zaterdag 26 januari 2008



This Saturday, I tried to set up a joint ride with some Positivo Espresso and NFCC riders. Unfortunately, David L.'s tubular tire blew out at Koremasa Bridge. David J. had been sent out as messenger to deliver to the bad tidings and we decided to wait for one more NFCC rider to arrive in the hope both Davids would be with us by then. They did not and so we, 4 NFCC members decided to head for Makime Touge behind Sagamiko. Team NFCC has welcomed many new members for this new season, many triathletes -some former Olympians! - and a good number of serious and very ambitious cyclists as well! I had the honor to join a training session with three of TEAM NFCC's YOUNG what a difference! Whereas lately, I am usually the one waiting at the top for the rest to it was the rest having to wait for me!


TEAM NFCC (officially re-named TEAM NFCC-PEUGEOT-CALYON for the 2008 Season) is expanding! Here are the new jersey and shorts proudly parading our great sponsors for this season. The outfit is currently being produced by the French FINISHER, a specialist in cycling/triathlon wear and equipment operating with a unique strategy and design & manufacturing process enabling it to supply young teams like NFCC (accepting orders as low as 5 pcs for a single item!) with tailor-made premium quality cycling goods at extremely competitive prices. Can't wait to don the new outfit...short/long sleeved jersey + bip pants. Expected to arrive end-February...hopefully in time for the team's first races!

zaterdag 19 januari 2008


RdV at Koremasa Bridge with Jerome (NFCC), Adam (NFCC) and Nishibe-san at 8:30...everyone on time...not a small feat with today's freezing temperatures! According to the Japanese solar calendar, January 20 marks the beginning of the coldest 15-day long period of winter. A midwinter ride it turned out to be indeed. Like last week, there was a fairly strong and chilly headwind blowing from the northwest slowing us down far under 30km/h. Nishibe-san retired and left us at the Itsukaichi 7/11 and the 3 of us headed towards the Honjuku T-junction undecided which way to go as we had entered "twilight snow zone". I was intent to break my previous TT-record and as soon as we passed Honjuku, I began to give everything within my might. Once I passed the Uenohara Y-junction, roadside snow and ice on the road took increasingly frightful proportions. For some reason (the cold?) I just couldn't find the right cadence today and was shifting gears good for the legs! As soon as I drove into Tomin-no-Mori's parking lot, I stopped my stopwatch....1:04:10...darn! I had just failed to reach my under-1h goal. It has got to be the season....only way to defend myself. Wrong season for breaking records...yeah yeah! Tomin-no-Mori was completely deserted, just like when I got there the day after last fall's typhoon. Tried on one of those special "heat-tech" face masks (the kind that makes you appear like a bank robber - courtesy of my sweet little sister) for the this feels great...except my big nose felt like freezing off and so did my fingers....gloves being of very little avail. Heartbeat dropped down to 110 during the descent and this does not help to keep warm. I was careful not to gain too much speed in order to avoid slipping and slamming down the surface on those "Eisbahns" that were lurking around most shadowy curves. I reached Itsukaichi safely and it then occured to me that I had not crossed Jerome and Adam...they must have wisely turned to the left at the Uenohara Y-junction. Saw Michael who was cycling on the other side of Mutsumibashi-dori direction Itsukaichi...I bet he did the Jerome hill... Took a long 42C hot bath right after I reached home a little before this felt good! Can't wait for my next 大寒 ride!

maandag 14 januari 2008


Designed the logo for my titanium custom-built Sirius Ti-1 bike...lettering planned to be executed in hologram. The bike itself should be ready early March...I can scarcely wait to attack my first hill on it!

zondag 13 januari 2008

First climb of Suzugane this year

Rode today with David L, Michael and Marek and took Marek to Suzugane, Tsuru City, Yamanashi Pref. (story on the Positivo Espresso weblog). Although freezing weather was predicted for the area (it did feel cold!), the road surface was not icy at all (except for a few patches here and there in the shadow of the mountains) as I had feared. Nevertheless, I did all the downhills ultracautiously trailing behind the rest most of the time.

Dst: 156:06
Av: 25.1
Mx: 53.8
Time: 6:13
Kcal: 4,542

donderdag 3 januari 2008


Hatsumoude...visited Okunitamajinja on the third of January like every year to pray for another year of good health and happiness. This year I bought 4 "road safety" good-luck charms to stick to my 3 bikes in active service and the 4th one to arrive in March. 祈る心に事故は無し...a pious mind never meets with unexpected misfortune...

woensdag 2 januari 2008


First ride of the year! Left the house around 10:30 for a 4-h promenade on the CLX around Lake Sagamiko. I caught my first glimpse of the year of a snow-capped Fujisan when I reached Koremasa Bridge...this mountain never fails to evoke intense feelings of wonder and awe. The Tamagawa and Asakawa cycling roads were rather crowded with New Year celebrants on their way to one of the many shrines along both rivers so I rode on at relaxed pace until Takao where I routinely emptied my garlic drink. Around Takao there was a long queue of Hatsumoude vehicles desperately looking for a parking place only to be greeted by men holding "mansha" placards...owning a car in Tokyo has got to be very stressful! I somehow managed to slalom my way past Takaosanguchi but had already lost too much time for my Otarumi TT. Even so, I tried to break my previous record going up in my best hillclimb form. Although I reached the Otarumi bridge more than 1 minute slower, I felt euphoric. Lately, it feels like my hillclimb technique has dramatically improved thanks in the first place to the advice gven by K. Hashikawa of VLAAMS. The countryroads around Sagamiko were very peaceful as always. After I reached Fujino, I prepared myself mentally for the next TT (featured on the Positivo Espresso weblog). Well no records are to be broken on one's first cycling day of the year I guess...I fell 30 seconds short this time but then there was nobody around to cheer me on like David did last week.