Berichten weergeven met het label PianoPiano. Alle berichten weergeven
Berichten weergeven met het label PianoPiano. Alle berichten weergeven

vrijdag 13 augustus 2010

Father - Daughter Team











A few terrible mid-week vacation days behind (food poisoning or allergic reaction (?) after eating scallops for lunch on Monday...) wanting to ride but totally uncapable of doing so (and ending up envying TCC buddies who went on a nice long ride Wednesday), I finally could muster the strength to go out riding with my youngest daughter now back...our first ride together on real road racers! Still clipless but already starting to look menacing in the mountains....

On the Tamasai, a familiar-looking bearded elderly guy on a Trek Madone 6.9 passed us. Near the end, he stopped and took off his helmet...here was Haruka Takachiho himself !

We went as far as the little bakery at height 583m on Hinohara Hwy for a 110km-long ride (my daughter's first ride on a road racer...). Great was her disappointment and even greater her exhaustion after learning the bakery was closed today. Inside the bakery, however, light was on and my daughter peeked inside...the bakery was full with goodies! We caught the attention of the friendly bakery lady who was busy kneading dough and begged her to sell us a few pieces...pumpkin, carrot and figs. That really made the day for my daughter!

On our way back, the first raindrops started to fall once we passed Itsukaichi and just before a spot called 雨間 Amema (where else ?!), we got caught in a real downpour. A conbini nearby provided shelter and here we met Take-san of Hoshino-san's team PianoPiano. Sure Take-san knew of Tictac-san. The rain wouldn't stop though and we rode on direction Mutsumibashi...my daughter crying out loud..."those raindrops hurt!" It was raining harder again but fortunately not for too long. Once on the Tamasai, the road was cork dry again. I showed my daughter how to drain rain accumulated inside the frame and she was surprised to see the amount of water flow out of the little drainage holes.

Once home, I had to clean not one but two bikes but I was very happy and proud to be able to do so! Looking forward to more rides as a father-daughter team! Starting next year, my daughter intends to enter hillclimb races....

zondag 16 mei 2010

Three Tetsu Chunens on the road

Steel is real! This morning, three middle-aged men on steel bikes left for the mountains of Saitama…two made it, one ­- the eldest – had to retire. Regretfully, Hiroshi and I had to leave Nishibe-san behind at the Sankus combini after we had scaled Umechan. Nishibe-san was on his wonderful Colnago Master, a steel bike with a design that is an identical copy of his carbon Colnago C40 - literally a "carbon copy" but what a beauty!!

I showed Hiroshi the way into Saitama crossing Ikusabata bridge and riding direction Naguri. We were blessed with gorgeous May weather again and at first it was not that windy. Rd 395 was almost completely deserted as we worked our way up Amamezashi-toge 天目指峠. Here we took a brief rest watching the hikers coming from Izugatake 伊豆ヶ岳cross the street and head for our next stop, Nenogongen子の権現.

We kept an easy pace slow enough to keep the conversation going without running out of breath…I mentioned about David L’s mishap yesterday and Hiroshi was also very much startled. Dangers near and on the road are lurking everywhere and sometimes no matter how defensive we ride, the kind of misfortune that happened to David can befall anybody. David, we wish you a real speedy recovery – you will be dearly missed during the period you are “out of order”!

Hiroshi vaguely remembered having scaled Nenogongen as a high school student. On top we did some sightseeing and prayed at Nenogongen Tenryuji Temple that David will be on the bike again soon. Hiroshi was at his kamikaze’s best descending Nenongongen on the other side! I don’t know how he does it bunny hopping with so much ease! In the shadow under the cedar trees, beautiful shaga (Iris Japonica) were in full bloom; the mountain azaleas were also very radiant. We rode back via the “Haraichibanagurisen” rindo which was all for ourselves!

The descent that followed to Ome was quite fast and as we were taking a brief stop at the Higashi-Ome 7/11, Hoshino-san arrived with his PianoPiano team and some other team. Hoshino-san will be riding his first Itoigawa next Saturday! As an experienced burube rider, Itoigawa should be a piece of cake for him.

As almost always, there was a fierce headwind on the Tamasai causing Hiroshi to briefly cramp but he courageously continued to ride. Next Saturday, I hope to see Hiroshi again at the Nirazaki CP…Tetsu Chunen promised to be my super assistant up to Fujimi-toge!

























Time now for Hibiki 12 Years!

zondag 19 april 2009

Kusatsu Futsukayoi Hillclimb


Spent a most relaxing weekend at Kusatsu with the highlight (= the deepest down in the career of this Belgian amateur cyclist) of course being the hillclimb race itself. On Saturday, I got joined by the TCC members at Ueno boarding the same train. From Uenohara Kusatsu Station, Sergey, Thomas and I cycled the rest of the trip to our respective destinations. I checked in at Kiwa Ryokan - the annual accommodation for Goro-san's PianoPiano team - and left for a brief inspection ride of the course after completing registration. The scenery was spectacular and it felt so much warmer than last year. Before dinner, I went with Sora-san, Thomas and Sergey strolling along the many manju shops to the biggest open-air rotenburo bath - a real mill pond - in the village where we all spent a most tranquil time watching the sun disappear behind the mountains. On our way back to the ryokan, we met Alan, the zealous organizer of the TCC's KT training rides this year and Naomi-san who would finish in fifth place! In the evening, I had a very merry dinner at Kiwa Ryokan and probably had a few glasses of beer and wine and sake too much! The kuroto shochu nightcap served by Sora-san at TCC's ryokan - the venue of my "nijikai" - was also one too much I'm afraid! I woke up with a terrible headache and clearly in lack of sleep...

This year, there were about 2,000 participants at Kusatsu, a new record I believe. The race was impeccably organized as usual. During the first 5km demonstration/parade ride around Yubatake, I felt the first symptoms of a mild hangover.... a dry mouth no matter how much I was drinking, nausea and a headache that wouldn't go! The real ordeal started once I passed the official starting line...the will was there but the entire body refused to cooperate. To make matters worse, the front Mavic wheel would rub my brake pads each time I tried to do some outer-ring danseuse...very frustrating. There is too much play on the front wheel's hub...maybe the wheel has gotten too old or maybe the spokes need re-tensioning... I don't know so I will have Nishitani-san of O-VEST take a look. I somehow managed to stay the course and ride the whole distance but almost had a bilious attack seconds after I crossed the finish line.

Next time, there won't be any alcohol anymore the evening before the race, that is for sure!