Tuesday, November 27, 2012

宮ヶ瀬湖 - Lake Miyagase



I thought of going to Kitazato University Hospital to have my eyes examined today, but woke up too late in the morning. The weather looked reasonably good and the wind was not so strong as the forecast had predicted, so I decided to run my bike to Lake Miyagase as an alternative plan.

I left home at 10:00 and Mt. Fuji was very clear at Shichirigahama beach of Kamakura. At Chigasaki, there was an underground pass through the railway in the west side of the train station, and I basically needed to follow the road to north-west heading Samukawa and Isehara.

七里ガ浜 Shichirigahama, Kamakura


A short break at Seven-Eleven in Kiyokawa Village as I saw some beautiful trees in autumn colors.

清川村 Kiyokawa Village

Passing the center of the village, soon came the steeper slope of about 3km which was not so tough in distance.

今回はBH Cristalの最終的な走行チェックとルートガイドを試す目的だが、105ディレーラーはほぼ完璧といって良い状態だった。GPS地図の方はナビについてこれまであれこれ試行錯誤をしてきたが、ルートラボにKMLファイルをアップしてそれをiPhoneで読み出す方法が良さそうなので、それを使ってみた。ルートのトレーサーとしてはリフレッシュが少し遅いことと、常にウェブサイトを読み込んでいるのでバッテリーの方が3時間もつかどうかというのが、実用的に厳しい面ではあるものの、ガイドとしては十分に役に立ってくれた。僕は外付けのバッテリーを持って行ったので、宮ヶ瀬湖から先はこれを接続してルートラボの表示を続けたが、そのためにANT+用のWahooが使えないことになった。

I had two specific purposes in this ride: checking if BH Cristal bike is well tuned for one thing and testing how Route Lab (a route map guide application) functions for the other. We can create our own routes in their web site, and open the KML file on a web browser as we run. I tried it with my iPhone. I thought the refresh response is a bit slow and keeping the browser and GSP functioning on the display is not so friendly to the battery. It could run as long as 3 hours. I had an external battery as a backup. But hooking it up will occupy the socket for Wahoo ANT+ device.

宮ヶ瀬への道中、ライダーに会うことはなかったが、湖の北側では3組くらいとすれ違ったので、三多摩方面からはポピュラーなのかも知れない。宮ヶ瀬湖を離れて相模川に向かうダウンヒルは長くて気持ち良かった。でも風は少し強かった。今日のexit routeは何と今朝来られなかった北里大学病院の前を通って相模大野に落ち着いた。走行時間は4時間ちょっと、距離は76km

I saw no bike riders on my way to the lake, but came across with three small rider groups in the north of the lake and I thought that Miyagase might be more popular in Santama area. The downhill from the lake was long and comfortable but windy, too. I headed for Sagami-Ohno station and incidentally passed the front road of Kitazato University that I thought of coming originally. Total 76km in a little over 4 hours.

Monday, November 26, 2012

K-Edge Chain Catcher - チェーンキャッチャーの装着

Cristalのチェーンを交換した。実は先日、友人の忠告を聞く前に箱根旧道に出撃して登り始めた途端にアルテのCN-6601チェーンが壊れて動けなくなった。不幸中の幸いは先月の東北ツアーの折に、取り外しを考えてMissing Linkを装着していたことだ。チェーンを本体から外して、そこらにある手頃な石を拾い、めくれ上がったチェーンの横板部分を叩いてピンに収め直すという原始的な応急処置で、一応走ることができるように復旧させた。もちろんそこから負荷を掛けた登坂などできようはずはないし、ましてこの先は名だたる劇坂、早々にUターンして撤退となった。

一年少々使ってその間何度かピンの抜き差しもしているチェーンだったのでそれなりに弱っていたとは思うが、友人からは「アルテのチェーンは弱いから」とのコメントが帰ってきたので、ここは迷わずDura Ace CN-7901を載せることにした。試乗してみて、漕ぎ心地が激変したのでいささか驚いた。現在、チェーンは2台ともお揃いのDura Aceとなった。


I replaced the chain for Cristal. I was running the traditional Hakone road the other day attempting the climb-up before hearing the opinion of my friend, and unfortunately (or actually luckily!) the chain broke and I got stuck before I reached the point of truly steep slope.

I was fortunate because I had installed KMB’s Missing Link in the occasion of Tokoku tour in October, and I could easily remove the chain from the frame.  I picked a stone on the road and hit the bent side plate back into the pin, which was a very primitive job but it worked. I could in no way continue climbing in this condition, particularly against an extreme slope, so I descended back to the nearby station at that time.
It was Ultegra CN-6601 chain that I had been using a little over one year, and I pulled out the pins for a few times for maintenance or else, therefore the chain itself may have been weakened, but my friend commented Ultegra chain tended to be weak.

Anyway, I installed the new CN-7901 Dura Ace chain on Cristal, and its smoothest feel in driving was just dramatic in comparison. At the same time, I installed K-Edge Chain Catcher in addition because the chain went off the ring twice while shifting to the inner ring recently, and I felt the need for insurance. Its installation was easy, and this mental peace with no worries about the chain is so great during the ride.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Rixen & Kaul Contour Seat-post Bag - コンツアー・マグナムを買った


僕の自転車はまさにロードレーサーで、これは走行性能が良く軽量で、見てくれも良い車種としてここに帰結したが、元々はクロスバイクを考えていたのがあれこれ尖ってしまい、ン10年ぶりに手を出した自分としては3台目のロードレーサと言うことだ。 ついでに言わせてもらえば、ロードレーサー仲間が着ているあのレーパンとジャージのコスチュームは嫌いだ。しかもビンディングペダルはMTB用のEggbeaterなのだから、頭のてっぺんから爪先まで、異端視されても仕方ない。






The bag comes with a rain cover. 標準付属のカバー

Making the long story short, I bought this Rixen Kaul CO-811 seat-post bag because when I climbed Mt. Shirane last time it took longer than expected and I thought a part of the reason was the rucksack on my back that weighed 6 or 7kg.

My ultimate projects with my roadracer bike are long tours across the country with minimum packs, that is a roll-up carrying bag to fit the bike itself and a small bag fitted to the bike frame. Contour Max Touring CO865 would be ideal for the purpose but I thought Contour Magnum C0811 looked nicer with the roadracer and wanted to try it to begin with.

Contour Magnum’s capacity is only 6 litres, a 1/3 of my Deuter rucksack, and I need to realize what can be practically packed in it. I put repair tools, a spare tube, gloves, a chain-lock in the pockets on both sides. Putting rainwear top/bottom almost occupied the entire bag space, and I had to be thoughtful choosing what to bring: a very light wind braker, a fashionable T-shirt, spare underpants and socks, Ricoh GXR camera and lens, small lunch and some extra nutrition.

This is already full and it means the tour will be limited to a warm season under nice weather, but now the winter is around the corner, I thought it might be the last occasion in this year to test run to Hakone a few days ago.

Ideally, I hope to do a 2- or 3-night tour across the country next year. When the bag is installed, the center of balance is lifted slightly and causes more prone to the shakes, but I did not feel it seriously objectionable either.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

箱根越え100km - Long Ride over Hakone


When I asked a friend of mine what about the challenge of a hill climb along the traditional Hakone route coming Friday, “absolutely reckless” was his immediate answer, and he sounded right how rubbish the idea was to conquer 6km uphill with a gradient of 8.8% considering the ability of my legs, so I came up with an alternative tour route approaching from the opposite direction. Unfortunately, the weather was forecast downhill, and it made me run out alone yesterday. I left home at 7 in the morning, packing my bike at Zushi station to pick up 7:35 train, and I arrived at Mishima at 9:20.


I was ready to leave Mishima just before ten, and the first section was 20km gentle inclination that took 90 minutes, and then started a more serious hill climb to Otome Pass. I generally hate climbing and I quietly and patiently drove the bike that took 39 minute to the point you can enjoy the view of Mt. Fuji just before the tunnel.

今回のツアーの目的は、ひとつは先々の長旅を見据えて100kmの壁をクリアしておくことで、その際の条件としてサドルバッグと輪行袋という最小限の装備で走ること。Rixen and Kaulのサドルバッグは駅前の写真に写っているが、この件は別途書くことにする。

One of two major purposes of this tour was to clear the barrier of 100km distance that I considered essential for the longer future travels on bike, and the condition I set was to carry things in a single saddle bag and a bike bag. You can see a Rixen and Kaul bag in the first photo in front of Mishima station, and I will write about this bag separately.


The other purpose was the autumnal tree colors, and I planned to visit Choanji Temple in Sengokubara, Hakone. Lalique Museum is nearby and I planned a lunch at the Museum restaurant, LYS as a nice, relaxing repose during the long 100km running.


It was 14:00 when I finished my lunch, and if I had taken the downhill straightforward to Hakone-Yumoto, I was sure I would return home by 17:00 but it would be short for a 100km challenge, so I took the route along Lake Ashino via Moto-Hakone as originally planned, but I frankly thought it was a failure because this was basically another hill climb most of the part, and it was long and tiring after a relaxing rest. When I finally reached the entrance point of traditional Hakone road in Moto-Hakone, it was already after 15:00. 


On Route 732, soon came Otamagaike Pond where no cars practically stopped: I took some pictures there, and then started the aggressive downhill. I passed many hairpin curves following a car just a few meters away, and I thought I was lucky not coming here from the other end.
My legs felt very exhausted already near Hakone-Yumoto although the distance gained by that time was only 60km, but I was rather in a hurry taking 13 minutes to Odawara and further 50 minutes to Oiso. I stopped by at a convenience store in Oiso for something to fuel in, and it was almost 17:00, so I put the headlight on my bike and the rest was the running in the dark with the sense of hurrying, and I got back at home at 18:00.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Quality of Beijing Marathon – 北京マラソンの品性


According to the news reported domestically, Beijing International Marathon barred Japanese by intentionally eliminating Japan from the nationality list in their registration site. Mean or vulgar is the exact adjective for the quality of character like this, and I wonder if such a word exists in Chinese dictionaries?
As of yesterday, they quietly added Japan name to the list and appear trying to avoid the issue to be further heated, the news followed up. The current site lists Japan on the top of several popular country names, interestingly, and everybody can register by choosing “others” and write down the exact nationality. The officials commented they never excluded any nations. On the other hand, their guide states that Committee shall have the right to decide whether an entry is accepted or not according to the registration situation and registration fees are non-refundable.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

赤レンガ倉庫 - Akarenga Warehouse, Yokohama


I stopped by at Red brick Warehouse today and the open square was packed with people in a fair gathering popular local tastes nationwide. Something that makes Yokohama attractive is the comfortable waterfront promenade like this.