Jerome and I started a few minutes after 7AM, went up the river, then out One-kansen (the headwind along the Tamagawa made us eager to turn off sooner rather than later), along the N. side of Tsukui-ko, then out Doshimichi, onto Rte 76, then up the back side of Wada, down Jimba-Kaido and then the usual Asagawa/Tamagawa return. … the same ride as I took a week ago Saturday, but with one more short climb added on Doshimichi and an extra 300 meters of elevation coming back over Wada instead of Otarumi. It was a good 140km ride, with lots of up and down, on a beautiful day. We prevailed on a customer of the Witch of Wada Touge to snap our photo in front of the commemorative stone celebrating completion of the Wada forest road (above).
Tagesarchiv: 1. Februar 2009
小春日和 – a balmy day in autumn may not exactly describe the weather today, but is the only beautiful Japanese word I know which comes close to describe a feeling of spring. This normally will be followed by 三寒四温: three cold days, followed by four beautiful warm days.
I wanted to stay in bed rather long, so I opted for a 8.30 AM Tamagawa rendezvouz with Ludwig instead of the earlier alternatives with David, Jerome and James. Outside the wind was very strong. When I crossed the Tamagawa it was extremely strong – and Ludwig was not at the meeting point. Perhaps blown away on his superlight Canyon bike and with 3% body fat? No he was in bed, so I decided to take an easy spin alone.
Painful slow progress along the Tamagawa due to the strong headwind, it was difficult to ride faster than 20 km/hr. I decided to go to Takao, anyway away from the Tamagawa. I skipped the break at the 7/11 and attacked Otarumi immediately but was terribly slow again. But the weather was nice, very warm, so I decided to take on Yabitsu. Apart from Route 20 between Hakone and Jukoku Toge this is my favourite road/climb in Japan.
Before I started I had soba with duck meat at a restaurant at the Miyagase lake, the first longer stop of the ride. The soba was good, but the duck must have been very, very old.
With a tailwind the climb was surprisingly fast, only 1.26 min slower than my best time from last year. On the top the view was beautiful, the best ever: Not only the coastline, but also the sea was clearly visible with Oshima, Nijima and Kotsujima lingering in the background.
I still felt good when I arrived in Hadano and I briefly thought about climbing up Hakone, continue on route 20 and take the Shinkansen home from Atami [the Ekiden route]. But when I reached national road #1 I recognized that I was still 14 km away from Odawara and reason and logic took charge again. So I continued in the opposite direction along the coast in direction Enoshima and then further on to Kamakura.
I had coffee & cakes at Seacastle, the old German restaurant at Kamakura, my second longer stop in 8 hours of riding . The rest was an uneventful ride through Kamakura, then back by train from Ofuna, all in all 160 km.
The weather was really fantastic today and I was glad that I went out riding. Other riders must have thought the same way; rarely I have seen that many on the road. As if the official riding season has started on February 1st.