Berichten weergeven met het label i-gatU. Alle berichten weergeven
Berichten weergeven met het label i-gatU. Alle berichten weergeven

zaterdag 1 augustus 2009

Cool V-ren !

August 1st and only 19 degrees near the top of Yamabushi-toge...around this time of the year, this climb is normally piping hot! Thanks to the cooler temperatures, my legs felt unusually fresh. As I was chasing Nagashi-san and Yamazaki-san I tried to focus on using my upper thighs each time I got out of the saddle. What a difference compared to last week when I was so worn out I could barely lift my butt off the saddle. It was drizzling all the way from Ikusabata and the higher we got, the bigger the drops became. Because of more rain threatening in the mountains I decided to join the VLAAMS boys for the first time on their return trip which took us through the famous tea plantations of Sayama and across the Sayama and Tama lakes. I arrived home well before 11:00 this morning. Plenty of time left for a date, sushi and a few bouts of (local) sumo with my wife...

zondag 5 juli 2009

i-gatU (2)

Tried my new toy (i-gatU GT-120) for the second time today, this time with more pictures. If you have already installed Google Earth and you click on the icon on the right, the red bike will take you on the ride I did this morning stopping to show some of the pictures I took. Software configuration still needs some tampering (shorter measuring interval allowing for 10 hours of recording instead of today's setting for 20 hours) though so that the bike will follow the road more precisely without all the shortcuts.

The VLAAMS V-ren train of 7 riders left Koremasa Bridge later than usual, some people still needed to finish their breakfast first! Saruto-san did most of the ice-breaking in his usual skillful and diplomatic way (greeting elderly people walking on the road with a cheerful "Ohayo-gozaimasu!" as far as Itsukaichi and then it was Narashi-san, Chotora-san and Yamazaki-san taking turns up front and constantly driving up the pace ahead of Jerome Hill a.ka. Umegatani-toge (梅ヶ谷峠).  I managed to take a pic of Yamazaki-san's behind...this time it was me who got you! As we approached Yamabushi-toge, our group fell apart in pieces and I managed to stay in third position. The air felt extremely hot and sticky but I just love the way legs and arms get drenched in perspiration!

I then crested Shomaru-toge alone passing several slower cyclists. The ajisai-hydrangea were in full bloom all over... what a wonderful spectacle. Hydrangea should preferably be viewed at dusk; this is when you can see them "shining," a mysterious glow indeed, you'd bet they are giving off light. My favorite hydrangea is the squarish "gaku-ajisai," which my wife tells me is an indigenous variety; the round variety was imported from Europe I guess in the Meiji period.

I drank the last few drops left in my bottle as I crested Karibazaka-toge with still quite a way to go to Shiraishi and the Sadamine-toge tea house. A group of heavy-metal "motards" arrived from the other side at the tea house. One of the female riders in a skin-tight leather outfit took off her helmet and surprise, surprise....a real blonde lady was smiling at me...."hi there!" She was surrounded by her boyfriend(s) (?), though so we cut the conversation short... my guess is that she works for the Russian Embassy. In the past, I've have made a guess like this and I was right about the embassy...the country was France though (Allo Thierry, you still alive?)

I descended direction Chichibu with Rod Steward's "Blondes have more fun" playing in my head...should have been listening to this kind of music going up Utsukushigahara last week...that would have shaved off 4 minutes!

zaterdag 4 juli 2009


Stayed in bed until 7:00 this morning, missing the Saturday V練 training ride. I had been raining almost all night and I wasn't too keen on riding on wet roads. I also needed to catch up on some dearly missed sleep all week... spending too long hours in the office these days; it can't be very good for the health to sit in a corner facing a screen so many hours each day. Finished breakfast with my wife, checked my mail, found out that Tom Boonen got admitted after all in the Tour (now don't you give up midway with the excuse you weren't able to properly train Tornado Tom - show the world why cycling is Belgium's national sport!), read the next episode of the TransAlp Saga and then found Andy's heartwarming message attached to my previous blog entry. Interspersing long leisurely rides with some short full-speed intervals sounds both like fun and a sure-fire way to improve my hillclimb time trials. This year, I definitely want to attend the two-day Shiobara event again with Mob of Positivo Espresso and perhaps some of the VLAAMS boys.

As I was trying on the new Positivo Espresso bib shorts, the sun came out. I had my Neocot bike ready in no time and put the tiny i-gotU GPS in my back pocket. This little piece of gadget costs only 7,000 yen and seems more accurate than Garmin Edge with the only disadvantage that there is no screen - so no way to navigate. Once home, this i-gatU downloaded today's ride up and down Tomin-no-mori very smoothly and hassle-free (not so with Garmin!) with the software capable of incorporating pictures taken en route showing the exact location where they were taken! Most impressive.