13 September 2009

Chichibu Delayed

I wanted to try to get in a big ride today, after rain on Saturday, and hearing about Michael and Domenic's great ride on Friday.

With an early start, I figured I could do the ride planned for last weekend -- and make it to and up the Green Line -- or maybe do something like Michael and Domenic ... but go a bit further, maybe end up at Karuizawa via the same forest road from 15-20 km South that I enjoyed in July. Despite the best of intentions to ride at or soon after 6AM, some mechanical problems caused me to turn back after less than 10 km to go home and get a temporary fix, and then I ended up riding around near Y's until after their 9AM Sunday open.
On my way after 10AM, having done plenty of shopping, and installed a new seatpost clamp.

I tried a new way into Chichibu (for me -- old hat for Tom and probably some others). Instead of taking Nariki Kaido I made a right turn and ended up going parallel somewhat to the North, on Rte 193, zigged right on Rte 70 and zagged left on tiny Rte 350 -- which goes up the valley toward Takedera and Nenogongen.

Rte 193 was a nice alternative to Nariki Kaido -- less traffic, and a wider lane with shoulder.

Of course, there were some Chichibu sized "rollers":
I took a right turn about 7-8 km before Nenogongen and climbed over the next ridge to the North and down to Rte 299, just East of Adano station. I headed East down 299, looking for the turn off for the climb up to the Green Line ... until I realized after 4-5 km that I must have started already East of the turn off, and retraced my steps up Rte 299 toward the West.

I climbed up to Takayama Fudo -- a temple on the ridge. After a climb through a nice cool forest, the road became slippery, to the point where my wheel spun repeatedly and I needed to walk. The lower climb:
After getting to the temple, at 650 meters elevation (last part VERY steep -- reminiscent of Kazahari Rindo -- I had the typical Chichibu experience, leaving the temple and still needing to climb UP to get onto the ridge, then traveling on the ridge and climbing UP (complete with switch backs) to get to a higher part of the ridge.

Anyway, there were lots of spectacular views, of ridge upon ridge stretching into the distance, and lots of ups and downs on the road in order to arrive at Karibazaka Pass (818 meters). Then a descent back toward 299 at the mouth of the tunnel, and the climb up to Shomaru Touge, where I enjoyed some quick udon thanks to Sato-san, Saito-san and Suzuki-san at the Okumura Chaya, and then started a long slog home.

The usual boring home ride along the river, with (almost) no natural beauty and (almost) nothing memorable to look at:

A nice 200 km+ ride, with 2100 meters climbing, the last stretch home in the dark to arrive at 645PM. Good night!

1 comment:

TOM said...

Really like those pictures of the evening skies above the Tamagawa! I got home at 17:00 yesterday and the sun rays felt pleasantly warm. This coming long weekend, I will try out that Shomaru Italian restaurant with my wife (hiking not cycling). We used to stay there every Summer with the family (log cabin) with the restaurant specializing in Gingis Khan. The view from the restaurant's terrace is really nice. (BTW, the name of that toge on the Green Line is Karibazaka)