31 July 2010

Swimming Hole


I awoke later than expected at 5:55AM and quickly checked my email for any responses to my "call to ride".  Jerome had left a note that he is off to France this weekend.  Ludwig had left a  note inviting me to join him and Tom at Koremasa Bridge at 6:15.  They would be on cyclocross bikes, giving me a fighting chance to keep up ... until the first hill or offroad section, but I was way too late to make the rendezvous.  Instead, I took my time and left home a little after 7AM.  The air was heavy as a ton of bricks as I stepped outside, and it did not get any better along the Tamagawa.

But I made decent time to Itsukaichi, stopped at the traditional "last convenience store" 7-11 for food and water, then rode to Motojuku (Honjuku?), the "T" intersection where a left turn heads up the S. Fork of the Akigawa toward Tomin no Mori and Kobu Tunnel, and a right turn takes one up the N. Fork toward the infamously steep Kazahari "rindo" climb, or the road over Nokogiri-yama and down to Oume/Okutama.

Just 50 meters after the left turn, there is a perfect swimming hole in the S. Fork of the Akigawa.  There are 40-50 stone, then metal steps all the way down to the water, and it is possible to take your bike down the first few steps and leave it resting against bushes/grass, out of sight from the road -- this to avoid the experience Jerome had in Hyogo Pref. outside of Kobe 2 weeks back, when his Look 585 was stolen while he bathed in a river.

The water was incredible, and it was easy to walk up a shallow stretch of the stream to a 1-meter deep pool where I could soak for a few minutes -- a better coolant I cannot imagine.

I remounted and made it up to and through the Kobu Tunnel and back down to Uenohara, then hopped the train home.  Too hot for much more.

7 comments:

mob said...

Great. There are many good spots there I remember, Although I rode there only 2 or 3 times last year. I liked in particular the pool on the road to Nokogiriyama just before the bridge and the dark, curved tunnel.

Good to see you recovered and having fun riding.

James said...

David.... great to see you're back on the bike and there were plenty spots on my ride today that I would have loved to have taken a dip in.

Although I would strongly suggest you do not ride with earphones, studies have proven that they reduce your road awareness significantly in cyclists.

David L. said...

Ride with earphones? I swear I just put those on for the long walk down the steps.

Okay, okay, I may have listened to them a wee bit on the way out of town this morning. At this point, I think of the earphones as a good luck charm, since I did not have them on for either accident this past year, and I need them to relieve the boredom for part of the hot trip up the river. In the city, I don't listen to music -- just news and the like, US National Public Radio, and I like the earbuds because as long as I don't crank the volume too high I can still hear the background street noise.

But I can understand the point -- they do insulate you some from what is going on around. I've cut back -- at one point I used them all the time when I rode alone. Now maybe 20% of the time. I would like to see the studies.

mob said...

" Studies have proven that ..."
How many studies?

http://www.greenm3.com/2009/08/why-does-pue-work.html

Sorry, but as an cycling blog strongly infuences by academic circles, we can not allow comments that talk about "studies" without the obligatory 20 pages of footnotes and references to journals and proceedings.

Anonymous said...

Yes and like most academics common sense seems to go clearly out of the window.

I think a simple google search of "Cycling accident earphones riding music" will be enough to convince anyone that riding a bike a the use of earphones is dangerous.

Manfred von Holstein said...

Nice to see you back on the road for serious riding, David, and sorry to have missed you.

I'm saddened to read about Jerome getting his great bike stolen. This is really bad!

BTW, I have recently joined both the Japan Cycling Association and the German equivalent. Both memberships come with insurance (for accidents) and legal coverage. Membership is cheap, so I can only recommend to anyone doing the same.

TOM said...

Nice self-portrait of you David - background looks very familiar.
Used to go trout fishing (lure and tenkara) with cigar in mouth at that exact spot - and must have hooked tens of them (they were tiny though - not shaku-size)...