Taking advantage of the beautiful "warm" weather today and a free afternoon I headed out for Arakawa today. The headwind up the river was fierce, but my favourite selection of MP3s and a cycling lane all for myself compensated for the Don Quichotesque drudgery. Just when I was humming along "Major Tom" I heard agitated chatter behind me, and before I realised was was going on I was overtaken by a 8-man peloton of the Anchor Bridgestone team. We had met these guys before during the last Fuji International Hillclimb when we stayed at the same minshuku. They slowed down a bit and I managed to keep pace with them. It was very interesting to watch their interaction. They were quite relaxed and apparently enjoyed their afternoon training run a lot. They would pass the gates along the river by riding up the grassy hills instead of squeezing through the gates, nearly causing some of them to crash. I guess they don't have to pay for their equipment. When they cruised really slow on the dam I took all my courage and zoomed past. Soon the headwind picked up. The thought of having the Anchor team on my back really made me sweat! On the last stretch before the bridge into Saitama the peloton eventually overtook me, leaving no doubts about the difference between pros and amateurs. Anyhow, it was fun cruising with these guys. I am certain we'll meet them next October in Shizuoka.