04 September 2011

Lots of Rain ... to the West; Plans for Sept 17-18

Well, despite predictions, Tokyo proper was mostly dry this weekend.  The storm dumped over 1800mm (almost 6 feet) of rain in parts of Wakayama Prefecture and Nara, between Osaka and Nagoya.  Lots of flooding, landslides and many people killed or missing.  Many other areas also received record rainfall.

Jerome and I had planned to ride today.  There was a sudden, brief downpour just as he got to my house, so we went inside for coffee.  We are thinking about a Sat/Sun ride the weekend of the 17-19, maybe going out to Nagano and trying one or more of (1) Odarumi, (2) Crystal Line, (3) the 299 "mountains of madness", (4) Akiba Kaido with some variations, (5) Norikura, (6) Utsukushigahara, or (7) Kurumazaka Toge.  If anyone is interested in riding those days (I need to be back in Tokyo no later than Sunday evening, although Monday is a holiday), and has thoughts about the route, just let us know.

The weather radar this morning showed a North-South line of hard rain at the edge of the hills west of Tokyo, so we just went to Ome, did one smaller hill in Chichibu, and returned again along the Tamagawa, hitting rain at several points near the westernmost part of our ride. This 115km was plenty for me, as I am still recovering from PBP, still a bit of numbness in my 2 outside fingers on my right hand.

The Tamagawa was completely full of muddy, fast moving water, roaring like I have never heard it. This was the only photo I took ... does not really do it justice.

Nagai-san and Nakayama-san at Positivo had restored the front end of my Cervelo, building it up with my old FSA "wing" style carbon bars and some nice white (for now) bar tape.

Also, I got yet another pair of traditional aluminum clincher wheels -- built up in the U.S. at a reasonable price and shipped to Tokyo.  These are Velocity A23 rims, 23mm instead of 19mm wide, just like the HED Ardennes or newest Zipps.  I had them built with 36 spokes in the rear, 28 in front, and White Industries hubs (which seem to have many fans).  I am hoping that they will be significantly lighter and more comfortable than my "bombproof" 36/32 spoke Mavic Open Pros with Ultegra hubs.  So far, so good.  I am trying Vittoria Open Pave 700x24 tires, and with the wider rims and Open Pave tires, I could barely feel the speed bumps on the Tamagawa path today. If all goes well, these will be my Brevet wheels.

When I picked up the bike yesterday, I did get a warning that the top tube ... is not going to last forever given the deep scratches it suffered in May.  So even though it made it through the summer and shows no sign of imminent collapse, a new frame (or bike) is definitely still on the agenda.

1 comment:

Manfred von Holstein said...

Is this the view from close before the brewery? Looks really like a lot of water - amazing!

I had an almost completely rained in ten days in Kusatsu, but was a little more lucky this time in Kitzbuehel, and got one bigger ride in today.