Thanks David (the role of domestique carrying 2-liter bottles in his back pocket fits you perfect!), thanks Ludwig for the humorous write-ups. It was another beautiful day, weather-wise and comrade-wise. I enjoyed talking with Thierry on top of Otarumi-toge (hope you’ll join us more often Thierry), with Jerome at the foot of Dozaka-toge, with Ludwig at the foot of Nagao-toge while (endlessly) waiting for Michael and finally with MOB himself aboard the Shinkansen between Atami and Shin-Yokohama.
The riding itself was fantastic and even the “sanrenkyu” heavy traffic jams did not bother me at all; it was thrilling and fun. The Mikuni downhill was super fast and Rd. 20 taking us further down to Atami was awesome! Michael is right; this has got to be one of the top 10 downhills in Japan in terms of length, smoothness and beauty of the scenery.
Yes, as one can read in Ludwig’s comments below, Michael seems to have suddenly gotten “the bonk” (this is a condition more commonly referred in Japan as a ハンガーノック or a hunger knock), a serious bout of hypoglycemia without any advance indication of the major collapse which would strike him and leave his companions completely mystified. When Michael finally did show up with a big grin on his face saying: “sorry guys…I had been bonking,” he was instantly forgiven! What a relief! I don’t know about Ludwig but I was starting to have hallucinations of MOB lying by the side of the road with blood streaming from both ears…
As soon as we rode all three together through the Nagao-toge tunnel, the fangs of traffic violation ogres almost pulled Michael into another inferno. Luckily I could get hold of Michael’s leg while Ludwig was holding onto mine (we enacted several versions – including one with Ludwig about to be squeezed – pictures of this fearsome ordeal to follow soon!). We somehow managed to escape and it was circling around lake Ashinoko that Michael completely recovered….gone were the symptoms of depletion and this time around it was Michael who imposed the tempo till the end!