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Bombin' down the Tomin..


Speeding Up
Nov 23, 2006
Trad invited me to an impromptu Tomin no Mori assault on Saturday, together with a few of his chums from Half Fast. I therefore decided to ignore the excellent advice of the mountain sage TOM and try my luck.

Those of you who know the Half Fast mission statement will also not be surprised to learn that the event would conclude with a visit to the brewery at Fussa.

Trad and I decided that we would do the full ride out and back and there was to be no beer or pizza. This was not because we are philosophically opposed to such activity, you understand, however, both of us had plans for the late afternoon and evening.:(

We met at Tamasuidobashi at 8am. This was my first ride since the Enduro and my first mountain attempt since the Giro. How would I do with the extra 2 or 3 kg that had appeared from nowhere over the last month or two :eek:

My motivation has been at a low ebb, as documented elsewhere, and I now realised what I had been missing as a pristine Fuji-san accompanied us as we whizzed along a fairly deserted Tamagawa. What a fantastic day it started out, and continued, to be !

There are some works going on on Tamagawa by the way people....so be prepared for some detours around the two-thirds mark beyond Y's and the wooden bridges. We found our way around some small streets and managed to rejoin the cycle path. A brief stop at the end of the cycle path and then the 10kms to Musashi Itsukaichi left us plenty of time for breakfast and a chance to meet some new riders (Mike, Alan, Dave, Bruce....did I miss anyone ?).

Off we went climbing the old familiar trail towards Tomin. TOM's words were ringing in my ears (....there be snowdrifts above 300m.....and icicles like the sword of Damocles hanging over your head...). You know what - he was right ! Actually as soon as we hit the wooded and shaded areas on the main road there was snow lying at the margins of the road. I didn't hit any of it but it wasn't that difficult to spot. Had a dodgy moment when I rode over a half frozen stream which had entered the side of the road....

Soon we were at the start of the climb proper and stopped for drinks, smokes, bars and whatever else was needed to get the job done. I was worried about the middle section as this is in deep shade. Some of the team were new to the ride so I suggested that we take it very easy up to the tollgate. After that it is quite exposed and I thought it would be OK.

All was well until the section just after the onsen which was covered in black ice. Unfortunately one of the team did drop it at this point. Low speed and very little apparent damage to man and machine though. This section and one after was treacherous. It was possible to pick a path through it riding up but down looked like a dismount would be called for. We regrouped in the sunshine after the tollgate and then began our final assault to the car park. This was reached without incident and a smaller possee headed out for the summit. Trad and I preferred a dose of kerosene heat and a coffee instead !

Not bad really, I had taken it very easily and tried to stay aerobic all the way so keeping the heart rate in a range that would, theoretically, burn fat. ;). It still hurt though:eek:

The ride down was taken somewhat gingerely. I dismounted for the ice sheet and felt better for it. I might have been able to pick my way but one false move and I would have been off. So discretion was the better part of valour. The ride back to Musashi was the usual blast but still de-tuned a little out of respect for the conditions in the shadier parts.

Trad and I headed for home and I at least made it home by nightfall. A great day out - about 160kms in all, and a good way to get going again. Need to lose some serious weight though !

Thanks to Trad for the suggestion and the great company throughout. Thanks to the Half Fast team for allowing me to join you (if you are reading this) and let me say straightaway that this little cadre can certainly ride as well as drink beer !:D

On Monday, I saw people literally fly uphills (talking and joking away) and Philip turning on the afterburners 130km into his so called "just getting back into it ride" and pulling off an impressive 20km pull that managed to dislodge everyone riding back to Tokyo.

On Sunday I saw Chazzer pulling off a full century with 1550 m of climbing w/o breaking a sweat or a hint of hard breath when his last proper ride was Kusatsu (and a bit of the Enduro).

All of this in early January... Sugoi!

Hearty thanks to the Half Fast crew who let us tag along. Really strong people.

Riding in Japan is awesome.

Hello chaps. Great to ride with you on Saturday. My first dabble in Okutama so appreciate your direct and received wisdom out there. Will definitely be back for more once the icy bits clear orf.

A few photos for you at http://halffastcycling.com/coppermine/thumbnails.php?album=27 and movie to come.

Bombin' down the Tomin'....?

I've had the song "Roamin' in the Gloamin" going round & round inside my head all day because of this. It's driving me nuts.

Curse you, Chazzer!!!!
Thanks for the report, Chazzer, sounds like a grand time. I'm really start to get the long-hilly-ride itch...
On You Tube!

Wow. I finally understand what Mike was doing all that time with the camera! Awesome posts on YouTube. Pretty cool what you do with Google maps - for a sec, Tomin no mori looks like a cat 1 climb...
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