7am from Ebisu, Dominic and I were joined for the first time by Shane and Jamie. Met Jerome at the bottom of Komazawa dori and off up the Tama we went. Met Michael up the river, but our plans didn’t align today, so it wasn’t long before he was off on his own and we carried on to Ome.
Breakfast at the obligatory Aurore bakery, a sit in the sun, and some gentle arm-twisting had Shane throwing caution to the wind and continuing on with us for Leg 2 up to Lake Okutama and the climb up and over to Tomin no mori.
It was a truly beautiful day, perfect for riding, and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves keeping a decent pace up to the lake itself. We stopped to fill water bottles and have a small caffeine fix, then onto the main climb itself. This is a pretty steady gradient and very scenic. The three Positivistos moved off ahead, whilst our intrepid newcomers set their own pace. This is 50 or so minute climb, hitting a peak elevation of 1150m. We were almost to the top when Shane came up to let us know that Jamie had stopped to stretch his back whilst muttering dark thoughts about turning around and returning to Ome.
So it was to our thorough delight that just as we were about to set-off on the descent, that Jamie should arrive crying the British paratroop motto ‘Pain is just weakness leaving the body.’
We descended to Tomin no Mori and refilled bottles and treated ourselves to soba and fried rice whilst sitting in the glorious (and hot) sunshine.
From here it was down to Itsukaichi, where Jamie and Shane hopped the train back to Shinjuku. This was to prove the wisest decision of the day. Jerome, Dominic and I were to make decent time back to the Tama river, but then found ourselves with 45km into a pretty brutal headwind. Hard work indeed. A quick stop at Segafredo for pannini and caffeine before the last 10km home was an inspired call made by Dominc.
193km, 8hrs, avgHR 135, avgPWR 189