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

maandag 14 september 2009


Yesterday's Asahi Shimbun carried an article entitled "Kosoku Jitensha matta!" or "Calling a Stop to High-speed Bicycles" on the Tamasai. Apparently there was a fatal cyclist-pedestrian collision accident in June. Fuchu City is planning to step up anti-speed measures along the "Kaze-no-Michi" zone (roughly between Koremasa ~ Sekido). Some dubious measures include erasing the center line (??), increasing the number of so-called "image humps" (イメージ・ハンプ) and caution signboards ("Beware of Speeding Cyclists"??) . Since last year, I have been staying away from the Tamasai as much as possible by crossing the Tamagawa and making detours along the Onekan or using the roadway beneath. It has become too risky; this is no longer a cycling road !  Just how many people know that the official name of this riverside road was changed 8 years ago from "Tamagawa Cycling Road" to "Tamagawa Pedestrianized Road" (「歩行者優先の道」)??

zondag 16 augustus 2009

Hill Climber, a novel by Haruka Takachiho

What a serene day, spent right in front of a small waterfall...a sanctuary I discovered many years ago when I was head over heels in love with tenkara fly fishing hunting yamame trout deep in the mountain streams of Okutama. The whole area in front of this small river flowing into the Tamagawa is perfectly air-conditioned. Bottle of chardonnay and pears chilled in the waterfall, onigiri, sausages, edamame and a perfect book to read! VLAAMS buddy Nagashi-san's publishing company recently published a very unusual "Sakabaka" novel entitled "Hill Climber" written by SF novelist Haruka Takachiho, himself an ardent 58-year old cyclist. The novel is about a typical middle-aged salaryman and his family and his new-found passion for cycling. Some passages in the book are highly descriptive such as where his daughter and her cyclist lover seek some privacy in a Fuchu love hotel! Except this latter itinerary, the routes described in the novel are all familiar territory...Wada-toge, Otarumi-toge (and even 大弛峠Odarumi-toge!), Kobu Tunnel, Tsuru-toge, Kazahari-toge, etc. which makes the reading double fun! With plenty of dialogues, this book is an entertaining and easy read (published by Shogakukan).

dinsdag 1 juli 2008


I want to go a long way on my bike! On my way home, I habitually passed by the bookstore near my station for some browsing...there it was....the title couldn't be more attractive! This essay-cum-travelogue written by Kazunori Yonezu 米津一成, a 49 year-old guy who rides about 8,000 km a year (!!!) is fresh off the press (first edition June 30, 2008). Some three pages are devoted to the Tokyo-Itoigawa Fast Run. The essay is written in a very simple and lucid style and divided into 5 chapters: (1) the bicycle as a means of transportation, (2) Riding 100km, (3) Riding 200km, (4) Riding 300km and (5) the joys of owning a road racer.... ロードレーサーはあなたの心も「遠く」へ連れていってくれるはずだ...very promising reading!

Published by Kawade Shobo Shinsha Publishers


maandag 17 maart 2008


Teammate GORO of NFCC sent me a most uplifting message with picture...just like a ray of sunshine. He spotted the VLAAMS Sirius Ti-1 parked outside some eatery (I'm borrowing your picture, GORO!). A closer look shows it is exactly the same model featured in the "Yaesu Media Mook 194 Cycle Sport - 2008 All Road Bike Buyers' Guide" with red-painted seat clamp, Fulcrum crankset, Racing 3 wheels and everything! Yes...the wait for my own Sirius Ti-1 has been quite long already but I have the patience of a saint! After all, a great bike requires a great deal of patience!

忍耐は美徳なり ?

zaterdag 2 februari 2008

Second Wind I, a novel by Ran Kawanishi


Lately I have been enlivening my long and boring commutes by train between my home and office by reading an interesting novel about the cycling adventures of Hiroshi Mizoguchi, a high school boy and his cycling buddies. The novel is written in an easy to read style with plenty of plain dialogue and beautiful Hayao Miyazaki-like depictions of downhill, uphill rides and time trials interspersed with short insightful hints making this the perfect literature for me to kill time on a crowded train.

As I was riding today with Ko and Ken, two of Team NFCC fastest hillclimbers (much younger than me), I recalled one passage from this novel ( セカンドウィンド1、 川西蘭 ) :

(page 225) どんなに強い意思をもっていても、自分だけの力で限界を突破するのは困難だ。不可能と言っていい。自分の限界を超えるには競い合う相手が必要だ。競い合いが自分の力を伸ばしてくれる。競い合う相手がいなければ、限界を突破する走りはできない。
No matter how strong-willed one is, it is difficult, or rather, impossible to exceed one’s physical limits by relying only one’s own strength. To rise above your limits, you need to have partners to compete with. Competition will boost your power. Without opponents, there is no way you can exceed your own limits.

Although I was almost broken on the wheel last week by the same new NFCC members, I had much less difficulty to stay in their wheel today. On the last long climb of the day to the summit of Shomaru-touge正丸峠, I even managed not to finish last! This time I had my heartbeat and breathing under control while trying my physical limits. On our way down, I saw a familiar-looking pink bike…Goro happened to be attacking the same hill! After a little chit-chat, we parted from Goro who was going to attempt the descent along the shadowy side of Shomaru-touge. With all the black ice patches, I hope he made it home safely. Today’s ride was good for 4,000 kcal, 145km and an average speed of 26.1km/h. I’m looking forward to my next ride with Ko & Ken and - hopefully - more "opponents” from Team NFCC.