassette is also worn and the last three gears are all messed up. Once in a gear it's okay but it takes a while to settle between gear changes. Quite unsettling really.

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Too late to do anything now. Just try to keep gear changes to a minimum. Strength in adversity!

A paddle in the river, onsen, BBQ and beer....

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Saturay's training: lower course reccy (11 km, 500 m climbing)

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I love this time of year. It's sweltering in the day. But the days are long. A perfect summer's day is bookmarked by an early asaren morning and an evening dip in the sea. No asaren today. Keeping to my “two days off” promise.

In the evening I enjoyed a dip with Luke. Last summer we were down there every evening before a bath and dinner. A good routine to fall into for sure.

There are a few beaches to choose from in Kashiwazaki. I prefer Banjin with it's sheltered cove, long sandy strip, rocks and pools and views of Mt. Yoneyama.

At night we went to Enosan's and finally got the bike in running order. A new chain on worn cassettes (I tried my 23, 25 and 27) was the problem just as Andrew had suggested. I dug a 9 speed cassette out of the parts bin. It worked perfectly. A 34 × 27 set up, so no excuses for not getting up the mountain!

Weather looks a bit dodgy for a course reccy tomorrow. Fingers crossed for better weather on Sunday.....

Another couple more early nights and hopefully I'll be firing on all cyclinders again.

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Friday's training: rest day

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A beautiful day today. Feels strange to drive the car to work. Usually the car is saved for only foul weather days. Today is a rest day though. Tomorrow too. I’ve promised myself these two days of non-actvity in a bid to be fresh for Norikura.

A quick swim in the pool but nothing too strenuous. How many people can swim on work's time? On hot sticky days like today, a quick dip does wonders to refresh the mind and body.

Still having bike issues. The new chain on the carbon bike just won’t settle down. Hopefully we can get it sorted in time….

A couple of beers tonight and in bed with Luke and Mark at 7:30....... Power Sleeping!

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I've been having mechanical problems all week. A broken crank arm, a replacement chain, worn derailleur pulleys, a worn BB, a wheel hub overhaul..... I seem to be at Enosan's place every night.

Mechanical problems are nothing though compared to a broken body. “Heartbreak” is what Enosan calls it. When the heart refuses to respond. No matter how hard you push it, it refuses to respond. What causes this?

  • Over training
  • A lack of recovery
  • Poor sleeping patterns
  • The hot weather
  • Dehydration
All these things play a part.
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The warning signs were there yesterday. I did some intervals on the coast. The standard 30 / 90 s intervals seemed all well and good.

Returning into a headwind I tried to do 30 mins at 150HR. This is my staple winter training. I can hold this for hours on end, day after day. But not yesterday, I just couldn't hold it.

Today I did 2 climbs of a planned 3 climbs of Ishikawa Pass. This Pass is tough enough to get me up to 180HR when I'm going hard and going well.

Today I couldn't get above the low 140s. On the descents I was yawning away, really sleepy. Shouldn't be on the bike in these conditions.

I have three days to turn things around before Norikura. I can do it. Enosan's recommendation? Two days off the bike. 3 early nights. A light spin on the course on Saturday afternoon.

Not ready to be heartbroken just yet.

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Tuesday's training: coast road (70 km, 200 m climbing)

Wednesday's training: Ishikawa Pass x 2 (50 km, 600 m climbing)

【2011.07.06 12:43】
いまだスパムコメントが若干見受けられます…。
恐らくこの数日で相当数の迷惑メールが飛び交っているようです(特にandy…)。
引き続き様子見なのですが、今後コメント投稿時のメール通知機能をoffにすることも視野に入れています。
(コメントが書き込まれたら、その記事の投稿者にメールが飛ぶ機能)

引き続きご不便お掛け致しますが、何卒ご了承下さい。
****************************************************************************************************
【2011.07.05 12:58】
昨晩の対策後も一部不具合が見られているようです…。
ひとまず暫定処置としまして、
1.アクセス制限(現在「.jp」と「.bbtec.net(Yahoo!BB)」からのみアクセス可)
2.コメントは承認制(リアルタイムでの反映はせず、確認後に公開)
となっています。

プロバイダが「.net」や「.com」などの方はblogやsiteが見られないかもしれません…。
その場合はご連絡頂き次第、対応致します。

ご不便お掛け致しますが、宜しくお願い致します。
****************************************************************************************************
【2011.07.04 19:15】
今日の昼過ぎからスパムコメントが連発したみたいでしたので、
一通り削除した上でスパム対策のレベルを上げてみました。
もし記事やコメント書き込みで不具合が生じた方はご連絡下さい。
以上、減量対策中のsuzuotoでした。
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It was Bob Dylan who said “you don't need a weather man to know which way the wind blows”. Well the weathermen got it wrong today. A slight chance of rain forecast. I got to work with just a few rain drops. But the way home? “A hard rain's gonna fall!”. The road was like a river. The bridge over the rail tracks, like a waterfall. Drenched from head to toe. Thank god it's not February!

Monday's training: rest / bike to work (20 km)

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I've been really enjoying reading Laurent Fignon's biography. The other day I read about how he prepared for his two consecutive Milan~San Remo wins. He basically turned himself inside out on the Wednesday before the race. Mountains in the morning. Motorpacing in the afternoon. Total rest on Thursday and Friday. The body is so shocked that it recovers better than normal. The over compensation theory.

A week before Norikura and I'm looking for a similar thing. Two climbs of Ogami Dake yesterday and the always grueling Happodai HC and Yamakoshi “race” today.

I left Kashiwazaki at 5am and rode in the rain to the start. I did a few digs on Sochi Toge. I have a bit of niggling cold which makes breathing difficult. I won't be lighting up the climb today.

At the start area, others are taking it more seriously. Rollers. Race wheels. This event is really growing. The level of competition is astounding. Difficult to find a tougher hill climb field in only 30 entrants.

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I'm not up for the slow / fast aggressive attack, counter attack, style of racing which I know will happen. The first couple of kilometres are fast drafting before the climb steepens. I have a plan to attack from the gun and see how far I can make it. I ask Oono san if he is interested. He thinks we should wait till the climb begins in earnest. I tell him he can have my wheel for as long as I can hammer it and then he should go alone....

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Race start. Wait a few moments. Attack. Full gas. Look back. Oono san is on. The gap is growing. A fork in the road. Shit! Which way is it!? No glasses for hill climbing. Close in on the sign. Take the left at the last possible moment.

The gradient is picking up. I watch the speed drop, 40, 37, 35, 33. It's not fast enough. Look back and can see the pack coming.

“Oono san best go now!”

He goes but the group is too fast.

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The pack is being driven by Watanabe san. Fresh from an excellent 55 min time at Tsugaike. He usually makes up ground later in the race but he's flying from the start today. I latch on. Next to Tazaki san on the back.

“Nice attack!”
“It didn't work though!”

Then as his team mate Oono san is caught, Tazaki san makes the inevitable move.

I can't follow. Need time to recover. It takes a while but eventually I find my rhythm. 80 cadence. 180 HR.

Two strong riders to share the work with. The right turn. The road steepens. I can't follow these two pure climbers here. Best to pace myself. On the limit all the way to the finish.

A time of 26 mins. Not my best but not bad considering my condition and the attack.

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I realised two things about Norikura:

1.I need to use the compact crankset
2.I need to rest up, time off the bike and time in bed

Two young guns pushed Fuji HC champion Tazaki san into 3rd, which tells you something about the competition.

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Next up, the Yamakochi “race”. Fast from the gun. I can do a bit on the flat but just don't have it on the two big passes. Too hot. Too tired.

Back down out of the mountains and I have a chance to show my strength. On the flats. Its attack after attack after attack. I can follow the attacks and ride over the top each time. I can't go for long but I can go fast, bloody fast. No-one can beat me on this terrain.

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This season I feel I'm evolving as a rider. I always considered myself to be a good endurance rider who could do a bit of damage in the hills. This year though I seem to be more at home making short aggressive attacks on the flats. Maybe I should try a few criteriums instead of the usual hill climb circuit.

Each attack I was scraping the barrel of all I had left. I went so hard on the last one to the car park that I snapped my crank arm.

I never like to brake parts. Especially not my beloved 180 mm cranks. But I'm happy to join the Kashiwazaki Crank Breaking Group, whose only other member is Murayama san!

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Fantastic training today. I need to be careful this week so I can go to Norikura fresh and raring to go.

Sunday's training: Happodai HC (130 km, 1700 m climbing)

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Ogami Dake. Many ways to climb it. All the roads that lead you there are winding. They're all challenging too. In thick mist today I climbed it twice.

Up at 4:20. On the bike by 4:30. In the pockets: 3 bananas, 1 sandwich, 2 soy joys (no shops on today's route). 23 degrees. Thick low lying mist.

A few digs on Komura Pass to get the heart rate moving. On the top of the pass by 5:00. The sun trying to break the mist. Drop down to Yoshikawa town. A long fast descent back to sea level.

Next up Ogami Dake. The sign reads Ogami Dake 13 km. But the first few kilometres are flat and fast. The mountain waiting for you on the horizon. Time to prepare for it mentally.

Once the road picks up, it really picks up. Rarely out of the 38 × 27. Into the mist. Like being in a mist shower. Nothing to see from the paraglider take off point today.

I drop down the narrow winding road to Sakurazaka Pass. Kamoshika deer are often out on the road at this time of day. I sing all the way down the long descent to warn them of me coming. “Today is gonna be the day that they're gonna throw it back to you...”

U-turn at the bottom of Sakurazaka for another climb of Ogami Dake. This is the easiest way to do it. A chance to shift through the gears. Nice speeds on the gentler parts. Back to the top of Ogami Dake.

Some water from a spring. Komura Pass and home for 8 o'clock.

If Isonobe is my Everest, then Ogami Dake is my Wonderwall.....

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Saturday's asaren: Ogami Dake x 2 (90 km, 1700 m climbing)

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Bike Fit now available at CYCLE SHOP ENOSAN, Kashiwazaki. Get fit!

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Luke and Mark are growing up so quickly. Luke is not a baby anymore. Mark is only 3 months old but is changing so quickly.

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Both boys are so contented and of little trouble at all. The secret? Who knows? But certainly plenty of sleep and a good diet helps.

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Mark is sleeping, awake, sleeping,awake, but rarely cries. Growing quickly on mum's milk.

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Luke still gets his daily nap. He'd sleep all afternoon if we let him. In bed by 7 ~ 730 and up around 6. His diet puts mine to shame. Completely balanced. No snacks. No flavourings or artificial foods. Water to drink.

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As a cyclist, I try to get all the essential things I need but I don't mind the little extras, never worry about weight too much. Let the riding sort that out.

Rest is another thing though. I don't get enough sleep these days. I have no problem getting up for asaren but should be more disciplined in going to bed earlier.

Rest days too. I like to tell myself I have 1 rest day and a couple of easy days riding each week. I'm pretty good with the recovery rides but complete rest? Looking at last month's data, I only had one true rest day when I didn't put foot to pedal.

Today was a nice day for riding but I forced myself to stay in bed as the sun woke me up through the curtains at 4:30.

Tomorrow I want to do a full climb of Ogami Dake. Sunday, the Happodai Hill Climb.

Next week is the last week in my first part of the cycling season. I'll take 3 weeks off and then rebuild for some racing in September.

Friday's training: rest day

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