In the eighties there was an experimental new wave band called „This Heat“. Some of their live performances are even preserved on YouTube. Hearing the music today, looking at their complete uncool aspire on the video, one cannot imagine why somebody would have considered them to be the sharp edge of music advantgarde in 1980. But they were and so it was considered uncool to dislike this heat when I was 18. Now I am 45 and it is hard to imagine why I should venture out on a bike when people have to be collected by ambulance cars on the Tamagawa river just because they engaged in a little bit of sport in this heat on this weekend.
But I rode out which gave occasion to many comments after I almost collapsed on the top of Dozaka Toge. Right so, I have wrote less nice things about Jerome, David and everybody else so I deserved this. Here is the second part of this „this heat“ story about the Sunday ride.
I woke up at 6 AM, and got ready to greet Ludwig who was heading for my house. We then spend some time together to setup my trusted Cannondale R1000 bike for him, including the old SPD pedal set. It was Ludwig`s first longer ride and I wanted to make sure that he has all the right gear ready. We then rode to David where we met him and the other members of the ride. Juliane came relatively on time (I should mention that) and also two guys Tim and CJ from his office. We were late already to meet Tom at the Sekidobashi, so it was left to me to tell him so. Tom then decided to go on his own which was probably the right decision, taking the varying and at this time unknown performance levels of our group in consideration.
It is always difficult to ride with new riders when you don`t know how good they are. If they are fast you are looking stupid and you have to exhaust yourself to keep on. If they are slow you either a) bitch about that because they were invited by other members from the group or b) you wait for them impatiently because you have brought them with you and everybody else is bitching.
We started the usual ride along Tamagawa and Asagawa which brought as to the 7-Eleven at Takao station. It was already getting very hot and a lot of riders where on the road. We saw a large group of Nalsima Friends riders with surprisingly many girls. This must have been the group that Tom later met. As everybody was ok so far, we decided that we will head on further to Yabitsu as planned. Otarumi was the first hill to pass. David, CJ and Tim went ahead in the flats, Juliane and me overtaking them when it became steeper. I pushed hard at the last part and managed to come up first, but my time was only around 21:30 min, by far too slow. But Juliane and me took it very easy in the beginning and also she told me that the POSITIVO ESPRESSO JERSEY has become her favourite jersey. A statement which made me so proud that I was still under shock when I reached the top of Otarumi. It certainly adds to my self esteem as well, when I see riders wearing the Positivo jersey on the road.
Juliane came up second, followed by David, CJ, Tim and Ludwig. But there was not much of a gap, everybody looked sharp so we continued towards Yabitsu. At the downhill David was superfast as usual, and then the long up and down road to Miyagase reservoir started. We were not fast, but considering the heat we were doing ok. We then took a long break at Miyagase, ate, drank, cooled down her feet in the stream. The we left for Yabitsu.
Yabitsu is my favourite route, I don’t know how many times I have wrote this. But I never saw so many cars and bikes on the road as this Sunday. Luckily they were getting fewer once we were past the camping grounds. While the others decide to check out the river, Ludwig and me headed on as I had a mongen deadline at home (which I missed of course). We had one more break at elv. 440m. then pressed on for the climb. I stayed with Ludwig until the teahouse at elv. 620m, the sprinted through the nasty steep part, overtook another rider and waited for Ludwig at the top. 1:18 hr – pretty slow time, but good enough during this heat and also some chances to see the landscape for the first time.
On the top I saw a father on his scooter with his perhaps eight year old daughter. They have ridden to Yabistu together to get away from their daily life and to talk and relax. They were both siting on the scooter, the daughter in front, the father behind curled int each other. He was smoking and she talked about her friends and about school. It was such a peaceful scenery.
Ludwig arrived and we started the long descent towards Hadano. Ludwig was rather slow on the Otarumi descent but here he overtook me easily and speeded ahead. Another candidate for the revered red-dot polka jersey? I had this suspicion since I was driving in a car with Ludwig a long time ago in Fukuroi. His blood donation ASB car driver skills developed into a dangerous weapon and he might apply this also on his bike.
Arrived in Hadano, tried to buy garbage bags to pack our bike. Could not. Ludwig went to a far away supermarket to buy them. In the meantime David, Juliane and the others arrived, including garbage bags. Packed our bikes, waited for Ludwig went home by train to Noborito.
Nice trip, all in all I covered perhaps 270 km during the weekend. Good training for the forthcoming races in Tsukuba on July 19th and in Gunma 20th. Despite the fact that we rode out together for the first time, the coordination and atmosphere was good.
I wish however that the summer will be over soon.