Monday, 1 April 2013

April Fools! (or: Sweet Jesus, my legs are on fire)

Today marks the beginning of the Specialized Spring Classics Challenge on Strava, which sets me the challenge of riding about 330km per week for 4 weeks running. With such a huge challenge laying ahead, it was time to pull out all the stops and greet April in style!

So, April Fools, indeed... an apt description of the four of us - Cory, Ross, Grecia and myself - who set off on this route in the spring sunshine today...

A ridiculous amount of climbing - including first over Kyomi Touge (3.3km, 267m, 8.1%, Cat3), then Kurio Pass South (1.3km, 84m, 5.9%, Cat4 - with a truly stunning descent!), then up and over the beast that is Hanase Touge (8.6km, 368m, 4.3%, Cat2). Hanase Touge is the back side of Hanase - the terrifying Hanase Omote (see my last ride) runs up the other side and the two climbs meet at the top. Thankfully it's a lot better from the back, but still a long climb.

After cresting Hanase we took Route 477 across to Ohara. That was certainly interesting! A sudden ramp of what is apparently something like 12% for over a kilometre, on what are frankly roads not fit for a road bike. I was 'unlucky' and got a full-on cramp in my calf here, forcing me to get off and walk it out from the about the 1/3 mark. Even walking up it was horrible! Kudos to Ross and Cory who, I think, managed to ride the whole thing - rumour has it that's the single worst climb in Kyoto.

Coming down the back side of that was also 'fun'. A descent so steep and so long, on such shitty roads, that I managed to heat up my rims so much from braking that I got a flat tyre. There's no sign of road debris or a snakebite (pinch flat) but there is a substantial split in the tube near the brake track. Nothing to damage it on the inside, burrs and such. I can only assume my poor rims just couldn't dissipate enough heat and eventually the tube popped through increased pressure. Amazing.

Fixing the flat, in the only photo from today - thanks a lot, Cory!

After switching out the tube we continued on down to Ohara and then back to Kyoto (we absolutely ripped it down that descent - average 40km/h and I apparently hit 84km/h (52mph) at one point, which I can totally believe), where I promptly demolished a substantial rice bowl with beef and then passed out before I could even take a shower. Whoops.

Tomorrow it will rain. After a total of 110km and nearly 3500m elevation gain... frankly I'll be glad of the rest!

No comments:

Post a Comment