Tagesarchiv: 19. Dezember 2009

Lost among mikans

Today was the day of the monster ride MOB had proposed a few days ago, and which I had endorsed. Maybe it is not a good idea to be overly ambitious – fate might just punish you for that.
MOB, James and I arrived literally simultaneously at the appointed meeting point on Kan One at 7:30am. No sight of Jerome, and as it was very cold (zero degrees to be precise), MOB didn’t wait long before calling him. He had just woken up… Oh well, off we went without him.
It was a beautiful day – crispy clear air and sky. We had splendid view of Tsuiko as we took the back road on the northern side of the lake. But suddenly – a big bang, a shout. What had happened? MOB’s chain had landed between hub and spokes, and this had torn the rear dérailleur apart. The second time this has happened to him this year – how annoying! This time it seemed to have been caused by a small wooden stick that had entered the dérailleur rather than bad adjustment. Worse – so this could happen to any of us!
James was quick to convert the bike into a fixie, so MOB was hopefully (awaiting confirmation!) able to make it easily back to Hashimoto station – mostly downhill from where we were.
James and I went on. Somehow I didn’t feel in top form. My heart rate shot up above 160 at almost every hill, no matter how minor or short. Did I leave so much heart yesterday at the health check? Was it the skipped breakfast yesterday morning? Or just the very cold weather? Or maybe simply James’s speed? He was zipping up hills as if they were down hills. No doubt he should go for C or even higher class in the next JCRC season.
The view from Yabitsu was stunning. Thanks to the extremely clear air, even Oshima was clearly visible, and of course the full coast line.

Needless to say, we were also spoiled all day by perfect views of Mount Fuji.

Down in Hadano, the plan was to head to Odawara and then start the ascent to Hakone, on the same road MOB took the other day. I wanted to avoid taking the easy option of heading straight down to the sea and taking busy route 1 to Odawara. Much better doing that on 2 January, with the roads cleared for the ekiden relay marathon. So I had found a series of roads that led from Hadano through the hills to Odawara, hopefully with relatively little traffic. That turned out to be true, in fact very true the further we got. I had missed a turn down the small mountain into the valley lying before Odawara. We kept climbing up and up instead, eventually ending on a mountain (Fudosan) that turned out to be one big plantation of mikans. The only traffic there were farmers heading into the hills for harvest, and actually truck (mini-van) loads of them.

We could not resist tasting some – very fresh and nice indeed!
By the time we had finished this picnic detour and finally arrived in Odawara, it was past 14:00, so we gave up on the idea of climbing up to Hakone and descending in the half dark and with likely very strong headwind to Atami, and called it a day.
A modest 121km with 1,300m of climbing.

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Wanted to Buy – 59 60 or 61cm Road Frame

 Please forgive this „Wanted“ classified ad.

I’m looking for a road bike frame I can build up and use on my trainer this winter and as a second bike for training rides thereafter.  I don’t usually see anything in my size on sale in Japan, so I’ll buy from abroad (a store or via ebay) unless I can find someone who has one they want to sell here locally.

I’ll probably be confined to the trainer (with a somewhat upright riding position) until my shoulder is well recovered, so the trainer will see its first sustained use in several years.  But I dare not put my Cervelo frame on the trainer, since I cracked another frame on a trainer a few years back.

I need something less expensive than, but as strong as the Cervelo.  I’ll use the bulletproof set of wheels that Nagai-san built me recently, and try the „Powercranks“ that I’m going to order.  I’ve fit frames in the 59cm to 61cm (center-to-center, actual or virtual) sizes, with a 58-59cm (actual or virtual) top tube.  58 cm would be too small in most manufacturers (especially Trek).  The geometry of my size 61 Cervelo R3-SL is shown at the bottom of this linked page.

Any ideas are welcome — if you have a frame or more you want to sell, or if you have a strong recommendation.  If I don’t get any leads quickly, I’ll go ahead and pull the trigger and order something from the US or UK so I can build it up in early January.

(P.S. As for other parts:  I also could use a spare Ultegra or 105 gruppo (without crankset or cassette) if someone has that  together with the frame, and also some 44cm handlebars (harder to find in Japan than smaller sizes).  I have a bunch of parts already — crankset, cassette, a nice new carbon seat post (27.2mm) that would be fine with a traditional geometry frame but is too short for me to use with the sloping/compact Cervelo), a very solid used Reynolds Ouzo Pro 1 1/8″ carbon fork, FSA integrated headset, FSA 110mm (or 120mm?) stem for oversized (31.8?) handlebars, all waiting to be put on a bike, and I’ve ordered a spare saddle.)

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