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.

6 Kommentare

Eingeordnet unter 2009, James, Mob

6 Antworten zu “Lost among mikans

  1. Ludwig, Have to say it was a pleasure riding with you and I totally enjoyed the detour…. especially as it came with free food! It was a great ride and the climbs were good fun and they are something that I'm realy missing from my training routines, managed to stay in my big ring for pretty much all of them although I am feeling the burn today and walking around the house like John Wayne. I also ended up on the Odakyu Line for the journey home and bailed at Ebina and casually rode back to Tsurugamine to ease the stiffness in my legs.

  2. Also spoke to MOB last night and the jerry rig fixed gear setup got him back to the station in one peice although he was spinning at about 1000rpm! Maybe I should have set it up on the big ring???Again many thanks to all for organising the ride…. and I just hope Santa remebers the winter gloves and boot covers! As I think I suffered mild frost bite!

  3. mob

    Yes, I made it to Hashimoto station spinning crazy cadences. Luckily marvelous James was able to convert my Cervelo into a single speed (not a fixie, though). I went to Positivo in the afternoon and finally asked for conversion to the new Ultegra. I could even convince Nagai-San not to use the new Ultegra crankset (the ugly Dura Ace design) but to leave the old Ultraga set as it is.The bike wil hoepfully be ready on Tuesday. As will my Schwalbe cycle cross tyres. Winter can come.

  4. First time comment from Momonger, slow flying fox.When I have seen your crazy tour plan, I was shocked but hoped to run into you guys somewhere in the Hakone Mountains, as I was planing weekend in Hakone area.Mixed feeling to hear that you could not make to Mikuni Pass.Anyway, go slow, life is long.

  5. Sorry momonger….. tried looking up the word slow and I don't get it! Could you explain this unique concept to me.

  6. Thanks for writing in, momonger.The full ride would have been possible only if we had left an hour earlier (i.e. before the sun rises), avoided any longer stops at convenience stores and through repairs, and had known our way from Hadano to Odawara without having to stop frequently to check maps and still get lost… One day I will do it, though probably not in winter as some parts of the Mikkuni ascent are likely to be in snow and ice.

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