07 May 2008

Golden Week Izu Ride

Juliane, David, david and me left Shinagawa early in the morning and went to Atami. The journey was eventless, would it not have been for a impatient older Japanese guy who kept disturbing our and global harmony when he insisted to pass through our lines at the Shinkansen exit. We then took the obligatory BEFORE photo and started to ride along the rather congested coast road down to Ito. There are a lot of ups and downs and when we finally reached Ito we were properly warmed up for the climbs to come [Obvious the better option than to jump out from the Shinkansen and immediately tackle Atami Toge]. We turned left to route 12 which led as to two climbs over Hiekawa (360 m) and Kokuto [? 国土峠] m (510 m) followed by two fast descents through the beautiful landscape. More or less without break we came to Yushima, where we had been some weeks before as well. This is a nice Onsen town but it is in a rapid state of decay. It must have been glorious times there once, when there have been less than 1000 telephones in the village which you can still see at the old signboard of the Ohki Shoten store (since 2008 - not).

From Yushima we made the long climb to Hayakaze and Nishina Toge at elevation 900m. Although our rotation exercises for the Itoigawa Fast Run were a little bit, ahem, uncontrolled, we were almost all at the same level and we stayed together almost all of the time. In no time we were up and greeted by a strong and cold wind, so we took the "road of the five cartridges" down to Matsuzaki where we had a break and the usual Chinese restaurant. It was quite some distance and some climbing and we all were hungry and ate big portions of Yaki-Soba, Ramen and Gyosa.

We then went for the forth Toge of the day which was Jaishi Tage at elevation 360 m. Now here is an important piece of information for cyclist who would like to strive for the best climbing performance possible. Please read this carefully and remember this advice, it will help you to become a better hill climber: In case you want to battle it out against gravity on a long stretched hill, do not attempt to let your stomach battle it out at the same time against a overwhelming quantity of low-viscosity ramen liquids.

This are the types of battles you can not possibly win. Subsequently all of us were rather done when we finally reached Jaishi Toge. But after taking a short, refreshing break, we started the descent towards Shimoda where we could go really, really fast and enjoyed it again very much. We tried to reach James who said he would be at his besso in Shimoda, but we couldn't reach him. So we just had a good coffee break with Crepe Suzette [actually that used to be the name of Patsy Kensit in the movie "Absolute Beginners"].
and then a very good dinner with the famous Curry Teppanyaki Pasta plate at the Gaijin House [aka Sunnyside].

Whileas we were eating on the deck of the Gaijin house I noticed that the Cervelos of David and me fall in love below the pine trees, as we can see in the attached picture. A Trek and a De Rosa bike had already disappeared for closer interactions behind the trunk of the tree.

We rode only about 125 km of distance, but that involved more than 2.000 meter of climbing over four Toge, powerful, long descents and the spectacular Izu landscape.

So it was time to take the train back home. Somehow we managed to get a place on the last Superview Odoriko until Atami, where we made an important discovery of a very rare keitai. We then even managed to get seats on the Shinkansen from Atami to Shinagawa. The trip was followed by a nice dinner invitation the following day at davids home where we enjoyed an excellent coq du vin and a vivid recapitulation of the events.

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