It’s sunny but cold outside today. I’m getting antsy to get back out there and ride a heap of kilometers this year. The last couple months have mostly been in the gym riding the trainers and doing upper body workouts.
I’ve spent the last few weeks surfing the internet for cycling gear and the Garmin 500 GPS computer. As I had expected, what I wanted was going to cost some money. Fortunately the Japanese yen is strong and because I took my time browsing cycling sites on line I have got some great deals. When buying these items at a store in Japan it can almost double in price. That is probably because most Japanese customers can’t understand English and are unable to find what they are looking for outside of Japan. At any rate, it’s great to get paid in yen at the moment.
My first race this year is on April 22nd. It’s a 13 KM hill climb up Mt. Shirane in Kustasu village. Kusatsu is a famous hot spring area and has been for over a 1000 years. Shirane is a volcano. At the top is the worlds largest sulfuric lake. It’s a beautiful turquoise blue but it smells like rotten eggs.
This is my first time to enter this race. Apparently there are over 3000 cyclists. The fastest time is usually around 30 minutes and the slowest around 1 hour. Anyone who doesn’t do it in 2 hours is disqualified.
I hope to do it in about 45 minutes which would put me somewhere in the middle of the pack. I have ridden this hill many times (when it’s warm).
Several years ago when my brother came to Japan, we shared a few beers one evening. He said, “that sounds interesting. I could climb that no problem because I used to ride all the time when I was going to university“. My friend and I said “Let’s do it tomorrow morning and then go for a hot spring“. We all agreed and that’s what happened. Long story short, my brother Kevin made it to the top but not without going into oxygen debt and taking a few breaks. Not knocking my bro. He’s the best. I’m merely saying that it’s not as easy as it might seem. So, I’ll just keep training and hope I have a time I’m proud of.
Can’t wait for spring!!