19 March 2010

Mitake Attack

I had a lot of correspondence to finish in the morning, so when I finally left the house for a ride It as already 14.30hr and naturally I chose another stupid target for the day: Mitake-San. With Bad Boy.

Originally I had much bigger plans for the day but the bed was so cosy and the wind blowing strongly from the wrong direction.

Mitake-san, for those who don't know, is the mountain on the left side of the Yoshino Kaido just after the entry to Umenoki-Toge in the vicinity of Ikusabata. There is a road leading from Yoshino Kaido through a bright red gate up to the cable car station, about 1.5 km away. From there onwards is a very small and extremely steep road leading up to the small village on top of Mitake-san. Mini-cars can drive up and down but normal cars are impossible, although the whole road is asphalted.
I was blessed with a nice tailwind, so I could ride out fast from Yokohama to the Tamagawa and then along the river. At Wachi's bicycle store I crossed over to the other side of the river and rode along Yoshino Kaido. When I finally arrived at the road leading to the cable car station it was already 10 past 5, so I didn't wasted much time to start the TT (see Togebaka #20).

This climb is only 1.5 km long and Jerome had ridden it in less than 11 minutes this week. "Ha", you might want to say, "I can walk 1.5 km in 11 minutes!". Well this might be true, but on this type of road there is hardly a difference between walking and riding.

The first 400 meters are rather easy and flat, but after that the road becomes steep and the surface shows the famous "donut" pattern which seems to be a must for concrete roads with a slope of more than 10%. And after that it is getting steeper. And steeper. And steeper. There seems to be no end to the increase in steepness. Unlike many other roads there is no place where you can rest and you just pray that the cable car finally appears around the corner.

Which it does at one point an than there is the final and steepest piece to climb waiting. I was so glad that I was on my Bad Boy with a triple gear in front, otherwise I must have zigzagged up on a normal road bike. It will be interesting to see Ludwig doing this one with his SRAM 28 cassette mounted.
So my original plan was to ride up also the road up to Mitake-San, but it was already too late and honestly, my fighting spirit was very much broken by this 1.5 km.

So I rode back to Ikusabata and checked the house of Ryoko and Stephen which I haven't seen since last summer. The house looked ... lonely. Just like nobody has been there for ... months. So I gave Ryoko a call but couldn't reach her.

I then made my way back to Ome on the other side of the river and took the train home. A completely pointless ride.

The earnest Positivo Espresso blog reader might have noted, that the climb to Mitake is actually the mother of all pointless rides and was first attacked by James, Dominic, Graham, Michael and me last summer when we were on the way to Kazahari. Still to this day it remains, completely ... pointless .......

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1 comment:

TOM said...

Went up there with Alexis long time ago - still remember it was a pointless ride.