11 January 2015

Miura 200km Brevet with fast bike and Gokiso wheels

I joined a Nishi Tokyo brevet today.  I want to get my 200, 300, 400 and 600km series done as soon as practical this year, since it is a prerequisite for PBP in August, and this was the first Tokyo area 200km in 2015 that I could register for that fit my schedule.  So I joined it even though the course, around the Miura Peninsula, would mean lots of traffic signals and plenty of traffic getting to Yokosuka and getting back from the coast and through town.

Mt. Fuji across the Sagami Bay from Miura, South of Hayama.
The start/goal is at the Konno Seisakusho/Cherubim shop in Machida.  For an early morning start (6AM today), train is not possible, and there is no free car park.  So in addition to the Brevet itself, I get to ride 50-55 kms round trip just getting to and from the event.  A 200 km brevet becomes 255-260km.  300km becomes 355km.  The Strava or ridewithGPS data is at the hyperlinks, and a map is below.

Today was a spectacular winter day. During the day it was warm, sunny and not very windy.  Wind surfers and sail boats were out.  Surfers as well ... in January!  Much nicer than December this year. But it was very cold in the morning at Machida (somewhere around -4 or -5 degrees C).

I made it to registration at Konno Seisakusho around 5:45AM, then on to the park a few blocks away for "bike inspection" and the start.  Of course, the 5:30AM "briefing" was long finished, and riders already were heading out onto the course, even as I went through registration. I saw my Kaminoge neighbor Kaz Tachikawa -- back on the bike after a 2013 injury that kept him out of London-Edinburgh-London and subsequent events -- and Joe Wein.

The rush to get to the start and then back onto the road had one benefit -- I was warmed up.  And I was on my fast bike -- the Canyon Shark with my Gokiso 38mm rimmed carbon clincher wheels, with the smoothest rolling hubs ... in the world, perhaps?  As a result, I ended up the 2nd finisher out of approximately 70 riders, even with a lunch stop and basically rolling home the last 75 kms of what one of the staffers correctly called a "beginners' course".

Less than one km from the start, on a downhill stretch, I zoomed past a group of 10-20 riders.  Then more.  Within 10 minutes I had moved from being one of the last starters (out of around 70), to being in the middle of the group.  After riding past more and more, I got stuck on the back of another 10 rider group, but there was too much traffic to pass.  So I bided my time until we turned North onto Tokyo Route 18.  Then, as the route bobbed up and down toward Onekansendoro then more hills, I passed everyone else within sight.  Hi Joe, and bye.  Bye Kaz.  As it turned out, by the time we got out along the Tamagawa and were headed down river, I had passed everyone except two riders at the front who I met at the first checkpoint.

Other than the nice weather, what was good about this event?

--The route through Yokohama was nicer than others I have taken, looping east of Yokohama Station and through Minato Mirai, then along the Yamashita Koen waterfront -- broad streets and very little traffic early on a weekend morning, with plenty of nice views.
Minato Mirai on a sunny Saturday morning
--South of central Yokohama, the route took the same Sangyo Doro as I rode with Eric and Seiichi last month ... but rejoined Route 16 much too soon, with its heavy traffic.  But once past Yokosuka, in southern Miura, we hugged the coast almost the entire way, which was beautiful.  And we rode through Misakiguchi and then on local roads, rejoining the main road (Route 27) only 6-7 kms later.
Along the coast!
Fast Gokiso wheels!
--"Magurodon" seafood lunch at Misakiguchi.
Organizers at the checkpoint in MIsakiguchi -- just across from 3 seafood restaurants.
--And after the milling crowds of Kamakura and Enoshima, and the broad coast road west to Chigasaki and beyond, the route North (from Samukawa through Ebina and then up to Sagamihara, took some very local, back roads.  The road surfaces were not great, but it was the lowest traffic, most interesting route I have taken through this area of sprawl.

The only negative was the trip down the Tamagawa, on the Kawasaki side road, together with plenty of trucks and impatient factory workers commuting in their big vans.

On the way back into town, I met Hara-san and [On]-san of Nihombashi Audax, doing a "test ride" for one of their upcoming events.  I rode with them all the way to the Tamagawa, chatting at each of the (many) traffic lights.  My next scheduled Brevet ... their 300km ride on February 21.  Looking forward to it.  楽しみにしています。


Joe Wein's trip report is here.  His photos from the event are here -- more extensive than mine and some very nice ones.  Actual photos of other riders.


Manfred von Holstein said...

Congratulations! A 23km/h average over such a distance, with breaks and running mostly on your own is quite respectable.

David Litt said...

Thanks, Manfred.
The challenge on this course that makes a high average speed impossible is the stop and go from traffic signals. On a Brevet you really need to STOP at signals, even where there is no cross traffic and it would be safe to slide through. And I do not pretend to have "given it my all". This was long slow distance, with the benefit of the extra smooth Gokiso wheels and a bit of extra effort over the first 15-20 kms to get in front of the group.

kazu said...

Long time no see. I didn't know you were there, letting alone with Gokiso. I'm wondering how you deal with a hub Dynamo in the front, just curious.

Man, I was slow then. So I tried another 200k last Sat, very identical route but starting at Futako. I DNFed it with flat tyre 2 times. I couldn't make even Misaki PC - a long way to go.

David Litt said...

Hi Kazu:
Great to hear from you and to see you riding again. I will send you a note offline (if I can find your email ... I think I have it).
Indeed, I used Gokiso instead of the dynamo front hub for this "daylight" brevet ... as much as I love it and find it essential for 400/600/1200 km rides, the dynamo is not really necessary for 200km events, as one set of Eneloop batteries will last in my basic Gentos LED front lights.
Best, David