OK, That Hurt.

Deej

Maximum Pace
Oct 13, 2007
1,014
134
83
Setagaya
#1
First, let me get the excuses out of the way...

So I haven't been riding much the past couple months. In fact, when I took my bike down off the rack for my ride Saturday, I literally had to wipe cobwebs off it. It had been a month and a couple days since my previous ride. And the previous ride had also been after a month-long hiatus. This sharp drop-off in cycling activity -- just two rides over a period of more than 60 days -- is due to a confluence of factors: wonky knees, rain, kids, trips, thoracic nerve weirdness, etc.

Why, then, did I choose such a difficult route for my "back-in-the-saddle" ride? Perhaps I was clinging to the memory of a Deej who could make it up a difficult climb without having to resort to zig-zagging. A Deej who could talk trash to his buddies before a climb because his legs were fresh and The Look was his for the giving. A Deej who had earned the right to ride with depilated legs.

Why, I ask you, did I agree to ride with Simon on the dreaded Funride 100?

Alright, enough of the precious phraseology. Here's a recap.

Simon and I hooked up at Sekidobashi along the Tamagawa at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday and pedaled with gusto toward Musashi-Itsukaichi. After a short rest at a 7-11, where we refueled and, upon my misguided advice, each purchased a bottle of a 399-yen energy drink that sported a picture of Rambo on it, we headed toward the much-feared Kazahari Rindo. I'd been wanting to do this climb for months. Back in February, it seemed that no-one in TCC had ever done it, and I was eager to make a first ascent. Thomas and I made a go of it, but because of inclement weather, a successful attack up the rindo was not to be.

I made a foray to the base of the climb a couple months later but had to turn back because of time restrictions. Later that same day, a TCC expedition led by Sergey climbed my rindo and returned with tales of woe and valor.

After reading that account, I knew it was going to be a tough climb, but damn. I know the word "relentless" gets thrown around a lot here, but that is exactly what the Kazahari Rindo is. Unremitting cruelty. After climbing side by side for a few minutes, Simon pulled ahead as I began zigging and zagging in an attempt to ease the pain. At a point perhaps three-quarters of the way up, Simon was kindly waiting for me at a fork in the road. I told him I needed to get off my bike and rest, and he obliged. After a few minutes of blessed inaction, we began our final assault on the hill. It was so steep that we had to walk our bikes up a few meters to a more level place to avoid falling off when we hopped on.

My legs felt surprisingly strong after the rest, and I enjoyed a rare moment of being ahead of Simon. Soon enough, my partner passed me and rode out of sight. After an agonizing final stretch, I finally came to the top, where Simon said he had been waiting for about four minutes, though it was probably longer than that. I flopped to the ground and queasily choked down a Power Bar gel -- Banana and Strawberry. For a moment, I thought I might be sick.

From there, we rode down to Tomin no Mori to buy water, as we had used up all our liquid on the climb from hell. Rehydrated, we flew down Hinohara Kaido and followed Route 33 up and over to the Uenohara area, which took us through a couple small hamlets and some beautiful terrain. This involved a little more climbing, but both of us knew that the longer, steeper climb to Wada Toge awaited us.

Being quietly competitive lads, both Simon and I know that the ride up to Wada Toge will be a race, though neither of us say as much. At the base of the climb, we both set our computers at zero and roll out at the same time. And oh friends and oh neighbors, what followed was hell on wheels. Side-by-side we ride. Then Simon drops in behind me, keeping a close eye on his heart rate. We remain this way through the first steep bit, but then the dreaded straightaway portion comes along -- the place where Cristoph snapped his chain some months ago -- and I drop well behind Simon. After a couple minutes of easing up, I regain my calm and manage to catch, then pass, my nemesis. I try to build up a gap, but it's not long before I hear Simon working behind me, pulling closer. He passes me! "This guy just won't quit," I think, feeling a spasm of -- yes, anger. This dude is pissing me off. But he is hurting and, in colorful language one does not normally associate with a PhD, says as much. It is my chance to put the hurt on this guy for good, and I again manage to feebly get in front. Only a few hundred meters left! I can do this! It'll be a Cinderella story. They'll carry me on their shoulders! I let out a shriek of pain and rage, trying to summon the energy to turn the pedals one more time, then again, then...again. We hit the final steep bit. 100 meters to the top? It hurts too much and I slow to 4kph. Simon's beside me, in pain but perhaps buoyed by the knowledge that his rival has cracked. The gap increases, and Simon looks back to find me well back, zig-zagging like a punch-drunk boxer. I give up; the pain is too great. Simon gets his second victory for the day.

After recovering at the top for perhaps 30 minutes (maybe longer), we roll down the other side and make fast work of Jimba Kaido, which is a perfect stretch of road for minutes of stoplight-free time trialling. We eventually reconnect to the Minami Asakawa, then the Asakawa then finally the Tamagawa, and say our goodbyes at our starting point -- Sekidobashi.

All I can say is, thank you Simon for the brilliant day out and let's do it again! But I warn you, next time I won't be wiping cobwebs off my bike, so prepare yourself for a little trash talk! :p

Deej
 

chazzer

Speeding Up
Nov 23, 2006
449
0
36
Bushey Heath, Hertfordshire
#2
Some of us were early ....

for the Tour de Westside. I arrived at Musashi Itsukaichi at 11:00 in a panic :eek:......on....er.... Saturday:eek::eek:

Having spoken with Thomas who assured me it was really on Sunday I thought well.....why not.....Kazuhari rindo....bring it on.

So Deej,... I was following in your wheeltracks up that merciless trail and hot on my heels was Tom who passed me about half way up in pursuit of a couple of guys who were really going hard at it. A small world or just a lack of imagination ? Gotta do the toughest stuff right ?

I shared your pain my friend :warau:

I managed to get up with only three stops. The middle one was at the fork in the road where you can ask the old lady in the cottage to fill your water bottle from the tap in her garden. Well that's my excuse for stopping anyway....

The other two were just before the very steepest section on the first half where Tom sailed by and then half way up the second section. For me this was a major improvement so it was well worth the pain, especially being on my own too...My target is now two stops.

The reward was a very fast descent from Tomin no Mori where, if the GPS is to be believed, I clocked another personal best of 76km/hr.

Welcome back Deej.....I don't suppose I will be troubling you at the front of the bunch just yet though.

chazzer
 

simon

Speeding Up
Jul 19, 2006
96
0
26
Tokyo
#4
thanks for the ride Deej. and for writing the report.
indeed it did hurt, but was great fun :D
look forward to the cobweb-free-bike-mounted, trash talking, Look giving, Deej in the near future :D
 

Ash

Warming-Up
Apr 23, 2006
686
1
0
shakujiidai, nerima ku, tokyo
#5
Interesting Deej! Thanks for the report!

Talking to Charles yesterday about the ride, it does rather sound like the new gold standard route for Kazahari! Hmmm...

Anyway, glad to hear you are back on the bike!

Ash
 

Deej

Maximum Pace
Oct 13, 2007
1,014
134
83
Setagaya
#6
Talking to Charles yesterday about the ride, it does rather sound like the new gold standard route for Kazahari! Hmmm...

Anyway, glad to hear you are back on the bike!

Thanks Ash. Yeah, I'm looking forward to hearing a Kazahari Rindo report from you, too!

Nice to have you back, Deej... Wish I had your climbing fitness after a two-month layoff!
Cheers, Phil. Believe me, if you saw how much I was suffering, you wouldn't have used the word "fitness" to describe my climbing! And I know this is not the correct post, but I can't make the Boso ride this Saturday because of the triple whammy that day of taiko practice for my sons' school festival, a dental appointment and, finally, work. But as I've told you before, I'm dying to join you back in the Boso hills. I'll never forget how giddy I felt racing through the forest at high speed in single file with my fellow TCCers. Maybe August?

So Deej,... I was following in your wheeltracks up that merciless trail and hot on my heels was Tom who passed me about half way up in pursuit of a couple of guys who were really going hard at it. A small world or just a lack of imagination ? Gotta do the toughest stuff right ?

Hey Chazzer! It's been too long since we've ridden together, man. Wow, so you hit Kazahari from two different routes on consecutive days. Impressive. That was the second time you've done the rindo, right? I bet you'll be able to knock the bugger off without stopping next time. It's funny that all of us flocked to that climb on Saturday. I'm glad Tom didn't see me -- it would have been the second time for him to see me completely subdued by a mountain (Otoge being the first).


look forward to the cobweb-free-bike-mounted, trash talking, Look giving, Deej in the near future
Two more consecutive weekends of solid riding and you will finally get to meet this elusive character. Shaved legs and all.

Deej
 

WhiteGiant

Maximum Pace
Nov 4, 2006
1,192
240
93
Kita-Ueno
#7
De---ej a vu---!

Really sorry I missed it!
In fact, I've missed a couple of rides in the last few weeks due to "wedding plans"! - I can't really apologize for them though!
The best I could probably do though, is to meet "Phil" out in Honda on the 26th for the "Boso" ride, then ride the best I can, and hope that no other "wedding" orientated plans pop up in the mean-time!
Once again, I cannot promise anything!... Last Saturday, I actually shed tears in front of my 'wife-to-be' about not being able to go on the "Tour de Westside"...not a pretty sight:cry:

T
 

TOM

Maximum Pace
#9
Thanks for the applause!

The other two were just before the very steepest section on the first half where Tom sailed by and then half way up the second section.

chazzer
Hi Charles...thanks for the encouragement as I was desperately trying to catch up with those two mountain goats...I never got sight of them again though (until the top)...so frustrating! It's nice to see more and more TCC-ers on the notorious "URA-Kazahari"...definitely one of the steepest hills in the greater Tokyo area. I wish I could have stopped right there in that shadow spot and have a chat with you Charles.

Accidentally, I was reading this Japanese guy's blog and it seems he's talking about no one less than you Charles (at least I think so)...telling how surprised he was to hear somebody applauding at the top of the hill and about his admiration for a tough guy like you who would cycle back all the way to Tokyo midtown....here's the link to this blog:

http://ameblo.jp/hamazozozon/page-2.html

My own account about last Saturday's ride is here:

http://vlaamsewielrenner.blogspot.com/2008/07/umenoki-toge-nokogiriyama-kazahari.html