You can read all about this ride at the blog of Tom but please allow me to add some comments from my point of view. Well first of all it had been a very busy month with alot of visitors from Europe, many business trips and subsequently a lot of good food. Not to mention that I quit smoking in May and this makes proper weight control even more difficult. Now, since spring my body weight has increased by the magnitude of a 2.000 Euro+ bike weight. So I need a new bike which is about the same magnitude more light, or I am not competitive any longer.
That is basically the reason why I tell everybody that I am in bad shape and I refrain from attending challenging tours. In particular when David sets a pace of 40 km/hr plus during the first hour of an seven hour tour.
Also I do not usually make tours of more than, say 180 km. In particular not in December. So I checked my recordings for this year and found only these tours which were longer than the one yesterday :
Sadogashima 210km in May
Matsuhime 219km in June with Jerome, david and Marek
Matsuhime [abgebrochen] 203km in September with Tom and David
Noto Tour 440km in three days in September
Also I do not test new roads in winter. I try to stick to the known ones which don’t give me headacches and provide challenges. It is always hard to climb up a mountain you don’t know for the first time as you have no idea where the climb will end.
But nevertheless this was a very pleasant ride. The roads in the conutryside were beautiful and a complete blue sky added to the good mood we were in. Tom rode a very nice pace so that I could stay on his backwheel all the time. And he was constantly lying about the lenth of the climbs so that I didn’t lost confidence to make it. The average speed was not so fast but we also din’t made too much breaks. I felt basically good all the ride, except for some of the harder climbs and I never had the feeling I wouldn’t make it. And of course the distance from my house to Sekidobashi where I met Tom is about 24 km, so I need to do 40 kms or so more than him in the end.
But nevertheless, a splendid day out in the country. We saw a lot of hoshigaki hang up for drying at some of the farm houses, sometimes inbetween the underwear after the daily washing. We asked some shops if they sell them but nobody did. I guess it is just not considered something to sell in this area, everybody does it on their own, everybody has some so there is no need for selling and buying. But luckily I found some in the supermarket today. Pretty expensive (750 JPY for 250 gramm) but they were very nice indeed. Now I finally now how they taste.
The last piece of road from the 7-11 at Takaoguchi to my home was quite adrag but I made in within 2 hours. It was getting dark already when I was in Futago-Tamagawa and I arrived in complete darkness at home. At least I had my red backlight with me.
Here is one more information, the cyclo info from this tour. The peaks are (from the left) Otarumi Toge, Suzugane Toge (after which a long downhill was promised to me), Hinazuru „Maglev“ Toge (it seems that there is a depot from the maglev train testing facility located there) and Otarumi Toge again.