30 September 2012

Brevet Training - Yanagisawa and Kazahari

Jerome and I have been a bit nervous about next week's 600km Brevet.  Looking at the course, the climbing goes on and on, and on.  So we decided to try a "test" run and do the first big pass of the event -- Yanagisawa.

We had been thinking about continuing on over Kami Hikawa, but a slow start, an early rest stop at the Seven Eleven a few hundred meters from Wachi-san's bicycle shop in Oume, and my front wheel going flat soon after, put us a bit behind schedule.  We also stopped for food/water refills in Okutama and Tabayama.  And I had some foot pain on the climb, but pretty much resolved it by shifting a cleat on the SPD/MTB shoes I was wearing, requiring another stop.  On the climb, Jerome went ahead and made it up about 10 minutes before me.

The weather was nice, really nice considering typhoons past and future in the forecast.  A bit sticky, but not too warm on the climbs, and not at all cold up on the passes.  A really good, classic ride.
Part of Tabayama just past the main town, including a graveyard with a very nice view.
On the descent, I had fun riding the Canyon, with the HED wheels and clip-on mini aero bars.  I'm more cautious and slower than I used to be, but still hit well over 70 kph on one of the straighter descent stretches.  The tuck position with the aerobars really does increase my speed on the flats by a few kph, while not seeming to require any more work.

By the time we got part of the way down, we were debating whether to do another climb, and which one.  Tsuru?  Kazahari?  Nokogiri?  Tsuru tsuru onsen?   Jerome Hill?  Kazahari won out.

So we ended up with 220 kms and 2500 meters of climbing.  I felt strong on the stretch back from Kazahari, and for once did more than my share of pulling Jerome late in a ride.  Now, if we can just get enough sleep Wed, Thur and Fri nights, we should be ready for next week.

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