09 August 2014

Ready for SR600 Nihon Alps -- Next Weekend August 15 PM to August 18 AM

I will try the SR600 Nihon Alps (605 kms, 12500 meters of climbing, 54 hour time limit) starting from 10:30PM Friday night in Kobuchizawa, Yamanashi Prefecture.  An evening start is designed to get me almost 200 kms into the event before I get significant heat.  Heat is my main concern ... though cold on the high passes also could be serious.

A 10:30PM start allows me to sleep for 4 hours or so at Gero Onsen, then try to get to the Norikura Skyline entrance after the gate opens early (330AM?) Sunday morning.  Passage while the gate is closed would be grounds for disqualification under the Japan Audax rules.
1st leg highpoints: Tsuetsuki Pass, Bunkui Pass, Jizo Pass, then Shirabiso Highland elev1900m;
2nd leg highpoints:  Ohira Pass elev 1358, Kuraiyama Pass elev 1087, Norikura elev 2704m;
3rd leg highpoints:  Shiojiri Pass elev 1012, Kirigamine Fujimidai elev 1700,
Ogawara Pass elev 2093m, Nobeyama/Kiyosato elev 1295m.
This is a spectacular, but very hard, course.  My odds of completing the event are certainly less than 50-50.  But at least my bicycle is ready.
The Ti Travel Bike, rebuilt for speed and climbing.  
The Ti bike was giving rise to one too many "mechanicals" in its Retroshift/Shimano configuration. It did not inspire the confidence I would need for the SR600 -- just ride and forget about the bike, focus on the course, enjoy the view, and make good time with the minimum required effort.  
So I rebuilt it.  The Reynolds Ouzo Pro fork is back.  Yes, a bit less clearance for 700x25 tires and fenders, but I will use 700x23 for this ride, and I still managed to fit the mounts for the SKS Race Blade long fenders, and the bracket for my Busch+Mueller light, with plenty of clearance.
No Ortlieb bag on the front.  The Ortlieb bag will be back -- I love it for ease of opening/closing, the plastic map case, 100% waterproof (well, I have not thrown it in a swimming pool, but it takes anything short of that).  Instead, for this event I want the mini aero bars.  If I actually use them, they force me into a tuck position that seems to effortlessly increase my cruising speed by 2 kph.  The armrests are a bit of a constraint, but with 44cm wide bars leave enough room for me to have lots of other riding positions. 
I have just enough room for my gear, including spare tubes, tire, rain shell and sun covers for arms, tools, pump, energy bars, sunscreen and bug spray, etc., etc. in the Rixen Kaul back bag and 3rd bottle cage.  I may leave my Rinko bag somewhere near Kobuchizawa station, if I can find a good place to stash it, to free up a bit more space/weight -- final gear is subject to weather forecast.
Most important, now that I got my SRAM warranty replacement on the SRAM Red front and SRAM Rival wi fli rear derailleurs, I reinstalled the SRAM drivetrain.  The cable routing for the Shimano 7800/6600 shifters and the Retroshift was not ideal with the barrel adjusters at the bottom of the head tube on this frame.  SRAM (or 7900/9000/6700/6800 Shimano) works better, as the shifter cables go under the bar tape.  The SRAM Red 2012 front derailleur shifts like butter.  The rear double tap is precise, and I have 50/34 front and 11-32 rear gearing.  So I should be able to spin up just about any hill, even in heat and semi-exhausted condition.
I kept the Dura Ace 7800 brakes for now -- they are easier to adjust than the SRAM Red, I find.
I put on the mini-aero bar extenders to try and make better time on the few flat-ish sections.
The SRAM Red brake lever hoods are showing wear.  Lots of gel under the bar tape shows a bit.

1 comment:

mob said...

How did it go, did you made it throught the J-alps?