James K, Michael H, Shane, Jamie (not actually in the Cervelo Test Team), and dangerous looking newcomer, Peter, met at Ebisu. It should be noted that this week Jamie was playing the part of Euro-Cyclist by wearing an all white top. Thankfully this was not accompanied by white booties and if he was wearing a gold chain it was not visible. Although impressed with dangerous-looking Peter’s exquisite taste in windbreaker (Rapha), the Garmin team jersey peaking out from underneath was disconcerting. I soon learnt that he came 2nd in his age group at the Singapore Iron-Man. While on the subject of the Iron-Man allow me one more digression to share with you a priceless comment from Jerome last week: „The Iron-Man is painful for me as I tend not to train much beforehand“. Hard as nails him.
Along the river Jamie filled the role usually taken by Jerome by leading off at a blistering pace. It was Michael’s first ride for a while and he was thinking it was going to be a long day…… Jamie and Peter split off towards Takao and the rest headed uneventfully to The Aurore Bakery in Ome. Shockingly today they had not baked any Royal Milk Bread, the staple diet which sits heavily in the stomachs of PE riders. Perhaps they know that the newly appointed Professor of Cyclology is leaving these shores. Upon enquiry the baker steered me to something smaller with sliced almonds atop which he promised was made from the same dough. Tasted similar, but just wasn’t the real thing. Worth noting that early Saturday morning prices are Y100 for any pastry.
Leaving Ome Michael soon fell behind. As mentioned above he had not ridden for a while and it took him about 100m to work out the reason he couldn’t clip into has pedals was that he had not removed his cleat covers. This happened again amidst the throngs of fans as we were leaving Shinjuku station to head home. He was swallowed up by the crowd and not seen again.
There is no recorded visit here by Herge, author of the Tintin books and creator of the characters of Thompson & Thomson (Dupont & Dupont in the original French text), but he must have somehow got inspiration from W & W.
Allowing for digression no. 3 it is interesting to note that in the Greek version of Tintin books Thompson & Thomson are know asΝτυπόν and Ντιπόν. In other languages: Tik & Tak (Arabic), Schultze & Schulze (German), Dupont & Duvon (Japanese), Uys & Buys (Afrikaans) and Hernandez and Fernandez (Spanish). Now you know.
That time we had climbed from the other side and caught up and rode with a middle aged Japanese lady (Y.I.) with a triple up front who knew more routes than all PE riders combined. I remember being so exhausted that my only contribution to the conversation was a few grunts. While enjoying the views we chatted to 2 local riders who came tearing up the hill a few minutes after us. Both weighed 60kg or less, had single digit body fat and were the proverbial lungs-on-a-stick. Cheating.
No monkeys were spotted on the famous bridge. Note that this trip missed out on the obligatory pointless ride. We went to Otsuki, bought plenty of beer for recovery and boarded the train to Shinjuku. While a young lady diagonally opposite us was clearly checking out Michael’s and my sculpted leg muscles, James had to endure a moose knuckle (taking a photo could have led to arrest).
Shane, James and I stopped for a beer at Bondi Cafe in Hiroo. This place is the idealost-ride venue. Indoor and outdoor seating, welcomes humans, dogs, children and even lycra-clad cyclists. All I will say is the manager is extremely easy on the eye and a far cry from the obasan of Sarubashi (half the age and weight, double the height and good power to weight ratio). This place is a worthy candidate for Positivo-Espresso club-house (central Tokyo chapter) and I herewith propose it for official approval.