Immediately off the back of the Quarq century, another Strava challenge appears. Ride ~32 hours (moving time) in 16 days. How hard can it be?
I won't list all of the rides - it took me 11 in total - but I did it! However, a couple of notable rides:
This was my century route, minus the detour to Otsu and back, which docked about 35km from the total distance. It's a gorgeous route - so much so that I rode it again for the final(-ish) ride of the challenge - and one that will definitely enter my regular rotation. Fantastic climb in there, too - 25km of low-gradient stuff through really wonderful scenery.
Riding this the first time, both myself and Grecia got punctures. Just bad luck. In fact, over the duration of this challenge I think I got 5 or 6 punctures... to the point where it wasn't funny any more. I think I finally narrowed down the cause to a sharp edge inside the rim not covered by the rim tape (slipped, I guess). I've since made a makeshift boot of sorts, from paper. I'll retape the rims eventually. Wish I'd figured it out two weeks ago!
Mid-way through, I spent a couple of days doing some impromptu cycle guiding to some tourist sites in Kyoto. It was a really good time and a nice way of logging some relatively non-strenuous time in the saddle. I did, however, also have another bash at Hieizan - a Category 2 ass-kicker of a climb - and I moved up the leaderboard to 2nd place overall! Extremely happy with that, since it's a horrible climb and I'm now 'officially' faster up it than everyone I know besides Cory, who is superhuman and set a frankly silly time last year that even he hasn't come close to matching since.
A few assorted photos:
|At the top of Hieizan (well, as far as you can go by bike... legally, anyway...)|
|Guiding to Ginkakuji|
(Left to right: me, Varun, Grecia, Aparna)
|A wet afternoon at Fushimi-inari|
|Definitely not suitable weather for cycling shorts... (Fushimi-inari again)|
|Hanging out at the entrance of Kyoto Imperial Palace|
All-in-all a great couple of weeks. A tough challenge, but I somehow managed to get the requisite time in. Not as tough as the Rapha Festive 500 though - I can almost still feel that one!