Oh, I know Stormy is insanely fast compared to me, no argument about that. The longest ride listed on his Strava account (part of a 600 km brevet) had an average speed 60% faster than for my 600 km attempt three weeks ago. But that shouldn't stop us from having an interesting and enjoyable ride together tomorrow. It's not a race.
I am still planning (somewhere down the line) to join one of Pete's Greenline rides, one of the goals for which I keep working on my speed.
I rode 139 km with about 2000 m of elevation, followed by 16 km back from Tokyo station to Setagaya at night. The Pinarello and the Bike Friday got on OK, even though they weren't always riding together
Norman (@Stormy) had extended a more traditional route in Boso of 130-140 km to get it to around 180 km for his Ironman training. With many rollers but with elevation never exceeding 300 m it's a good winter training area for him. I ended up doing the basic route, skipping one loop of 50 km to make up for lost time (that's my official excuse; it also allowed me to recover and time to take some pictures).
Initially the pace was fast, except on climbs where I'm slow, but Norman always looped back if I was taking my time.
About 2 hours into the course I picked the wrong turn when the road forked on a climb while we were riding separately. No problem, I thought. We had each other's phone number and email, but unfortunately only one of us had mobile coverage at the time. Not being able to communicate, both of us went on an unsuccessful search for the other, then continued to the coast separately. After re-entering mobile coverage we reconnected by text message and met up at a 7-11 at the coast.
Norman suggested two options to shorten the course for me to allow us to get back to Honda station without too much riding beyond daylight. I opted for a 50 km short cut, which would give me enough time to take more pictures while Stormy turned on the after burner -- WHOOOSH! -- and continued on the original course despite the time loss.
I took some pictures along the coast line. After a climb to 300 m into the coastal mountains I visited the Seichō-ji (清澄寺) Buddhist temple off route 81. It is also known as Kiyosumi. In the temple complex stands a 400 to 800 year old Japanese cedar known as the "thousand year cedar" (sen-nen-sugi) in Japanese.,
My legs enjoyed the gentle recovery pace and I ate some bananas.
Eventually Stormy caught up with me, I speeded up again and together we returned to Honda via quiet hills and valleys, surrounded by trees, rice fields and golf courses.
Despite the area being very rural, we passed a surprising number of convenience stores or other shops. According to Norman, traffic was higher than usual but I still found it very quiet.
If you like to see old farm houses and shinto shrines, away from the urban congestion and either don't mind or enjoy a bit of climbing, this is a great place to ride.