HFC posted a ride that sounded great. 60km or so of winding ‘red leaves’ road starting from Hashimoto and included about 1600m of climbs. I rode out from my house wanting to add a bit to the distance so I could get a proper shakedown for the new frame under all conditions. I pushed off about 7.30 am and managed to get to Hashimoto by 9.15, including a small detour and stops to get oriented. Thats about 55km of city riding in little less than 2hr! The 45kph cruise down 20 didn’t hurt thanks to a Bridgestone rider getting an early morning Pacecar pull which I happily snagged onto for awhile
At the station met up with other HFC riders who were busily assembling their rides and afte that we pushed off. The day was as glorious as you could get. Weather in the teens, clear blue skies and the leaves were beautiful.
I was feeling pretty good – still coughing from bronchitis , but otherwise not bad, so I decided to stay in my 46/16 as much as possible. Our new bike really climbs – several stretches which I had done before presented major challenges in a 44/20 – and now I could get over them in a 46/16! Of course I’m in a bit better shape – but – the frameset really worked great under strenuous heaving. Weighing almost 2.5kg less than my Durka Durka didn’t hurt, either!
We broke for lunch and enjoyed the local fare and scenery before heading off to the last leg of the trip and a great gorge climb up a wandering valley road. This was a sustained 9% or so – and I was feeling a bit knackered, so I swapped to the 46/21 and pounded my way up the remaining slope. Actually I was happy to swap to the lighter gear cause the descent was steep and twisty. Having a little more mechanical advantage is always easier on the braking system (my legs).
We wound our way back to Hashimoto and managed a group shot at a famous suspension bridge.
Hit the station just as the sun was setting and I made a quick decision to ‘rinko’ back, as I really didn’t want to face the Sunday evening traffic back to Shinjuku
The break apart nature of this bike means I can just toss a couple of bags over the wheels (literally) and jump on the train with minimal hassle. So – with a couple of Asahi Drys in hand – thats exactly what I did!
Arriving home I was a bit surprised to see that we had a new family member -where my bike stuff is usually stored!
This is Barfy McBarfington, the Chicken, whom should not be confused also with David Hasselhoff, who appears below, in homage to M.O.B.