We took the commuter train to the Bullet train station
carrying bicycle parts among crowds of Japanese commuters.
After a two-hour train ride at 125 miles an hour and a taxi ride, I reconstructed my $1500 bicycle in a parking lot with the few tools I could carry and duct taped the handlebars. On the photo I'm wearing a cute,tiny stuffed cow-head which Miimii had given me the year before (white and yellow) on my chest.
The race started and when we hit the first climb my chain fell off…deja vu. Once again I was in the Tour du Japon, putting my chain on among spectators, as the pack disappeared. In the magazine clipping, I'm swerving to my right because my chain had just fallen off.I re-started after losing about 30 seconds.
The race went around a rugged mountain circuit four times and then up a final 2 1/2 mile climb gaining 970 feet of elevation maxing out in a 23% grade. It rained the whole race, and my light weight racing wheels, great for going uphill, made the bicycle hard to handle going downhill. I finished an undistinguished 31st out of the top 81 top amateur riders in Japan, but I was just thrilled to be with the big boys. Then, in the pouring rain, I took my bicycle apart, threw the pieces in a bag, and we took the Bullet home.