Monatsarchiv: November 2010
In true Positivo style, there was no plan other than to meet to plan at Starbucks at any time on Sunday morning so long as we were ready to roll at 7:30am. Shane, James and I left promptly at 7:43 without a plan but with a plan to plan the route along the way. There had been vague talk of Yamanaka, Saiko, Odawara, Yabitsu. As a precaution we had bike bags which, contrary to plan, were not used. The plan was finally hatched at the bridge near the 7-11 & Y’s Road on the Tamagawa. In the interests of full disclosure, although we had stopped for several minutes while I fiddled with my cadence sensor, the plan was not actually finalised until we rode across the bridge very gently as the plan was coming together slowly. Up Route 20, passed Drug Dealer House (pictured at top), around Tsukui-ko and then turning off by Paddington Bear Land which is also known as Picnic Land, turning right at the house with the huge red chili on the roof and along this beautiful road to Route 20 again right by the road that leads to the backside of Wada.I had never ridden Wada Toge from this ‚easier‘ side. It is certainly longer than the front side, beautiful, but steep nevertheless. The gradient is regularly at 10% and in several parts it kicks up to 12%. Not knowing the finishing elevation (my usual way for gauging climbs for planning my attacks) I asked a kindly elderly couple who had stopped to enjoy the wonderful views how much further to the top. „20 or 30 minutes“ they said. Arrgghhh! That was disappointing news indeed, but thankfully was incorrect, A few minutes later we rounded a corner to see the top and the Witch House. I have never seen the witch so wasn’t sure if the person inside with a broomstick, pointy hat and a wart on her nose was her, but judging by the number of people milling around but not actually sitting on the benches in front I suspect it was.From the top of Wada we made brisk progress to the river to return home. As we were joining the river we saw Tyler and some of his friends ride by. As we turned confidently to the right onto the river we wondered why they were riding in the other direction. Doubt soon crept in to our minds. Was the plan wrong? As I was looking at the sun to get my East-West bearings Shane pointed out that we were riding against the flow of the river and that could not be correct. Good Boy Scouts work that. While Shane and I were playing native American Indians and Boy Scouts, unbeknown to us, James devoured a chocolate bar* which must have had something in it. He put the hammer down and we had to work very hard just to hold his wheel for the next 20 minutes. The man was out of control, reminding me of the story Shane had told a couple of hours earlier about how his dog went flying around after the vet administered a rectal thermometer. It took the dog a week to calm down, but rather less time for James. We made very short work of the Asakawa and were soon at 7-11 on the Tamagawa for the final refueling.It is said that after a long ride one should take the last few kms gently as a warm down. It makes perfect sense. While stopped at a red light (yes) two little girls in the back seat of their parents car were waving and smiling. Why I decided to ride right behind the car at 45km/h while they continued to wave and giggle I have no idea.** And then closer to home, I decided for no good reason other than to hunt down James to sprint up Elvis Hill. That finished me for the day. I arrived home just as my family were returning from a weekend up in the mountains. Humphrey (the dog) was excited but no comparison to Shane’s dog after the encounter with the vet I would think.
After a long drive back from the mountains my wife announced she wasn’t cooking so I went shopping to buy ingredients. On the way back from the supermarket I stopped in the pub for a recovery pint of Guinness. I was after all, Guinless. Guinness has vitamin B and iron and used to given to patients recovering from operations in the UK. I’d rather have a Guinness than a vitamin B12 shot that pro cyclists have after a hard ride. Did you know that a pint of Guinness only contains 200 calories? That is less than orange juice or skimmed milk. In the pub I met a woman who had just had a blazing row with her husband and was having a few drinks to calm down. Back at home, inspired by Tom’s blog of last week, I cooked the ultimate recovery dinner (bangers & mash) while listening to Thelonius Monk.
To help recover from long rides I recently purchased a pair of Skins compression tights (y’know, black with yellow stitching). I wore them last night in bed. I wonder if my wife realised she was sharing a bed with SpiderMan***?
150km and almost 1600m of climbing. I’m still hungry.
*Cadbury’s Boost. Actually consumed at the bottom of Wada waiting for my compatriots to navigate beyond the bus stop. Highly recommended, provided enough oomph to overtake buses, and still get us back to the Tama at a decent clip. As my friends used their Boy Scout skills, I used mine and checked Google Maps on the iPhone.
**Neither did two bemused and thoroughly tired riders left behind. This was all rather odd. Our writer neglects to mention the yumminess of the yummy mummy driving perhaps. There can be no other reason?
***Such a black costume rather than the original red one would indicate that our intrepid writer has been taken over by a Symbiote as seen in Spiderman 3. This may explain the extra accelerative powers witnessed yesterday on Komazawa Dori. You have been warned.
|The three time trialists, plus me.|
|At the start.|
|Glasses on, engines ready.|
|S Class start!|
|James and Sebastien, smile for the fans.|
|At Tachikawa — into the bike bag you go.|
|Registration Saturday afternoon.|
|Bike leaning along guardrail at Saiko.|
|Bike leaning along guard rail at Saiko #2.|
|Bike leaning along hedge, at our accommodations with view of Fuji.|
|Bikes leaning along rust-colored hedge, at our accommodations.|
One of the many reasons I bought the apartment in Bremen we are now living in was, is that in the garden Ajisai flowers were blooming when I took a look around the first time. This was at the end of June and I thought, great, just like in Japan Ajisai are blooming with the start of the rainy season. As it was raining hard in Bremen at the end of June. Today I went out into the garden and noticed that the Ajisai were still blooming. Not by coincidence it was also raining again.
Great, I thought, this is the perfect weather to test my rain gear. It was still pretty warm, 10 to 13 degrees C, but just to be sure I opted for some „goofy“ (Thanks Dominic) underwear from Uniqlo and full rain protection: shoe covers, rain trousers, rain jersey, watertight gloves and, most important, Cervelo racing cap. Despite of my general looks I wanted to be recognized on the road as a true connoisseur of bad weather cycling. And of course I chose the Gazelle over the Cervelo for this type of weather, It is slower but I am now used to that.
There was almost nobody outside once I had reached Bremen city limits and so nobody could mutter something along the lines of „true connoisseur“, I was only seen by some car drivers and some framers heading out to get the cows back in the stables. But I made good speed and within no time I reached the bridge over the river Wuemme where I leaned my bike against David Hasselhoff, pardon me, my mind was wandering, against the fence to shoot the compulsory trip photo.
As I said, there was almost nobody outside and it seems that this condition will continue for quite some time. One of the restaurants had a notice board outside, informing the few human beings passing by, that the winter break will last until May 2011. That means 6 months, if I am not mistaken. Where am I? I mean, I was not exactly cruising up the road to Arima Toge in which case I would have understood that a restaurant along the road would
have a winter break from September to July and closes down the rest of the time due to inaccessibility because of landslides.
Then I fast ride back and right to the office which is so conveniently located between my home and the major cycling grounds. Of course, Sunday, nobody there as well, weekend break since Friday noon which is almost compulsory in Germany. Out of the office on the bike, oh, a flat rear tire, despite Continental GP4000 (black, this time) but this are the dangers riding in the wet. I slipped and slided the 3 to 4 km home riding the bike with the flat rear tire and kept thinking of Paul Simon. „You know the nearer your destination…„
The rain gear was perfect. I still head dry and warm feet when I arrived home later after some leisurely hours at the office before I had to engage in some serious children education. It’s not that I ride as much as I did in Japan but i am on the bike almost every day. With the rainwear I feel confident that this will stay so until say May 2011.
Here is one idea how it could look like. See more at C Speed in due time. We have bought another Gimondi frame in green to complete the Gimondi frame offer. Hiroshi’s C Speed will become the authority on Gimondi frames in Japan.
We also purchased a beautiful Mondia frame from the late eighties. Mondia is a now defunct Swiss maker, famous for their multiple layers of fading paints. More photos will follow.
One for ze Germans..