Saturday, September 20, 2014

Le Tour de Fuzz 2014

どこのチームにも属さず、練習も余り好きじゃないのでレーシングより旅人でいたいと一匹狼で走るのだが、ロードレーサーのメカには目がない、そんな自分が初めて自転車イベントにエントリーすることに。友人に誘われて、サンフランシスコ郊外のサンタローザを起点にワインカントリーをブラリと巡る100kmツアー「Tour de Fuzz」に参加すべく、数年ぶりの米国に一週間ほど出かけてきた。この催しはレースではないので、自分なりの走り方で楽しめば良いとのこと、ツールにはもう一段上のグランフォンド級100マイルの部もあるのだが、現状では100キロが限度と考えた。エントリー数1000名以上のうち、100マイルに挑戦するのは100名弱。



100-mile group starts at 7a.m.
First rest stop @30km

Food/drinks offered
Line for the rest rooms

Preferably a traveler than a racer, not belonging to any team reluctant to do repeated exercises, and yet loving the mechanical aspect of road racer bikes, therefore I always run independently on my own and I have never joined bike races. This was the very first occasion for me to make an entry to a bike event, upon invitation from a friend of mine, to cruise around the wine country in Santa Rosa in the suburbs of San Francisco. Le Tour de Fuzz offers a 100km route that we join, and on top of it is a 100-mile challenge. Among total participants of over 1,000, less than 10% joined this granfondo-class challenge.

Actual impression of 30km or 50km was somehow more distant than what I used to feel in Japan, and I wondered why? There were relatively frequent shallow and small ups and downs that could cause me more fatigue for one thing, and less traffic signals forced me to maintain running longer distance for another. I am very slow climbing, and my partner tried to keep his pace with mine, but after the second rest stop I was far behind him and then my front wheel went flat at about 70km. I had spares but the tire lever tool was unfortunately in his saddle bag. I had to remove the tire and replace the tube by hand, which wasn’t panicking as I already experienced these procedures.

Looking around the people in racing costume, interesting was many of them had a small back mirror that was attached to their helmet or sunglasses. As for the road racers, most of them were American brand bikes and to the most part they looked gorgeous. I seldom saw Cervelo that was strange, on the other hand there were many Fuji. European brands seemed limited, too.

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