21 July 2009

Some more Odarumi Stories

Another report on the Odarumi ride is here (in Flemish).

Some of the views from the road were quite nice, but due to the thick cloud cover there was not very much to be seen most of the time.
David was going strong, as usual I had a hard time to follow him at the start of the climb but I was becoming faster closer to the summit. I became further motivated by riding in the starting rain, I thought if I could climb fast enough I may escape over the clouds.
Arriving at the top was somewhat of an anti-climax. The road stops. Well not exactly but it becomes a gravel road, not suitable for road racing bikes. There is no tea house, mountain witch, nothing. But there were cars parked on the side of the road for the last 500 meters and it was surprisingly crowded for such a desolate place.

On the way down I had again a rear tear puncture. I was taking a curve a higher speed when I suddenly got this wobbly feeling. I thought, well perhaps a wind gust, but the next curve the same thing happened. I stopped and the rear tire was almost flat.

Now, 2009 is the year of the flat (rear) tires; I am now almost up to 10 since May. This brought memories back of the time when Juliane and me were still riding with a "traditional" Japanese cycling club, today called Tamagawa Cyclists.
They were very, very strict concerning the rules how punctured tires have to be disposed off. And perhaps, I thought, it is because I was not following these rules that I was cursed by the Japanese Tube Gods with a series of punctures.

So once I finished the tire exchange and had the bike ready again, I lay down on the side of the road with the old tire in front of me and thanked him for all the hard work he had done on many kilometers inside the hot and tight Continental GP4000 tube (orange, of course):


Then I buried the tire along the road where he has a good view on approaching cyclists on their climbs. I hoped that this will help. It did not, as can be read in the post about Sasago Tunnel.

Many thanks to David, Tom and Hiroshi, the incredible "bunny hopper" for this nice trip.

1 comment:

Manfred von Holstein said...

I agree Odarumi is somewhat of an anti-climax, but the place is still better than you make it out for. For starters, there is something like a tea house - a hut, which I guess even serves something when you get there at the right time on the right day. It's a few meters up to the right, somewhat hidden in a grove.

Also, when the weather is fine, there is a view into the valley on the Nagano side. And the Yamanashi side has fine views all along the upper stretches of the climb. There are beautiful views of a rocky peak, and the almost alpine relatively dry forests are also somewhat of a change to the more sub-tropical vegetation further down.

I would climb it up again just for this change from the ever similar forests elsewhere we tend to go.