Of course, as always the timing (December 24 to 31) does not match Japanese New Year vacation, which usually starts on December 29 or so and goes until January 4 or 5, details depending on the calendar. Rapha really needs a Japanese version of this, an "oshogatsu (New Year's) challenge".
More important, my sons are visiting Tokyo from the U.S. this week, and so it is not the most convenient time to disappear onto the bicycle. Instead, we went (without bicycle) to Nagano for two days, and even drove part of the Venus Line (around Kirigamine, up above 1700 meters elevation) with a light snow pack on the road. Most of the places we went by car the two days I knew well from traveling by bicycle at a different time of year.
|Nagano welcomed us!|
|From Kirigamine - was here during SR600 Fuji by bicycle during warmer weather.|
|Shirakaba-ko ... usually come here by bicycle|
|Hot spring hot water at one of the Suwa Taisha shrines|
And unlike last year, when I took a monumental ride on December 31 to get in over 500kms for the week, this year I really need to rest on December 31.
Why? I signed up for the first brevet of 2017, which will be held from that Midnight on New Year's Eve (12:01AM, or maybe 12:00AM and a few seconds on January 1, 2017.
This is a 200 km event sponsored by Tamagawa Audax, with a start at Futako Tamagawa, within a few kms of my house. We will ride SW through Kanagawa, get to the coast around Ninomiya/Oiso area, then loop counter-clockwise along the Shonan coast and Miura Peninsula. If all goes well I should see the first sun rise from the coast line, and finish my first brevet of 2017 on the morning of January 1.
Unless there are events scheduled in Australia or New Zealand, the first finisher of this Tamagawa event might be the first finisher of ANY Audax ride in the world for 2017. There really ought to be a special prize for that -- there seems to be for just about everything else in Audax.
Anyway, just because I am not joining the Festive 500 does not mean I am not riding at all this week. I did get out on Saturday with the Tokyo Cranks, go for Yomiuri-land loops Sunday and Monday, as well as a ride this morning (67 kms) out the Tamagawa, then Onekan/Tank Road and back, and hope I will be able to do another morning ride tomorrow. The weather has been dry most days at least. So maybe I can end up with a Festive 300 and a good start to 2017?
|Santa Claus garb? Worn on 12/24 and 12/25|
|Tamagawa on 12/29|
|Solar project at end of the Tank Road on 12/29|