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Le Tour in London …

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From Japan (Part 13): One more day in Takayama

Alright, then…at the time of posting, I’m actually back from Japan. Yes, I’m so glad to be back in Seattle because .because .the,uh ..hmmmmmm .actually I’m not at all happy to be back. Well, there is pizza, of course I’m happy about having good pizza again. Well, I’m back anyways, so how about we all try to make the best of this, and in exchange I’ll tell you some more bullshit stories about me in Japan.

takayama%20street%20scene.jpg

So last time I posted I was in Takayama, a pretty little town in the middle of the Japanese Alps. We had decided to kill a couple days in Takayama because the inn we were at was hella cheap, my knee was killing me with the nastiest climbs on the next stretch of road, and I wanted to hit on the cute German chick staying at the inn. But time was running out on us and so was Fraulein Nele, so we left town late morning after three nights at the Zenkoji Temple/Inn, to complete our quest to cross the mountains of central Japan.

takayama%20canal.jpg

hinhin%20mark%20angelo.jpg Now at this point, my knee is a big question mark. I had tooled about town the night before to see if the pain had gone away, but within a few minutes I could feel the pain gremlin nibbling at my tendon. That had been on flat ground with an unladen bicycle. But the road to Matsumoto would be around 75 miles with an immediate 870M pass that would drop us and our 56lb bikes into a heartbreaker 1800M climb. And there’s no bail-out option in the middle; no inns to rest at if man or machine faltered. I try to imagine how much damage to my knee I can endure. Matsumoto would be the end of the gnarly climbs, and the roads after would be heavy truck routes as in not fun. So, revised mission goal: instead of riding all the way back to Tokyo, we will finish the Alps and take a bullet train back from Matsumoto to Tokyo. No matter how bad my knee is, I can endure it for one day, right? Right?

OK, then, it’s settled: it’s Matsumoto, or death!

nele%20in%20hinhin.jpg



Knitted Ear Warmers

You can super-style yourself into the Fall with these knitted ear warmers and I think they’re cooler than the Slipstreamz, cause your spouse, partner, or you made them.

Updated

  • As noted by our astute readers, the title was corrected to knitted from crochet.

podcast_bikehelmetwarmers.jpg



Hugga’s Disco Dream Ride

Frank is getting his “tour on” and had some fun with the Disco Dream Ride – a flash app that can put you or a friend in the middle of a Discovery Channel highlights reel. Frank created a dream ride for me, with the added the touch of a Team Bike Hugger Kit, cigarette (or joint), iPod, and a really big head. See it here and note how well the Hugger style fits into Discovery’s Go Green program.

hugga_disco.jpg



Tour de Fat

This afternoon I wandered over to Denver’s City Park to join in the festivities at the annual New Belgium Brewery Tour de Fat. As expected, it was a freak show assortment of balloon swallowers, jugglers, tall bike riders, and off-the-wall burlesque performances. Less expected, however, was that I would run into an Ellsworth Ride–probably the only one in the state.

As soon as I entered the grounds, the Ride’s unmistakable form jumped out at me, so I walked over to admire it in person and to introduction myself. It turned out the owner was Lee Davis, a member of the Fallbrook Technologies board of directors–they manufactur the Ride’s Nuvinci automatic (CVP) hub. We chatted about the bike, fiddled with our Blackberrys trying to take a picture, and while Lee told me about the Ride’s magnificent ride, we probably had three or four groups stop to ask about the bike. It is impressive to see in person.



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