Archive for the 'Cycling' Category

My First Visit to the Suzuka Circuit Enduro Races

I attended a cycling event this weekend that was really fun, even though I didn't ride in it.

The Suzuka Circuit, best known for hosting F1 and motorcycle grands prix, also sometimes hosts bike racing. The entire event is officially called "The Suzuka 8-Hour Enduro", though currently races are only three, four, and six hours.

It's really more of an "event" than a "race", where you can challenge yourself to do as many laps as possible within the allotted time. Those trying for more laps than anyone else are racing, but it's perfectly okay to just plod along and have [...]

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Konpira: Checking Out One of the Most Difficult Climbs in Japan

I recently heard about a very hard climb -- over 3km/2mi at an average of almost 16% -- not too far away. Many cyclists could not climb for 50m at 15%, much less do it for 3,000m. It's just ridiculously steep. This climb sounded to rival one the most difficult climbs in Japan, Kuragari West, which clocks in at 2.3km/1.7mi @ 17.3%.

Of course, I had to go check it out. It was quite the adventure.

The start of the climb was about 30km north of Kyoto, along the shore of Lake Biwa. To save energy for the hard climb, [...]

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A Very Unintended Gravel Ride

So, the idea for the day was simple: join Antti's farewell ride until they hit gravel, then go off on my own to find a spot to set up a hammock and relax with a book for a while.

It didn't work out that way.

Antti is returning to Finland after many years in Kyoto. He's left his mark on the Strava leaderboards, and on his friends' hearts. His farewell ride was to be a gravel affair; I have no interest in riding on gravel, but I thought I'd join for the road part, bringing along my hammock to set [...]

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My Second-Longest Ride: Double-Century Ride to Ise City

I'm coming out of blogging hibernation to write about a bicycle ride I did yesterday. I'm pretty happy with myself for it, so in keeping with using my blog as a diary, I'm putting the story here.

There aren't many photos, both because I had only my cellphone and wasn't stopping a lot, and because the stupid iOS app I was using (Halide) decided to not actually save all but one of the photos that I took in the first eight hours. )-:

So, having seen friend Vincent's ride to Ise City last month, I thought I'd give it a [...]

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My Second-Longest Ride: 304km Adventure with Gorm

I haven't done a whole lot of riding since last fall, and in particular over the last month or so have been beset on and off by a persistent throat infection, so I probably bit off more than I could chew with a 300km ride with Gorm, but while he's in town I want to take the opportunity for such epic adventures.

The ostensible goal of the ride was to visit a mountain area of Gifu Prefecture known as "Machu Picchu of Gifu", due to a view of it that calls to mind the famous Machu Picchu of Peru.

(I [...]

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