21 February 2009

A Solo Reverse Winter Paul Jason

For any who remember the one ride back in the summer of 2006 that we took with Paul Jason, that says it all.

Who was there? Michael K., Juliane, David J.? Laurent? Jerome? Tom?

For the rest of you, ... I went up the river and out to Itsukaichi, started to climb the Akigawa, turned left at Honjuku to stay on the main route, turned left again at the traffic signal above 400 meters, climbed to the tunnel to Uenohara (approx 650 meters elevation) and descended the other side to the South into the valley, turned left and climbed up and down through the infamous Uenohara "golf course hills," up the back side of Wada Touge, and then down the front of Wada and home (Asagawa, Tamagawa, yawn), 140km+ and plenty of hills.

The Golf Course Hills. I usually try to avoid them, en route to Tawa and Tsuru, unlike Tom, who seems to enjoy them (presumably Ludwig as well). There is one ridiculously steep stretch, climbing up to the entrance of the first of the two golf courses when you approach from the South. They aren't nearly as bad in the cool weather, approaching from the North. There was some road construction -- needed to ride over a few gravel patches, but nothing too bad.

Why anyone would have built a golf course on this terrain is beyond me ... must have been during the bubble of the late 80s.

The club house is a remarkable example of classic Japanese bubble era golf course architecture -- see the odd round building on the hilltop toward the left/top/rear of the photo, ignore the roof in the foreground:

Ura-Wada was spectacular, as usual. Third time I have climbed it this year.

Taking a photo of Mt. Fuji from the viewpoint was the perfect excuse to get a rest after too much 12/13/15% grade on the climb. Unfortunately, it was hazy enough so you cannot really see Fuji.

There was some serious construction about 80% of the way up the front side of Wada to keep the hillside from falling onto the road -- gates at the top and bottom of Wada (front side) were closed, and no cars could pass but cyclists were allowed through -- ideal conditions for going up/down Wada, except for the patch of 100 meters or so where the construction is. The witch's house was all closed up.

... another ride tomorrow, shorter, starting at 7:30AM from my house with Jerome.


Manfred von Holstein said...

The golf course route is indeed tedious. I can't say I enjoy it but I still find it better than going on route 20.

Wada is under construction Monday to Saturday. The gates are open on Sunday and so is the witch house.

David L. said...

Thanks, Ludwig. I gather you are getting very familiar with Wada.

... Jerome and I rode out this morning. We went together to Okutama-ko (via Yoshino-Kaido/Oume), then I turned around and headed for home. Jerome had fresh legs and went on over Kazahari for his return ... and was back home only 45 minutes after me. I had tired legs and slogged home, but did manage to stop at Aurore in front of Oume Station (a tradition since 2007), and to keep my average for the entire ride at just over 27 kph, despite some wind and the after effects of my trip over Ura Wada yesterday. Two 140 km+ rides in one weekend in February. Yippee!

Manfred von Holstein said...


I ventured into Gunma today - probably unknown territory for most Positivo Espressos. Report to follow.

TOM said...

David...280k in one February weekend...that is a remarkable feat! Yes, I love those two little golf course hills.... but only because they are so short!

Ludwig...your peregrinations seem to take you to increasingly distant destinations! Can't wait to read about it!