maandag 27 juni 2011

zondag 26 juni 2011

Perfect rainy season companion: Chichibu Golden Horse !

Chichibu Golden Horse aged 8 years single malt whisky...quality of my choice !

Kotei Onekan debut

Special 19mm spanner for tightening the chain on Eno eccentric hub
White Industries Eno Eccentric Hub

Fine-tuned kotei: saddle lower with tip slightly downward / chain "nicely" tensioned / bar tape

Bullhorns feel comfortable especially when climbing out of the saddle
Wearing my "kotei jersey" in misty rain along the Onekan

zaterdag 25 juni 2011

Yoruren #4 & Asaren

Two large High5-charged bottles...certainly no luxury on a piping hot morning like today!


Somewhere near Yuzurihara, sweating profusely
Yoruren earlier this week...Koremasa bridge still under construction!

maandag 20 juni 2011


Could this be the beginning of a new daily ritual? Sky still at sunset, I left my place at 19:00 precisely. Only needed five minutes to change from my office into my cycling wear. My new super-bright headlamp had arrived earlier in the day and I was so excited that I only discovered ten minutes into my evening ride that I had forgotten to don my head protection! I was therefore extra careful crossing Koremasa bridge and felt safe only after I got onto "byoinzaka". I took this little hill in my heaviest gear of the day (50X11) and this felt really great after a full and dull day sitting at my desk! I continued for a while along Onekan where I doubled back at the Mercedes dealership. Only 50 minutes but good for 25km. Tomorrow, if the roads aren't wet, I intend to slightly extend the distance...

zaterdag 18 juni 2011

The Zen of Kotei

Great advice by Kotei Grand Master Tim:

A couple of small tips from looking at your bike picture:
1) Lower the nose of your saddle - rotates your pelvis into a more natural position for higher cadence. It will require more core support - but that will carry back to your road ridin...g very well.

2) Lower your saddle height below your normal road bike. Full extension of the legs while just getting your rhythm is going to put you on the bitter edge for harmonic bouncing. Lowerd saddle allows you more envelope to modulate the higher rpm and avoid bouncing.

3) Tighten your chain - it seems a bit loose in the pic. There should no backlash in it. Loose chain will also contribute to harmonic bouncing. And also interrupts your transitions from power to 'reverse' - subtle, but noticeable.

...don't worry it really does get better, and you'll find a certain joy in the fractional transitions your muscles make in maintaining the delicate balance to avoid you becoming a 'yard sale'. That is the zen of kotei. When it comes together, you are totally at one with the road. When it doesn't you quite literally become part of the road!

Thanks Tim !

zaterdag 11 juni 2011


Brother TT

Very soon, I will be time trialing with my younger brother in Belgium. Hans has been participating in TTs almost on a weekly basis these past few months with top-10 finishes and easily averaging 42km/h (including the usual menu of several sharp U-turns). Very excited about this event!

Brother Hans on the launch pad

showing off his superb form...

zondag 5 juni 2011

Yesterday's Super One Run...more pics by Ludwig

Mending my puncture...

By Lake Naguri

Resting on top of Arima-toge

The entire ride mapped

zaterdag 4 juni 2011

Super 尾根 Run

Google blogger is getting increasingly complicated....I must be getting old - can no longer create my desired lay-out with the updated version.  Oh well - maybe time to quit blogging all together and spend the new-found time on some extra cycling! 

Ludwig "doctored" today's ride plan...he was not impressed with my proposition to do a tunnel-to-tunnel ridge ride (Shigasaka to Tsuchisaka), calling it "rather lame"!

He had remembered that Arima-toge is passable again and as we approached Lake Naguri, the big question on our mind was should we go clockwise or counter-clockwise.   We ended up going clockwise, perhaps the least scenic route but with none the less climbing!  Riding towards the Chichibu area, we decided to ride on the left border of both lakes, enjoying some exciting shortish "rollers".

Onto Nakatsugawa & Nicchitsu Haikyo!   In the middle of one of the last longer tunnels, suddenly my back tire went pssshhttt!  Instant flat.  Ludwig suggested I should go back to the entrance of the tunnel as the distance seemed shorter.   I'm very superstitious though and don't want to pass a spot of misfortune twice on the same day so I walked all the way the damned tunnel's exit.  Inner tube had gotten punctured at the valve opening; rim tape to no avail....classic!  I should cover that hole better with some tape after sanding the sharp alu edges.

Fifteen few minutes later back on the saddle, I felt a sharp needle going into my belly area...that hurt!  Once home, I found the little culprit way deep down inside my bibshorts!  Two red souvenir spots on my belly still hurt when I push them.

We rode past the Nicchitsu Shataku Haikyo and also circumnavigated the famous Izanagi & Izami duo Ryogamisan mountain side by side.   Once past Shigasaka Tunnel on our left side, we had to descend maybe 150 or 200 elevation meters to get to the entrance and continuation of our Super One (Ridge) Run.  Ludwig did not remember this entire stretch going past Yakyu-toge to Tsuchisaka-toge can be a real drag...just continuously up and down with lots of rocks scattered about the surface.  To me, the worst feature of this ridge run is that every single corner ressembles the next...this can really get a little monotonous!

Ludwig soon caught up with me again and we spent some 20 minutes chitchatting in front of Tsuchisaka tunnel before parting ways.  For me, it was a 261km ride with a little more that 3,800 elevation gain meters...
Back home, I fixed myself a good-long Godfather Cocktail * drink...

Nasty baby bee-like creature got under my shirt and stung me twice in my belly area

Left this morning at 5 a.m. with Ludwig from Koremasa bridge

Brief break at Lake Naguri

The screwdriver bridge leading to Otaki, Nakatsugawa and further to the toll road

Ludwig with Futakoyama behind him (near entrance of Haccho Tunnel)

Ludwig clinging on right behind - most often side-by-side 

Arima-toge....been a long time (since I last crested this one)

Ludwig double-checking his return route (we parted in front of  Tsuchisaka tunnel)

Cleaned my steel rod at the Holy Fountain (I'm keeping my little towels here)

* TOM's Godfather Cocktail: 1/3 Amaretto (Disaronno) and 2/3 Teacher's Highland Cream Blended Scotch Whisky.