Met David at his house at 8.30hr, full raingear in my back pocket. Juliane and david as well as James decided to take it easy on Sunday. The sky didn’t look very promising, but nevertheless we were eager to give it a try and add some junk miles. As usually we speeded down the Tamagawa, taking changes in the front. Today was „No matter in which direction you go, strong headwind will always be there“-day. Then we met another American, Michael on his Cervelo Carbon Soloist. How impressive, three Cervelos riding side by side along the Tamagawa. As two of them were still equipped with Wolf SL forks, we were also a potential road hazard.
Michael left us somewhere along the Asagawa and we headed on to the 7-Eleven at Takao station. The Asagawa was full of water and at one point we saw a flooded underpass. I said „Let’s pass through“, and so we went on, but soon discovered that the water was up to the axle of the crank set. Both got wet feet. We then decided to take the road through Hachioji rather than to continue along he river. When we arrived at the 7/11 to our surprise the sky was blue, it was also more humid then the last days and many many fire engines, fire motorcycles and ambulance cars were passing us in direction Otarumi. A lot of the guys from the Ouvest team came down from Otarumi heading back to town. We were a little bit worried that the road would be closed because of an accident. We decided that we would take on Yabitsu today. I put some sun screen on, didn’t bother to do so when I left home. I did not enough and now at home I am looking naked like the Austrian flag (red legs, white body, red arms and face).
Nevertheless I gave a time trial up Otarumi Toge a try. Speeded ahead right from the start and felt OK. But there must have been some headwind. From the start to elv. 270m I was going at more than 20 km/hr, but for whatever reason I finished in 19:54min. A sub 20 min time is good, but not good enough to update the Toge Baka. David came in at 23:40min, obviously because of his fork. Never saw any fire engine again. We then took it easy down to Sagamiko and further on road 412/413/513 to Miyagase Lake. There are no particular points in this route and it is only the approach to Yabitsu, but nevertheless, one should not discount it.
We then took a very long break at Miyagase lake before we continue towards Yabitsu. Took it also easy up Yabitsu. Took as almost 1:07 hr. When we reached the top we were afraid of rain showers, but the other side looked good again and we immediately started the descent. Met another fast guy on his bike going down. Some cars stopped to let us pass. David was first a little bit reluctant to speed and I could easily keep up with him, but once he saw the other guy he became more competitive and neither the guy nor me were able to follow him. We made it quickly to Hadano Station where we parted, David took the train home whileas
I was feeling still pretty strong and wanted to do some mileage before going on a slow business trip to KL. Also the 200 km plus ride to Shimoda paid off. So I went along route 62 to Hiratsuka and then took a shortcut to the road along the coast, route 134. The weather was just beautiful and I felt like 1965 in California with all the bikini girls and surfers around me. Plus finally a nice, strong tailwind so I was going at 40 km/hr plus all the time. Now I started to feel even better. I felt like 1981 and the Barracudas were singing „Last Summer“ in the background. OK, they don’t have that on YouTube so take „Summer Fun“ instead.
Oh, the Barracudas, they have passed the test of time. I love almost every single song of them and if I ever will be dropped on an island and I can take only one ipod with me I will load it to the brim with every available Barracuda song. Even if the island is Japan. And the Best of Album of David Hasselhoff (who, despite his name is not on a rider recall). Sorry, I deviated, I was lost in nostalgia.
Where was I? Oh, yes, I was approaching the shores of Shonan. This was actually the last day of summer 2008, because there is officially no summer in Japan in September. So the last chance to see the beach bars of Kamakura.
Here is a nice statement from Gaijin Tonic about them:
„I’m also looking forward to hitting the beach bars of the Shonan area of Kanagawa, around Enoshima, Zushi and Kamamkura. Many of my female friends hate these beaches because they are dirty, cluttered with gaudy wooden beach bars, and overcrowded with drunk university students in swimwear, setting off fireworks. I, on the other hand, like these beaches because they are dirty, cluttered with gaudy wooden beach bars, and overcrowded with drunk university students in swimwear, setting off fireworks.„
Well said, Gaijin Tonic.
I called my family, to show them the beach and the dirty, cluttered beaches, but they refused to come out. I told them I would take a coffee at my favourite shack, the German restaurant seacastle, proud defender of German tradition on the beaches of Kamakura since 1957. I rode there and when I stood in front of the restaurant, it looked so dark and uninviting an I was so afraid to go inside that I could not muster the courage to ask for a coffee there. Instead I run for the station of Ofuna, where the good trains of the Tokaido and Toyoko lines took me home. I am looking now like Mr. Krebs from Sponge Bob, but it was a very nice riding day and well, it was also the last day of summer 2008.
„It was his last summer, and he started to think / and we stopped surfing and started to drink.“
Of course from the Barracudas.