05 November 2010

Celebrating Emperor Meiji's birthday non-Euro style


Wednesday was a national holiday originally to celebrate the Emperor Meiji's birthday but is now known as Culture Day. On Culture Day one traditionally promotes culture, the arts and academic endeavour. Rather than promote academic endeavour it was a day for James and I to get a proper ride in. While waiting at Ebisu station I was debating whether I was going to have to implement the 3 minute rule and leave without him. 200km alone could be a little tedious. I then checked my vmail to find my riding companion was actually holed up in Starbucks about 50m down the road. Why hadn't we thought of starting winter rides there before?? Kinda Euro but a quick glance at the Eurocyclist Rules shows I failed on many fronts: I was wearing black bib-shorts, my shoes were not at least 80% white, my saddle was not white, I had a seat bag, my bar tape was not white, I wasn't riding tubulars, my legs were not shaved, I was not wearing cologne, I had some Shimano equipment and I don't drink coffee. I couldn't decide which photo is of the ultimate Eurocyclist so I offer two (the same person):
Remember: "Image and style shall be your primary concerns."
Contrast and compare.

Getting a little tired of the usual routes we headed towards Takao via Rte 160 off Rte 20. This is a longish, steady incline a little like Hospital Hill. Along the way I chatted briefly with a guy on a nice carbon finished Kuota. I wouldn't mind one of those.... At Takao we stopped for refreshments and broke the rules by visiting FamilyMart directly across the road from 7-11 only because it was in the sun. Here we met Fixie Tim and a new recruit with a beautiful Wilier (I need one of them) who he was about to take up Wada. Reading the TCC blog it seems they changed their plan and went up Odarumi and around the lake instead. From here we rode on towards Tomin no Mori and stopped at the last 7-11 for water. It was a pleasant surprise to bump into Pro-Dave (a.k.a. James M) who was training with a group of local lungs-on-sticks. We quietly let them go ahead.....


The weather was beautifully clear but perhaps a little colder than anticipated. However it was ideal for taking the required mountain photos and photos of leaves changing colour. To complete the set I took a photo of my bike leaning against a fence because all Positivo bloggers seem to do this. We had agreed to climb the 750m vertical up to Tomin no Mori at a sensible pace. Not going into the red line on a long climb was a new thing for me. I experimented by going up all the way in my 24 which was comfortable. On the way up I caught up with and chatted to a guy on a 2010 Pinarello FP3. Nice looking bike but I'll wait for Santa to bring my a Dogma.
At the top of Tomin we were passed by an ambulance and I assumed a lunatic motorcyclist must have overcooked a corner. However, it turned out that a little yellow car had overturned. I'm still not quite sure how the driver managed to do this. Not being a paramedic I was unable to help out. It seemed the driver had merely hurt his wrist and had a bruised ego. The descent was cold so we headed straight for the Shangri La of Watanabe & Watanabe's where we devoured katsu-don and hot tea. We were served by a friendly woman but I cannot be sure whether she is the great, great, grand-daughter or great, great grand-daughter-in-law of Taro Watanabe or even his brother Jiro.
Fueled up by katsu-don we hammered it towards Ome. The road was uncomfortably busy and the tunnels unpleasant with traffic and water cascading from the ceilings. Both of us started to suffer stomach cramps so we took a short break in Ome and tipped our helmets to the Aurore Bakery. Once back towards the river the return trip is rather anti-climactic but we did encounter this interesting vehicle. Note the dog in the bag.
I returned home having ridden 199km and climbed close to 2000m. While stretching, or trying to, I was mauled by Humphrey (pictured here with a chain-ring tattoo on his muzzle) who was not only excited to see me home but wanted to make sure I knew it was time for him to be fed. I ate a huge dinner and was still eating loads to next day.

2 comments:

Richard said...

Great post, written in the wry M O B style.

David L. said...

Dominic:
Thank you for the nice photos of what looks like a beautiful day for a ride--especially of your beautiful bike against the railing, the flipped car (reminds me of a trip to Chichibu with Jerome and Juliane back in Nov/Dec or 2008 ...) and of Humphrey (hope the grease washes out).
Keep working on those Euro rules. Seems like you've got a ways to go yet before you will be compliant, even though the Pinarello is certainly helpful.
Best, David