21 May 2010

Itoigawa Tactics (for the competitive ones)

Following is a (slightly) censored version of some pieces of advice I have shared with some fellow TOITO riders:

~ Remember the tactics ~

(1) Stop only to get your card stamped, fill up your bottle/grab a banana - resist the temptation to linger on at the checkpoints (or to make a conbini stop!)

(2) When you see an elevated intersection ("fly over") ahead, go for it (but at your own risk -cyclists are not permitted).

(3) Do not trespass on traffic rules/lights especially not in a blatant way in front of the organizers near the checkpoints.

(4) Toilet breaks to be taken on the road (use a tree)!

(5) Do not eat the inarizushi distributed at the checkpoints...the fried bean curd will cause your stomach to severely cramp (remember we don't have the same intestines as Japanese)

(6) Be not afraid of the insanely long tunnels towards the end of the ride- wear sunglasses with clear, non-tinted glasses.

(7) Do not pump your tires to the max. - go for SOFT whatever pressure that is depending on your weight.

(8) Try to keep your average moving speed at least above 30km/h.

(9) Ride as defensively as you can - crazy car drivers out there in the countryside!

(10) Remember this is not a race (never mention the word "race" during the ride!!) but only a fast run so better make it a real fast one and enjoy yourself!

3 comments:

Manfred von Holstein said...

Thanks, Tom. Overall very good advice.

Of course everyone's mileage varies. I don't know what a cramping stomach is - or in fact what muscle cramps are. I hate heavy, greasy food - but no matter whether I'm on the bike or else. Pretty much everything else goes well. Juices are great energy providers. No need for High5 and all of that artificial stuff...

But then I am not able to drink while out of breath (i.e. I never drink on the bike), and I need short breaks for my backache to improve. I also find short breaks do give new power and motivation - compared to just keeping on riding for ever.

I would have added two more pieces of advice:

(11) Don't be so stupid as to let your competitors draft you for a long time - impossible to win just with the power of your legs.

(12) Travel as light as possible! The longer the ride, the more difference any gram of weight makes, not just up the hills, but also every time you need to accelerate.

TOM said...

Agreed on (11) & (12)! Ludwig, stay in front of me all the way and/or sabotage equipment of competitors trying to profiteer. Thanks!

Don't know what "muscle cramps" are?? Lucky you!! When I was a little kid, I didn't know what "hunger" meant...

As to drinking while on the bike, try doing so on a gentle downhill section - without pedaling and keeping the head straight looking-forward (never up) - the bottle and not the head should be tilted upwards.

Manfred von Holstein said...

James, I haven't had a coke for years. Just feel no desire.