13 July 2009

Positivo Espresso C Squad Report

The C squad, consisting of David, Jerome and me reassembled at the shores of lake Okutama and decided in view of the time to cancel all plans to climb Yanagisawa or even Odarumi. Instead we opted for the Tsuru + Tawa road back to route 20. I did not recall that the climb from this side as so steep, but all of us were creeping up at less than 10 km/hr despite hard training in the alps of Europe and Japan.

The descent that follows is very rewarding, a nice road indeed. And also fast, maximum speed of 72 km/hr is something I don't reach too often.
We were taking a break between Tsuru und Tawa when two things happened: First a group of foreign cyclists rode up the Tsuru hill with the first rider leaned over the handle and going at a fast pace but essentially riding free handed (either this or he had no hands). I thought that they would be from the TCC but David called and they didn't respond.

Secondly a Japanese car driver stopped as he thought that the small hut at the rest place would contain a toilet. He was going around the hut and looked for the door when Jerome noticed him and pointed at a point in the woods and said "there it is". Well there was no toilet there, but all the authority in Jerome's voice strongly suggested, that this precisely is the designated toilet point ... until David took pity on him and pointed out that the small building nearby was, in fact, a restroom.

We skipped the golf course hills and had a long lunch at Uenohara's famous Narita Shokudo, a place where even the emperor drove by as witnessed by a photo inside. It took years until we got finally our food but it was good to catch up with all Transalp news.
David and Jerome then rode home along route 20 while I had some more time left and took road 76 over to Doshi Michi, then rode to Miyagase lake and as I still had time and power mounted an attack on Yabitsu.

This was the first time since the accident that I felt I had sufficient power in my legs to make faster climbs. All the previous tours I was climbing at the edge but yesterday I felt that I had some reserved and could go faster if required. And I was fast, despite the 1.500 meters of climbing I had already in my legs.

But I am still lacking the stamina to go fast for a longer period. I was running out of gas on the last part of the climb between the teahouse and the top and was 18 seconds slower than my best time.

A fast descent brought me to Hadano station where I took the train home and made it to our doors one minute before the deadline imposed by my wife.

Total 120 km only in 11 hours (including 3 hours of train rides), but 2.000 meters up and again no wasted distance on unpleasant roads.

It was a bit difficult to combine the speeds of all riders and go as a group. In order to compensate, I convinced James, michael and Graham to ride up to the Mitake cable car station as some kind of preparation for the Kazahari climb. That seems to have been very much appreciated and will be referred to as "the spike" in future posts.

[Some minor additional edits by David L.]


Anonymous said...

David, Jerome ~ where are your precious transalp finisher Jerseys?? I've been wearing mine under my shirt at the office today. David

David L. said...

My finisher jersey is already locked in the display case in the trophy room downstairs.

David L.

Froggy said...


I am waiting for David L to bring out his finisher jersey to wear it
As Juliane said a road is a road, I will add "a team is a team"

David L. said...

Sure, I could wear my Transalp Finisher jersey, but then I would not be able to clean it, for fear of washing away the "grease of the cycling Gods" that touched it when it brushed against the cassette of Juliane's replacement wheel. That wheel was given to her by Siegfried, no longer with Team Telecom, now in the employ of Lightweight Wheels.

Jerome and I should save the Finisher jersey for a truly special competition occasion, not just any 180 km Sunday ride in the countryside.

David L. said...

Did I mention that I added more photos to the Transalp reports last night? See especially the ones of Jerome dousing himself with water and of me climbing Timmelsjoch on Day 4.