Last weekend, I met Michael & his family, Marek, Stephen & Ryoko at Hotaka. I was there with my “French team” to participate in the Day Two “Giro de Hotaka,” a 121km ride around Mount Hotaka in Gunma Pref. The size of this event (max. 300 riders), gorgeous surroundings and variety of the parcourse (more downhill than uphill) makes this event a very attractive & recommendable one to all Positivo Espresso riders!
One drawback as David pointed out correctly is the dangerous „touristy ride-cum-race“ mixed format and this is what our friend Marek found out much to his frustration. Some guy touched Marek’s back wheel at the first downhill section at 40-50km/h, started to whobble and crashed! Marek, his wheel damaged beyond repair, was forced to sit out the rest of the race in the “broom wagon” trailing behind the last rider (which Marek told me was a pain to look at).
For some people including me, the event did not fully live up to its expectations. A lack of race marshals on major turns and intersections caused too much confusion. At the “Junction of Doom,” I led a pack of about 15 riders on the wrong road losing more than half an hour! Otherwise the organization was good…o-miyage maitake mushrooms, bananas & VAAMs at two aid stations, mushroom soup, a piece of apple & lunch box at the end of the race…
“Giro de Hotaka” + the short Hotaka Hillclimb on Day 1 is a two-day event I definitely want to participate in again next year. Hopefully there will be many of the Positivo Espresso riders going as well.
Here is map / elevation chart of this marvelous „Giro“: http://www.ne.jp/asahi/bicycle/race/htkgiro/route.htm
mob: and here are the results : http://www.ne.jp/asahi/bicycle/race/result.htm
And I have some more pictures I wanted to add :
My family was also completely at the race and Anna our Aupair also joined. I hope that I can convert her during her 10 months stay in Japan into a cycling addict.
Should present her with the TREK bike from Tom.
TOM: If it’s for Anna I’ll fix you a special price!!
MOB : Did you see that Anna? Tom and me are getting serious here. I think you can do it, I mean you can still watch our kids, learn Japanese, go to HipHop dacing classes, enjoy nights out in Roppongi, Skype all your friends in Germany, get your friends to come to Japan, maintain your blog
ANNA: Ok, here is the deal: I’m looking for the kids, going to my Hip Hop classes, keep on stalking my family and friends in Germany (and get them to visit Japan), BUT: I’m quitting my Japanese class. Because I don’t think that I need any Japanese skills during cycling… 🙂
Then there is a photo of Ryoko, actually taken when I wanted to take a photo of Stephen as he was assembling his bike before the race. But as he was bended over and showed bis back to me it turned out not to be a good photo at all. But just by chance Ryoko was also somehow on the photo and she looks here very mysterious like Bernard Albrecht from NEW ORDER on the famous cover of FACE magazine, designed by Neville Brody in the Eighties. Stephen and Ryoko are really nice people and as a couple very harmonious. I should be full of praise.