05 April 2010

Cold Spring Training

Hope this can be edited into a more memorable blog entry later, but for now a simple trip report, to add to the others from this active training weekend.  Everyone is gettin' in shape!

Sunday was cold, more like January/February than April. Jerome, Michael K. and I had a great classic ride--leaving my house at 7AM, meeting Michael at Tamagawahara-bashi at 7:30 (well, 7:31), arriving at Aurore in Oume just after 8:30 for our first rest stop, then the long climb up Rte 411 to Yanagisawa Pass, a quick hot food stop (for me, add 20 minutes for Michael and Jerome as they waited in the warm restaurant) at the Pass. We were glad to be at the high point of the ride (1475 meters) between Noon and 1PM, slightly less bone chilling than would otherwise be the case.

In 20 minutes we were down to the Fruit Line just above Enzan, for some brief sunshine and a hint of warmth. We took that road (a series of rollers between 450 and 525 meters elevation) around the edge of the valley, toward the South, then climbed back up Rte 20 (Koshu Kaido) to the turn off for old Sasago Pass. One more climb up to 1095 meters, through the haunted pass tunnel, in the clouds and clammy cold as the ghosts reached out to us. Was the old lady wandering the deserted path, asking each of us if we knew of a "yadoya" (old Japanese inn) up the path, really a ghost? We each answered "no" or "I don't know." What happens if you say "yes" to this apparition?

Then a very fast trip down the hill to the main road and on to Otsuki, just in time to catch the 4:13 Azusa express to Hachioji (one stop, 30 minutes) and connections beyond for home.

All in all, a classic Positivo Espresso ride, just over 160 kms and 2500 meters of climbing.

Fortunately, we had Tom's ride report from the previous day, (a similar ride, plus one even bigger pass and no train home, so maybe another 90 kms of riding and 1000-1500 meters of climbing!), and so were not surprised by the minor tree obstacles on Sasago Pass.


TOM said...

David, Sasago is the scene of many ghost stories and other phasmophobia... I'm always relieved when I get out unscathed.

Pretty impressive ride you guys did. Mine was exactly 252km including 4,324m on the BBiT scale. I guess living a little closer to the mountains gives me a psychological advantage when doing longer mountain loops.

Manfred von Holstein said...

Nice ride, but I wouldn't belittle Tom's ride by saying yours was similar... Adding Kamihikkawa, Suzugane, Hinazuru and all the smaller climbs thereafter to it, plus all the extra kilometres, makes quite a difference, and is a real achievement. I have never done such a long ride!

Manfred von Holstein said...

Oops, sorry, the above comment was meant for MOB's report, not David's.

TOM said...

Ludwig, the remark in MOB's report was purely tongue-in-cheek (as always).

But you are right, mine was a bit longer and a bit more fatigue-ing too I guess. I intend to do the same ride once or twice more before Itoigawa - just to acclimate myself, loosen up my legs and let my butt get inured to 290km+ in the saddle.