Archive for the 'Cycling' Category

Youth Races at the Moriyama Criterium

The cycling races in Moriyama, Japan that I wrote about last week included some youth races. I was struck by the form of the child in the photo above... to my untrained, still-wet-behind-the-cyclist-ears eyes, her form seemed so beautiful and efficient.

However, I don't want to appear stupid on my own blog -- at least more stupid than I normally do -- so I had the sense to ask an expert about her form as it appears in the photo: I asked professional bike fitter Vincent Flanagan, and his short reply was an education in my own ignorance. Here's his [...]

View full post »
Visiting That Temple I Saw From The Bullet Train Last Week

In my previous post about a visit to Tokyo last weekend, I mentioned that on the bullet-train ride there I'd passed by a mountain with a temple nestled at the top, and thought it might be nice to investigate the presumably steep road up there. It turns out that it was.

The mountain in question is one of a pair of monadnocks in an area that's otherwise flat as a pancake. Here's the view from Google Earth (with elevation exaggerated for effect):

The taller of the two rises about 350m (1,165') above the surrounding plain, which isn't all that tall, [...]

View full post »
My Most Brutal Ride: Round Trip to Mt. Rokko

On Wednesday I did what must have been the roughest ride of my short cycling life, a ride that left me absolutely exhausted to the bone before I was even a third done with it. In the end I rode the entire big loop I'd planned, 175km (110mi) to Kobe City's Mt. Rokko and back, but it took 12 hours and a lot more willpower than I thought I had.

It was almost a spur of the moment, and I didn't think it'd be all that difficult for me, and I left the house in good spirits.

The first climb [...]

View full post »
First Bigish Group Ride in a Long While

I joined a big group ride for the first time in a long while last week, Andy's "LSD" (long slow distance) ride. I was happy to finally meet Kevin from Kobe and Geoffrey from Otsu, whom I'd conversed with online but had never met in person.

For me the ride (view at Strava) was 116km (72mi) at mostly an easy pace, though the times I tried to keep up with the others quickly took their toll on me. I've been doing long rides lately, but not much fast and not much climbing, so I'm out of shape.

As much riding [...]

View full post »
Watching My First Cycling Road Race

I saw my first cycling road race yesterday, a small local affair. Road racing is quite a bit different than the only other kind of bicycle racing I've seen, cyclocross, so it was a great experience.

The races yesterday were 「第5回守山野洲川クリテリウム」, the fifth Moriyama City Yasugawa River Criterium, with short races all day over a loop on closed-off public roads.

It was a 32km (20mi) ride to get there, so I left with some friends from Kyoto early, to arrive in time to watch some other friends race.

I brought my Nikon D4 and big Nikkor 70-200/2.8, schlepped in a [...]

View full post »