07 November 2008

Venturing into unknown Chichibu

Ludwig and me had the same idea: to take off one day in the week an go biking. I originally planned to ride up to Tomin no mori but luckily Ludwig convinced me to check out Chichibu. I became curious after reading lately much about Tom's trip into Chichibu, but I didn't went there so far for several reasons:
  • No idea where to go, afraid to get lost
  • Much too many dumber trucks, I have heard
  • No opportunities to ride with someone there
  • General prejustices concerning everything related to Saitama
  • Too late in the season to try something new
So we met at 8 AM at the Tamagawa and rode leisurely up to Ome where I introduced Ludwig to one more traditional Positivo Espresso place: The Aurora bakery and its famous royal milk bread.After a short break we continued to ride over the mountains North of Ome and along road 53 in direction Yamabushi Toge. The weather was wonderful and the dumper trucks few. We climbed Yamabushi Toge and then took a detour to the top of Shomaru Toge. But instead of going down on the other side, we return to road 53 and continued to ride to Chichibu city on road 299.

Chichibu city is remarkable unremarkable.We had an unremarkable bowl of soba (Ludwig: Yamakake, me: Kamo) and continued then along road 140 in direction Sadamine and Shiraishi Toge.
A very nice climb indeed, very gradual, nice view of the mountains and not very demanding. Then we proceeded to Shiraishi Toge, also very gradual climb. This is a good hill climb for beginners and it is a pity that you need to ride out app. 90 km from Tokyo (or come by train).Then we went down on the other side of Shiraishi. Now we could understand why this is a famous climb, because this side is much steeper and demanding. Some time later we boarded the train back to Tokyo from Odagawa. A half day of cycling brought me back home at 6 PM.

Again this day showed me that it is good to break out of predefined boundaries and do something new. Chichibu will become a major destination for many nice rides to come.
[For the record: 138km in total - MvH]

1 comment:

chris said...

Hi Tom,
I read your posts (October and November) all amazing. Thanks for sharing. I was wondering if i can join you and your team for riding together. I have been cycling only for a year but i am strong for long rides and love hill climbing. I only did one a hill climbing though at Hakone. It was amazing feeling. I don't know much about bicycling so i would love to ride with experienced riders like yourself to learn art of riding.
i am available Thurday, Friday and Saturdays and i live in Kanagawa near Camp Zama
my email address is pisces030771@hotmail.com
looking forward to hearing from you