I'll get to the title in a moment but the weather forecast for today was very good so a large group headed out to tackle Matsuhime and O-toge. The Ebisu crowd (James K, Michael H, Graham, welcome newcomers Geoff and Tyler, and Dominic) set off at 7am. Met David L at 7:20 and then off to Tamagawaharabashi to hook up with MOB, Ludwig and Jerome (the 8kg lighter version). The ride to Ome was fast. Geoff was 'blooded' into Positivo Espresso by clipping David's back wheel and took a fall. With blood on his knee and under his white arm warmers he looked the business. In fact, he and Geoff looked the business at 7am. These two must have juiced in their youth as they have muscles which can only raise the bar within PE. Or perhaps it is the corn-'n-hormone-fed cattle of Down Under (Aus) and Out West (California) that did it. During the on the road interview it was ascertained that Geoff races Category B in Sydney (that's in Australia for US readers) and Tyler raced in college and races anything and everything nowadays (MTB, cyclo-cross, road...). It's OK, that's allowed.
After the compulsory stop to pay homage to the Aurore Bakery in Ome and present the new members to The Purveyor of the Royal Milk Bread, David turned to head home. As we set off towards Okutama there were ominous clouds gathering ahead. I suggested to Jerome that it would be raining in 10 minutes. I was wrong. It rained within 2 minutes. We took shelter at a local station and MOB put a call in to Tom who was far ahead of us having probably started his usual gentle 250km ride at 5:00am. Tom reported heavy rain ahead so we knew sticking to our original plan was pointless. Besides, when has a PE ride ever gone to plan? Ludwig and Graham hopped on the train while the rest of us did a U-turn for home. Within 200m we all had waterlogged shoes. MOB turned off towards Itsukaichi while the others reset their homing devices for the Central Tokyo Club House. The group battled very strong crosswinds & headwinds and never managed to work out the theory of riding in an echelon (difficult on narrow roads with trucks trying to pass) while Geoff set an aggressive pace.
With the wind at our backs we made very fast progress along Komazawa-dori to The Clubhouse (Bondi Cafe in Hiroo - open until 5:00am BTW). We were delighted to see the charming and beautiful waitress was on duty today. I promised myself that I would not repeat what I did after a ride a few weeks ago with James K and Shane when I had 4 beers (recovery drink). I did not do this. I had 5 and so did all but one of the others who was drinking coffee and alcohol free beer. This time however we did order some health food to accompany the beer: pizza, fries, deep fried calamari and something with avocado.
So what is the title of this blog all about??
One of the group on his first visit to the Central Tokyo Clubhouse who speaks Japanese said to our favourite waitress (who thought alcohol free beer is very homo) that he had heard she wears very short skirts and that we were surprised by her full length skirt today. I cringed at this direct approach but was most impressed by her response: "But I was wearing a REALLY short one yesterday and will wear one for you guys next time". All the cafe needs now is a PE jersey on the wall. It should be noted that Geoff and Tyler have been in the country for less than 10 days and already speak more Japanese than James so go figure who the silver-tongued Lothario might be...
121km, ave speed 27.4km/h, 670m of climbing and 5 beers.