Monday, October 31, 2016

10 Second Anime - Long Riders! - Episode 3

Ami suffers a setback on a climb, but gains inspiration from meeting another rider.

Episode 3 - "A New World"


After a week off, Long Riders! aired again, but it still suffered from inconsistent animation and variations from character designs. I believe the typhoons that rocked Japan and South Asia messed with logistics and work schedule, but perhaps an extra week was not long enough for the editing process due to whatever logistics and production facilities being disrupted. Oh well. I just want the cute girls' faces to look the same from scene to scene. Since only one company handles the CGI for the bikes and pedaling figures, I can trust that all looks the same.


If you haven't figured it out by now, let this show remind you that recreational cycling is expensive.

Yes, EVERYTHING is expensive. The whole mystique of road cycling is that you get to ride and wear the same stuff world class athletes use. Guess what. It's expensive handmade stuff! The athletes get sponsored. Who's your sponsor? I think we'll find out what the girls have to do for their expensive hobby next episode.

You know, there's another solution to hiding a panty line on compression shorts instead of a modesty protecting skirt. I'll discuss that in the Cycling Porn section.

So, the Alpaca Cycle girl has to say "paca" at the end of everything she says. I wish we got her name.

I love me some "ara ara ma ma" girl speech. Yayoi is a treasure.

Oh man, I've been here. Again, on both sides of the hill wait. That worry that something even worse happened than just being tired or cramped up when you get separated is real. And you don't always have cell phone reception in the hills either.

Everybody cramps. It hurts. A lot.

Good for Ami for being excited about trying again after having to pull the plug on a ride. As the other girls Hinako and Yayoi told her, it happens a lot. I had to do it on a ride last year when it got too hot on a climb. It was over 100 degrees Fahrenheit at 9 AM on Angeles Crest Highway. It was time to turn around.

They made it look like Aoi was massaging her legs, but she wasn't. She was doing what all hot girls do: rub skin lotion on their smooth, smooth skin. Hot girls love lotion. I mean, so they say...

And now we know what Yukiho from Idolmaster did when she got to college. Okay, the eye color isn't the same, but the eye style is very similar.

I liked this scene too for how Ami was vowing revenge against a hill she couldn't complete. Again, I've been there. Except my revenge stories involve puking on the side of road.

Aw, Indy-kun looks like a good friendly dog. Just don't wear fluffy stuff around him. The whole point of his presence was so the cyclist Aoi and Ami met at Shibu Pass could show how well she knew him. Why? To show that she's climbed that pass between Gunma and Nagano prefecture so many times, she's a regular at that chalet.

Why does every show have to have one girl who's afraid of dogs? Is that supposed to make Aoi even cuter and more precious? How is this possible? Didn't you see her rubbing lotion on her legs?

I like this girl. No cycling skirt for her! She's also the last cast member of our show, but we still didn't get a name. This is also part of cycling culture where we only remember riders by the bikes they rode instead of introducing ourselves. You only exchange names if you've ridden together for more than an hour. Them's the rules. It's not like you're sitting in a café talking to someone for two hours. It's just a lot of breathing and grunting and drinking and eating and shouting short sentences through the wind noise.

I loved the faces both cycling girl and Aoi made when Ami remarked on how expensive a road bike would be if she got one to climb those hills. I've made that same face to beginners asking about shoes, pedals, shorts, wheels, etc. I always tell them it's better to pay a bit more at the beginning for quality stuff because then you don't have to keep paying money to slowly upgrade. It's more expensive in the long run to do that. And honestly, if you want to get faster on a bike, you should just go out and ride and get stronger and lose weight. That's cheaper than buying a new bike too, but it hurts and takes up a lot of time. As if recreational cycling doesn't already hurt and take up a lot of time...

Cycling Porn.

This week on Cycling Porn, we got to see more of Hinako's Pinarello, Yayoi's unbranded lugged steel custom job, Aoi's Giant frame still slowly being converted into a road bike, compression shorts, cramping and salt tablets, and Cycling Girl riding an actual trademarked brand Makino.

That Makino bike has an interesting paint job because the mangaka for Long Riders! just recently unveiled his own bike with the Fortuna club's Alpaca Cycle sponsored paint job. Good for him for supporting a local bike manufacturer.

Ami's about to say goodbye to Ponta-kun. Well, she'll keep using him to commute to college.

But Ami! You should not be worrying about panty lines on compression shorts because you should not be wearing panties underneath compression shorts! That leads to chafing! I can understand modest girls wearing the cycle skirts so they're not displaying crack and crotch to the world, but saddles on road bikes are not designed for an extra layer between sit bones and leather. Lycra, spandex and maybe chamois cream should be the only things between your ass and the bike.

Now, some remarks on cramping. A cyclist will never get "good enough" to stop cramping. I've been riding for over 12 years seriously and I still cramp. Hell, my last ride, both inner thighs were cramped up for 7 miles on a 9 mile descent. Cramping is a personal characteristic kind of thing. Each athlete has a set of conditions in which he will always cramp. For me, I used to cramp in my outer ankles after 90 miles. Then, for a couple of years, my calves always cramped up on long rides. The weather had to be either very hot or very cold. Then for a year, my lower back would seize up. For the last three years, I only cramp my groin muscles if I've been climbing more than two hours on an 80 degree day and then I have to descend for more than 15 minutes.

Hydration doesn't matter. Electrolytes don't matter. Pickle juice only helps if you can't loosen the cramp. Lactic acid buildup is a fallacy. Cramping conditions, and which muscles cramp, is specific to an athlete. The only thing you can do is find ways to deal with the pain and keep riding so you don't cramp up all the way and get locked up. It eventually goes away if you can keep your cramping muscles moving and can avoid contracting them all the way. For me, that's rough right now, since I only cramp on descents with technical turns and I have to stop pedaling and position my legs for g-force leans, which means cramp city until I can hit a straightaway to start pedaling again or I get to the bottom.

My only complaint about Ami feeling how light this road bike is compared to Ponta-kun is all the crap Cycling Girl has strapped to it. Mind you, this bike is  a complete Shimano Ultegra set up, but when you have touring saddle bags, double night spotlights, power meter and bike computer and three 24 oz. water bottles on top of 16 pounds, that thing weighs just a little less than 25 lb. Ponta-kun. Still, it's a nice bike, and these brevet riding girls are crazy. Look at all that gear!

Next time, a girl needs to work hard for the money to buy that road bike. Hopefully too, the girls' faces will all look the same from scene to scene.

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