31 December 2009

2009 Review

With the kids already banging on the door wanting to play and the wife eagerly in preparation for the 紅白歌合戦, there is little time for reflection of a full year. Nevertheless here in short are some POSITIVO and some NEGATIVO points about the cycling year 2009.POSITIVO

Much more riding done than in any other year, most of it spend in the countryside and in the mountains. I just checked my records for the year and I did more than 12,000 km in total, climbing more than 130,000 meters up. This is mainly thanks to part-time teaching and full-time unemployment. Although, less riding in 2008 with a meaningless job was economically better. As a result I was in the form of my life and it is hard to get any better than this.

2009 was also the year of riding exploration. Mostly with Ludwig, from January to December we were constantly looking for new roads in the greater Kanto area and we found many great, steep, quiet and beautiful roads. Chichibu was a treasure box that was too long closed for us: Mitsumine Jinja, Arima Toge, Haccho Tunnel .... beautiful rides indeed. But we also discoved some new roads in the Western and Southern parts. I am a little bit worried of what remains to be found, therefore the conversion to cyclo-crossing.

I enjoyed many rides with varying members in varying speeds. As usual I rode out with Ludwig, David, Tom and Jerome, probably the Positivo hard core members. But I also rode a lot with Dominic, who contracted me as his coach for the 2010 L'etappe du tour, which was good as well and very exhausting as I needed to look up all references he quoted on Google when I came home (Gladio). I also rode with Laurent, who is always good company and with Graham and Michael. And with James and Dominic in Izu at the beginning of the year. Many variations, a lot of good talks, never boring.

We finally have a nice team wear. In orange. It took some time to get everything organized and after the jerseys turned out to be not the same size as the samples, it took additional effort to make everyone happy but the result is a good one. We are the best looking cyclists in Japan and Positivo Espresso claded guys are on the way to world domination.

I was also very proud that Ludwig became JCRC D-Class champion this year. About 99% of this success is due to his hard training and riding abilities, the rest is shared by a good bike and me passing on all the knowledge I have gained in 2008 by attending the JCRC racing series.


Thomas and Hombeline. If I chose one story and blog entry of 2009 my choice would be this wonderful story. One could never invent such a story but life brings them to surface from time to time.

NEGATIVO

Traffic accidents. David, Bryon and me this year. Bryon was the worse but it wasn't easy for all of us to recover and to get back on the bike. David is still in the process and I hope everything will become all right eventually.

As every year I was sometimes frustrated by our "undiscliplined team", or a lack of team discipline. Or a lack of team discipline as I would like to see it. But this is more a problem of my own personality than that of the team. I continued to be active in this and that and I expected that everybody else will show the same level of activities, ethusiams and priorities. Which was not the case always and which I must learn to tolerate I guess.

Useless and meaningless roadworks. This is a topic that has been much remarked on in many posts. The amount of money spend from the tax payers pockets or, since this year, in majority from the issue of new state debt on useless large scale road works is just unbelievable. And all of this needs to be maintained which costs even more money. Most Positivistas might agree with me that one of the most useless construction projects we have encountered this year is the Shinkansen station at Waseda-Honjo. What was a wonderful idea in the 50ties, 60ties and 70ties, to invest in the upgrade of the infrastructure of the country, continues to be done until today without adding any value to the competitiveness of the country or to the benefit of its population. Change?

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY

5 comments:

Manfred von Holstein said...

I'm glad the picture of natto is still part of the Positivo section where it should firmly belong, in my view. A Negativo of my cycling year was that there is no natto being served for breakfast at ryokans in Kyushu, but the Positivo was that I did get plenty of it (including my parents' portions) when cycling in Hokkaido.

I still owe the blog a review of my racing and cycling year - will work on this now. I'm a less disciplined writer when work already absorbs so much of my writing abilities/capacity.

One thing must be said though - without MOB (and by extension PE) I would not be where I am today. I would not have cycled 14,000km since last October and I would not be JCRC/Tour du Japon champion. I would probably still be spending 40 mins every Saturday or Sunday on a cross-trainer at Tipness and think I'm in great shape. And would continue to dream of the day when I would have more time to see the Japanese countryside.

Happy New Year to everyone!

TOM said...

HAPPY NEW YEAR ! from my side as well. Looking forward to sharing many rides again with the happy PE bunch this year.

MvH, indeed you owe the blog many reviews of all those awesome rides you did last year! Thank you for all the pioneering work.

Lee said...

12,000km is very impressive - my 2009 was less stellar- only clocking up about 3,500km Shameful really and a big negativo. There has always been something in the way. I certainly hope to do more this year.

On the positive side I got a lot of new equipment as I tried to maintain the illusion of being a regular cyclist. The Chichibu area was also good for 2009.

I hope you all have a pleasant New Year.

mob said...

Thanks Lee,
you are always welcome to ride with us. I guess we should post more riding plans on the blog rather than to distribute them by e-mail, so that we can have also other riders joing us.
Hope you will hit the 20100 km mark this year!

mob said...

I added one more positive and one more negative item I had on my mind since a long time but forgot to scribble down in the original post.