12 May 2013

Fujikawa At Dawn

I continued preparation for London-Edinburgh-London by joining the Kanagawa Audax's 400 km brevet this weekend. This view of the Fujikawa at dawn is one of the things I would like to remember about the ride.
Looking back up the Fujikawa from the hill south of Minobu. The river is full from yesterday/last night's rain.
The route went from Okitsu on the Shizuoka coastline to Hotaka in Nagano (north of Matsumoto) and back again, via the Fujikawa, then Route 52/Route 12 around the western edge of the Kofu metropolitcan area, Route 20 past Hokuto, Fujimi, Chino, Suwa, Shiojiri, then skirting around the west of Matsumoto through the countryside, to Hotaka in Azumino City ... and back.

All in all it was not so difficult a route for a Japanese 400km Brevet, with the highest passes Fujimi and Shiojiri, over 100kms from the start in order to rise from sea-level up to 1020 meters elevation.  ... but it rained, heavily at times, the first 14 hours.  It was a relatively warm rain, so not a big problem in terms of exposure.  I looked at the bright side and considered it part of the training -- a chance to try out my rain gear and bike setup.

The Ti travel bike and fenders I recently added worked just fine, the fenders significantly reducing the road grime and gunk on my bicycle and myself when riding through standing water.  And the Continental Grand Prix All Season tires also worked well -- nice grip, and made it through 400 kms without a flat.  A combination including rain pants, gore tex shoe liners and plastic bags kept my feet dry ... for the first hour or so.  A loose lockring on my rear cassette caused me all kinds of difficulties shifting the rear derailleur.  At first I thought it was just road grime, and did my best to clean the chain and derailleur pulleys then added some lube.  But the shifting continued to deteriorate until I needed to pull over and spend enough time to actually figure it out.  I could tighten the lockring just enough with my fingers to regain a bit of function and make it to the finish, 6th in out of 29 riders.
Lower Fujikawa, on Saturday.
With this ride, I have now more distance logged in the first 12 days of May -- 950 kms -- than I managed in all of April.

No comments: