15 November 2010

"It is an ill plan that cannot be changed" - Latin proverb

In true Positivo style, there was no plan other than to meet to plan at Starbucks at any time on Sunday morning so long as we were ready to roll at 7:30am. Shane, James and I left promptly at 7:43 without a plan but with a plan to plan the route along the way. There had been vague talk of Yamanaka, Saiko, Odawara, Yabitsu. As a precaution we had bike bags which, contrary to plan, were not used. The plan was finally hatched at the bridge near the 7-11 & Y's Road on the Tamagawa. In the interests of full disclosure, although we had stopped for several minutes while I fiddled with my cadence sensor, the plan was not actually finalised until we rode across the bridge very gently as the plan was coming together slowly. Up Route 20, passed Drug Dealer House (pictured at top), around Tsukui-ko and then turning off by Paddington Bear Land which is also known as Picnic Land, turning right at the house with the huge red chili on the roof and along this beautiful road to Route 20 again right by the road that leads to the backside of Wada.I had never ridden Wada Toge from this 'easier' side. It is certainly longer than the front side, beautiful, but steep nevertheless. The gradient is regularly at 10% and in several parts it kicks up to 12%. Not knowing the finishing elevation (my usual way for gauging climbs for planning my attacks) I asked a kindly elderly couple who had stopped to enjoy the wonderful views how much further to the top. "20 or 30 minutes" they said. Arrgghhh! That was disappointing news indeed, but thankfully was incorrect, A few minutes later we rounded a corner to see the top and the Witch House. I have never seen the witch so wasn't sure if the person inside with a broomstick, pointy hat and a wart on her nose was her, but judging by the number of people milling around but not actually sitting on the benches in front I suspect it was.From the top of Wada we made brisk progress to the river to return home. As we were joining the river we saw Tyler and some of his friends ride by. As we turned confidently to the right onto the river we wondered why they were riding in the other direction. Doubt soon crept in to our minds. Was the plan wrong? As I was looking at the sun to get my East-West bearings Shane pointed out that we were riding against the flow of the river and that could not be correct. Good Boy Scouts work that. While Shane and I were playing native American Indians and Boy Scouts, unbeknown to us, James devoured a chocolate bar* which must have had something in it. He put the hammer down and we had to work very hard just to hold his wheel for the next 20 minutes. The man was out of control, reminding me of the story Shane had told a couple of hours earlier about how his dog went flying around after the vet administered a rectal thermometer. It took the dog a week to calm down, but rather less time for James. We made very short work of the Asakawa and were soon at 7-11 on the Tamagawa for the final refueling.It is said that after a long ride one should take the last few kms gently as a warm down. It makes perfect sense. While stopped at a red light (yes) two little girls in the back seat of their parents car were waving and smiling. Why I decided to ride right behind the car at 45km/h while they continued to wave and giggle I have no idea.** And then closer to home, I decided for no good reason other than to hunt down James to sprint up Elvis Hill. That finished me for the day. I arrived home just as my family were returning from a weekend up in the mountains. Humphrey (the dog) was excited but no comparison to Shane's dog after the encounter with the vet I would think.
After a long drive back from the mountains my wife announced she wasn't cooking so I went shopping to buy ingredients. On the way back from the supermarket I stopped in the pub for a recovery pint of Guinness. I was after all, Guinless. Guinness has vitamin B and iron and used to given to patients recovering from operations in the UK. I'd rather have a Guinness than a vitamin B12 shot that pro cyclists have after a hard ride. Did you know that a pint of Guinness only contains 200 calories? That is less than orange juice or skimmed milk. In the pub I met a woman who had just had a blazing row with her husband and was having a few drinks to calm down. Back at home, inspired by Tom's blog of last week, I cooked the ultimate recovery dinner (bangers & mash) while listening to Thelonius Monk.
To help recover from long rides I recently purchased a pair of Skins compression tights (y'know, black with yellow stitching). I wore them last night in bed. I wonder if my wife realised she was sharing a bed with SpiderMan***?

150km and almost 1600m of climbing. I'm still hungry.

*Cadbury's Boost. Actually consumed at the bottom of Wada waiting for my compatriots to navigate beyond the bus stop. Highly recommended, provided enough oomph to overtake buses, and still get us back to the Tama at a decent clip. As my friends used their Boy Scout skills, I used mine and checked Google Maps on the iPhone.

**Neither did two bemused and thoroughly tired riders left behind. This was all rather odd. Our writer neglects to mention the yumminess of the yummy mummy driving perhaps. There can be no other reason?

***Such a black costume rather than the original red one would indicate that our intrepid writer has been taken over by a Symbiote as seen in Spiderman 3. This may explain the extra accelerative powers witnessed yesterday on Komazawa Dori. You have been warned.


the ups and downs of a belgian amateur cyclist in tokyo said...

I've got a stash of B12 both at home and in the office...am taking the stuff on a daily basis for one year now. Left arm/forefinger numbness & pain (especially during downhills) due to a ruptured disk in the neck has since disappeared. Didn't know it is used by some pros as a recovery aid...interesting.

I fully agree Guinness is a more tasty alternative though.

As to iron, I take 2 pills of those prior to (the evening before)any ride with buddies that include Ludwig :-)

David Litt said...


Thanks for the amusing, as usual, post. I like Ura Wada since the climb starts slightly lower, the grade is plenty for training purposes (long 10-12% stretches), and the view can sometimes be spectacular (more chance to photograph bike with Fuji).

I am glad to see that you have mastered the art of taking properly composed photos of your bike leaning against something -- not cutting off mid-wheel, for example.

Best, David L.

mob said...

As the Landrover in front of the drug lords house has never been moved the last ten years, it will be regarded as part of the house rather than as a car. Thus, photos showing bikes leaned against the landrover will count statistically in the group of "bikes leaned against fences, poles, guardrails and other items, excluding but not limiting to David Hasselhoff".