From Japan (Part 15): Thru Tunnels of Doom and over Monkey Mountain, It’s Matsumoto or DEATH!

this weekend I had intended to ride STP. I’m not saying that I had been training super-hard, but I had felt that Japan had toughened me up enough for me to roll those 200 miles in a single day. But then I ate something bad earlier in the week something really bad. I’ve barely eaten anything in four days and I’ve been chronically dehydrated which by the way, is NOT the optimal preparation for STP. Instead of STP, I am posting a little more of my trip in Japan

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So there we were on the road out of Takayama, headed east through the mountains to Matsumoto. We roll through little neighborhoods of modest houses and rice paddies, the road almost imperceptibly growing steeper as it led us to the first climb of the day. Homeboy says it’s only 870 meters total elevation, but to be honest, all these numbers are meaningless to me. The total distance in kilometers makes no impression on me .. I can’t see my cyclo-computer because the map case obscures it and as a child of the flatlands of Florida, I don’t even understand vertical gain in either metric or US measures. All I know is that it’s gonna be steep and long today, but I don’t know if my knee is gonna let me do it.

Huggacast Episode One: Novara Road Bikes

In the Northwest, we know, ride, and race with the guys from Novara and they invited us to REI HQ to check out their 2008 product line. For the first episode of the Huggacast, Steve Gluckman, Novara Brand Manager, and Chris Mahan, Senior Graphic Designer, show us their new carbon Squadra with SRAM’s gruppo.

Download now for iTunes and your iPod or watch the embedded file below. Subscribe to our new Huggacast Feed for more episodes.

Note: REI is not a sponsor of Bike Hugger, they’re just into bikes as much as we are and they’ve got some cool stuff to show in follow-on episodes, like their new folder … .

Photo of the Day: Alki Chill

Riding home last night, I took this photo of Kelli chilling on Alki Beach with her feet up on the saddle of an old Schwinn.

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Landis in Seattle

Floyd Landis is signing books tonight at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park @ 7 pm. I’m at a family picnic and can’t make it. If any of our readers are going, please leave comments.

UPDATE FROM ANDREW: My mom called me all excited today from the filming of KOMO TV Northwest Afternoon. It turns out Floyd stopped by the afternoon local variety show to explain his story and promote his book. They usually post their content on their site so I’ll link the clip once it’s up.

MORE UPDATES:
(Photo from ESPN.COM)

Holy cow - how did I miss this? It seems Floyd was cruising around Seattle yesterday with Jim Caple of ESPN.

Even Lighter Carbon Wheels from Lew

3flange.jpg We’re working on getting a set of Lew wheels on the hugga’s bikes for a review; especially after they announced a sub 1,000 gram wheelset made with their PRO VT-1 tubular rims, Tune hubs, Sapim spokes, and hybrid-ceramic bearings. Weight weenies can customize the wheels further to sub 880 grams with various upgrades. Also check the Tech Talk video with Paul Lew (Windows Media).

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