"Sortie Montagne" was on the NFCC calendar and I was hoping for at least a few people to show up at 8:00. Ko, Ken and Goro had told me they would not be riding along today as they are taking part in the Shuzenji "Winter Ride" tomorrow. Nobody came so I left Sekidobashi at 8:00 precisely in splendid weather conditions... Just as I arrived at Takao 7/11, Nishibe-san got there too. I told him about my ride plan and we took off. Over Otarumi down to Sagamiko and crossing there on the very first bridge on the left. This road also leads to Doshimichi but with a lot less traffic. Nishibe-san had just started to ride again this winter and was far from his usual form. We parted before Akiyama Onsen and from there I increased speed all the way up to Hinazuru-touge and tunnel. Had spaghetti heated up again at the 7/11 just before Tsuru City exactly like last week. It felt a lot warmer though on the bike and riding through Tsuru, I was hoping to be able to take a few pictures of Fuji-san but today there was not even a silhouette to be seen! Wind was blowing from the south which is why. My GARMIN Foretrex GPS had recorded last week's ride telling me where to take the right turn...so convenient! As I started my ascent of Douzaka-touge, I sensed the south wind growing stronger and pushing me up...how nice! I got through Douzaka tunnel and a new landscape unfolded in front of me (picture above) on my way down to Doshimichi. The sweet tailwind turned into a gusty wind, sometimes very violent and having me struggle to keep balance. At every other hairpin corner, there would be a small whirlwind blowing up dried leaves and twigs. The more I approached Tokyo the stranger the skies started to look. I rode through three ochre-coloured zones with rainfall, hail and wind blowing with short, strong and sudden rushes. Sometimes the tailwind would come back making my Colnago move at 50km/h and faster. After my last climb of the day over Otarumi I decided to slow down along the Asakawa and Tamagawa CRs. The same dark-yellowish clouds were hanging deep over Tokyo. When I looked in the mirror at home, I noticed my face was very dirty with sand and dust accumulated onto sunscreen and sweat. The NHK weather news just confirmed Tokyo had its first spring storm of the year 春一番 signaling the arrival of spring! Haruichiban really makes for an exhilarating ride!
Went riding on Sunday as well - again facing an extremely strong gale - with David L. to the summit of Otarumi and back. The wind was so nasty, we were at times forced to put our feet on the ground or risk getting blown down the Tamagawa dike!