Training Report - Kenashi Pass 12
Dr.K, Mr.Takahashi and Tesseract participated in this training. Mr.Takahashi said that it was the second time for him to ride on the Kenashi Pass in this season as there hadn't been much snow. Now we know why he was never seen by the bus driver (ref. Trainintg reports/Kenashi Pass 10). But the real reason why the bus driver had never seen him might be that the bus driver has passed the Kenashi Pass only early morning and late evening although Mr.Takahashi has passed there in the daytime.
The trend of high temperature we had mentioned in the Trainintg reports/Tohmaru Pass 2, Trainintg reports/Kenashi Pass 9, Trainintg reports/Kenashi Pass 10 and Trainintg reports/Kenashi Pass 11 was still continuing. But this day was an exception. The temperature was about minus 11 degrees Celsius at the Kenashi Pass. It was from time to time snowing hard because of strong seasonal wind and cold air mass. It finally became winter (just for a day)!
Dr.K and Tesseract came up to the parking of 510m by cars and Mr.Takahashi came there by bike as he lives in Otaru, the foot of the Kenashi Pass.
Dr.K and Tesseract were tired because of the training of the previous day (Trainintg reports/Mt.Teine 3). And Mr.Takahashi was tired because he had climbed by bike from the foot of the Kenashi Pass. So the condition was equal for all of three.
When we met at the rendezvous point, the snowfall was extremely strong and the visibility was limited to about 20 metres. Dr.K spoke:
"It's the best weather condition in this season."
"Indeed. Finally it snowed enough. We can go to train at last."
"Today we'll have much fun!"
It might be difficult to understand for people who don't know snow cycling well why such hard weather is the best meteorological condition. But you should know that a strong snowfall is the weather we always want to have as the snow on the roads will be well compacted.
In the first climb, we climbed together chatting. In the next descent, Tesseract accelerated. A car running at about 55km/h was blocking the road but Tesseract couldn't pass this car because he couldn't change the lane at this speed as piled snow on the centreline was high enough. However, he got a enough gap to the others. In the next climb, Tesseract didn't pedale hard and reached the final uphill to the summit.
Approaching the summit, the snowfall ceased temporarily and the weather turned out to be sunny.
Tesseract showed up first at the summit of the Kenashi Pass (648m).
About 40 seconds later, the chasing group led by Mr.Takahashi arrived.
After regrouping at the summit, we began to descend. Tesseract attacked and increased the gap considerably.
The gap from Tesseract to Dr.K increased to about one minute and to Mr.Takahashi about two minutes.
We regrouped at the entrance of the Kiroro Skiing Resort. We continued our road to the parking situated at 320m in Ochiai. The snow on the road has already begun to thaw with sunshine.
We decided a sprint point would be the entrance of this parking. 500m to the sprint point, Mr.Takahashi and Tesseract accelerated. Tesseract was leading but Mr.Takahashi passed him soon and Dr.K passed him as well. But Tesseract passed Dr.K and he could shelter behind Mr.Takahashi. 150m to the sprint point, Tesseract accelerated again. At the last moment, Tesseract passed Mr.Takahashi.
Just after the sprint, Tesseract said:
"If your bike had been equipped with a road handlebar, you would have beaten me."
"No, I wouldn't. The handlebar isn't pretext for having lost. But now I've decided to build a new bike with a road handlebar!"
"Sounds great! I look forward to see your new bike."
So Mr.Takahashi decided to compose a new bike.
We went back in the direction of the Kiroro Skiing Resort. In the restaurant we had found during the Trainintg reports/Kenashi Pass 10 at the entrance of the resort, we lunched. All tree ate stew of beef. It was very delicious. Of course, we brought our bottles into the restaurant to recover them from the frozen state.
During our lunch, the strong snowfall began again. The snow on the road which had begun to melt became well compacted again.
After having lunched, we climbed up to the main building of the Kiroro Skiing Resort as re-warming-up whilst chatting a lot. Dr.K and Mr.Takahashi said they had almost decided to build new bikes with road handlebars like Tesseract's.
After reaching the main building (560m), we descended up to the National Route 393 (385m) and headed for the Kenashi Pass throught the usual narrow road from 391m. There is a small hill at 535m on this road. The uphill to this point is very steap and Mr.Takahashi was leading the group. Dr.K detached first from the group and Tesseract detached as well. However, Mr.Takahashi slowed down and Tesseract could keep his tempo, Tesseract caught up Mr.Takahashi just before the summit. But it was too late. Mr.Takahashi won this summit.
Extremely popular series Mt.Yoichidake:
As it was snowing strongly, we couldn't see the Mt.Yoichidake. So Tesseract and Mr.Takahashi was trying to simulate the shape of the Mt.Yoichidake with their hands.
You see? Although we didn't have much snow this season as the last season, in this region which is well known as place it snows a lot, we could enjoy such snow.
From 530m, we rode on the National Route 393. At 570m Dr.K detached from the group. Tesseract accelerated at 575m and Mr.Takahashi went after him. At 580m, Mr.Takahashi accelerated. Tesseract stayed behind him for several hundreds metres but couldn't keep up his tempo. The gab began to increase and became about 20 metres. But when a bus passed us, Tesseract used its wind shell and cought up Mr.Takahashi about 300m to the summit.
Mr.Takahashi and Tesseract passed the Kenashi Pass (648m) and began to descend. On the descent, Tesseract attacked. But when the climb began, Mr.Takahashi cought up Tesseract easily.
Mr.Takahashi and Tesseract sprinted to the Second Kenashi Pass (648m: same elevation as that of the Kenashi Pass) and Mr.Takahashi won the summit. The snowfall became a little stronger.
At this summit, the lip of the Tesseract's bottle was completely frozen. So he had to open the bottle to drink the content.
In the next descent, as the snowfall was so strong, Mr.Takahashi slowed down as he wasn't carrying his goggles. Snow on the jerseys, which had been melted by the body heat during the ascent became frozen. So our jerseys became hard in this descent. In the next climb, we regrouped.
We commenced our final descent after passing this hill. When a car passed us, Tesseract attacked und used car pasing. (Months later, we found this car driver's blog in which he says he was shocked at seeing a bike riding on snow as fast as cars.) The gap from Tesseract to Dr.K and Mr.Takahashi increased to about three minutes when he arrived to the original point of this training.
It's the way Mr.Takahashi carries his bottle. He can use his own body heat to warm the bottle so that it doesn't freeze. We think it's a brilliant idea.
Result of the matchs of every significant point