The 145km Giant Salamander Ride

I’ve said before that I have a tendency to overdo things, and despite being so restrained over the last few weeks I got carried away and made a sudden decision to cycle farther than I ever have before. With little planning, I left home just before 5am and headed north into the mountains on my Giant Defy road bike.

Top Of the Otoge Pass

The idea was to head towards Gujo, cross the Otoge pass over the mountains and cycle through “Giant Salamander Land”, an area where the huge, 1.5m long giant Japanese salamander is protected.

I’ll skip the details since you can just watch the video, but I finished the ride in eight and a half hours, covering 145km and climbing anywhere between 2,500 and 3,500m, depending on which app you go by.

Elevation chart

Later this year I hope to tackle a solo, full Ironman-distance triathlon which will see me swim 3.8km, cycle 180km and then run a full 42.2km marathon. The most daunting part of that trio was the bike stage. Until today, my longest ride was 113km and I remember suffering from a very sore bum and back for the second half of that ride.

Today’s ride was quite a confidence booster. I did have a sore bum, back, neck, knees and my ever-present Achilles tendonitis and 2nd metatarsal injuries hurt a fair bit, but not until very late in the ride. I was also very pleased with how long it took me. I didn’t go too hard, and took quite a few rest breaks including breakfast and lunch at convenience stores, but still completed the distance in a reasonable time – probably because my new road bike is a lot quicker than my mountain bike!

In September, I will need to do 180km over even bigger mountains. After today, I’m pretty confident I can do it… but running a full marathon afterwards is another matter altogether. Today, running even 5km was totally out of the question.

If you like, you can find me on Twitter at @nick_ramsay. I'd love to hear from you!