07 February 2012

Yabitsu in the Snow

On the Yabitsu climb, 18 km to go to Rte 246.  We could find dry road surface most of the way without problems.  On the lower stretches wet surfaces were not icy, as it was the warmest hour of the day, between 12:30 and 1:30PM.  Once we passed 500m elevation we needed to be careful to avoid icy spots.
Remarkably, Jerome and I almost exactly followed our plan on Sunday, a rare lack of creativity and spontaneity for a Positivo Espresso event.

We did preserve two other P.E. traditions, at least.  First, we started almost 30 minutes later than planned, as Jerome had a very tough schedule of work-related and recreational drinking and dancing last week, so was a bit delayed getting to my house.  This is why I like to start rides at my house instead of down along the river -- I can tinker with my bike, head back inside and get some coffee or read the newspaper if someone is running a bit late.
Looking back up to Yabitsu from the donut factory.  Not much snow in the South-facing slopes.
Second, we stopped at the "donut factory" on the descent down the South side of Yabitsu.  The sign said "closed" (閉店), but the smell of fresh donuts was wafting into the air, and I could see the arms of a woman working away behind the drawn window shade.  So we politely knocked on the window and asked "sumimasen, kyo wa DONUTS arimasen ka?" (excuse me, are there donuts today?).  She opened the window and said that YES, there were donuts and she would be happy to sell us some, though not at the "3 for 100 yen" special price.  Jerome bought 10 donuts for Chez Bouhet (only 6 of which made it all the way home, since we each had one at the point of sale and a second before boarding the train at Hon Atsugi).

Fortunately, Jerome's late nights last week meant that we could do the entire ride at a reasonable pace -- including "spinning up the hills" at Otarumi west of Takao, and again en route to Lake Miyagase and climbing the North side of Yabitsu Pass.  So we actually kept within the spirit of "long slow distance".  Instead of just wrapping up at Hadano, we went back about 10~15 km towards town along the least-bad stretch of Route 246, and also rode home from Noborito down the Tamagawa the last stretch, to stretch the ride 125 km or so.   Climbing Yabitsu (elev 761 meters) despite snowy roads -- really more than I could every reasonably hope for on the first weekend in February.

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