First Fall 2008 Cycling

September 25, 2008

  • Distance: 15.81 miles
  • Time in motion: 59 minutes 44 seconds
  • Average speed: 15.9 mph
  • Max speed: 28.8 mph
  • Distance: 9.39 miles
  • Time in motion: 30 minutes 59 seconds
  • Average speed: 18.2 mph
It always feels good to get back in the saddle, and this time was no different, except this time I didn’t feel so good once getting back in the saddle!  I swear it seems every time I go cycling on a week night, I end up eating green Thai curry before the ride, which takes me forever to digest.  I’ve thrown up such undigested curry twice in the past, and although I felt a hint of nausea this time, I managed my pace so as to keep all food down.

This was my first cycling of autumn, and I noticed the temperature difference immediately.  There was a hint of a chill in the air.  However, I wore my usual summer cycling attire–yellow short-sleeve jersey and thigh length biking shorts.  And I still sweated a helluva lot despite the cooler temps.

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Cycling to Haneda Airport with a Thunderstorm

September 8, 2008


  • Distance: 34.38 miles
  • Time in motion: 2 hours 57 minutes 08 seconds
  • Average speed: 11.6 mph
  • Max speed: 28.5 mph

I had wanted to cycle out to Haneda Airport for quite some time.  This Sunday I finally attempted it.  I was joined by UK Mike and The Can, who also ride Trek 7.3 FXs.  I wrote down some rough directions based on a route planned by Tokyo Half-Fast Cycling.  However, it was a bit more complicated than that, and after much asking and street sign map reading, we were able to get to a point close enough to see JAL’s planes come in really close for landings. [Read more]

Back to cycling the Palace, slowly

September 3, 2008

  • Distance: 15.78 miles
  • Time in motion: 1 hour 1 minute 48 seconds
  • Average speed: 15.3 mph
  • Max speed: 26.7 mph
  • Distance: 9.36 miles
  • Time in motion: 31 minutes 14 seconds
  • Average speed: 18.0 mph 
This was my first cycling, or real exercise of any kind, since August 7th.  August was largely rained out in Tokyo.  I heard it was the rainiest August on record, maybe.  So tonight it felt very good to get back in the saddle again, well, it felt good until I hit that head wind on the descent part of the Palace loop, and then got slowed down by traffic as usual.  Then of course there is the very curious fact that I always seem to eat green Thai curry on the nights I go riding!  As anyone knows, this meal is prone to making me throw up!

So this time I wanted to avoid such messiness, so no new record times tonight or anything.  And my legs actually felt like they hit a wall of some sort on the third lap out of saddle ascent.

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Brief cycling for Shinjuku night photos

September 2, 2008


  • Distance:  2.13 miles  
  • Time in motion:  13 minutes 39 seconds
  • Average speed:  9.4 mph
  • Max speed:  17.4 mph
As you can tell from the stats, this wasn’t a hardcore ride, or even a light exercise ride.  Rather it was my first time to try riding with my Nikon D80 in the handlebar bag.  It worked well as I made the brief ride to the Shinjuku skyscraper district to try my hand at handheld night shots of the skyscrapers.  

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Cycling with Mike, again, and throwing up, again!!

August 7, 2008

  • Distance: 15.86 miles
  • Time in motion: 1 hour 1 minute 31 seconds
  • Average speed: 15.5 mph
  • Max speed: 31.0 mph
  • Distance: NA
  • Time in motion: 29 minutes 24 seconds
  • Average speed: 19.0 mph NEW RECORD!
Well, it had been one month since UK Mike and I rode together around the Imperial Palace.  I had gone on many solo rides since then, and last week he went on a solo one as well.  As you may recall, not enough digestion time lead to me throwing up on our very first night palace ride, and sure enough, lack of digestion time tonight again yielded an upheaval for me on the very final stretch!  
At about the 80% mark of the first lap my heart rate was too high, so I signaled for Mike to pass and set the pace.  And set the pace he did.  He only briefly relinquished the lead once after that.  He undoubtedly rode his hardest yet around the palace.  The whole time he maintained an average of a 1 to 2 second lead over me.  I couldn’t get my heart rate down until the third, and final, lap.  As we went around the final corner, he had a good 1.5 second lead.  I pedaled through the corner hard and got out of the saddle and made it to his back wheel.  Then the upheaval feeling came over me and I just sat up hoping to stem it.  There was one small dry heave shortly after.

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Yamate Dori Evening Cycling in Tokyo

July 31, 2008


  • Distance:  11.07 miles
  • Time in motion:  47 minutes 22 seconds
  • Average speed:  14.1 mph
  • Max speed:  30.7 mph

Continuing the trying to be different cycling theme this week, I finally rode somewhere besides the Imperial Palace!  A comment from Tornandoes28 helped motivate me to once again return to exploring riding, as I used to do so much.  Yet this is not my first ride down Yamate Dori toward Ebisu station, so technically not exploring.   [Read more]

Day-cycler does 3 Imperial laps!

July 30, 2008

  • Distance:  15.84 miles
  • Time in motion:  1 hour 1 minute 2 seconds
  • Average speed:  15.5 mph
  • Max speed:  28.0 mph
  • Distance:  9.39  miles
  • Time in motion:  31 minutes 24 seconds
  • Average speed:  17.8 mph

Due to the sudden arrival of a powerful thunderstorm last night, I could not as usual do laps around the Imperial Palace in darkness.  So after I got up today I donned my yellow jersey and dropped in on bright sunshine.  It felt good.  

The atmosphere driving through the city during the day is totally different than the night, as one might expect of course.  Riding during the day feels friendlier.  I guess if you are seeing people out and about, they are on break from work or just plain not working.  So it feels a bit relaxed.  It could also be that I am not working while other people are out working, so my leisure time feels that much better. 

I was expecting more traffic on the palace loop than at night, but I can’t really say traffic was any worse than any of my last few night rides.  I did have to come to a complete stop once, but did not have to unclick, I could stand and balance in my pedals until the traffic started moving again.  Also, there weren’t the lines of cars waiting at red lights were not that long, so not much trouble snaking through and on to open road.  

In fact, I had a helluva fun ride.  There were no illusions of doing a fourth lap this time, so maybe the heat did have an effect on me, but I didn’t notice the heat in particular.  Maybe not eating breakfast before riding was more cause for not doing a fourth lap.

The ride was not without incident, as some fool riding against traffic on a housewife’s bike around a blind corner made me have to skid to a stop.  Ignant.  

Still, I may soon go day-riding again.  I like the atmo in the city and around the palace.

3 Imperial Laps in a Haze

July 24, 2008

  • Distance:  15.82 miles
  • Time in motion:  1 hour 00 minutes 56 seconds
  • Average speed:  15.6 mph
  • Max speed:  28.5 mph

I just didn’t have it tonight, and I knew it even before I left my apartment.  A ludicrously late bedtime last night, a late, undigested dinner, and lots of humidity and red lights all added up to a very slow 3-laps around the Imperial Palace tonight.  I felt like my head was in a cloud the whole ride.  The constant red lights just getting out to the palace loop did nothing for my rallying, and I didn’t even make the light for dropping into the loop, which I make like 90% of the time!  

I had no delusions of doing 4-laps tonight as I proudly did last Thursday night.  I just barely finished the 3-laps tonight in the allotted 30-minute time limit.  I had to even clip out of my pedals once the traffic was so bad.  No doubt I have to go riding earlier from now on.  I now believe traffic picks up again after 11pm.  So the best time is between 9:30pm and 10:45pm.

Of note, the level of safety Japanese cyclists find adequate totally baffles me.  I saw these two things tonight:

  1. On one of the fastest parts of the palace loop I pass a young j-girl on a Japanese-style bike listening to earphones while checking e-mail on her cell phone with no front or rear lights and wear dark-ish clothes.  
  2. A seemingly real cyclist j-dude on a track bike riding in between two lanes of full speed traffic in a very hairy section of Shinjuku-dori without a rear light in dark clothes!  (later I saw he at last had a front light)

I would personally feel totally petrified to ride under either circumstances.  It was really shocking just to see that j-dude ride in the middle of the road with cars zipping by him to his left and to his right, all with no rear light!  This wasn’t just for a second either, it was for several hundred meters.  Shocking.

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