29 August 2009

Nokogiri-san and Kazahari-rindo Up-Conquered

Jerome and I met Ludwig just past Komae and rode together to Ome where Michael joined us, having come by train. After the P.E. obligatory breads/pastries at Aurore we headed upriver and then over Nokogiri-san (*not to be confused with the other Nokogiri-san in Chiba) from the North side. As Ludwig and Michael had heard, the landslide that blocked the road (and the Ludwig had carried his bike over) earlier this year has now been cleaned up and the narrow forest road was in better condition than the last time I tried it a few years back (though still not great -- Nokogiri-san never will be). Traffic on the ascent -- exactly one motorcycle climbing past us.

Jerome arrives at the summit--suffering up the first hill as usual, but somewhat the worse for wear after a week with his boss in town and not enough sleep Friday night):

On the way down, we stopped to soak in a cool pool:


Then it was up the N. Fork of the Akigawa and onto the Kazahari Rindo. The road was blocked on the lower slope by a paving operation, but we could carry our bikes a few meters and continue up -- again with no traffic beond that point.

We did find an ambulance just before the start of the TCC-approved timed portion, a convenient place for Michael to collapse:


Ludwig and Michael climbed ahead, but Jerome and I also made it up to Kazahari pass, suffering in the heat on the lower slopes and on the many 15%+ stretches up to the Kinoko Sen-ta (the "mushroom center"). Ludwig made it in 27 minutes, a personal best. Michael followed, and Jerome and I were 15 (16?) minutes back. But at least I made my goal -- up both Nokogiri and this slope without a foot down. After replacing Jerome's rear tube, which flatted at the top, we quickly moved on to Tomin no Mori for some sustenance.

Food first:


Conversation later (including more details of Ludwig's successful effort to "talk his way through" the no-bicycle tunnel from Chichibu to Enzan):



After a descent down the Akigawa, we parted ways at the turn off for Kobu. Michael and Ludwig wanted to go via Kobu Tunnel (then Ludwig via Wada and Michael ... not sure, maybe by train from Uenohara?).


In any event, Jerome and I went straight down the valley and home from Itsukaichi. Ludwig and Michael will need to tell us what happened on the Kobu/Uenohara route. The humidity along the river was oppressive, but less headwind than normal for the afternoon trip home, and we averaged just under 33 kph over the 80 kilometers from Tomin no Mori to Futakotamagawa, wrapping up a classic Positivo Espresso ride of 175 km and 2000 meters of climbing.

Route Map:

3 comments:

TOM said...

Good to know Nokogiriyama is ridable again! Jerome, your resemblance to Bernard Hinault is striking!

Manfred von Holstein said...

I enjoyed the ride together.

Michael and I crested Kobo with the Japanese rider in tow who had kindly taken our photo and who had asked us for the way to Uenohara.

While Michael went to Uenohara to make it home for squash, I continued through the golf course hills to climb Wada which was quite nice in the afternoon. Back down in the Kanto plain, the temperature was again up at 31 degrees, and only when I arrived home (after a total of 200km) and started drinking literally liters of water did I realise how the heat had pulled so much water from my body.

Here is my GPS trail (the last part from the bottom of Wada drawn by hand because my device ran out of battery):

http://www.mapmyride.com/route/jp/kanto/895125163897412702

mob said...

Wonderful trips and wonderful photos of Ludwig and myself (eating, talking, collapsing) - Thank you David.

I rode home by train from Uenohara which took me less than 2 hours door to door. I just had enough time to redress before I left for the Tokyo American Club to play a round of squash.

Obviously I was in very bad shape then.

By chance I met James (Jimmy) and that was the first time ever at the TAC that I met somebody I know.