Izu Touring

Irozaki with bikes
I missed this year’s Yamabiko touring, but couldn’t stand the idea of a spring without a run to the Izu Peninsula. I found myself with a rare free weekend, so I called up Go and Kazu, and we loaded up our camping gear and set off.
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yamabiko 2006

Last weekend was the annual Splendor rally at Yamabiko-so. This marked the 19th annual run, so next year is sure to be a big event, celebrating two decades of Splendor at Yamabiko-so! I don’t remember how many times this is for me, but I suspect it’s probably about my seventh.
We didn’t have too many people in total this time (only about 30 bikes) and an even lower rate of participation from the local “Takatsu-gumi”. Just me (the Stinger), my wife Yuka, the buxom biker babe Mako, kick-ass Edokko Ara, and (hopefully) soon-to-be Harley owner Hosotchi. Boz also meet us at our rendezvous point at the Ebina service area on the Tomei expressway to see us off and ride with us as far as Atsugi. Big Ben had to give priority to Lin’s kindergarten enrollment ceremony (hey! These things are important too, y’know!) and so was not able to join us. We’ll make it up over Golden Week, though!
I also heard later that Go and Kazu tried to make it on their own, but were dissuaded by roads that were closed due to rock slides. Oh well!
The skies were a bit too threatening and the temperature a bit too cold to feel like stopping to snap lots of pictures, so I don’t have that many, but here’re the highlights of what I did take.
Man! That headwind was a bitch! On the expressway I had to hold on to my handlebars so fiercely that my fingers went numb!
All in all, it was good to get the hog out for the first long run in several months. It was also fun to switch bikes with my wife and test the CB’s maneuverability on the mountain twisties! I’m looking forward to some great riding experiences and more stories this year!

The wind was so strong at times that some of our comrades on lighter bikes had trouble keeping the shiny side up! One such victim was Don-chan and her Zephyr 750

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Gaijin Bikers Hanami

Saturday we had a hanami (cherry blossom viewing) party in a local park. I swung by the day before to check conditions and take some bike art pictures.

Evolution and sakura.

The flowers had just hit full bloom the day before, so Saturday was perfect timing—just as the full blossoms start shedding their petals.

Shots of the party itself after the fold.
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