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Old 06-09-17, 05:36 PM
  #33  
joewein
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Posts: 463

Bikes: Elephant Bikes National Forest Explorer, Bike Friday Pocket Rocket

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On Wednesday I rode 163 km for me to ensure I have a century for CAM month #58. I had gone on a business trip towards the end of May and got back on Sunday (6/4). I was due to leave for another trip on the following Friday, leaving only the last 9 days of the June for rides. June being the rainy season in Tokyo, I didn't want to take too many chances and decided to head out mid-week in the 4 day break between the two business trips (I think I'll spend pretty much the whole month jet-lagged! :-( )

I posted the Wednesday ride the day before in a closed cycling group, in case anybody wanted to join me. I got one taker and we arranged to meet up at a bridge over the Tamagawa river at 06:40 in the morning. He was an ironman triathlete who had no problems with the distance, but wasn't so familiar with the routes where I was heading, so it was great for him to explore new territory, see new views and learn new routes.

We headed out to Doshi village in a mountain valley on Rt413 on the way to Yamanakako (Lake Yamanaka) at the foot of Mt Fuji. We weren't going all the way to the lake, only to the Road Station beyond the village. I've made it a tradition to stop there for coffee and cresson cake (watercress cake). We actually spotted one of the ponds where they cultivate the watercress in the valley. I like the valley for its rural scenery and it usually doesn't have much traffic.

I rode basically the same route for my first century ride I did on my then new Elephant Bikes NFE in February 2016

We stopped a couple of times for pictures. We also stopped for a cup of coffee and some food at convenience stores on the way out and on the way back (nowadays you can find freshly brewed coffee for under $1 at most Japanese convenience stores). We also had some warm lunch at the Road Station, besides the coffee and cake and talked quite a lot. So overall it was a pretty relaxed ride.

On the way back I rode more of a brevet pace, with few stops. Since Doshi was the highest point of the route, much of the return was extended downhills and we made good time. My friend didn't have lights on his bike, but there was never any worry it would get dark before we got back.

For the last hour or so I did not pick the most direct return route, otherwise I would have staid slightly under a century distance. We got to ride together a bit further than our meeting point in the morning.

I'll be doing a bike tour of Lisbon (Portugal) this weekend and next week I'll be able to ride with my younger brother in Germany. So even though I won't be doing that much distance this month because of business travel, there'll be some variety beyond the century ride.

Two more months and I'll have done 5 straight years of one century a month :-)

Last edited by joewein; 06-09-17 at 05:42 PM.
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