The Village Velodrome Appreciation Society

A blog about jitensha and jogging

Monday, March 31, 2008

In Adelaide last week we visited the Adelaide "Superdrome" - a 250 meter indoor wooden velodrome. We had been told there would be racing on, there wasn't, but we did get to watch Felicity Johnson and Katie Parker training for the Paralympics in Beijing.

In Sydney I expected to find a lot of fixed gear bikes, but because of the hilly terrain in the city, most people still ride mountain bikes. I did spot this one though...

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Good Friday "Dead Flat Run"

I ran the "Dead Flat Run" in Adelaide, Australia, on Good Friday and took 3rd place. The run begins on tarmac but switches to dirt, climbing all the way to the top of a steep hill. I've never done a hillclimb before - it really hurt my calf muscles.

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    Sunday, March 16, 2008

    Tadao Ando in Osaka

    Sayamaike Museum, Sayama City, Osaka

    Suntory Museum, Tempozan, Osaka

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    90 minutes

    Did a 90 minute run at medium pace today and my knees felt perfect.


    Thursday, March 13, 2008

    Bikes in Osaka

    Some fixed gear bikes I found in Osaka...

    Contender for most expensive yet ugly and pointless bike ever built

    And some bikes made by fixed frame builders

    Finally, the "jitensha otaku" - bike nerds. These bikes aren't raced, they're ridden by old men who spend every yen they make on new parts for their bikes. The guys were really friendly and invited me to go for a ride with them.

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    Saturday, March 08, 2008

    Sport can be cruel

    After putting in the hard work, and preparing to compete, three top athletes were forced to pull out of major events this week.

    Former world cycling champion Chris Newton was putting the final touches on his preparations for the World Track Cycling Championships when a thoughtless car driver flung open his door, knocking Newton to the ground and breaking his collarbone.

    Of course, the headlines this week have been about Paula Radcliffe and her toe. A pain that isn't responding to treatment has seen her pull out of the London Marathon.

    But perhaps these two athletes are lucky compared to Yasuko Hashimoto, who has been forced to abandon running in the Nagoya marathon - ending the defending champion's chances of making the Japanese team for Beijing.

    I guess the lows do serve one purpose - they make the highs feel so much better...

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    Friday, March 07, 2008

    A Level NJS track frame fresh from Mr Matsuda

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    Tuesday, March 04, 2008

    Still running well

    The knees are still behaving, I did 40 minutes at an easy pace on Sunday, and an hour Monday - 50 minutes at a good pace.

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    Sunday, March 02, 2008

    Biwako Mainichi Marathon

    Today, saw the running of the 63rd Lake Biwa Marathon in Shiga Prefecture, and a fine win by Mubarak Hassan Shami, a Qatari who was born in Kenya (as Richard Yatich), in 2.08.23. Shami, who took silver at the World Championships in Osaka, said in the post-race interview that the conditions were quite tough, with strong winds at times, so his time was excellent. Eritrea's Yared Asmeron ran an awesome race, finishing second and taking about 6 or 7 minutes off his previous best time of 2:15:14. Third was Satoshi Osaki in a time that was pleasing for him, and should see him go to Beijing.

    It was funny hearing the clash of English styles as Shami was interviewed. The translator no doubt thought she was speaking English, but sentences like "Did you plan to spurt?" aren't going to be understood by anyone who hasn't heard Japlish terms such as "spurt" and "goal" before. The interviewer was poorly prepared, failing to ask Shami about his battle with Asmeron, or the conditions, or even if he was happy with his time.

    Australia's Lee Troop had an awful day, dropping off the pace around the 15km mark, fighting to catch for 5km, but eventually dropping out at 26km - it was a pity he couldn't perform today as he will be Australia's top hope in Beijing, and he's been training with guys like Mottram at altitude in Australia - so he should be flying. Oh well, he's got five months to iron out any problems.

    Osaki said he felt the race was too fast at around 20kms - no wonder, I noticed the leaders went through the 5km from 20km to 25km in 14.56! A sub-15 minute 5km after running 20km - just amazing.

    1. Mubarak Hassan Shami 2:08:23
    2. Yared Asmeron 2:08:34
    3. Satoshi Osaki 2:08:36

    Likely Japanese mens team for Beijing:
    Tsuyoshi Ogata
    Atsushi Sato
    Satoshi Osaki

    With Arata Fujiwara likely 4th pick (although, considering he only ran 4 seconds slower in Tokyo than Osaki did today, and ran a competive race , maybe he could still take the third spot).

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    Saturday, March 01, 2008

    Another good week of training

    Last night I did 90 minutes again, so that makes two 90 minute runs plus the club 5km this week. Not an overly taxing week, but a good amount of kms under the belt, and still no knee trouble.

    I'm trying to work out how far I run for my 90 minute runs - I think it's about 19km. So that's a grand total of 43 km for the week, which is fine for now.