|Training for Nov. 9th. Length 48km, elevation gain 1075m.|
This MTB tour crosses Amakusa Shimo-shima Island from my house in Hondo, Amakusa's main town, through rugged mountains toward the west coast, passing by the Reihoku thermal power plant before again plunging into the mountains to cross back to Hondo along a different route. Most of the course is narrow paved mountain roads but dirt roads and a single-track section are also there. The scenery is good throughout: views from the mountain ridges, sea-coast, and scenic rural landscapes in the valleys abound.
I tried to power up the hills with my heart rate at about 80% of max and my muscles aching with lactic acid, maintaining climb rates of 16-20 vertical meters per minute. On the rest of the course I took it a little easier, enjoying the scenery. Still, my average speed was about 19 km/h, not bad when all that climbing is factored in. While my muscles are sore tonight, the soles of my feet are quite relieved to get a day's rest from the unrelenting pounding they have received with all the walking and running during the past week.