This is a post I wanted to write for quite a long time. Moving from Tokyo to Bremen in 2010 was quite a shock. Obviously not for Tokyo, that could easily neglect the loss of one of its 30 Million Kanto Metropolia inhabitants and also not for Bremen as well, that couls easily acommodate one crazy half-foreigner. Riding a bike in Tokyo is s much different from riding a bike in Bremen, it is almost like beginning to cycle all over again: Bremites ride on the right (or wrong side) of the road, there are many cycle lanes as oppoed to Tokyo where there are very few, the Bremen landscape is empty of any noticeable hills whereas the weather there is empty of any sun except for the summer (Juli 15th to August 3rd). On the other hand, there are also some similiarities. The most important one: After five years in Bremen I found many nice people to ride with and there is a pletora of offers to ride together almost every day of the week. And much to my surprise I found out that the Columbian drug cartel has established itself along major cycling roads in the vicinity of Tokyo as well as in Bremen. One of the favourite roads out of Tokyo for the Positivo Espresso team is a small, asphalted road along the Northern slopes of lake Tsukui in the West of Tokyo. The road is almost the first pleasant road after the urban sprawl of the Hashimoto/Sagami area and allows to avoid heavy raffic on national road #413 when riding out to Miyagase lake or other popular destinations. This isn’t a very long road and it doesn’t offer spectacular climbs or vistas, although the view on lake Tsukui is beautiful and at the vey hand one passes over the lake on a suspension bridge. I have seen Japanese monkeys in the surrounding forrest once but this is rather an usual event, Nevertheless this road is full of Positivo Espresso stories, for example a rode there once with James and Ludwig on my Cervelo racing bike and rode back on a single speedy. But by far the most interesting feature is the villa of the Columbian druglord that is situated about half of the distance.
The Villa of the Columbian druglord at lake Tsukui.
This is a spectacular building that arrived in the completely surprised landscape one day, although the owner tried to compensate the ladnscape by planting some palm trees along the road. For those who haven’t been to Japan yet, this is neither a traditional nor a very modern Japanese building so the only conclusion possible is that this indeed must be the villa of a druglord. When I checked with Google streetview I found out much to my surprise that the building is blurred – which is quite common in Germany but very rare in Japan; another indication that something suspicious must be going on behind its terracotta walls. For years a land rover was parked in front of it, I always assumed that this was the car to make a quick escape as it never seems to have moved. I guess almost every blogpost on the Positivo Espresso and this blog that reports about a ride covering this road has mentioned the druglord’s villa. The location, style and related story of this place seemd to me so particular, that for a long time I thought that this must be special, not to be encountered anywhere else in the world. This was my opinion until entered Delmenhorst the other day. Delmenhorst, a rather unimportant small city to the West of Bremen, home to some very nice people, offers once a year a good touring event. The main point of this tour is, that it doesn’t bother to stay close to Delmenhost for a long time; it rather leads out straight to Colnrade with its beautiful forrests and network of small, sleepy roads. However, when one enters Delmenhorst coming from Bremen, one sees this at the entry to the city.
After gaining abundant international experience in Tokyo, the only conclusion I can draw is that this is another outpost of the Columbian drug cartel as a) the style of the building is strinkingly similar b) the incorporation into the landscape as inconspicuous as in Tokyo and c) the location is close to a mayor cycling road.
In addition one can see four huge garage gates which are not connected to the plastered driveway but have lawn in front of them. This treacherous terrain can only be crossed by all terrain vehicles so I assume there are some Landrover escape cars parked in the garages. The precise location can be seen at GoogleMaps.
According to some local rumours, the villa is owned by a local industrial that became rich by producing wooden toys but one should rather not believe such ridiculous stories.