Archiv der Kategorie: Tom

Belgische Mehrzweck Waffel.

Sunday run-out

Back from a business trip on Friday evening, I was recovered enough from jet-lag and found a brief window before the work left behind in my office fell back upon my shoulders, so decided to try a half-day ride on Sunday, taking advantage of perfect cycling weather.

Leaving home at 8:15, I made good time to Itsukaichi, where I stopped at the traditional 7-11 in Tokura, just before the climb up the Akigawa. There I met Nishibe-san, just emerging from one of the aisles in the store. I should have known he was there — if I had just taken a look at the beautiful Colnago out front. In any event, we both planned to head up to Tomin-no-Mori. Tom S. stopped by, returning from a trip over the back of the hill. He had ridden on Saturday with Ludwig and his VLAAMs teammates, well into Gunma, and had been thinking about a trip to Enzan on Sunday, but after a very early start had been feeling fatigue and wisely cut the trip a bit short and was settling for a warm-down ride of 145 km.

Nishibe-san and I each pose with the champion:

Nishibe-san and I headed up the hill. I almost stayed with him to Motojuku, but quickly lost him after the timed „toge-baka“ section started. It was my first trip to Tomin no Mori up the Akigawa this year, remarkably. There were lots of Japanesse cyclists already descending, many of whom looked as if they must do this ride every Sunday. The motorcycle moratorium of this Spring is definitely over, and they were out in force.

I climbed it in 74 minutes, 3 slower than my „toge-baka“ best, but I was happy nonetheless since I had gone too close to full-throttle from home to the base of the hill, I was using the HED deep-rimmed, slightly heavier wheels, and I was not even tempted to pull off and rest on the way up. Two well-timed gels did not hurt. Nishibe-san made it in 65 minutes and was finishing his bowl of o-den when I arrived.

After some food (beef curry out of a package), we headed back down. I decided to push it a bit and see if I could make back some of the 9 minutes lost to Nishibe-san on the climb. Despite stopping twice for road construction, waiting patiently with the motorcycles and a few cars, I made good time on the descent. Reaching the Tokura 7-11, I hopped off, bought a chocolate monaka bar, and waited for Nishibe-san … who came rolling in 11 minutes later.

It is hard to recall that only 4-5 years ago this kind of run-out would have been considered a major ride for us. Now it is barely worth a blog entry. Then again, my legs this morning are telling me that it was real, hard work on the climb!
P.S. Jerome was in Kobe this weekend … rode with Moriwaki-san on Saturday. Nishibe-san and Jerome remind me that they want to plan a ride and post-ride meal for Oct 30, when their friend from Kobe — moving to Tokyo — will join.

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Eingeordnet unter David, Nishibe, Tom

Joint PE Father-son / Father-daughter event ?

The thought just occured to me after another beautiful ride with my daughter this morning…how about organizing an all-PE father-kid and/or an all-PE family (with spouse) ride sometime this autumn? David? Laurent? Jerome? anybody else?

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Eingeordnet unter David, Jerome, Tom


Ludwig and I spent the evening in the very room where the Meiji Constitution got drafted…

Unforgettable views along the way…

Ludwig’s superb navigating skills…

Heisei Constitution finally mapped out…

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c speed …Japan’s coolest bicycle shop about to open!

– press release –

Positivo Espress(i)o-(n)ist Hiroshi
a.k.a. Tetsu Chunen
launching his own
bicycle shop
this weekend !!!
c speed … the coolest
bicycle shop in all of Japan!

c speed soft opening this Friday evening 18:00~21:00!


(we’re proud of you!)

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Eingeordnet unter Hiroshi, Tom

EMX-7 unveiled

To celebrate the Cannibal’s 65th birthday, Eddy Merckx Cycles unveiled the EMX-7, an extremely stiff 62HM carbon fiber bike which is to become Quick Step’s official bike next season. Slated to be commercially available in October.

A special „Eddy Merckx Limited Anniversary Edition“ will carry on the back wheel’s rim all the major classic victories Merckx chalked up during his career…

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We’re all CANNIBALS !!

Tom Boonen’s Quick Step team switched to Eddy Merckx bikes some while ago. For the launch of the new EMX-7 model (on June 22), the PR people at Eddy Merckx Cycles created this attention-grabbing copy (re-)enacted by Tommeke Boonen…
Commented The Cannibal Himself after viewing the (controversial) poster:
„I find this too aggressive – way too dramatic. I was even shocked when I saw the advertising campaign. This is simply too provocative for me – I guess I can no longer follow…I’ve grown too old for this kind of stuff. Also, I couldn’t raise objections or anything; after all my company was sold, so…“

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Mechanic doping ?? Ay ya ya ya yai !!!

suspicious movements on the handlebar by Cancellara….find out all about it!!

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Three Tetsu Chunen Positivistos on the Road

Nishibe-san, Hiroshi and I – the Positivo Espresso „Steel is Real“ Chapter, left on a half-day ride into Saitama this morning…story and map on Hiroshi’s and my blog. A few pictures here.

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Eingeordnet unter Hiroshi, Nishibe, Tom

Official Results of the 1. Omote Wada Time Trial

I will blog later about the wonderful ride yesterday, but I guess everybody is very curious about the time trial results. So I will post them first.

Place / Name / Time / Comment

1. ME 24.12 seconds
2. James 16:06 min
3. Mike 16:29 min
4. Alan 16:48 min
5. Fumiki 16:55 min
6. Sergey 17:10 min
Ludwig 17:10 min
7. Tom 17:36 min
8. Kim 17:47 min
9. Hiroshi 18:48 min
10. Keren 18:55 min
11. Travis 19:04 min
12. Thomas 19:35 min
13. MOB 20:55 min
14. Steve 21:17 min
15. Yair 21:32 min
16. James 23:22 min (Fixie!)
17. Graham 25:02 min
18. Tim 25:59 min (Fixie!)
19. Philipp 129 days 17 hrs 12:34 min (of no riding)

It was fun and one wonders why we haven’t come up with the idea earlier. Also the results were quite impressive – we are a very competitive bunch. To bring them into perspective, please check with the PE blog Togebaka (to the right, #2, the TCC Hall of Fame [Wada Toge East] and the all time cyber cycling list. James winning time of 16:06 min would have placed him in 43rd position out of 457 entries.

I also found a nice uasage for the jewish M size jersey that was presented to me yesterday. I promptly dreamt last night about cycling in Palestine.

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Eingeordnet unter 2010, Hiroshi, Mob, tcc, Tom

Sci Fi Movie

Sunday offered near perfect temperatures for riding.  As planned, Jerome and I headed out a little after 6:30AM and met Tom at Koremasa-bashi.  Tom, having done another monster ride on Saturday, over 250 km and some big passes, still managed to pull us at about 35 kph along the first stretch.  With Tom („the Cylon“) in front, Jerome second, and me in the back, I could still see reasonably well, but had an almost perfect wind block.

Just before Tamagawahara-bashi we passed a group of 25 or more cyclists in team kit assembling for a morning ride.  We later passed a group of about 12 Catteni Positivo riders in a line on the Tamagawa path.  They have new uniforms, looked younger and fitter than last year’s Catteni group and were moving at a good pace … but were still easy to pass with Tom pulling at 35 kph. The Catteni leader looked like a real racer/climber type.  We also passed a group of Ovest riders from Fuchu, heading at warm-up pace to a rendezvous at the end of the path … with another huge group of riders, waiting around, mostly in Ovest kit.  Tom uses the Ovest shop and swears by it, and we have seen some very fast Ovest riders flying before — putting in top-five times on the Tokyo-Itoigawa ride, at least.

We rode out via Itsukaichi (where we passed another large team in „Hotstaff“ jerseys — I could not have passed them but for a lucky traffic light at a minor intersection where they stopped and I continued), and then Umegaya Pass (aka „Jerome Hill“) and up Yoshino Kaido, parting ways with Tom at the 7-11 at Kori, where Yoshino-Kaido ends and we turn left onto Rte 411 (Ome Kaido) to climb up to Okutama-ko.    We took as second quick rest at the end of Okutama-ko in front of the recommended cafeteria (still too early for a meal).  

These teams — yesterday Catteni, Ovest and Hotstaff, plus the first group we saw, are a big change from the days when the only group of more than 10 cyclists one would ever see was Nalshima.  And while these groups may not be riding as far as we do, they seem to be more serious than in the past.  This is only a good thing, as far as I am concerned.  Drivers will watch out for road cyclists.  And it is almost never these cyclists who do the stupid tricks on the Tamagawa path that risk injury to us.

On the Tamagawa there were flowering sakura (cherry trees).  On Jerome hill there were a wide range of flowering trees, including one in a spectacular purple.  At Okutama-ko (540m elev), there were more sakura and ume (plum trees), and we could see them on many wild hillsides later in the day. We headed up Rte 139 toward Kosuge, cut over to the base of Tsuru Pass and then to the base of Matsuhime.

The 500m elevation main climb up Matsuhime (from 750m to 1250m elev) was not bad, and at least made me feel that I am starting to get back in shape as a result of the past month’s rides.  Then again, I had put on the compact (50/34) crankset, so it was only expected that I was able to spin up the hills better than in previous weeks.  There was only one other cyclist at the top — far away from the morning crowds.

We descended quickly from Matsuhime (1250m elev) to the South, stopping at the park at Fukashiro Dam (650m elev).  We filled our water bottles at a (temporary) stream close to the top of Matsuhime.  A few people had stopped at the Fukashiro dam rest area.  These were the last humans we saw for the next several hours.

And this is where our science fiction movie started.  We crossed under/over the gate and through the tunnel for the long climb up the road to O-Toge (Big Pass -around 1550 meters elevation).  After what seemed like a few hundred meters, there was a loud „bang“, a „hiss“ and it was as if we were transported in time or space.  I thought I saw a blue flash.  Jerome’s sidewall tire had clipped one of many rocks on the road surface, pinching his tube.  He was able to patch the tube quickly and we were back on our way.

The road surface was terrible, as last year, but there were only two spots (above 1100 meters) where there was so much debris as to require a dismount.

Complete solitude greeted us on this climb and the following descent — two hours at least, from 650m to 1550m and down to around 1000 meters, not a single person.  What had happened?

Had we gone forward in time, with one of those devices the Terminators use to come back and kill John Connor … to a day (say, the year 2075) when there are no more Japanese people left, except for old people in nursing homes?

Or was this „I am Legend.“  Had all the people been wiped out by a terrible (unintentional) genetically engineered plague, leaving behind only zombies who would come to get us if we could not make it to safety by dark?

We got our answer soon.  There were some kind of animal droppings at various places along the climb.  Then we saw it — a monkey came down noisily from the brush above and onto the road ahead.  It detected us and took off running down the road away from us, rounded the corner and plunged into the wooded slope below.  This must be Planet of the Apes.

We picked up the pace, in case a group of armed gorillas should be sent out to look for us.  This is a beautiful climb, spectacular vistas, varying grade, and the road gets better once you pass 1250m elevation.  The descent on the South side, with no traffic (closed road still above 1000 meters), and not too cold to enjoy it, was spectacular, memorable — to anyone asking the question, THIS is why we ride.

As we did last week, we hopped the train from Otsuki and were home for dinner.

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Eingeordnet unter 2010, David, Jerome, Tom