Into the Fiery Hillls!

Deej

Maximum Pace
Oct 13, 2007
1,018
149
83
Setagaya
#1
Hello TCCers,

As I don't have the time to join tomorrow's fun-looking Tsukuba Explore ride organized by my buddies Phil, Thomas and Sergey, I will head out into the beautiful western hills again this weekend.

The route will be the same as the Wet and Wild ride I did with Peter last Saturday, but I will be riding out and back via the One-Kan road this time before hitting the hills. Here's how I plan to get to the mountains.

I plan on going early, riding across the bridge over the Tamagawa at 7 a.m.

The pace will be brisk, but not soul-crushingly competitive. All are welcome to join. Should be beautiful out there!

I'll reconfirm departure-time and other details this evening.

Deej
 

Deej

Maximum Pace
Oct 13, 2007
1,018
149
83
Setagaya
#2
OK, looks like a solo adventure! To reconfirm, I'll be crossing the Tamagawa at the point indicated on the map in my earlier post at 7 a.m. -- shout if you see a man in blue.

Deej
 

Mike

Maximum Pace
Sep 24, 2007
1,066
9
58
Kanagawa
#3
Man in Blue? Have a good ride Deej, wish I could join you but if this is your outfit today I may casually look the other way as we pass each other:confused:

proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fi336.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fn340%2FMarkinYamato%2FBlueMan-LRS-029533.jpg%3Ft%3D1258765634&hash=a06a3fe8a99cf0ed793c82d53e3003b6
 

Deej

Maximum Pace
Oct 13, 2007
1,018
149
83
Setagaya
#4
Back from the fiery hills and feeling pleasantly exhausted.

Things got off to an inauspicious start when I got a rear flat within the first 10 minutes. It seems that all my rides on rock-strewn rindos finally took their toll on my uber-robust Continentals -- beneath two big parallel gashes on the back tire, the tube ripped. Rather than ride back home and further thwart my momentum, I used a 1,000 yen note as a boot to keep the new tube from bulging out through the shredded tire. Worked like a charm.

Down the One-Kan I sped, passing through Hashimoto and onward to Tsui-Ko. I was curious to see what it was like to ride out to the Jimba Onsen climb without traversing Otarumi-toge. Following a route "borrowed" from Tom (thanks Tom!), I found myself passing through picturesque terrain on a road that climbed for a while and offered a beautiful view of the reservoir. I didn't have a map, so I'm surprised I didn't get lost. I ascribe that to my advanced grasp of heuristics. (While I was riding today, I decided that if nothing else, I was going to use the word "heuristic" in my post. I also plan on using it at my next cocktail party.)

Then it was on to familiar territory, and I climbed the Jimba Onsen rindo, Wada-toge, Wada again from the north (oh the surprise on the faces of other cyclists when I emerged from the hiking path!), and then Jimba Onen rindo from the other direction.

I retraced my "steps" back to the One-Kan, where I drag-raced several cyclists, some fast, others less so. Please understand, I'm not competitive. It's just that when some pretender to the throne tries to steal my diamond crown, Ironsword is forced to lay down the law. To the guy in the O-vest kit: I respectfully touch my massive fist to my tan, bare, waxed chest, as you were a tenacious one. Though like the others, you ultimately succumbed to my unmatchable accelerations. To the lanky dude in the Nalsima kit: Sucka please.

It turned out to be a 162km ride, which is more than I've done in a while because I've been taking the train lately. Now I'm going to try to wipe off all the blue paint from my face.

Deej
 

Jules

Speeding Up
Nov 8, 2009
143
21
38
Tokyo, Uehara
fairmean.com
#5
deeej, well jammy of you all day out there in this weather. dry air and roads. bare and war chested in november. sounds like a ball of fun. 162 is super solid. do, do let me know when you are heading out again!
 

Deej

Maximum Pace
Oct 13, 2007
1,018
149
83
Setagaya
#6
deeej, well jammy of you all day out there in this weather. dry air and roads. bare and war chested in november. sounds like a ball of fun. 162 is super solid. do, do let me know when you are heading out again!
Will do, my man. It was actually really nice out there. I didn't wear long pants -- just my shorts -- and had only a thin long-sleeve thermal shirt under my jersey. No jacket -- not even a windbreaker. Oh, and I wore a winter skullcap. I got a little chilly at times on descents in dark valleys, but the climbs were toasty, and when the sun was on me, it was perfect.

I saw quite a few cyclists in full winter regalia. I'm guessing they were simply excited to try out their newly purchased duds. If I had gone to bigger mountains, I would have dressed warmer.

Deej
 

Ludwig

Speeding Up
Oct 9, 2008
871
0
36
Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
#7
Deej, we must have missed you by minutes when you were crossing the Tamagawa. Had a larger Positivo Espresso sortie out on Doshimichi, with a smaller group of us (Tom, MOB, me) continuing via Yamanakako and Hakone to Atami.

http://www.mapmyride.com/route/jp/kanto/163125880892379061

Tom survived in relatively light dress, but I was glad I had warmer stuff (even if not heavy winter gear) whenever the wind was blowing quite cold and of course on longer descents.

Photos on the PE website as well as Tom's.
 

Deej

Maximum Pace
Oct 13, 2007
1,018
149
83
Setagaya
#8
Deej, we must have missed you by minutes when you were crossing the Tamagawa.
Ah, too bad. I ended up being a few minutes behind schedule because of the blowout. I hope I no one was waiting for me!

Had a larger Positivo Espresso sortie out on Doshimichi, with a smaller group of us (Tom, MOB, me) continuing via Yamanakako and Hakone to Atami.

http://www.mapmyride.com/route/jp/kanto/163125880892379061
Ooh, nice. I've always wondered what it would be like to descend Mikuni on the steeper side. How was it?

Tom survived in relatively light dress, but I was glad I had warmer stuff (even if not heavy winter gear) whenever the wind was blowing quite cold and of course on longer descents.
Yeah, I probably would have broken out my (Swiss engineered!) Assos jacket and knee warmers for that ride.

Photos on the PE website as well as Tom's.
Great pics. Thanks for sharing, Ludwig.
 

Ludwig

Speeding Up
Oct 9, 2008
871
0
36
Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
#9
Ooh, nice. I've always wondered what it would be like to descend Mikuni on the steeper side. How was it?
This was my second time. The feeling was the same: what a waste! :eek:The road is mostly so uneven and curvy that one cannot go too fast on the steep parts. There was one stretch where I felt comfortable letting the bike accelerate up to 73km/h, :cool: but the rest tended to be just over 50km/h. So one doesn't get much for the steepness, other than hot brakes! :(
 

Deej

Maximum Pace
Oct 13, 2007
1,018
149
83
Setagaya
#10
This was my second time. The feeling was the same: what a waste! :eek:The road is mostly so uneven and curvy that one cannot go too fast on the steep parts. There was one stretch where I felt comfortable letting the bike accelerate up to 73km/h, :cool: but the rest tended to be just over 50km/h. So one doesn't get much for the steepness, other than hot brakes! :(
Thanks Ludwig. I kind of figured it would be difficult to maintain a high speed there. I'm sure the unevenness you refer to stands out far more when descending than when ascending. My memory is of that road being smooth -- but when going up, I'm usually so deep in the "pain tunnel" that most details are lost.

I noticed you mentioned in another post that the roads in Germany are better than those in Japan. I found this observation interesting, as I had always assumed Japan's roads were world-class in terms of condition. Then again, maybe Japan's roads are world-class. Somehow, it doesn't surprise me that Germany would have such excellent roads.

Deej
 

Ludwig

Speeding Up
Oct 9, 2008
871
0
36
Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
#11
Japan wastes its money on useless roads, bridges and tunnels. Germany on paving most roads very nicely, and making them wider. I don't appreciate either as a tax payer, but at least the useless roads and the smooth surfaces as a cyclist!
 

echothree

Speeding Up
Sep 8, 2008
170
1
38
Mitaka
#12
Please understand, I'm not competitive. It's just that when some pretender to the throne tries to steal my diamond crown, Ironsword is forced to lay down the law.
Reminds me of that ride a couple of weeks ago we did together Deej - that dude with the 80's style stackhat and retro steel bike really smashed us on the line coming down from Takao. Ha! That dude had some pro moves... at least, I'm sure he thought he did. :confused:
 

Deej

Maximum Pace
Oct 13, 2007
1,018
149
83
Setagaya
#13
Reminds me of that ride a couple of weeks ago we did together Deej - that dude with the 80's style stackhat and retro steel bike really smashed us on the line coming down from Takao. Ha! That dude had some pro moves... at least, I'm sure he thought he did. :confused:
Oh, that's right -- that was a weird one, huh?

So Clay and I are at the tail end of a long ride, approaching kilometer 200 and having climbed about 3,000 meters. I'm recovering from a massive bonk, and Clay is feeling the strain of being at the front all day, pulling me at a fast rate of speed into headwinds on the way back. We've summited Otarumi-toge and are reaching the base of the hill; Takao Station, our destination, is only about four kilometers away.

Near the base of the hill, this dude is rolling slowly ahead of us in the same direction. He keeps shooting glances over his shoulder at us as we approach, checking us out, gauging our speed, sniffing his quarry. We overtake him and instinctively hammer a little harder -- but like I said, we were pretty fried. I notice that he is riding an old bike, and perhaps has straps on his pedals. But what stand out more are his white socks pulled up his calves and his helmet -- one of those white, cheapo, visored thingies you sometimes see schoolkids wearing. The only thing else I remember about his attire was that it was somehow "frumpy," which is not an adjective I usually associate with roadies. In short, he looked a little insane, thanks in no small part to his frequent over-the-shoulder glances. "Here they come! Here they come!"

OK, so we're giving it all we have, but I can sense that Helmet Head is right on our tail. We keep pushing, and HH hangs on yet. Finally, we reach the station and ease up as we approach the traffic light to make a right turn. Helmet Head whooshes past, looking pleased with himself, and throws a few more looks over his shoulder at us, as if checking to see whether we're going to give chase. Yeah, right, you mad freak, Clay and I are gonna chase you -- not.

I still have no idea what that was all about. It's like he was waiting there to do exactly that. Maybe he's a former Keirin star who flew too close to the sun -- who scaled such heights of greatness that it drove him to madness. I've seen it before -- heck, it might even happen to me someday. You see, with geniuses, there are lots of fine lines involved, and lines can be crossed. Oh, lines can be crossed.

Deej
 

Deej

Maximum Pace
Oct 13, 2007
1,018
149
83
Setagaya
#14
I notice that he is riding an old bike, and perhaps has straps on his pedals. But what stand out more are his white socks pulled up his calves and his helmet -- one of those white, cheapo, visored thingies you sometimes see schoolkids wearing. The only thing else I remember about his attire was that it was somehow "frumpy," which is not an adjective I usually associate with roadies. In short, he looked a little insane, thanks in no small part to his frequent over-the-shoulder glances. "Here they come! Here they come!"
By the way, I did not mean this as an indictment of the old-skool look. In fact, the idea of someone on vintage or beater equipment going out and dropping people who are using the latest cyber-gear is quite appealing to me.

I just wanted to paint a picture of this fellow. It was the way he rode that was off-putting, not what he rode. But those socks and that helmet -- yeesh.

Deej
 

echothree

Speeding Up
Sep 8, 2008
170
1
38
Mitaka
#15
I think it was more the juxtaposition of old-skool ultra-budget look and pro-level 'look over the shoulder every two seconds poised to out-sprint the peleton' that made that fella a classic. :)