RHR 64 HRV 60 Weight 89.2kg Cycle 127.4km in 5 hours 25 minutes and 1,500 m ascent
I managed to get to bed by 11 PM on Saturday night which was a great help in getting up at 5 AM on Sunday morning. We had a wonderful evening in TY Harbor for Daughter #2’s 18th birthday and I managed to keep the beer consumption to just 3 pints. I think. Regardless, I was out of bed at 5 AM and on the road just after 6 AM. My Resting Heart Rate and HRV still had not fully recovered but I was getting better and I did not feel as bad as I had on Saturday morning. I was meeting Alan at 7 AM at Koremasa bridge on the Tamagawa and as this was the first time that we were to go cycling together, I did not want to be late and get a bad name.
The plan was to go over Tominnomori and down the far side and into Okutama and then onto Ome from where we might get the train home. After we met up, we followed the Tamagawa up to Haijima as I had on Tuesday with Paddy and Chad. I was beginning to feel like I knew this part of the river as well as I know the part around Futakotamagawa. Once we got to Haijima we took a left and got on the road for Itsukaichi. It was the same road as I had taken on Tuesday, but as it was a lot earlier, there was very little traffic and we got up to Itsukaichi with no bother.
Unfortunately, the bakery that Alan had told me so much about was closed and would not open until 11 AM, so we headed to 7-11. It was a very nice 7-11 with crates outside that we were able to turn upside down while we had our coffee. This was the 50 km point and I was feeling remarkably fresh. I looked up at the mountain and wondered at all the cloud enveloping it. What would it be like up there?
The road was still free of cars and motorbikes and is basically broken into 3 parts. The first 6.5 km is the road to Hinohara. Then, there is a 8.5 km stretch which can generously be called the lower slopes. This is where we turned back on Tuesday. Finally, you move on to the hard part which goes on for 10 km and gradually gets stepper. I did the route out and back in May and it was very hard. I had to stop several times for drinks and to massage my feet on the way up and I was delighted when it was over. This time, I felt that I was much more in control. I did not need to stop. I was able to limit my drink intake and I was able to pass a few people as well. Of course, I was helped by the cool wet weather. I was still sweating like crazy at the end and my fingers could not activate my iPhone to take a photo of Alan.
The park at Tominnomori is very nice with a seating area and a shop. I ordered an ice cream and a cup of coffee and Alan had a can of coke and a bowl of Udon. My ice cream came fairly quickly but the coffee took almost 15 minutes and Alan had finished his udon by the time that it arrived. I cannot complain as the woman who made it was the only person in the shop and had to do everything by herself. There was also a lot of hungry cyclists to feed.
After we finished and I refilled my water bottles, we headed off again in the direction of Lake Okutama. Alan took the lead and I stayed close on his wheel. There was about another 3km of climbing before the road started to descend and descend very rapidly at that. Initially, I could stay with Alan but he gradually got further and further ahead of me until I could no longer see him with all the bends. It is a lovely drop down to the lake but you have to concentrate as the road is full of small speed bumps that prevent you for going too far to the left to the right.
We regrouped down a Lake Okutama and started the journey for Ome. The scenery was stunning as we cycled around the lake and the traffic was not too heavy. The only problem was all the tunnels. The first few were fine as they were well lit but gradually the lights got dimmer until finally there were no lights at all. Fortunately, the big tunnel at the Ogouchi Dam had an alternate route that stayed by the lake and we took that.
We left the Ogochi Dam and headed straight for Ome station. It is an easy enough run in but the traffic was increasing and we were glad not to spend any more time on the main road. We got the 13:25 train back to Tokyo and luckily it was mainly empty. I am getting a little better getting my bike in the bike bag so the trip home was event free.