17 November 2008

Chichibu TWO Ride on Nov. 13th

Ludwig and me set off on the proposed Chichibu ride on Thursday. I had caught a cold and was not in the best shape, but nevertheless the weather was splendid and I desperately wanted to ride out into unknown Chichibu. From the Tamagawa we could see the snow caped Fuji in the distance, the first reminder that winter will arrive soon. Nevertheless I was overdressed and started to sweat.After the traditional break at the Aurora bakery at Ome Station, we took the #53 escape road until Yamabushi Toge. As I was riding poorly, we decided then to proceed to Shomaru Toge. In the old Positivo Espresso tradition of not riding where we have planned to do, we added a new chapter.

On Shonaru we had lunch at the small restaurant and were served by friendly Obasans. Who were a little bit scroogy with handing out water and green tea.

We then went down on the other side of Shomaru until we crossed over the tunnel of road #299 and started the approach on Karibazaka Toge. A very nice climb and the view from Karibazaka is spectacular.Like Tom, we continued to climb some Mini-Toge [Ono Toge] along the ridge of the mountains towards Shiraishi Toge and then further down to Sadamine Toge.

After a break we followed road #11 towards Higashi Chichibu and we could have then rode directly to Ogawacho station and take the train home. But it was still early, so we decided to make one more climb up to Nihongi Toge - where no Positivo Espresso rider has gone before.
This is not an easy climb, the inclination is almost similar to Wada, and as we had already more than 1.500 elevation meters in our legs. But the road is free of traffic and there seems to be many alternatives to add more climbs or downhills in this area. We choose one which took us back to road #11 and then to Odagawacho.

Where we took the 15:57hr express train back to Ikebukuro, just like we did on our first ride. I hereby declare than following this great tradition, which has been established by Ludwig and me this month, every ride into Chichibu needs to be finished at Odagawacho train station and no other train should be taken home than the 15:57 hr express train.

Overall it was a nice trip in the best of autumn weather, only spoiled by my cold. The difference in temperature was quite substantial between the city and the mountains, the sunny sides and the shades, the uphills and the downhills.
I wanted to go riding on the weekend as well but couldn't do so on Saturday and when I woke up Sunday morning it was raining and all hopes of riding were gone. I hope I can do another mid week ride into Chichibu tomorrow, the weather forecast looks fine.

I only the link to t
he MapMyRide map here, as the embedded map slows down the upload of the blog.

[For the record: 137km in total - MvH]


TOM said...

Hi Michael & Ludwig...thanks for the travelogue and expanding the Positivo Espresso territory futher up north! Next time I will also try that right turn at Sadamine coming down from Shiraishi and go for the same Nihongi-toge and perhaps a bit further northbound. I believe I've gone hiking on this hill many years ago with the family. Please note that the correct name of the town is Oqawa-machi (not Odagawa). This small town (also called "little Kyoto") is famous as the birthplace of traditional washi paper.

This coming weekend, I'd like to try that Chichibu Lake you found...somehow I'm intrigued by it!

Juliane said...

MOB, just as probably everyone else, I was seriously peeved about the rain on Sunday! I got up (yes I did! ;) and got ready to surprise all of you (in my yelo rocket outfit ;) but only to see it starting to pour... so I went back into bed. ;(

I spoke to David later - who said hi and wanted to let us know that he just came back from a beautiful sunny ride. (ehm, something is wrong here... didnt he move to England?...)

Well, if the weather holds up tomorrow, I would very much like to join you for a ride tomorrow as you indicated. Chichibu would be great as I only just started to get a feel how nice it is there.

Are you in? Anyone else?

mob said...

Sure, I am in. 8 AM Futagotamagawa bridge, Tokyo side ?

mob said...

let's try the Chichibu lake with Ludwig and me together on Saturday.

TOM said...

This Saturday sounds good however I will require an early departure time as I don't want to take the train back. I leave ahead of you guys and meet you on my way back...

Juliane said...

MOB, yes! 8am at Nikotama, at the 7/11 after the crossing. Hope it is less crowded than the last time David and I tried to catch you there. tally ho! ;)

David L. said...

Michael and Juliane:

Well ... maybe if I just rode out a little way with you in the morning first thing ... I could hop a train to my office after rush hour from Ome area and no one would notice that I was a little bit late at work? I could like at it as a first step toward joining Dominique Gabellini in the Rapha advertisement (hope you and David J. will get to meet him in London, Juliane).

Or is it a dangerous first step down a slippery slope to take a weekday morning ride headed OUT of town. Then again it is not as if I'm addicted. I'm sure I can quit riding if I want to. I really can. Really. I can.