We went down the Tama river. How effortless 30km/h was! I gently withdrew my hands from the bar. I'm not accustomed to riding no hands at that speed and I was soon reminded why not: Wobbling of the front wheel quickly increased to an alarming level.
We turned around at Tenkubashi. The sky darkened. Rain threatened. The wind was against us. "You go ahead and take the washing in," I was instructed. Uh, yes. Rushing in order to save the washing, I must have averaged all of 18 km/h. Luckily it wasn't so cold, but my windbreaker failed to break wind.
This little trip was enjoyable all the same, and once more I reflected that if I'd been asked to design a cycle path with the greatest number of dangers to cyclists, I'd have come up with something like the "Tama Cycle Road".
In partial self-defence: There's only one stretch where I routinely go fast (or rather, what for me is fast but for you is probably slow): It's flat and uninterrupted and visibility is good.
All the obstacles deliberately scattered along the path could I suppose make sense in a perverse kind of way, with the blazing exception of a few hundred metres very close to Tenkubashi, where cyclists are repeatedly pinched into a gap so tight that only one bike can get through it. Would it really endanger anyone if there were pairs of gaps, one for people going upstream and the other for those going downstream? (With pairs of gaps, there'd be an excuse to paint more big arrows along the asphalt.)
The lower end of the path is not a place to cycle (or maybe even walk) in the dark after one beer too many: There's an unmarked drop of several metres if you venture too far from the river.
Got up at 03:50 for Shintaro's JCRC race at NATS. Eric (EricInIkebukuro) came along to help him with advice and teach him the ropes. It was freezing cold (literally, -2 C on the expressway as we headed into Chiba).
The start of the initial race (TT) had to be postponed by an hour to allow the staff and the morning sun to melt black ice on the course.
The race track is part of a school for car engineers:
It was a family event:
Warming up before the crit. For the first time Shintaro was racing with GS Astuto carbon wheels and tubulars.
The race consisted of ten rounds of a 1 km course with many curves. In what was only his third race, Shintaro was on the podium for the second time, this time with 1st place in class M:
Malte - have you actaully riden that "ROAD" you'll know its massive also as the footpath offers nicer views the pedestrians and dog walkers use the footpath. On the narrow sections you'll see my speed drops right down to a crawl especailly around the Kamoi station area.
58kph is my record on the edogawa but only when there was nobody around. Our club has a rule not to ride over 30kph on the river anymore when riding with the team so we go off cycling road for the serious training.
I think though that depending on the visibility, conditions and number of people around you should be able to hoon as fast as is safe.
Some sections of the edogawa you can see as far as 3km ahead and mid week there is nobody around. Nice to pace yourself with the cars parallel to the cycling path...
Even 20kph is too fast when near people not aware of your presence.
Yeah, melting it past old biddies is only going to have the benefit of helping the ageing population problem. Would hate to get in a tangle at any speed with a pedestrian, let alone when E=MCsquaring it up the road.
That's why I prefer to ride on the road. The Japanese 'Cycle Path' is the definition for oxymoronic. But even in the US (Seattle) where I'm originally from, one of the oldest cycling specific paths (Olmsted Legacy) has the same risks and issues since the early 1910's. Anytime you attempt to combine dissimilar traffic in the same lane constraint you'll have these issues. Which is why the only practical cycling paths are those which segregate the traffic on the roadway itself. Bikes operate closer to standard vehicular traffic speeds than pedestrian speeds, so why they are put together with pedestrian traffic (especially in Japan) is an engineering and safety conundrum. Only in Galapagos...