Tagesarchiv: 30. Mai 2010

The Famous Five… (and then there were Three Daves)


With apologies to Enid Byton who wrote the series of Famous Five books about 4 adventurous youngsters and their large mongrel, Timmy (not Dave) – although some might argue that we count as mongrels. Apologies also to any Brit between the ages of 9 and 70 who were made to read these books. My 9 year old daughter has just been given one to read by her teacher.

Originally we were to be the Five Daves (one of who really is called David) but the ride started with just three. He who is really David did not show at 6:30am at Ebisu station while Geoff cried off at 5:56am. Despite his wife arriving from Sydney the previous day he thought (until the last minute obviously) that it would be OK to abandon his wife in Tokyo for over half a day while he went riding. We are impressed with how high riding comes on his list of priorities. Also impressive was a mail from him this evening to say that he did after all get out to do a Starbucks loop (rte 20 & Onekan) this afternoon. Chapeau. Mrs Geoff has not yet been reached for comment……

As a tip of the hat to MOB, our spiritual leader and fan of mid 70s & 80s punk and new wave music I would like to point out there was a Finnish punk band by the name of The Widows which did cover versions of the theme tune to the TV series of The Famous Five. No idea why. Digression over.
It was surprisingly cold and damp when we started out and it never warmed up. We agreed it was like a morning in England. Dave Knott, a.k.a. James, was riding his brand new BMC SLX01.

We passed the usual collection of youngsters having had a hard night and several pretty young things on their cellphones. Who are they speaking to at 6:30am??? Dave K has a theory but it is not appropriate to repeat here a de-base this fine and upstanding blog-site. Apart from a training ride before next weekend’s Fuji Hill Climb we used the ride as an opportunity to get a group photo of our new Gazetta della Bicci jerseys to send back to the blogger in London who created this fine website. For most of ride the jerseys were covered by wind-breakers. Along the river, up route 20 and eventually a turn off towards Magino which took us along a beautiful rode with a couple of climbs, one particularly nasty at 12-14% but thankfully not very long. This road brought us out close to the turn-off to Miyagase where we stopped for the usual steak-on-a-stick. I ended up going for noodles to try to warm up.
Pro-Dave Machin went off up Yabitsu like the proverbial cheetah with a fire lit under its

backside while Dave K and I rode tempo and chatted. I just didn’t feel my legs were working today, but rather like lat weekend in the Tokyo-Itoigawa ride things started working after about 85-90km of riding. Could I be Jerome v3.0??!! The climb up Yabitsu was just about the only time we rode without wind-breakers. Riders coming the other way no doubt admired our fine black jerseys and thought…..“hmmm, I saw one of those about 10 minutes ago worn by a foreigner in a hurry“. And in a hurry he was. Pro-Dave set a new record up Yabitsu at 45min, breaking the previous best by 4 mins. Behind we also achieved personal bests of 57mins (7 min improvement). At the top was the only time I was warm on the ride but was soon freezing again on the descent, but no matter, as I knew donuts were waiting. 2 each and off to Hadano station for the 1 hr ride back to Shinjuku with a hot chocolate.
So, you think the write-up is over and there has been no mention of Rapha. Once in Shinjuku I took Dave K on a detour to Psy’z (pronounced ’size‘ of course) to pick up a pair of gloves like mine. Psy’z (motto: „Throw Peace to Someone“) is also one of the very few Rapha stockists in Japan. The lady immediately recognised our Rapha bib-shorts so I thought I play my trump card and show her the limited edition Fi’zi:k Rapha Condor Sharp team saddle on my bike. She said she liked it and had 4 of them already.

Psy’z seems to be affiliated with a group of bike shops specialising in high end bikes (Zuki, Psycrithm and Bik!t). This group’s motto qualifies for listing on the site http://www.engrish.com: „Finest your life with Honey & Bicycle“. Of course.
116km, 1500m climbing, new personal best on Yabitsu, 2 donuts, one hot chocolate, 2 beers at home and wonderful company. Thanks guys.

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Human Powered Vehicle Challenge – Portland, Oregon this weekend

Just could not pass up this one … from the city that brings the world MCSpandx, this wanna be racer /cycle commuting surgeon, the Providence Bridge Pedal with its tens of thousands of participants …

… the city that is home to many, many bicycle craftspeople and hosted the North American Handmade Bicycle Show in 2008, The ‚Worst Day of the Year Ride‘ each February, the annual, weeklong Cycle Oregon, the 527-mile Race Across Oregon, and currently ranked by Bicycling Magazine as the second most bicycle friendly city in the U.S.A. (slipping a bit recently), my home town, Portland, Oregon.

This weekend, the Portland International Raceway is hosting the annual Oregon Human Power Challenge, which includes not only the usual fully faired streamliner recumbents, but also the Left Coast Velomobile gathering as well this year, and an e-power assist category (36 volt limit and various wattage and other sub-categories).  Lots of 2009 photos here.

When will we see something like this in Tokyo?

Which will happen first:
(A) BP stops the oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico, or
(B) these curious vehicles take over the streets of the cities across the U.S.A.?

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