I left the house a bit after 7 in a mist of fine sprinkles, which I guess fit the forecast of a 20% chance of rain. By the time I reached Futako to meet up with the Halfakid, though, the sprinkling was heavy enough that rain was dripping from my helmet and nose. I think that counts for a Rule #9 invocation.
The sun made a token appearance as we zipped along the Tamagawa. In one respect the dripping weather was helping us: there weren’t a lot of other cyclists, joggers, children, etc., on the path, and we made good time.
The sun never really came out to stay, but at least we avoided further rain as we played cat-and-mouse with a couple of other groups of riders on the way into Yokohama. The Halfakid and I had been fretting all morning about Yatozaka, the final climb up to Minato-no-Mieru Oka Koen (Harbor View Park), but when the time came the sun shone and we both aced it with personal bests. I tortoised up in my lowest gear, while the Halfakid rabbited ahead. When I finally reached the top he confessed he’d gone to the largest cog in the back, but was still sur la plaque (on the larger chainring).
View from the top
We celebrated our success with a leisurely rest at the park as we devoured Nana’s world-famous onigiri. The skies remained overcast, but at least not raining, as we returned through city traffic to Tamagawa, but we encountered a few sprinkles on our arrival in Futako. There we parted ways as the Halfakid returned to Kanagawa Prefecture and I set my sights for home.
At Futako I had a second challenge: the St. Antonio climb. This is only a bit less of a challenge than Yatozaka, both in steepest gradient and total meters climbed. But after 75km of riding, I didn’t know if I still had the power to make the grade.
No worries in the end. I was 10 seconds off my personal best and gasping for air by the time I reached the top, but reach it I did. I didn’t even stop for a breather after that but continued on home. I left the sprinkling behind in Futako but not the traffic. The cars were out in force in the afternoon to make up for their scarcity in the morning. But I kept my wits about me and made it home, lights on, without incident.
I’d last done this ride on May 22, which was the first time I made it up Yatozaki in one go. Today my times were a bit better, both in ride time and total elapsed time. I wasn’t sure I was going to improve on the elapsed time as the Halfakid and I spent quite a bit of time faffing in Yokohama, but as I drew closer to home I could see I was going to beat 6 hours.
|22 May||16 Oct.|
|Moving time (h:mm:ss)||4:26:00||4:08:59|
|Total elapsed time (h:mm:ss)||5:57:48||5:50:59|
|Average moving speed (km/h)||19.8||21.1|
So that gives me a couple of goals to shoot for: get the moving time under 4 hours (average 22km/h), and cut out quite a bit of the faff to get the elapsed time under 5 hours. The second goal might be the more realistic of the two.
Today’s ride puts me over 400km for the month, a goal I’d just squeaked through last month (and prior to that hadn’t achieved since May). I have the next week off work, but no more free weekends, so let’s see how far I get.