25 January 2009

Blown by the wind

I decided to go out for a ride on Saturday as the weather for Sunday looked a little uncertain. With hindsight that was probably a mistake as Sunday turned out to be perfectly blue sky and only modest wind, while on Saturday I had a partially clowdy sky and a lot of wind. At first, that was a nice thing, eventually it forced me to cut my trip a little short.

As I had heard so many bad things about route 246, I decided to try it out to work my way into south-westerly direction. Indeed, there was plenty of traffic, and very fast one, but maybe not as bad as I had heard, perhaps because it was Saturday morning. I had a nice tail wind so I even dared to take a few over the overpasses at 40-50km/h when the lights had stopped the traffic behind me.

The 467 from Yamato to Fujisawa was equally smooth, albeit only one-laned. 1h40mins and almost exactly 50km into my ride I arrived at Enoshima. An average of 30km/h red lights included - not bad.


From the beach, Enoshima looks almost like Mont St. Michel... I rode onto the island to explore it a bit. In the all the years in Japan, I had never been on Enoshima, and actually only once on the beach in front of it.

The entrance to the shrine mount looked tempting, but as I still had quite some distance in front of me and wanted to be back home early to make it to an orchestra rehearsal that evening, I decided to postpone a visit until another time.






Heading on route 134 on the coast towards Zushi, I found myself in a surfers' paradise. 


I had to wipe my eyes several times before I really believed it. Yes, there were literally hundreds of surfers in the ice-cold water or braving an ice-cold wind into or out of the water.Well, if Californians can surf in summer in a relatively cold Pacific, why can't Japanese prove that no water is cold enough? This spectacle extended for many miles along the coast, and into a few more bays. I felt a lot better about cycling in the snow having seen this. I would never be that crazy!


Now on the Miura Peninsula, I had my tail wind back and was cruising south on route 134. The main road is not particularly scenic and there was rather a lot of traffic, so taking a few detours onto the coast was all the more rewarding.


Arasaki was particularly scenic.





From Misakiguchi to Misakimachi, the road turned into one large parking lot. It wasn't much fun working myself through it. Misakimachi itself was quiet as the traffic was not going into town, and I enjoyed the view of the rather large port.


The bridge over to Jogajima did not look particularly inviting, nor did the island itself when viewed from the port. So I skipped it, wondering what I may have missed.

But quickly something else required my full attention. Now heading east on route 215 along the coast, the wind was becoming nasty. It was getting stronger and started coming in gusts from several directions. I found myself fighting head wind at a creeping 20km/h or breaking while going downhill because the gusts were moving me on the road like the waves had been moving the surfers on the sea, only less predictable and less enjoyable.

At the port town of Minamishitauramachimatsuwa (that's a mouth full - no kidding!), I took some reprieve by taking a detour through the radish fields of Tsurugizaki. Actually, almost all of southern Miura seemed to be one giant radish field. Yet here with a view of the ocean, it looked particularly beautiful.


Through the somewhat isolated and desolate fisher village Makuchi I returned back to onto route 215 which was now leading me north. Eventually I succumbed to what had by then become almost a storm that was blowing sand from the beaches onto the road. At Miura-Kaigan, I conveniently caught a Limited Express back towards Tokyo.

Getting of at Keikyu-Kamata, I was hoping for a smooth ride up on Kannana. Things started promising as there was nothing like a storm in Tokyo. Apparently a little bit of head wind, but having just braved gust and gails, it felt like tail wind to me...  But I soon ran into an obstacle of a different kind: another parking lot extending for a few miles on Kannana. Eventually I passed the sight of a car crash that was already being taken care of by police (apparently no injuries), and beyond that I had a relatively unhampered ride back home.

On another day with hopefully better wind conditions, I must do also the east side of Miura Peninsula.

http://www.mapmyride.com/route/jp/setagaya%20daita/551929584912

6 comments:

TOM said...

I was most impressed by your pictures of Arasaki and your having actually stopped there! An acquaintance of mine lives near this reef and I have been thinking of bringing a surprise visit. Can you tell me how long it takes approximately from Enoshima to Arasaki? Just to know if it is do-able in one day from my place. Thanks Ludwig.

Manfred von Holstein said...

Correction of my prior reply - I forgot that I took a loop detour on the way:

http://www.mapmyride.com/route/jp/setagaya%20daita/551929584912

It's only 27km, i.e. less tha an hour for you. I would think that's quite doable, even after coming all the way from Fuchu. Except for a stormy day like Saturday.

TOM said...

Thanks a lot Ludwig. Will give it a try this winter on a sunny and not too windy day and may also try that route 467 you took instead of the Sakaigawa Cycling Road. The entire trip for me would be about 180km which is very feasible. Those pictures you took near Arasaki are just awesome!

Manfred von Holstein said...

I didn't know there was a cycling road. Does it run from Fujisawa to Enoshima or does it start even earlier?

TOM said...

Yes it starts from Yamato or even further up North all the way down from Machida. Here's a link with map:

http://waiwai.map.yahoo.co.jp/map?mid=QUlJ6fTEm907iKjage0xNbTTQQ_w1ZwMlQ--

Although no traffic lights, there are many gates, barriers and roads that need to be crossed making this approach to the sea a relatively slow one. But it is nice and there are some longer and faster stretches.

Manfred von Holstein said...

Thanks! I will have to try this one day.