|Mt. Fuji across the Sagami Bay from Miura, South of Hayama.|
Today was a spectacular winter day. During the day it was warm, sunny and not very windy. Wind surfers and sail boats were out. Surfers as well ... in January! Much nicer than December this year. But it was very cold in the morning at Machida (somewhere around -4 or -5 degrees C).
I made it to registration at Konno Seisakusho around 5:45AM, then on to the park a few blocks away for "bike inspection" and the start. Of course, the 5:30AM "briefing" was long finished, and riders already were heading out onto the course, even as I went through registration. I saw my Kaminoge neighbor Kaz Tachikawa -- back on the bike after a 2013 injury that kept him out of London-Edinburgh-London and subsequent events -- and Joe Wein.
The rush to get to the start and then back onto the road had one benefit -- I was warmed up. And I was on my fast bike -- the Canyon Shark with my Gokiso 38mm rimmed carbon clincher wheels, with the smoothest rolling hubs ... in the world, perhaps? As a result, I ended up the 2nd finisher out of approximately 70 riders, even with a lunch stop and basically rolling home the last 75 kms of what one of the staffers correctly called a "beginners' course".
Less than one km from the start, on a downhill stretch, I zoomed past a group of 10-20 riders. Then more. Within 10 minutes I had moved from being one of the last starters (out of around 70), to being in the middle of the group. After riding past more and more, I got stuck on the back of another 10 rider group, but there was too much traffic to pass. So I bided my time until we turned North onto Tokyo Route 18. Then, as the route bobbed up and down toward Onekansendoro then more hills, I passed everyone else within sight. Hi Joe, and bye. Bye Kaz. As it turned out, by the time we got out along the Tamagawa and were headed down river, I had passed everyone except two riders at the front who I met at the first checkpoint.
Other than the nice weather, what was good about this event?
--The route through Yokohama was nicer than others I have taken, looping east of Yokohama Station and through Minato Mirai, then along the Yamashita Koen waterfront -- broad streets and very little traffic early on a weekend morning, with plenty of nice views.
|Minato Mirai on a sunny Saturday morning|
|Along the coast!|
|Fast Gokiso wheels!|
|Organizers at the checkpoint in MIsakiguchi -- just across from 3 seafood restaurants.|
The only negative was the trip down the Tamagawa, on the Kawasaki side road, together with plenty of trucks and impatient factory workers commuting in their big vans.
On the way back into town, I met Hara-san and [On]-san of Nihombashi Audax, doing a "test ride" for one of their upcoming events. I rode with them all the way to the Tamagawa, chatting at each of the (many) traffic lights. My next scheduled Brevet ... their 300km ride on February 21. Looking forward to it. 楽しみにしています。
Joe Wein's trip report is here. His photos from the event are here -- more extensive than mine and some very nice ones. Actual photos of other riders.