28 March 2011


I was not able to ride Saturday with Jerome due to a scheduled client meeting.  I understand that he happened to link up with James K. and some others for a ride out One-kansen.  I also saw James K. and Jamie S., as they concluded their ride and were talking at the side of the road near Daikanyama, as I rode in Komazawa Dori for my 1:30PM meeting ... which was switched to a conference call as I rode in ... and even that was cancelled before it started.

In any event, way, way behind on my Transalp training, unable to ride Saturday, unable to join the European chapter's Mallorca early Spring training camp, and with the Chiba 400km Brevet cancelled this weekend, I was eager to ride on Sunday.  I headed out despite remnants of jet lag and a cold that had caused me to completely lose my voice during the last few days of my U.S. trip last week.

I went for Tomin no Mori, over Kazahari, down the back side, stopped for a quick lunch at Yakyu-Tei (Watanabe-san's cafeteria) at the far end of Lake Okutama, then home via Oume/Yoshino-Kaido.  I had hoped to continue over Tsuru/Tawa passes or Matsuhime, but felt exhausted already after the effort on Kazahari and the very cold descent. Despite trying to push it some on the climb, I was far off my pace of a few months ago.

Watanabe-san said the first week after the earthquake almost no cars had passed by her restaurant, because of the gasoline shortages.  She said that she had not seen many cyclists either.  When I mentioned that there had been plenty of cyclists today on both sides of the climb to Kazahari (including some coming up the approach from her restaurant), she narrowed the comment to "well, not many foreigners" and asked about the reports that embassies had told their people to leave.  I reassured her that, while there had been some such warnings, there are still plenty of foreigners in Tokyo, and many who left when the international schools closed (as did I with my son for a week) are coming back.

It was a good training ride, 175km with a side-to-head wind the entire trip home to make up for the lack of hills on the return leg.  I think I overdid things a bit in light of my cold, and my stomach was upset for a few hours after getting home and soaking in a hot bath.  But all seems well this morning.

I'm really, really hopeful that the April 2 Shizuoka Brevet will go forward on schedule.  If not, I may need to conclude that the fates have conspired against my participation in Paris-Brest-Paris this year.

Baseball practice along the Tamagawa as usual, with Mt. Fuji in the background, with a mysterious non-radioactive cloud rising from its near side -- mist off of Yamanakako?
Looking back at the route from a vista just about Tomin no Mori.  Spring has not yet arrived in Okutama.
The roadway near Kazahari Pass.  Snow has been cleared to the side and the surface is dry, but the temperature gauge reads only +2 degrees C at the Noon hour.
The cafeteria at Okutama-ko.  I was the only guest at what should be peak lunch hour on a Saturday, and was treated to extra Konnyaku, pickles, and Miso w/ my curried rice, plus a seat right next to the stove.  There was a bit more traffic at the remodeled place not shown in this photo, but still very quiet.

1 comment:

Manfred von Holstein said...

David, I also went up Kazahari on Saturday. Here is my report:


I have been annoyed by strange noises from my cassette and shifting issues for the past few rides. When I checked my bike yesterday, I noticed the cassette was not running straight, wobbling slightly to the right and left. I took out the wheel and decided to take off the cassette to check, only to find that the lock ring was broken... Nagai-san must have closed it too tightly when he cleaned the free hub a few months ago, so tightly that it eventually burst under the additional pressure from cycling. I'm glad the ring was still holding the cassette to some extent. After taking it off once, it is now impossible to hold the cassette in place, and impossible to turn the chain. I'm glad I didn't get stuck in the middle of nowhere.