Friday, February 3, 2017

Against the Grain - Another Great Training Ride

This ride heads generally south from my house, crossing 'against the grain' of the mountain ridges which in this area run generally east-west.  As such, it makes for great long-distance interval training, if that makes any sense.  On the way down, there is hardly any level ground; one is either climbing or descending, often steeply.  A good bit is on rough, even neglected dirt tracks.  The way back is almost completely flat and a scenic ride along the coast.

Google Earth overview.  Hondo town and my house is on the lower right (north).
 The south half of the mountain run uses a completely nonsensical "trunk forestry road" that chaotically threads through the hills from nowhere to nowhere, while simultaneously not even being close to the fastest way to connect these random points.  Such roads abound in Japan, where every road or other infrastructure that is actually useful have already been built decades ago, leaving the bureaucrats and construction companies with nothing to do but waste taxpayer money (and what remains of the environment) in this particular way.  Oh well, it's good for biking, if you don't mind the hills.  I did not meet a single car all the way down.

Here are the stats for the tour.  I like the sawtooth pattern of the hills; it's 1750 m of climbing in total. The first big hill is a test course for me - a rough steep dirt road climbing mercilessly for nearly 400 vertical meters in a distance of 3.0 km. I used to train here like crazy years ago before going to Denali, and my record then was 22.5 minutes.  I could do it today in just over 25 - not too bad.  The tour's total distance is 74 km, which took 4 hours and 35 minutes, with average heart rate of 135 bpm, and, ostensibly, 2117 calories burned, although I think the latter statistic is always quite a bit too low on the Garmin app.

Temperature hovered around 10 degrees today, but the sun's rays are getting hotter by the day!

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