Shimoda : A triology in four parts. PART 2 : The Hakone Climb

The Hakone climb starts at the Asahi bridge, conveniently located after another 7-11 and then continues for 14.2 km and 745 meters up to the highest point of route #1 at elevation 874 m. It is a very long and demanding climb and it definitely feels like more than the average 5% grade on which one would arrive mathematically. I never took somebody with me on this climb as well, as the traffic is heavy on this road and you also need to go 90 km before even starting to climb. So for years that used to be the hardest climb I did within a season. I normally did it only once, and until 2007 I was not able to climb up in one go. But today the weather was nice and cool, I was fresh as I have enjoyed a good tailwind up to Odawara and I wanted to go on an aggressive attack after the Tokyo hill climb race with a much steeper gradient. I started at a good speed and constantly checked the altitude meter. I continued to feel good and pedaled at a high cadence with 15 km/hr up. When I reached Miyanoshita I had to continue on the sidewalk for a while, as the road was clogged by cars and buses. But the higher one comes, the lighter the traffic gets. By the way, there is also a shorter backroad, but as the elevation difference is the same, a shorter back road means an even steeper gradient, which cannot possibly be balanced by a lighter traffic. I recognized all the places I have had breaks before, the small shop before the Fujiya hotel, the curve where the cable car is running close by, a Lawson along the road, and finally at elv. 600 this huge Yunessun spa, where I go sometimes with my family. There are large swimming pools and a series of outside onsens with different themes and different tastes, like tea, wine and other liquids one what not necessarily consider to take a bath in. Sometimes it seems to get crowded. I completely forgot how much the maximum elevation is, so I had no idea how much I would need to further continue. But I still felt good, although I switched from cadence to brute force and my speed was now more in the 10 – 15 km/hr range. But I made my way up steadily and finally I recognized the last curves to the top. There are two important lesson I learned about climbing: 1. As long as you see a river on the side of the road it is still a long way to the top. 2. When there is no water but wind, you are coming close. Temperature on top of route #1 was around 17 degrees, I started to feel cold as I didn’t brought any windbreaker with me. And then I reached the very top: Oh, wow, cool, in less than an hour for 14.2 km and 745 meters up! I never did this before. That gave me a very boost of confidence for the forthcoming races in Shuzenji and Gunma. I took some photos and then prepared for the rest of the ride. I also introduced this climb as Togebaka #11 on this site, knowing that none of you will ever try it. So I included all my annual results since 2003.

Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

Eingeordnet unter 2008, Cervelo Soloist, Mob

Kommentar verfassen

Trage deine Daten unten ein oder klicke ein Icon um dich einzuloggen:

Du kommentierst mit Deinem Abmelden /  Ändern )

Google Foto

Du kommentierst mit Deinem Google-Konto. Abmelden /  Ändern )


Du kommentierst mit Deinem Twitter-Konto. Abmelden /  Ändern )


Du kommentierst mit Deinem Facebook-Konto. Abmelden /  Ändern )

Verbinde mit %s