23 June 2013

Positivo Espresso Classic Hot Ride

Tokyo heat and humidity, hammering up the river with Jerome at 35-38kph.  Today's weather brought back memories of so many similar rides with good friends over the past 9 years.

Hot and humid, but not so hot as to be completely oppressive.  And with a cool breeze on the upper stretches of the climbs and, of course, a reasonably stiff headwind on the homeward leg.  Hot enough so I lost several kgs of weight during the ride, despite consuming 3.5 liters of liquids (plus a bowl of cold udon with salty broth, and at least 3-4 cups of mugicha).

Jerome and I headed out on a half-day ride.  We planned to go to Takao, over Otarumi Pass, then back over Wada Pass (the "Ura Wada" climb).  It rained a lot last week, and so we thought it best to avoid climbs that would be damp.  Both these seemed likely to be dry enough to avoid slipping on a bed of leaves, moss or still-wet pavement..

Of course, once over Otarumi, we decided to add a third hill and headed off to Bijotani (valley of the beautiful ladies).
On the flat area at the top of Bijotani ...
Sadly, there was a sign at the Bijotani Onsen to the effect that the Onsen has CLOSED for good.  The "bijo" have all moved to the city or gotten old and feeble.  We saw no cyclists on the Bijotani climb, but did pass one man descending motor scooter, chatted at the top with an 80+ year old hiker climbing Mt. Jimba, and then saw a group of about 10 men on mountain bikes as we descended the South side of the pass.  The men on mountain bikes were in their 40s or 50s. I hesitate to call them "mountain bikers" since they were all spinning ridiculously low gears on a relatively shallow part of the climb, but they were traveling in groups of 2~3 and looked as if they were having fun.
Steep drop off alongside the road at top of Bijotani
Ura Wada was relatively quiet, though we did see Alan and Naomi W. of TCC whiz by on the descent as we climbed the lower stretches.  On the descent, I got a heat puncture from sitting on my brakes ... and the wheel rim was too hot to touch as I tried to change the tire.
Fujino's local yuzu cider - lots of sugar
I rode Brunhilda Li, my German-designed, China-built Canyon carbon frame bike, with my HED Jet 6 wheels.  Brunhilda is a great frame, and the wheels are fast -- noticeably easier to hold a speed over 35 kph, and noticeably easier into the headwind.

No comments: