06 July 2014

Last Ride before Hokkaido 1200

As Saturday rain turned to Sunday humidity, Jerome and I took a 100 km half day ride to stretch our legs before Wednesday night's start for H1200.  Both of us were a bit bleary-eyed from middle of the night/early morning World Cup matches, we have both gained a few kgs over past months, and Jerome was still suffering from jet lag having returned from Europe last week.   Plus, we need fresh legs from Wednesday evening for H1200.  So we took it easy today heading out Onekan and the Tank Road, around Tsukui-ko counterclockwise then back via Yaen-Kaido.

The weather was not too hot, but the humidity seemed to defeat my cooling system.  As we left Route 413 and headed around the North shore of Tsukui-ko, we passed the newly opened section of the Ken-o-do expressway, which takes long distance traffic AROUND Tokyo instead of THROUGH, and now is open all the way from the Tomei Expressway to the Kanetsu and Tohoku Expressways.  We marvelled at how quiet the traffic noise was, barely audible as we rode adjacent, thanks to the noise barriers.  Very impressive.
Noise barriers on the Ken-O-Do expressway 
How to build an expresway through a neighborhood without destroying it.
Today Jerome rode in his "short shorts" and sleeveless top -- the look that only he can pull off.  He has added some new reflective tape to his bicycle, and more important, could be seen (and distinguished from other road cyclists) from at least 500 meters back, because of his new reflective triangle attached to triathlon belt, signalling a "slow vehicle".

To quote a Pennsylvania state traffic safety website:
  • Vehicles designed to travel 25 mph or less and horse-drawn vehicles are required by law to display a florescent orange triangle surrounded by red bands. When you see this symbol on the rear of any vehicle, slow down immediately and maintain a safe following distance.
Jerome often exceeds 25mph (approx 40 kph), and while he sometimes has been compared to a galloping horse, one does not pull his bicycle.  Nonetheless, the admonition to drivers to "slow down immediately and maintain a safe following distance" is welcome.

Stay tuned for reports on the big ride of the summer -- H1200!

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