[Michael] I was only too happy that Tom called me the night before and confirmed that he would ride with me. Otherwise I wouldn’t have the strength to leave the warm bed in the morning. Wake up at 6.20hr, left the house at 7.10 hr and was 2 minutes before 8 at Sekidobashi where Tom was already waiting. Had some strong headwind moving out but the pace was ok.
Then he really pulled it and we were going 34 km/hr average along the Mutsumi Dori towards Itsukaichi. I had problems to keep up and was already pretty much exhausted when we reached the Sakamoto crossing, the start point of the Toge Baka #5 : Jerome Hill.
Perhaps you are wondering why this hill is called Jerome Hill. Well, the hill was first described in the ancient „Annals from Zipangu“ [Kodansha, AD 584] when from the nearby sea French gods descended from the waves as shown in the photo (right: original photoshot from AD 584, left: later re-done as a major movie with Halle Berry). The gods brought various types of French cheese with them which they intended to distribute to the needy and the poor in the Musashino plains. However, before reaching their destination, they had to cross a high mountain and on the way up they were so exhausted that they ate almost all the cheese they have brought with them. Upon which they returned to France, only one of the lesser gods called Jerome move over the hill to the plains where he happily lived ever after.
In any case, I was already done before I started the climb. Tom did it in 8:16 min and me in 10:28 min. The nice thing about Jerome hill is, that it is followed by an even nicer descent. The roads were still wet so we were a little bit careful. Then we had a very nice backwind taking us home and we were zooming with 38 km/hr along the roads. We saw some bonfires prepared at the Tamagawa for the new years eve and for the first time I could see the mountains behind mount Fuji from the river. The view was really magnificent.I said goodbye to Tom, this might have been the last ride of the year. Than with the full backwind I speeded home : 112 km in 4:14 hr, no breaks, some kind of sprint perhaps.
So herewith I declare the Christmas ride to Jerome’s hill as a new tradition. One has to start early in the morning and be back before noon. No breaks are allowed, as this is the start of the fastening period, which lasts until 5 PM the same day. Hope you will join next year.