The Village Velodrome Appreciation Society

A blog about jitensha and jogging

Friday, September 29, 2006

Gan Well Pro track bikes + 1

Strange huh, I saw two Kalavinkas in one day, now I've seen two Gan Well Pros in one day. What are the wheels on the red bike? They look painted - perhaps some old Nimbles?

This black Gan Well is not quite as good in the looks stakes, but it looks more rideable. Love the banana shaped Brooks saddle. And the front brake is a good idea - I simply don't agree with the no brakes philosophy. Call me uncool but the fact is one day a fixed rider will lose his/her life because of not having brakes.

This last bike remains a mystery. No decals, no engravings on the rear stays, no headtube badge. I like the 28mm all black tyre on the back, it goes well with the frame. The bars look good too - really old skool.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

I cracked yesterday and joined my colleagues for a night of beer and pizza. I can't believe I've only missed one day's training but I feel guilty. Of course, I've been punished with a sore throat today that feels like it is trying to become a cold.

I took some pictures of really nice Gan Well Pro track bikes today. Stay tuned, I'll upload them soon.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

2 hours on the ankle

I ran two hours today and felt fresher at the end of the run than I ever have before. My glycogen storage capacity must be improving. BUT, my ankle niggled me all the way, and my left knee had strange pains in it, below the knee cap on the left side, side/right where the tendon runs, and below right. But I'm just going to keep on running and hope it all works out in the end. In the run up to the London Marathon I had terrible shin splints that made me want to stop running, but I got over them. I'll just keep stretching and icing my ankle until the pain lets up.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

First time in Britain's Guardian newspaper

I had my first words printed in The Guardian newspaper. And they really are just a few words. I cowrote reviews of Sign cafe, Bisty's wine bar and Heaven's cafe. You can see the reviews here:,,1878778,00.html (Please note, I didn't write the main story).

Sunday, September 24, 2006

I won!

OK, so it was the Terry Fox fun run - not exactly the Boston Marathon, but I won the 5km (17.55). Second place came in in 18.20, so I had a lonely run. I was happy that I was able to push myself the whole way and beat my previous best for the course by about 30 seconds. Also, this was the first time I have run under 18 minutes for 5km on a road course. My next run on this course will be the Breast Cancer run ( ). I am expecting a bigger and better field for that run, but I really hope I can go about 20 seconds faster again and get a top 3 place - if my achilles tendon lets me.

After the run with a couple of the guys from Namban Rengo running club ( ).

Friday, September 22, 2006

Someone else has got the hump!

The World Cycling Championships are on right now - but the one picture that stood out for me was this picture of Dominique Cornu riding to a gold medal in the under 23s. First of all, this picture comes from Pez Cycling News (, a site worth checking out every day. But, back to why I like it - it's the humped back. As you might be able to see in the pictures of me on the road and track on this blog, I ride with a humped back. I always felt a bit self concious about it - and I wondered if it slowed me down. Then along comes Monsieur Cornu - may he have a long a successful career!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Long run

Yesterday I ran 90 minutes at a fairly brisk pace and my ankle felt OK. Funny enough my right ankle felt a bit sore - I think I'm getting phantom pains because I'm worried about injury now. My leftg ankle has been a bit tighter than usual today since the run, but it feels OK. I worked nightshift at work today, so after a long sleep I'll see how the ankle feels.

Oh, and please feel free to make comments if you're a reader of my blog. I know a couple of sites link to me and I've had a few people check out my profile but only 2 comments so far. Perhaps all this talk about my left ankle is just too dull?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Achilles and Naoshima

My achilles tendon in my left leg seems to have good days and bad. I've been experimenting with shoes and treatments. I bought a pair of Mizuno Wave Aero shoes. They feel better than my Asics DS shoes. Initially I was using sorbathane heel lifts (small pieces of sorbathane which only go under the heel), but I found they altered the way I run too much which led to knee pain. So I've removed the sorbathane - which brings me back to square one in a sense - I now have no added protection for my achilles.

Ice helps, as does one particular stretch. It's a common stretch - I sit on a mat, left leg straight, right leg bent to the side, and hold on to my foot on the left leg. It seems to stretch the problem area better than the recommended stretches such as standing on a step and lowering the ankle.

I went to Naoshima on the weekend, so my training was interupted again. We planned to go running on the island, but after seeing all the art on the island ( we were told a typhoon was coming, so we had to leave quickly on an early ferry. We planned to go for a run when we got to Kobe, but as soon as I rested on a bad I fell asleep. We ran an hour the next day - and because I had no ice and because I didn't stretch long enough I know have the tendonitis back worse than it was after my last few runs. But it's OK. I'm not in pain, I can walk around in the mornings (the first few steps are tender), and I feel like if it stays at this level I'll be fine.

Here's a picture taken from our hotel window in Naoshima...

On the weekend I'm running in a 5km event - The Terry Fox 5km - at Imperial Palace. I want to beat my previous best for the hilly course of 18.35. I'm sure I can. I'm aiming to go under 18 minutes, but it will be tough. The course is lumpy and it remains open to the public, so you have to run around kids, dogs, bikes and prams etc.

So today I will run with tendonitis AND knee pain - maybe I will look back on this blog entry one day and say "That's when my leg pain problems really got worse." Maybe not.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Kalavinka track frames

I knew of the mythical Kalavinka track frame, I'd visited the brand's website ( ) but I'd never seen one close up. Then, two in two days! This red one looks great. I saw it in Shibuya. It's teamed with gold Velocity rims which match the gold kanji lettering on the downtube perfectly. The handlebars are a tiny bit narrow. The other frame is chrome. Sorry for the poor quality of the shot, I had to snap it quickly with my cell phone. I found it on a backstreet in Ginza. The frame was in great condition, but it could be made to look a who lot better. Still, the thing about fixies is they get you from A to B quickly and without any fuss - it's not all about looks.

Saturday, September 09, 2006


Well, I've gone a week without running - but now I have a cold. So maybe I'll be resting a few more days. I need to buy new shoes too.

Speaking of shoes I checked out the Mizuno shop in Kanda - well worth a visit if you're looking for new shoes for most sports (not cycling) -

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Achilles tendonitis

Well, the pain I felt after Wednesday's run felt worse over the next few days. I've decided take a week off because I'm pretty sure I've got achilles tendonitis. I'm trying to stretch more (I keep forgetting) and when I get back to running I will change my shoes (I've been using Asics, and many people blame Asics shoes for causing achilles tendonitis. It's probably a coincidence but I'm not going to risk it). I'll also use sorbathane innersoles and ice after each run. Hopefully I'll be back to full, injury-free fitness soon.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Running at Oda field - new PB

Over the past 7 days I've run at Oda Field twice. The first run was Saturday - which, as I mentioned before, saw me line up for my first ever 1,500m race. I ran 4.46, which was pleasing.

Then Wednesday I ran what is termed a Godo 5,000m run a Oda Field. I ran with the second of three groups. My aim was to beat 18 seconds. I finished in 17.45. It's 16 seconds below my previous best time (set on the road).

Since then I've felt a bit of pain in my achilles tendon and my calf muscles. I did a fast 1 hour run Thursday night, but decided to take a day off yesterday to let my legs recover. I still have pain in my left achilles, which is worrying me a bit. Time for rest, ice, elevation perhaps?