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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

2023 Century-A-Month Club

Old 01-01-23, 09:16 AM
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joewein
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2023 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.

2022 thread: 2022 Century A Month Club
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Old 01-11-23, 07:32 PM
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Wet century. Started and ended in Portland, Oregon. Rode northwest, through farmlands to and up the Banks Vernonia State Trail. Out and back on the BV, then home via more urban roads. It rained the entire time, stayed in the mid-40s, the wind blew fiercely in the morning, and the last couple of hours were in the dark. And I loved every minute of it.


encouraging signs

warm, dry patio with espresso



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Old 01-12-23, 09:25 AM
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125 consecutive months of "Century a Month" completed. 162 km (101 mi) in West Izu with 1940 m (6300 ft) of elevation gain (on Strava).

West Izu is an old favourite of mine. It's a great place for winter rides because the coastal road never climbs much beyond 250 m so there's no worry about snow. You can find mikan (satsuma orange) stalls everywhere, often with a cash box into which you drop coins before you help yourself to a bag of fruit.



This was the first time since October that I did a hilly ride and it was tough. My legs were toast. I ate two bags of mikan, 5 sandwiches and 3 bananas during the day.



The entire second half of the century ride was after sunset and according to the Wahoo cycling computer it was below freezing.

The views were fantastic though - I would say the second best day in 3 decades of Izu trips.









If I could ride this hilly course every week, I would soon get into shape.

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Old 01-27-23, 08:19 PM
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Indoors, two flat Rouvy routes, 104.37 miles total. 4'39" moving & 5 hours total.

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Old 01-28-23, 09:19 PM
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Indoors. 7:17 total. Rouvy rolling route.
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Old 02-14-23, 10:45 PM
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working towards this!
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Old 02-15-23, 05:38 PM
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A day in North San Diego
https://www.strava.com/activities/8545722590



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Old 03-27-23, 09:47 AM
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Got side tracked for February but got this done on Saturday.

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Old 05-08-23, 01:28 AM
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I have fallen a little behind since CaM Month #125 in January. This was my February report:



With a 162 km bike ride (on Strava) down the east coast of Izu (Odawara-Inatori-Odawara) my February Century is done. That's month #126 of Century a Month.



I had been tempted by a ride to Kazahari that a friend had announced, but the worry about hitting an impassable frozen dead end somewhere above 1000 m (3300 ft) of elevation and not being able to complete the century distance that day turned me off the idea. I'll be out of the country from Friday to the following Saturday, which doesn't leave many chances for long rides in this short month. So Izu it was.

After the snow on Friday I was happy to see a milder forecast for Saturday and Sunday. I decided to go for shorts, with long underwear and my rainwear for the morning and night part of the ride. The morning was indeed chilly, the rainwear definietly was no match for the fleece-lined trousers I normally wear in winter, but from the late morning to sunset I was fine in shorts and most of the time also in the t-shirt (without wind breaker). Midday temperatures would have been too warm for the winter trousers.



Passsing through Manazuru, Yugawara, Atami, Ito and then the backroads between Ito and Jogasaki brought back memories of brevets, Flèche rides and group rides. The 400 and 600 km brevets by AJ Nishi-Tokyo take a route through Izu in opposite directions. The only time I had previously cycled beyond my halfway point of Inatori was at a 300 km brevet of AJ Kanagawa in November 2021 (2021BRM1120, Kamakura-Shimoda-Zushi).



I had started the ride without breakfast at home and only had two sandwiches during the first third. That definitely was too little. Later I bought bananas, a bag of mikan and more sandwiches.



The course is hilly, with about 1,000 m (3300 ft) of elevation gain on each half but a lot of the time there are ocean views to take your mind of the climbing.



I knew I would be riding much of the return part after dark, but still spent time talking to people I met. At one convenience store I saw a Cannondale gravel bike outside. When the owner came out we had a chat. He looked old enough to be in retirement and lived in Atami. Last year he spent a year off the bike because of a heart issue but could now resume riding. He was on his way to a hot spring bath.

South of Jogasaki I passed some public toilets and noticed a big handcart there with a flag and a message "Nihon'isshū-chū" in Kanji characters (circumnavigating Japan). Next to it a tent had been set up. Following my curiosity, I stopped and returned to greet the guy standing next to the cart. It turned out he was on a mission to walk the entire coastline of Japan. He had left Osaka on foot on December 12 last year. He said his average pace was about 3.5 km/h, covering some 20 km a day. The plan was to make it up the east coast of Honshu in time to be able to spend the 4 warmest months of the year walking around Hokkaido before heading south again.

The handcart was equipped with reflectors, a flag, a blinking bar and a headlight for safety. With the tent and all belongings packed, it weighed about 100 kg (220 lb). Izu is a hilly place to pull this kind of weight.

Mr Kaidō gave me his business card. You can follow him on Instagram as [MENTION=79963]REI[/MENTION]wano_rearcarman

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Old 05-10-23, 10:46 PM
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Here is my late report for the March "CaM", written a couple of days after the 2023-03-12 ride:



On Sunday I rode my March century, or I should say my first March century as I'll have a 200 km Brevet the weekend after next and this was training for that.

Four weeks after my previous Century ride I joined a TRP group ride to Yabitsu with [MENTION=346149]microcord[/MENTION] starting from Takao station at 08:00. I left home at 05:30.



As soon as the road turned uphill I could tell it was going to be hard to keep up. Several times the rest of the group waited for me at a hill or traffic light. After an hour I announced I would continue on my own.



Getting the bike over the gates at the entry and exit of Karazawa rindo on my own was challenging but I managed. The climb was hard but Izu will be even hillier, I needed the exercise.

I rode in shorts and short sleeve jersey most of the day, but added and removed my rain gear as needed where it was too cold (e.g. Yabitsu descent).

The 7-11 in Hadano was a little after the halfway point, I still needed 70 km from there. So I headed to Hiratsuka (no hills on the way) then up to Ebina and back to Setagaya broadly following 246.

I have many times strictly stuck to 246 except wherever it's clearly illegal for cyclists but it can be quite hairy in a few places, like one underground section and another on an overpass where a lane splits off to the left. This time I let myself be guided by Google Maps which suggested a less hardcore route - more elevation but fewer speeding trucks. Thanks to this choice I passed Rusi Indo Biryani in Tokaichiba where I stopped for a nice dinner.



Another hour later and I got back to Setagaya. I did some grocery shopping before arriving home with 169 km (on Strava). That makes it 127 consecutive months with at least one 160.9 km ride per calendar month.
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Old 05-19-23, 10:04 PM
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Here's my late report for my April century, which was a 230 km Trace ride on April 8, 2023 from Matsumoto in Nagano (as in 1998 Winter Olympics) to Tokyo:



Our team was one of several dozen doing a Flèche or Trace ride in the same AR Nihonbashi event. The ride formats are similar in that both have small groups riding together for the entire course, with time and distance requirements, but the Trace format is more generous (2-6 people, at least 200 km, 24-34h to finish vs. 3-5 people, at least 360 km, max. 24h).

For three years the same team had attempted a Flèche from Aichi to Tokyo but it always ended in DNF (abandoning the ride), primarily due to sleep deprivation. This year we opted for the Trace format. This gave us more time to rest in the middle and also more time to enjoy interesting places and sit down meals along the way.

On Friday morning I picked up a rental car (Toyota Aqua) at Noborito/Kawasaki. In the afternoon I drove to Nagano with my bike in the back. It rained most of the way there but the weekend forecast was better. I cycled from the rental car drop-off place to my hotel wearing my rain gear in the cold rain. I let my bike dry in the hotel car park before I moved it to my hotel room for the night.

After breakfast I took a stroll around the city center before meeting up with the rest of the team. One AJ Nishi-Tokyo member came on his MTB to see us off at the Familymart convenience store starting point.

After the 10:30 start we headed towards Shiojiri pass (1031 m), about 20 km away. There were a lot of rolling hills and the pass was about 435 m above the start. The higher pace early in the ride was the toughest part for me, especially with all the cold weather gear we were carrying for the part past midnight in the second half.

I had never cycled in Matsumoto, though on previous Norikura trips with Half-Fast Cycling we always returned from that station (shuttle bus from hotel to station). On the way to the pass we passed through Shiojiri where the Norikura adventures always started.

From Shiojiri toge (Shiojiri pass) we got a view of Suwa-ko, the nearby lake. In the morning it was very cloudy but I was happy it wasn't raining. After the descent down into Okaya we had lunch at a local restaurant. I felt much better after food and some rest.

We proceeded on the SW side of Suwa-ko (Lake Suwa) where I had previously passed in the opposite direction on AJ Nishi-Tokyo's 600 km brevet. We stopped at Suwa Taisha jinja, one of the three major Shinto shrines in the area around the lake, to pray for a safe ride or to enjoy the views and take pictures as the case may be.

A bit over 30 km after the pass and 50 km from the start we stopped at our first PC (checkpoint). One of the requirements of the Trace format is PCs at least 50 km apart. This means the goal not only has to be 200 km from the start but also at least 50 km after wherever PC3 is if you have three PCs at roughly 50+, 100+ and 150+ km.

As the day progressed, the clouds disappeared and the sun came out more and more. The temperature climbed from around 8 deg C in the morning to around 13 deg C in the late afternoon. The route climbed again after the lake to reach Fujimi pass were you can see Mt Fuji (duh) on a clear day. The descent from there to the Yamanashi basin was a lot of fun: A lot of fast-paced downhill.



A little after 17:00 we reached our halfway stop at the Kenkoland (a public bath) in Fuefuki where we rested for almost 8 hours. We used the public bath before having dinner as a group and then catching a nap.

At 00:15 I got up again from the reclining chair where I had rested, changed back into my cycling wear and met up with the team. The Easter full moon was out and it was cold, about 6 deg C.

We all wore our winter gear now. I had changed from shorts into winter trousers but left off some layers because we were still climbing before the coldest part. PC2 was a convenience store near the bath. From here we climbed about 480 m vertical to Sasago tunnel. The first part was back roads, often past harvested vineyards, then we joined Rt20 (Koshukaido). The gradient there was mellow.

Just before the tunnel entrance was a Michi-no-eki (Road station, a kind of local farmer's market with restaurants) that was already closed for the night. Here we put on the rest of our winter gear. I covered my neck and ears and wore 4 layers (base layer, LS jersey, wind breaker, rain jacket) plus the reflective vest. Sasago tunnel is about 3 km long. The coldest part of the ride would start at the tunnel exit and would last until just after sunrise. It was also very windy. Windy.com had predicted 0 deg C for the tunnel exit at 03:00 while the weather site used by Mr D., the ride leader had predicted 3 deg C. His site was spot on.

It was a loooong descent to Otsuki and on to Uenohara. There wasn't much traffic on Rt20 at night. I was dressed warm enough that I was feeling comfortable, except for the toes of my right foot that felt chilly at one point as I had skipped the shoe covers. I did use "ghetto bar mitts" (plastic bags over the drops secured with rubber bands) and never needed my full fingered gloves.




After Uenohara we turned off Rt20 and followed the same route in reverse that I had last done in October during the Momotaro brevet. The temperature dropped as low as 0 deg C near Sagami-ko (Lake Sagami) before the morning sun reversed the trend. I took off some layers as we did some minor climbs towards Sagamihara.

We crossed Machida and passed Noborito where I had earlier picked up the car. I was almost at home now. We passed close to my home in Setagaya.

The plan was to have breakfast at a Gusto restaurant (217 km from Matsumoto) to get receipts to prove our goal time but after we had already ordered our food we were told they won't split bills on parties of 4 or more people (i.e. no receipts for 5 of the 6 of us) and they wouldn't budge on that. So we ate our food as quickly as we could and did a convenience store purchase nearby just in time. Then we rode another 6 km to Yoyogi park where the goal reception was (the "Naisu pureesu" = "nice place" in Japanese rando terms).

We met some other randonneuring friends who had participated.



After filling in and handing in our brevet cards along with the convenience store receipts for proof we had our picture taken (see above). It felt good to have finished a team event for the first time in several years. It was a great route and a nice team and we had been very lucky with the weather. We split up there and rode home individually. I had only 7 km home. After a shower and fresh clothes I took a nap on the sofa for a couple of hours.

My legs were a bit sore for a few days but it wasn't all rest. On Monday I took a business partner who came to Japan to West Izu by car, including some hiking, on Tuesday we walked 10+ km in Kamakura together.
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Old 07-21-23, 12:23 AM
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Late report of my May Century on 2023-05-06: (on Strava)



I managed to get my ride in yesterday, before the rain today. It was very windy and I saw dark clouds but the rain never came while I was out there. Month #129 of "Century a Month" complete (162 km with 2200 m of elevation gain on Strava).

My original plan was to ride the first 60 km of BRM513, the 400 km brevet I'm signed for that will take place next weekend, after riding to the start in Machida. Instead I turned around already at Michi no Eki Doshi, before the final climb to Doshimichi Yamabushi tunnel.


On the climb before Aone village another cyclist who passed me asked: "Are you riding an event with AJ Nishi-Tokyo?" -- "Yes, I'll be doing the 400 km next weekend, this is training." -- "Me too! We can ride together." But he was definitely climbing faster and I didn't even try to keep up. I saw a lot cyclists on the road but only a few at the Michi no Eki, where I had coffee and ice cream.




I took a nap three times on the way to Doshi, twice outside convenience stores, once on a bench on a roadside viewpoint. The heat was getting to me. The day had started cool but near Aone it was close to 30 deg C riding on the tarmac. I really wasn't used to the heat and I think my legs still hadn't recovered from the hiking last Saturday.

After I crossed into Yamanashi it gradually cooled as I gained more elevation but I think the wind also helped. It's usually cooler on the Yamanakako side of the pass and that seemed to be where the clouds were coming from.




On the way to Doshi I passed a sign for some waterfalls. On the way back I decided to check them out. The two falls called Otaki and Medaki were a short hike up from the end of road. Iris Japonica (shaga) which I love were growing by the roadside.




The return ride was quite relaxing. It was mostly descending with only short climbs and the heat was gone even at lower elevation. I had brought my rain gear because of the predicted 40% chance of rain but never needed it.




The cloud formations looked really unusual. Later on there was a beautiful full moon.

I got back home around 22:00, still in time to pick up a kebab roll from a local Indian restaurant to replace some of the 3,500 kcal that Strava says I burnt.

I think my pace fell far short of what I would need to do in the brevet but nevertheless it will have been useful practice. I'll just take next week's ride as it comes.
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Old 07-23-23, 09:39 PM
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Really enjoy reading about your rides. The photos and Strava stats are a nice bonus!!
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Old 09-02-23, 05:50 AM
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Late post of my June "Century a Month" ride:



Month #130 of "Century a Month" complete with 173 km ride to Tsuru toge (Tsuru pass) near Kosuge-mura (Kosuge village) in Yamanashi. It was cool in the morning but hot later in the day.

My wife was going hiking in Tochigi and got up at 04:15. I woke up two hours before that and even though I started the bike ride early in the morning was lacking sleep. I stopped for two extended naps, one just before Tsuru toge, the other near Tachikawa on the way home.



I cycled up the Tamagawa (the local river), then over to Akiruno (Musashiitsukaichi). After a coffee break at the Familymart west of the station I headed up the valley, then climbed towards the tunnel over to the Uenohara side. This is where I entered Yamanashi prefecture.



I love the quiet area around Rt18, which reminds me of the area around Rt35 (Akiyama). However, I withered in the heat and ended up walking in a couple of places.



Tsuru toge was the highest point of the ride. From there it was mostly downhill or flat. It's always nice to reach that point in any long ride.



From Okutama I mostly used Rt45 on the right bank of the Tamagawa towards Ome.

A couple of km before Ome I pulled into a 7-11 to get coffee and rest a bit. A local resident struck up a conversation with me. He seemed to know quite a bit about bikes and cycling, even though he had a walking impediment. As it turned out, this was the effect of surgery for a brain tumor he had to undergo.

I enjoy the random encounters and conversations with strangers on bike rides.



For the first time in many months I skipped Sherpa in Ome on the way back and didn't have dinner there. I did need more food however and rather than stopping at a conbini, I got a kebab at Kamal's Kebab Shop about 5 km beyond Sherpa. He was very friendly and the kebab was quite nice.

About 25 km from Setagaya I got sleepy and lay down on concrete for a nap. That rest was very welcome and effective. I had no problems for the rest of the ride and after I got home. Sufficient sleep is your friend!
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Old 09-02-23, 07:17 AM
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Late report for the July ride (164 km on Strava).



It had been 4 weeks since the last long ride.

The day before I rode about 50 km with [MENTION=346149]microcord[/MENTION] to receive a book from his book collection that he was generously giving away. He also invited me to a group ride on Sunday, but when it's as hot as now I find it safer to do solo rides so I can completely set my own pace and take whatever rest needed to deal with heat stress.



With the insane traffic of the three day weekend it took me close to three hours to drive the ~130 km to Mishima on Tomei expressway on Sunday morning. By the time I had a late breakfast and stocked up on drinks at a 7-11 near Mishima station it was already 10:30 and well above 30 C.



The forecast for down in Matsuzaki had been only 26 C and cloudy but up in Mishima it was a blue sky though also hazy enough not to be able to see Mt Fuji. Before I got to Osezaki on the north west corner of Izu I had seen as high as 34 C on the Wahoo but I could see low clouds over the mountains and also towards the west coast. At a JA shop I bought two bags of mikan and some marmalade to bring home.



Small Rt17 on the coast was the busiest I had ever seen. The smallest stretches of beach on the north coast were crowded with families.

It got a little cooler when I started climbing at Osezaki since it was more shaded there but it didn't cool off much. In the tunnel at the top it was still 29 C and after the next descent it warmed up again.



At the viewing spot near Ita I met two Chinese road cyclists. I offered them some mikan. They had started from Odawara in the morning, climbing Hakone before riding down the west coast to Matsuzaki, where they booked a hotel. The following day they were going to return to Odawara via the east coast.



I ate and drank a lot more than on my last century ride and I think it helped. The ride never became too unpleasant.



As the sun got lower the temperature dropped but stayed in the high 20s. I enjoyed the evening light around Dogashima and Matsuzaki.



In Matsuzaki I turned away from the coast and took Rt15 towards Shimoda as it got dark. Instead of heading back up the route I had come down on, I took Rt414 through the center up to Shuzenji. I had used it once before a few years ago. I remembered the long descent from Amagi tunnel that I had done then but I didn't remember how long the climb to that had been on south side Oh, well The temperature had dropped to a pleasant 19 C. Google Maps on the cycling setting tried to send me on the E70 bypass, an expressway tunnel banned even for motorcycles under 125cc.

In the forests I heard plenty of whistling noises, presumably from deers. The night sky was gorgeous with so many stars visible without urban light pollution.

Finally I got to enjoy the long descent and then some 30 km of flat roads along the Kamogawa, Izu's main river flowing towards Numazu.

I was very sweaty but satisfied when I got back to the car a little before 03:00 in the morning.
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Old 09-19-23, 05:32 AM
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On August 3rd I found myself taken to a hospital in an ambulance after a fall. Nothing bike related, but I bumped my head and injured my back and it was painful. For the first week I could barely walk and was on pain killers. Gradually it got better and I could do without the pain killers. I wasn't sure if I would still be able to attempt a long ride that month. The answer is, I sort of did. I did not want to do anything stupid that would make my injury worse.

I did a 163 mile ride (on Strava) and I did it in a 24h day, though technically it was not a single day in my local time zone. I rode half on the evening of Wed, Aug 30, then got up early in the morning and rode the other half, finishing before 24h after the start of the first half.




The Wednesday night ride (18:27-23:59) was basically a repeat of my Sunday night ride to have dinner at Nepalese restaurant "Sherpa" in Ome (42 km one way). It was 25-27 deg C and felt very pleasant. With much of it on cycling paths on the Tamagawa river and the rest on not very busy roads it was a consistent effort. I felt no back pain after the ride so I was happy to go for the second half the next day.

The second half could not have been more different. My back was OK too, but other than that it was literally a difference like day and night, in that it was so hot, I got red with sun burn and had to drink huge amounts to stay hydrated.


Yokohama foreign cemetery with Mt Fuji

I chose to head to Yokohama to visit Chinatown and the Foreigners Settlement on the hill.


Diamond Princess at anchor in Yokohama

On the way I passed the Red Brick Warehouse where I caught sight of this particular boat that made a lot of headlines early in 2020 when it was stuck in Yokohama. It's the Diamond Princess!

Yokohama Chinatown

Besides the heat, another major difference was that there were so many traffic light stops, which made for a much slower pace. I got back a lot later and got exposed to more midday heat than I had expected.

When I was only about 2 km from home and waiting at a traffic light, I noticed another foreigner on a road bike on the opposite side. We looked at each other and greeted each other. When the light switched, he approached me and we started talking. It turned out to be a member of another bike forum I knew online! We both live in Setagaya but had never met here before. What a nice surprise!
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Old 12-27-23, 08:50 PM
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I finished September Century on September 9 (171 km, on Strava). It went much better than the drive in the car that left the burn marks with melted plastic on the road in the picture below:



I went back to Tomin no Mori, returning via Okutama and Ome.



It rained for the first two hours. When I reached the Tamagawa river, I changed into my rain gear and considered my options, while having a chat with another cyclist waiting for his ride mates. He was very interested in my bike, a theme for this ride as I had two more conversations with other cyclists later.

I decided to at least go to Musashi-Itsukaichi and then decide whether to come back or continue. 12 km later I took off my rain gear again because I was feeling too warm. At the small park where I did this I met two cyclists, one an 80 year old in a Kappelmuir jersey, the other on a Trek with Di-2 which had stopped shifting. The senior cyclist studied my bike in detail and we discussed the component choices.



I did a convenience store stop in Akiruno where another customer smoking a little cigar studied my bike. He used to ride a Miyata Pro when he was younger.

In Hinohara I stopped at Cafe Kana Kana, a cafe and camp site a little before where Route 206 splits off Route 33 (tunnel to Uenohara). The cafe operates in old Airstream trailers. The owner showed my his vintage roadbike (ca. 1970s). He is also a blacksmith and created the above art installation about Russia's war in Ukraine.



The climb to Tomin no Mori was hard. According to the Fitbit I wore my heart rate was near its maximum. I rested at the Tomin trailhead restaurant, had some coffee and ice cream and washed my face.

At 1000 m of elevation I was now in the clouds, with no views of the valleys below. After a picture stop at the pass marker I descended to the parking lot where normally stop for pictures. There I saw a guy in a randonneur vest with FRANCE written on the back. So I addressed him in French and we started talking about randonneuring (we did switch to English). It turned out we had some friends in common and after I recognised a reference to David, with whom he was riding frequently, I blurted out: "You must be Jerome!" I knew him from years of blog posts on POSITIVO ESPRESSO and many adventures written down by David there :-) This was a really nice surprise.

I descended to the lake, on to Okutama and then down to Ome. Helped by drizzle and clouds, temperatures were very sensible all day, almost always between 19 and 24 deg C.



I had dinner at Nepalese restaurant "Sherpa" and got home after 23:00. It's a relief to have been able to do one of my usual courses without any unusual discomfort. I spent a lot of time talking to people that I met at various stops and that was the most fun part of this ride.

Last edited by joewein; 12-29-23 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 12-27-23, 08:57 PM
  #18  
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I had intended to ride my October Century on the first day of the month but changed my mind because of the weather forecast. The following weekend I spent with my family in Karuizawa for my daughter's wedding. The Wednesday after the wedding my wife I headed to Haneda for a one week trip to Umbria, Italy. We got back on a Friday just before midnight. Saturday I spent recovering before finally riding 162 km on Sunday (on Strava).



I started late, leaving only a little before 09:00 in the morning. I headed out towards Machida on Onekan. There seems to be some road construction going on. Passing Machida Risu Koen (Machida Squirrel Park), a pet zoo for small children, I aimed for Sakaigawa, the river down to the coast at Enoshima.

South of Icho Danchi (Icho apartment complex) I met a rider on a vintage randonneur bike. We stopped to admire each other's bikes. He has been riding his for 45 years and it's in mint condition. The front and rear derailleur are not original but from the era and the current paint job is the third one. The bike was sparkling clean.




I don't often ride the Sakaigawa route and was amazed how many cyclists there were. I followed it to the mouth of the river in Enoshima.




By then I got hungry and searched for some a Nepalese, which I found at Danfe, two kilometers away. It was tiny and very busy so I could only get a takeout curry. They seem very popular.

The main road to Kamakura was one traffic jam, as usual on a Sunday afternoon.

There were lots of windsurfers out at Zushi.



I continued down the coast to past Hayama with a few photo stops and one convenience store stop.



After the sunset pictures I turned around towards Kamakura.



I followed the main road towards the Hachimangu shrine, then up the mountain over to the Yokosuka side up towards Yokohama.

I took some pictures around the Minato Mirai area but progress towards Tokyo was slow.



It was just one red light after another. I was still riding in shorts and my long sleeve summer jersey but that was OK, it wasn't too cold.

After crossing the Tamagawa river on Route 15 I took Route 311 (Kannana) to Setagaya. When I got near home I was still a couple of km short of my distance so I did a few loops of Bajikoen (the Horse Park).

It was exactly midnight when I opened my front door.
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Old 12-27-23, 11:20 PM
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Have you done any Century rides this year that you wanted to write about but didn't get around to posting? This is your chance!

I will still post my November and December rides below as I have completed rides for the whole year.
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Old 12-29-23, 04:11 AM
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On the last Sunday of the month I finally rode my November Century (164 km on Strava). With that I was at 135 consecutive months of one 160.9+ km (100 mile) ride per calendar month. It had been 5 weeks since the last one.

The previous weekend I had done some hiking at Mt Tsukuba with my family. I wasn't as hard as Oyama in the Tanzawa mountains, the views were great but parts of the route very crowded.



Crowded was one thing that the Izu east coast was not, thanks to the weather forecast which promised some rain in the morning and overcast for the rest of the day.

I got up at 5:30 and left for Odawara by car about an hour later. It drizzled repeatedly on the way there. I don't really like the combination of rain and cold (8 deg C) but I had brought my rain gear and put it on after I had unloaded the bike from the car.



It drizzled on and off for the first two hours of the ride. I didn't use my shoe covers but was wearing the rain pants over my fleece trousers and the rain jacket over the LS summer jersey, a combination that was easily warm enough. At a convenience store stop in Manazuru I swapped a t-shirt for the jersey, that was better.

Traffic was reasonable and I hardly saw any cyclists during the day. People just don't want to get wet, I suppose

I did not load any route on the GPS that would show me the lengths of all the climbs, just took as it came. In a way that was easier as I wasn't reminded of all the climbing still left to do. Individually none of them are that long, there's just a lot of them on this route.

The mikan (satsuma orange) harvest was supposed to have started but I didn't really see any roadside stalls in operation yet. That's one of the treats of winter rides in Izu (especially over on the west coast). I ate plenty all day, but not a single mikan!



When it brightened up around Atami I took off my rain gear and wore my LS jersey with the t-shirt as a base layer. That worked for most of the rest of the day.

After Ito the cycling route branched off from the main coastal road. I took the exact same route on the way back.



I found some dried apples in a Lawson convenience store. They were quite a nice substitute for my usual go to snack (dried mangoes), which I had used up on the hike the week before.

I had coffee at a convenience store near Izu Kogen as I was wondering how far to still head south from there. To get my century, the halfway point would be about 20 km from there but in the end I turned around a couple of km earlier, at seafood restaurant Isobe. I would ride the extra near Odawara instead. That way I could get back to the main road at Ito by sunset.



On the way back I found a dead fish on the road which had been run over by something. It must have fallen off the back off a truck because it was hundreds of meters from the sea. I see a lot of road kill on my rides but usually don't take pictures. The most common are snakes. The most unusual until the fish had been a baby wild boar.



For my next car I want to get a battery electric vehicle so naturally I am keeping my eyes open for the state of the charging infrastructure.

I found this DC charger near Izu Kogen. According to the data plate, the high voltage side was 6,600 V, which is the supply side voltage on most transformers on Japanese utility poles that step it down to 100 V / 200 V for residential use. Here the output side was 420 V, presumably matched for the 400 V DC standard of Chademo (the Japanese charging standard). Above the charger unit was single solar panel as a rain cover. Units that size have a rated output in the 400-450 W range (at full direct sun). It would take about 200 of them to keep up with a 90 kW charger (as this may have been due to its 200 kVA supply rating). But when I looked closer, the panel was not even connected: Its connections wires were still neatly rolled up and zip tied. It was really just a stylish rain cover.



It got dark as I made my way to Ito. The last 60 km or so I rode after sunset but the temperature didn't drop much. Sometimes I wore the windbreaker on top of the jersey.

I think I ate a lot during this ride, trying to make up for my lack of fitness as I had not been riding much, other than my centuries and some local shopping and other errands. I never felt too exhausted and especially during the evening part I felt quite good.



Back in Odawara I headed east on the main road. This part was easy, no hills, only a couple of traffic lights. I cycled far enough out of Odawara so that once I returned I'd be comfortably over my desired distance.

I loaded the bike into the car, changed back into regular shoes and drove home. It was late enough that there was no major traffic jam any more.
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Old 12-29-23, 04:14 AM
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I rode my December century on the first Sunday of the month (162 km on Strava), one week after my November century on the Izu east coast. Back then I complained about not finding any road side stalls selling mikan so this time I went to the Izu west coast and did get what I wanted :-) With this ride I am now at 136 consecutive months of "Century a Month".

It was cold and very windy. Often I was cycling directly into the headwind, especially on the flatter, more exposed parts of the route. I had enough clothes so I could deal with the cold, but especially after sunset it was really chilly.

Some days when I ride in west Izu it's so overcast that half a day goes by until I catch the first glimpse of Mt Fuji but this wasn't one of those days: I already saw the mountain from along the Kano river while heading south from Mishima, where I had parked the car. I would see it again and again all day.

Mt Fuji from below the tunnel above Osezaki:


I bought a bag of mikan (satsuma oranges) at a fruit shop while riding to the northwest corner of Izu.

Later I also passed a roadside stall attended by an old woman and decided to buy some there too. I inquired how old she was. She told me she was 84. "There's nothing good about age. My body hurts and I just want to die. My husband went a long time before me and I am looking forward to be with him again." Her answer was as direct as my question. Her mikan were really good and she lives in a beautiful part of the country but dealing with pain and loss must be hard.

Heda port:


In Heda I visited the sand spit to get the view of Mt Fuji behind the entrance to the port, near the shrine. Unlike the summer there were very few people around.

In the forest near Morokuchi shrine in Heda:


After Toi the road gets busier and the wind became more of a problem. I turned around before Matsuzaki, when I had covered about half my planned distance.

Shizuoka coast across the bay from the Izu west coast:


Matsuzaki coast:


As it got dark on the way back towards Toi I decided to not continue on the coastal road but to climb over the mountains on Route 136 where there would be more traffic. I didn't fancy being alone on deserted roads through the forest in a cold night. That climb is much higher (450 m max, about double of the highest points of the coastal road) but there's no up and down.

I stayed warm on the climb but descending on the other side was really chilly!

Ugusu river after sunset:


Also, because Route 136 over the mountains is more direct than the winding coastal road I would have ended up with less than 160 km if I had directly returned to Mishima so I doubled up a part of the route between Shuzenji and Mishima to get enough kilometers in total.

I was really glad when I got back to the car. This was my first ride with over 2000 elevation meters since July. I did not get another long ride for the rest of the month -- getting too busy with the plans for building a new house next year.
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Old 12-29-23, 06:46 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by joewein
With this ride I am now at 136 consecutive months of "Century a Month".
Just a shout-out that it's really amazing what you've been riding, and with the write-ups and pictures too. I like that you take the time to appreciate the places you are riding, and not just powering through the rides chasing some goal. Keep it up!
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