19 January 2014

Our Training Partner

Jerome and I rode up to Nariki/Naguri, just into Chichibu, and back again today.  It was cold in the morning, but we were relieved that at least it had not snowed at all overnight, as feared.  Most of the day, there was not a cloud in the blue winter sky.  We passed Futakotamagawa just as the Sunday 730am social  "coffee ride" of foreigners was leaving and crossing the bridge (on their way upriver -- eventually to Seijo Gakuenmae for Starbucks).  I wanted to see if my friend Jon T. was with them (not this week, it turned out), so we also crossed the river.
Jerome's bike and clothes at a rest stop somewhere around Hamura.  Is the other our training partner's bike?
As we turned upriver along the path on the Kawasaki side of the river, we were met by another training partner.  Mr. Hokusei-Kaze.  He forced us to work hard all morning as we headed to North and West.  Indeed, it was hard anyway to get going in the cold, and the wind made it that much worse,  So we worked hard but were not going much over 25 kph.  My cycling mentor Bob R. used to say that a headwind is your training partner.  If I think about the wind that way, I do not mind it so much.  Yes, the ride is a bit of a struggle (until the return leg!), but it just adds to the training.

We were on the Kawasaki side of the river, so decided to go over the "hospital hill" past Tama Hills and then up the local "iroha zaka" hill.  That set a theme.  Lots of little climbs.  By the end of the day, around 1400 meters, including 9 "cat 4" climbs.  Of course, the climbs along Nariki, but also side trips up the Rindo that leads toward the back entrance to Nenogongen, and up to Arima Dam, and over the hill to Ikusabata on the way back.

Tama Hills, Irohazaka, and 9 Cat 4s, ....  add up.
Our highpoint, just over 400m elevation, on the Rindo between Naguri and 299.
Lake Naguri at Arima Dam, with Arima Pass in the background

We stopped at Stephen's place on the way back.  Jerome needed to meet someone there, so I headed back into town, but not without a stop at our favorite P.E. approved bakery, Aurore, in front of Oume Station, for some sustenance.  Mmmm.

When I asked if I could take a photo, the girls put on a spontaneous display of V signs.
All in all, it was not one of our longer rides -- just under 140kms.  But it was hard, and I am knackered more than I have been after any ride in at least the past few months.  The best kind of exhaustion.

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