A bridge railing runs horizontally across the foreground. Behind that, a blue river runs diagonally off to the right, vanishing from sight under a white suspension bridge in the middle distance. Buildings dot the far bank of the river. Behind that, fading into the hazy blue sky, is a row of blue mountains. Fujisan's white snow cap is faintly visible above the other mountains.

Under Mt. Fuji’s watchful eye

I slow-rolled the start this morning. The ride went well overall, but I experienced some knee pain as I was approaching Haneda. As a result, once again I’ve failed to make good on my resolution to reach Yokohama via Tamagawa Sky Bridge.

One bit of maintenance I didn’t mention in yesterday’s post was to move the cleats of my shoes back to where they’d been previously, more or less. I didn’t really find any benefit from the position mentioned by James the shouty fitter, and it increased my toe overlap.

The reversion was immediately noticeable. I was clipping in and out with more assurance, and I didn’t have as much of an issue with toe overlap. On the other hand, something didn’t feel quite right on the right side. I soon realized I’d moved the cleat too near the inner edge of the shoe, pushing my whole foot more outboard on the pedal. At the first rest stop of the morning, I moved the cleat back to the center of the sole.

Things were fine after that, but I noticed some pain in my right knee. I wonder if all the moving around was causing the issue, and I thought about putting the cleat back into the rearward position I’ve had it in the past few weeks.

I wasn’t expecting to see Fujisan today, but at a bend in the river where the view is particularly good when the conditions are right, there she was, still capped in snow. (The picture is from later in the ride, from the top of Tamagawa Sky Bridge.)

I reached Haneda about 10:30 and sat down to eat three of Nana’s world-famous onigiri. I also finished off most of the water, so I made a mental note to stop at a convenience store for more.

I reached Rokugo about 11:20. My knee was feeling fine since the stop for onigiri, but I decided not to push it. I turned towards home, crossing the bridge and stopping at a convenience store on the opposite side for a bottle of Pokari, a bottle of water and some pastries.

Everything was going well on the way home. I didn’t have any headache or aches in my neck and shoulder as I had on the last ride. My bum was appreciating the return of the Brooks B17 saddle. I had a bit of finger numbness after about 40km, but a 10-minute rest brought the feeling back. The new front tire doesn’t hunt across pavement seams or painted stripes, which is a nice improvement.

GPS record of cycle ride
Under Mt. Fuji’s watchful eye

I heard some noise while pedaling today. At first I thought it might be the ice cubes rattling in the water bottles, but I soon realized it was the saddle. The leather is creaking as my weight shifts from side to side as I pedal. I’m going to have to put more tension into it — I have to find the wrench for that. I may angle the nose up just slightly, because I was sliding forward while riding today.

The only other issue was a return of the rubbing disc brake pads, particularly after hard stops. I had a few today, with pedestrians on the course staring at their phones. And in one case, trying to move from the pavement to the sidewalk to wait out a traffic light, a woman coming the other way on a bicycle cut right in front of me, forcing me to do an emergency stop. I’m glad to report I unclipped both shoes with no issue.

I wasn’t trying to set any records today, and relaxed at my rest breaks. On a moving time of 3:27:40, I averaged 19.9km/h, which is satisfactory.

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