Sunday, November 4, 2018

Brompton runs Cycling Shimanami 2018

Last weekend I was a part of the Cycling Shimanami 2018, an international cycling event over Setouchi Shimanami Kaido (West Seto Expressway) .
(click to view the movie.)

Shimanami Kaido is a 60-kilometer-long road and bridge network running between Japan's Hiroshima and Ehime prefectures.

The route connects across seven islands, offering sublime scenery of the Seto Inland Sea National Park and artificial beauty of the seven bridges. Bike riders can run across the Seto Inland Sea running along the bicycle pedestrian road attached to the bridge of the motorway. The road was selected as one of the seven most beautiful cycling roads in the world by CNN.

International Cycling Event "Cycling Shinami 2018", in which riders are allowed to run through the motor vehicle expressway connecting 7 bridges between Onomichi (Hiroshima prefecture) and Imabari (Ehime prefecture), was held on October 28, 2018. There are seven courses offered in the event. The variety of courses includes a round trip course of maximum 140 kilometers long. I am one to run the most popular Course D, 70-km One-way course over the Seto Inland Sea from Imabari to Onomichi.

This cycle event started in 2014 and is scheduled every four years. There are exceptions of a preliminary dry run in 2013 and intermediate event with small scale in 2016. As I enrolled the event in 2013 dry run and the first one in 2014, it is the third one for me.

The ride event is one of the largest in Japan. It is told that 7200 riders will run in the event. (I suppose that Mt. Fuji Hill Climb Race is over 10 thousand and the largest.) Nearly 10% of the participants are from abroad.  I saw a lot of Taiwanese, several Americans/Canadians and a couple of Australians in the same batch.

Motor vehicle traffic is closed on the road during the event. The riders run main vehicular lane on the highway where a bicycle normally cannot get in so that this event is very special and attractive.

The event is well organized and schedule goes on time. Following Course A, B, C riders to start, 1,500 of Course D riders assembled at Imabari Interchange. First group of Course D riders started at 8:13 am and the second batch, including me, began to ride at 8:17 am.

Equipment: Brompton S2E Raw
Distance: 67.22 km (highway 44 km)
Lap: 2 hours 57 min. 40 sec.
Average Speed: 22.7km/h

The sky is blue and wind is calm. (Wind is one of the important factors in Shimanami. Once windy, it becomes hell.) 

Passing the first bridge, Kurushima Strait Bridge, with total length of 4,015 meters (13,173 ft).

When landed on the first island Oshima after Kurushima Strait Bridge, we go straight into the tunnel.

(click to view the above movie.)

Because the highway penetrates island hills and mountains through tunnels, we can enjoy luxury of level riding through out the route.

After passing 4 bridges and three islands (Oshima, Hakata-jima, Omishima) to reach Ikuchi-island, the fourth island, riders take first rest at the 33.4 km point. Drink and light meal are offered.

After a short break, Course D riders start again toward Onomichi.

(click to view the above movie.)

Just before reaching Onomihi City, riders need to get on the boat to get across the tiny strait.

(click to view the above movie.)

Cheer leaders, a costume mascot (hassa-kun), and local spectators awaited riders at the goal.

Delicious local food is generously served to refill riders.

It was really a nice ride and priceless experience on a day of the beautiful autumn in Japan. I express a maximum gratitude to the people who worked and promoted the event, volunteers who supported for the event, and local spectators who gave full cheers for the participating riders.

Related information:
A video clip from the Cycling Shimanami 2014

(click to view the movie.)

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Brompton 2019 model

Brompton 2019 model is now disclosed. New colors are released while there is no big change in specification.

 (photo source: Brompton Bicycle Official Twitter)

There are 4 new color released for 2019 model. Hot pink comes back to the regular color lineup.

Flame Lacquer
Our popular Lacquer finish, this time with a brighter twist. Flame Lacquer is sure to grab attention. The clear, burnt Orange hue still showcases the quality craftsmanship of the braze.

Papyrus White
If you're looking for something more subtle, Papyrus White is a classic neutral tone. If you'd like to add some colour, Papyrus White compliments well with other colours within the range.

Hot Pink
The public have spoken, Hot Pink is back by popular demand. This vibrant finish is sure to turn heads when you're out and about.

Purple Metallic
Add a little sparkle to your bike. The Purple Metallic is a new finish from the Brompton paint plant. We've introduced Purple into the range with the addition of metallic flakes that glisten in the sunlight.

(photo and text source: Brompton Bicycle Official page

Other than new colors, it is announced that brake calipers return to original cartridge type in 2019 model. It is supposed to be running change.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Brompton goes to Red Hill Rail Trail

Brompton and I went to the Red Hill Rail Trail.

The Red Hill Rail Trail is only 6.5 km trail in Mornington Peninsula. It runs from Merricks toward Red Hill South where famous restaurants and wineries concentrate.

The line to Red Hill was opened in 1921 as a 16 km branch line from Bittern on the Stony Point line. In those days it primarily carried fruit such as apples, pears and strawberries to be sold in Melbourne. However, the line was unsuccessful in terms of business. As roads in the Peninsula were quickly improved, passenger traffic had slowed and the regular train service reverted to a weekly mixed goods train by 1929. The line was closed in 1953 after only 32 years of operation. The track was dismantled by 1955.

After decades, the section only between former Merricks Station and Red Hill Station was revived as a rail trail. The rest of the former railway land between Bittern and Merricks is now in private ownership but may be restored to public access some day.

[ride data]
Route: Merricks - Red Hill South -Merricks
Distance: 12.7km (return)
Max. difference of elevation:157m
Average % of slope: total 0% ascend 3.6% descend 3.6%
Acquired elevation: 192m

The Red Hill Rail Trail starts at the backyard of Stonier Wines in Merricks.

Brompton goes along vineyards and pastureland toward Red Hill.

On Sunday there are a lot of people, bikes, and dogs on the trail.

The trail is also an equestrian trail. Popular among horse riders.

Brompton runs across railway cutting.

 Finally Brompton and I reached Red Hill.

It is a good idea to have a break here.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Brompton completed the Lilydale Warburton Rail Trail 40km

Brompton and I completed all the way of the Lilydale-Warburton Rail Trail between Warburton and Lilydale. The Rail Trail lasts 40 kilometers along the old Warburton railway line from Lilydale.  As usual, I enjoyed one way ride for 40 km as I used bus for another way.

[Ride data]
Equipment: M6L-X
Route: Old Warburton Station (COG Cafe) to Lilydale Station
Distance: 39.1km

Lilydale Warburton Rail Trail is a popular trail near Melbourne with distance of 40 kilo meters between Warburton and Lilydale. The route formerly used as a railway line is now the Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail, a pedestrian, bicycle and equestrian trail. The rail trail is convenient for people because it starts from the end of the metropolitan rail network at Lilydale Station to original Warburton Station via original stations of Mount Evelyn, Wandin, Seville, Woori Yallock, and Yarra Junction. You can enjoy rural landscape throughout the route to the resort town of Warburton nestled in the mountains.

The Warburton line was constructed as a railway branching off from the old Healesville line at the present terminus, Lilydale. The line opened in 1901 and closed in 1965.

Started a ride today from Old Warburton Station after a cup of coffee at COG Cafe.

The village town was covered with moisture and autumn tint this morning.

I found a beautiful rose flower in the village.

Recent cold weather caused a beautiful autumn tint here and there.

A lot of cyclists enjoyed a ride on this beautiful rail trail trail even after morning dizzle.

Related articles:
Brompton goes to Bass Coast Rail Trail
Brompton completed the Ballarat-Skipton Rail Trail 57km
Bromptons go to Great Victorian Rail Trail - First day
Bromptons go to Great Victorian Rail Trail - Second day
Brompton goes to the Ballarat-Skipton Rail Trail
Brompton goes to Gippsland
The Trail to Port Fairy
Spring has come to Australia
Brompton goes to the Great Victorian Rail Trail (the Goulburn Valley rail trail)
Brompton goes to Lilydale Warburton Rail Trail

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Your Name.

"Your Name." (Japanese title:  Kimi no Na wa.) is a 2016 Japanese animated film created and directed by Makoto Shinkai with music composed by Radwimps. It tells a fantasy of time travel and body swap between high school girl in rural Japan and a high school boy in Tokyo. It achieved a major commercial success and received widespread acclaim.

High school girl Mitsuha has become bored of her traditional life in beautiful Hida mountain region where she was born in a shrine as a successor of a sacred maiden.

She wishes if she were a teenage boy in modern Tokyo and, on one day, she had it in a dream. However, when she sees a message on her notebook asking "Who are you?" and when her friends react at her strange behavior on the previous day, she suspects something is going on. At the same moment, high school boy Taki experiences the same thing.

They finally realize that their spirits swap back and forth at random and start communicating with each other by leaving notes and messages in notebooks and smartphones. Mitsuha enjoys Taki’s high school days in Tokyo and Taki also becomes accustomed to the Japanese traditional life in an unknown rural village. During the time, Taki wonders that Mitsuha's latest note tells about a comet approaching to the Earth as a nationwide news but he never hears about it.

One day, Taki, as Mitsuha, accompanies her grandmother and sister to go to the sacred place in the mountain. The sacred body as a huge stone is located far in the caldera of the mountain top. It is a regular event for the shrine family to leave Kuchikamizake, the ritual sacred sake, for the god stone located on the mountain. Grandmother tells Mitsuha (Taki) that there is the body of the village guardian god who rules time, human experiences and reconnections. For some reason Taki is impressed by her words. Grandmother seems to notice Mitsuha is not Mitsuha but Taki on that day.

After a while, the body switching suddenly ends. He decides to visit her hometown though he does not know its name and where. Based on his memory of the scenery, he finally reached Hida-Takayama which has to be a vicinity of Itomori Villege where Yotsuha lives but hears that the village was vanished 3 years ago due to an unexpected fall of a fragmented meteorite.

Taki understands that the disaster happened exactly on the ritual day 3 years ago when he watched a beautiful meteor shower from the balcony. He finds the names of Mitsuha, her sister, grandmother and other people in the list of victims. He suddenly realizes their timelines were separated by three years. Taki despairs but an idea comes across. He goes to the mountain top where he once visited as Mitsuha with her sister and grandmother in his dream.


Five years later, Taki does not remember anything but he senses he is missing something important, being interested in the Itomori's miracle that most of the inhabitants survived by chance due to the mayor's unanticipated direction.

One day, Taki and Mitsuha recognize each other when their trains draw parallel near Yoyogi Station. They disembark in the different station (because he was on Chuo line and she was on Sobu line.) and search for one another, finally meeting each other on a stone staircase near Sendagaya station. Feeling as if they have met before, they ask for each other “what’s your name?” with burst of tears.
source: Kimi no Na wa Official Page

End of the story

If you bring Brompton to Japan, you may visit locations where Mitsuha and Taki live and pass each other.