23 February 2014

Long, Slow Distance

With the snow these past 2 weeks, I have gotten way behind my plan to in shape for the Fleche in mid-April.  No Brevet in January or, with the Chiba cancellation, February ... unlike last year, when I had a 400, 200 and 300 under my belt by early March mid-February.

Yesterday, I saw Tom S. when he had stopped at C Speed on his way back from a Miura Peninsula loop.  His face was covered with dust, and Hiroshi said Tom had grumbled about the traffic volumes and lights.  That did not sound pleasant, and today, Sunday, the forecast suggested it would be no colder -- and maybe sunnier -- if I headed north into the areas of Saitama beyond Oume -- Iruma, Hanno, Moroyama, Ogose, Yorii, etc.  I wanted to look at a few smaller pieces of land someone had brought to my company as potential solar project sites.

Plus, I thought it would be fun to ride with the snow on the sides of the road.  My wife's suggestion that western Saitama and adjacent Gunma were still near disaster areas from last week's snow made it even more intriguing, bearing in mind Rule No. 9 of the Velominati, I looked forward to the cold weather and snow.

So I headed up the Tamagawa at 8:15AM.
Cold and a bit bleak in the morning

It was cold and cloudy at first, but the clouds cleared completely about the time I passed into Saitama at Iruma and its tea fields.  Just south of the tea fields I could see some damage from the snow loads of last week.
Snow damage in Iruma

More of the same.

I made decent time, and eventually found myself on roads I have taken during various Saitama and Aoba brevets.  But the weather was actually very nice, especially in the sun and mid-day relative warmth.  Sure, it was cold.  But not really bad-ass cold. 

I made it to Yorii, and eventually found some reasonably deep snow.
Snowy valley in Yorii near the JR Hachiko Line 
It was a fast ride back, at last with a favorable wind.  176 kms in all.

UPDATE:  I awoke the day after posting this to a notice that the Nishi Tokyo March 15 brevet has been postponed, cancelled, due to the current snow levels on 2 passes.  Of course, there are still 19 days before the event, so I would think it is a bit premature ... Jerome and I may need to plan our own training ride instead.

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