20 October 2012

Sunday Ride -- Yanagisawa

We will ride on Sunday and, given perfect autumn weather, try to get in some distance.

Jerome is staying with Stephen out in Oume (Ikusabata) overnight, so the main rendezvous time/place will be at 10:00AM at the Kori 7-11 convenience store (where Yoshino Kaido cross to the North side of the Tamagawa and ends, about 10 kms beyond Oume).

I will leave my house and pass the corner of Komazawa Dori and Kanpachi at 7:30AM.  It is almost 60 kms to Kori, so you might plan to show up a bit early (7:25) if you want to go out together.  No "15 minute rule" this time.  Leave at 7:30AM sharp (which means no later than 7:35AM).

Here is the planned route to Kori -- drop me an email if you want to meet us somewhere mid-way, so we will look for you.

Or you can take a train to Oume Station and, if you actually leave from there by 9:30, you should be able to get to the rendezvous point in plenty of time.

From Kori, we plan to go over Yanagisawa Pass, which seems somehow to have become Jerome's favorite climb.  Jerome might want to try Odarumi Pass for a second act, since he will have fresh legs from his Oume start ... or maybe Kamihikawa and/or Sasago.   I will take a bike bag since, given those distances, I expect to hop a train home from somewhere in the afternoon, even if I do make it over a second (or third) pass.

09 October 2012

Hard Ride

Jerome and I successfully completed the Kanagawa October 6 (to 7) 600 kilometer Brevet.

It was a very hard ride.  8000 meters of climbing or a bit more, with plenty of steep hills even during the last 100 kilometers back into Tokyo.

We finished just after 10PM Sunday evening, 38 hours after the start and about 2 hours slower than other 600km events I have done in the past.  When we finally left the finish area for the drive home about 45 minutes later, the tally remained:  7 finishers, 12 DNFs, and 6 riders still out on the course, with another 1hr 15min left in which to make it back.

Audax Parisien has recently established a new category of event, the "Super Randonee 600".  These are rides of 600 kilometers, with at least 10,000 meters of climbing.  Completing one is now required in order to get one Audax award.  But the Super Randonee 600 events have a 50-hour time limit, instead of the usual 40 hours for a 600 km Brevet.  A good idea.
On the climb to Yanagisawa, river below and steep rock walls above
The weather on Saturday was good.
The weather on Sunday was even better.

The problem was in-between.  It started to rain around 6:30PM Saturday and did not stop completely until Sunday morning around 8AM.  So we were in rain, dark and cold for the climb from Chino up to Lake Shirakaba in Tateshina area, over Daimon Pass (approx Elev 1450 meters) and down a valley to around 600 meters elevation ... and once more back up the North side of the same pass.  This stretch, and the aftermath of riding wet through most of the night to get to the next checkpoint and far enough of schedule for some decent sleep ... claimed most of the DNFs.

SW of Kofu on Saturday afternoon looking to the Japan Alps

More SW of Kofu on Saturday afternoon
I did not get any photos, but the climb up Route 71 through Asakiri Kogen and Kami Kuishiki Mura, was beautiful.  Likewise the village of Saihara on the way up to Tawa Pass and Tsuru Pass -- idyllic Japanese village life, with the crops ready for harvest and the trees just starting to turn colors.

05 October 2012

Positivo Espresso Wedding

Since returning to Tokyo from the P.E./Beeren Pyrenees tour and P.E. London wedding, I have fallen down on the job of maintaining the P.E. blog -- barely sufficient time to ride a bike, let along write about riding a bike.

But I am particularly remiss in not posting here about what must be the greatest event in the long history of Positivo Espresso -- the wedding of the two members of the Positivo Espresso Europe team from Transalp 2011 and 2009 -- Juliane Prechtl and David Jacob!  

It was an incredible party and and incredible weekend, with the entire P.E. team (not to mention tennis-playing spouses) being treated like family.  Actually, we were treated better than family.  And, in case there was any doubt, the photos of the bride and groom are proof that cycling keeps one fit, keeps the girls beautiful and the boys handsome!

Team members in attendance included Stephen, Jerome, M.O.B. and myself.  Jerome even played a role in the wedding processional.

Enough words.  A few photos (and then back to work).

Jerome steals the show as the couple enters the courtyard.  Our first glimpse of Juliane (aka "Queen of the Mountains") in her incredible "Greek Goddess" dress.

David turns to give us a good view of his "Bradleys" -- sideburns in honor of Mr. Wiggins.

And we were not the only ones in London who are "jitensha baka".  There have been over 16 million trips since 2010 using the rental "Boris Bikes", which seem to be visible just about everywhere, as with the rental schemes we saw in Paris (Velib) and Dijon (Velodi).  There are so many bicycle commuters passing through David and Juliane's neighborhood that a very sturdy tire pump has been installed on the curb outside the neighborhood pub.  David offered "free refills" as commuters stopped at the red light.

Even inside Heathrow Airport, there was a crazy cyclist riding a fully loaded tourer around Terminal 5, offering emergency medical care to anyone in need!