donderdag 24 november 2011

Hisari Hadano Mikuni 3 passes crested on Labor Thanksgiving Day

Labor Thanksgiving Day!  Left home at 6:00 and tried to avoid 246 like the pest - as contrary to my expectations - it was infested with huge, long trucks driving at crazy speeds very nearby.
  My plan was to do so by heading direction Odawara and from some point let my GPS recalculate a route to the top of Hisari-toge...which it superbly did taking me through splendid country roads and mandarin fields boasting breathtaking views of Fujisan.
The only problem was that this beautiful winding route took me up Hisari-toge from the opposite side than I had planned and I got rather confused when I descended.  I took me some while to realize that!  Hisari-toge is a nice little mountain pass but serves little purpose (no shortcut or anything). 
 So down the village of Matsuda-machi I had my GPS calculate a route taking my over Hadano-toge to the Myojin/Mikuni-toges (I always pre-enter the latitude/longitude coordinates before my ride lately) and the device - again - did a wonderful job of guiding me onto a closed rindo which I suddenly recognized from a TCC ride a couple years ago.  Lots of sharp rocks and debris!!  I carefully descended down to Tanzawako and from there climbed my way up Myojin/Mikuni.
  I was way behind schedule and suffering a hunger knock (already 14:00 at top of Mikuni without eating once).  At the Yamanakako 7/11 I refuelled but as I was eating some spaghetti, cold rain started to fall and my body cooled down and to make matters worse - my legs started to cramp (from the cold?). 
The rest of the Doshimichi ride to home was in the rain...I was trembling heavily at first (Yamabushi-toge) but it got better after a while.  I arrived back home at 19:15 in the dark and very wet!
(complete route in the post below) 

Hisari-toge, Hadano-toge, Mikuni-toge and...back via Doshimichi

Hisari-toge, Mikuni-toge and back via Doshimichi by wielrennertom at Garmin Connect - Details

maandag 21 november 2011

Racing on the beach

Younger brother (zekken no. 579) in action and heading direction France at the recent De Panne Beach Race. Belgium boasts one of the widest beaches in the world. After the race, the bikes get a good cleaning using state-of-the-art water hose equipment (demonstrating that Belgium is the birthplace of cyclocross!)

My brother's first beach race (54km in De Panne) - now very popular in Belgium/France - finished 339th out of 1,300 participants...

donderdag 17 november 2011

ザ・ミヤタ THE MIYATA...filling the needs of the times

About the only bicycles on display at the recent Cycle Mode fair that really caught my attention were the more classic, orthodox steel-framed ones.  Mass-produced carbon bikes have become rather boring with most open-mold based models following the same trend -- for 2012 for instance, a flattened top tube seems to be the fashion as reflected in entry-level and high-end level models of illustrious brands like Colnago.

I was therefore pleasantly surprised to learn that Miyata has decided to stage a comeback and re-start the production of chromoly road racers.  I believe that many (elderly?) bicycle enthusiasts like myself have a nostalgic longing for the bikes once ridden by their youth heros (in my case Freddy Maertens) and Miyata's decision aims to meet this demand.

It would certainly look like the time has come for Japan's great customized-frame builders like Cherubim, Hosokawa Seisakusho or Nakagawa and many more!

Full excerpts from The Nikkei Nov. 15 morning edition (pictures below are my own)

Miyata Cycle Co. plans to start taking orders in January for high-end sporty road bicycles for the first time since it left the segment in 1993.

Miyata anticipates growing demand for these bikes amid the growing focus on fitness and health in recent years. It is known for its mainstay daily-use bicycles.
Equipped with a proprietary metal frame, the new bikes will be made at the firm's Chigasaki factory in Kanagawa Prefecture. Models will be on display at major bike shops throughout the greater Tokyo area, and orders will be placed online.
The bikes will be priced from 439,000 yen. Miyata expects orders for 100 units in the first year.
Miyata was a major exporter of sporty bikes to Europe and the U.S. in the late 1970s, winning acclaim and having its frames featured in the Tour de France. But it pulled out of high-end sporty bikes after earnings eroded amid competition from low-priced imports.