31 March 2013

March Showers Bring April Flowers

If last weekend's ride was full of positive surprises, this week was the opposite.  Saturday morning  looked like perfect riding weather as I left home -- cloudy, cool and with a tiny hint of precipitation in the air -- just enough to keep one cool, but definitely dry pavement.

It was, however, one of those days when the weather gets worse near the hills west of town.  As I headed west out along the rolling hills of One-kansen-doro, it got damper and damper, the pavement wet.  I wore arm warmers, a decent cap, and even (very thin) full finger gloves.  I slipped on my rain shell, ... but was still chilled and with damp feet by the time I made it out near Machida Kaido west of Aihara.

The roads were very slippery.  Perhaps it is the pollen dust, cherry blossoms or maybe just oil slicks after a few dry days.  In any event, my rear tire was well worn and lacked any tread, even on the sides, and the rear wheel seemed to slip as I braked.  Extreme care was required near any metal surfaces.

I made the short climb up to Shiroyama reservoir/dam area, my rear tire slipping on the steeper parts of the ascent, forcing me to spin lightly, remain in the saddle, and pick a line on parts of the road that looked as if they were the most free of moss, sakura blossoms and other slimy organic material in order to avoid falling.  At the top it looked like this:

My original plan of "riding the rindos" did not seem workable, so I turned around and headed for home.  It was only a 83 km trip, but together with another 25 km round trip into Tokyo for an early evening event, pushed me well over 1000 kms for the month of March, and over 3000 so far for 2013.

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