18 January 2015

Beautiful Lake Tsukui

I had time for only a half-day ride on Saturday, and did not get started until after 10:30AM.  So I decided just to head out Onekansen Doro to Lake Tsukui, then back via Yaen-Kaido.  I have always thought about this segment -- getting up the Tamagawa then out to the edge of the countryside--as the work one needs to go through in order to get to the reward of beautiful quiet country roads, climbs, vistas, etc. There is no way to get out to the nice bits without going through the sprawl of Hashimoto, Machida and/or Sagamihara area to some extent.  And there is the monotony of going up and down along the Tamagawa always, every time.

But Saturday was a spectacularly clear winter day, and gusty winds added a challenge to the ride. Traffic was not particularly heavy, and the views at Tsukui were beautiful.  Of course, I avoid the route over the Shiroyama dam and Route 413 along the South side, and instead do the quiet climb on the North side, then the "Columbia Drug Lord" road.  This time, I looped back along the south side then took a second bridge over the lake and a second climb to the North side. 

View from the North side of Lake Tsukui
I rode with 2 large water bottles and popped a banana and energy bar in my rear pocket, so I made it through a 93 km ride without any convenience store stops.  The stiff gusting winds, starting from NW and shifting to the N/NE over the course of my ride, made for a good training partner much of the way ... and shifted toward my back on the last stretch.  (The wind, along with my Gokiso wheels, allowed me to record my 2nd fastest of 34 Strava-logged efforts on the trip downriver 
Nice countryside ... not far from the Ken-O-Do expressway (?) approaching Lake Tsukui
One lane suspension bridge over Lake Tsukui
I considered a stop on the suspension bridge for the spectacular 360 degree view suspended high above the water.  But pressed on -- after all, this was supposed to be a training ride without stops -- and I am training to be a cyclist, not a photographer.  

Unfortunately, my rear tire tube had developed a slow leak from riding over a big rock at the end of the forest road, and I needed to pull over to change the tube anyway just a few seconds later, so took a much inferior photo of the bridge.  Still, the entire ride was 4:04, of which "moving time" was 3:42.  The (leisurely) tire change was 12 minutes, and the remaining 10 minutes of "non-moving" time was red lights.

So a fairly efficient trip from a time perspective.  Now I need to strap on a heart rate monitor so that I can actually "train" this year, instead of just "ride" when I do these kind of solo trips.

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