26 January 2009

Sun25th

From our intrepid correspondent Billy M.

"Without our fearless leader, who had exerted too much pace of a very different kind until the wee hours, we set off at 7:05 like ronin - bereft of their Lord. Ben and Chris turned back at Tama and Alex decided to break all known records in reaching the Source of the mighty Tama Gawa. A clearly determined David was soon knocked out through key components dropping off.

That left M and M. Big German M set the pace and manfully provided an excellent shield for most of the rest of the ride. It was a terrific day of sunlight, though at zero do crossing our favourite hill, which Big M did quite a bit faster than Billy M.

An attempt to find the new road of last week, with the steep bit that killed Alex, proved too much for us. We did find the tank road ok, and all was going well until I joked to Big M that a one legged cyclist (with a very smart shiny chrome mechanical leg) had beaten us up a hill. That was too much for Germanic pride to take. With a parting cry of "I have excess energy to burn off" Big M went in hot pursuit of the chrome legged man.

Bereft of the comforting sight of Big M's bottom I plodded on home, getting back by the magic hour of 1:00 pm. Luckily I was in the ofuro before the clock chimed.

(For those who have not wasted hours learning Japanese "Billy" is the term used to denote the person who comes last!!)"

From our intrepid correspondent David Litt.

"Well, a group did show up on the street in front of my house, we met Michael Kraehe at 8AM at Tamagawahara-bashi, Chris and Ben headed back early, and 4 of us (Michael K., Michael H., Alex K and I) made it to the turn off to cross the river and head for Takao. Alex said goodbye to just go up to the end of the path and turn around, ... and a minute or two later my rear derailleur, which had not been shifting smoothly, stopped working completely -- a severed cable at the brake hood lever. So I turned around and only the "2 Michaels" headed on toward Takao.

(I did the same ride backwards yesterday -- out One-kansen and the North side of Lake Tsukui, and a slightly longer loop, out Doshimichi and over Rte 76 to Sagamiko. Snow flurries on the hill outside Takao, and damned cold without any sun, but a good workout.)"
Photo from my Saturday ride -- on Route 76 North of Doshimichi:





The same view on a much nicer day in mid-November:



 
Meanwhile earlier in Tokyo our not-so intrepid correspondent Jimmy Shinagawa was found wanting..

"My dinner at Aquavit ran on later than planned and my pre-ride preparation took a turn for the worse at Lebaron around midnight.. nursing a mild hangover after not enough sleep was not how I had hoped to spend Sunday, but so be it. Until next week."



3 comments:

David L. said...

Thanks, James.
I've added a bleak photo from Saturday's ride and a comparison picture from only 2 months earlier when the world looked like a warmer, more welcoming place.

mob said...

I like the two photos of David very much because it shows clearly why it is more fun to ride out in November than in January. One more month, than the worse will be over for thsi year.

I had a good ride with Michael on Sunday and I was glad he was with me, otherwise I would have lost the way completely.

True, a got I little bit impatient when we didn't get closer to a one-legged cyclist from the LIMA SONS team going up one of he hills on Kan One.

And then, just by chance I met Hiroshi on his way out in he opposite direction. I talked with him for a while and that is where Michael must have passed by without noticing me.

http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/yo8661/archive/2009/1/25

Both of us were then on our own being roughly one hour away from our respective showers.

It was amazing how our group shrinked from 5 to 2 riders within 24 minutes. Nevertheless a good ride thanks to Michael.

One word to the pace discussion recently: Personally I prefer to go out with a group of riders opposed to being on my own most of the times. As such one has to adjust to the pace of the group, being it faster or slower than oneself rides. I think it is OK for both sides to lag behind or to go in front, as long as one waits at the top or the next junction.

I generally don't mind to wait at all. I might be fast, but I am also getting tired and I look for excuses to make a break.

It is hard, but one doesn't need to be ashamed when one can not cope with the speed of the group.
Yes, this is the alomst exclusive male world of cycling but I refuse to stick with all the rituals involved.

I am now pretty fast within the Positivo group that was not always the case and I can generally understand the feelings involved. I think one should try his best to keep up, but if it doesn't work out it's OK. Also one should not overpower along the Tamagawa and then have no power left for climbing, pacing oneself is important to have fun.

It's good to be competitive, because only by riding at the limit you can improve your performance over time.

But let's stick together.

mob said...

Oh, I forgot ... on the way back home, about 15 minutes away from the shower at a crossing I passed a Benz on the left who suddenly decided to take a left turn. I screamed - she stopped, but I couldn't avoid that my hand on the handle crashed into the rear mirror. That hurts. Just trying to be nice I tried to fix the mirror, but could succeed not fully, I guess that some repair work will be required.
No damage to the bike luckily.

Lessons learned:

It always hits you when you are not concentrated and not expecting anything.

Perhaps it was my fault.

I wish I would have better working brakes.