05 December 2010

The Y's Have It

Jerome and I did a "scouting" ride on Saturday, checking out the road conditions to Yanagisawa Pass as he contemplates his idea of a 2-day year-end ride from Tokyo to Kyoto (to the extent practicable, via an interior route).  Whether this is do-able will depend on the weather conditions, to say the least.
We have gotten in a very nice series of late-year rides, the weather being far more cooperative in Kanto than it has been for our colleagues in the Positivo Espresso European chapters.  Two weeks ago there was Yamanakako (via Yamabushi Pass), then last weekend Yabitsu 2X, and now Yanagisawa.  Oh Yeah!
On December 4 mid-day, as the sun cleared the hilltops and shown down warmly on the Michi-no-Eki (rest stop) at Tabayama-Mura, Jerome's idea of an interior ride to Kyoto seemed not such a crazy idea.

It might not seem quite as smart when trying to change a flat tire at 10 or 11PM Dec 30 on National Rte 19, somewhere along the Kisogawa in Nagano/Gifu, in sub-freezing temperatures.
In any event, on Saturday I was suffering some after-effects of a Friday evening feast, did not feel at my strongest, so we just went up to Yanagisawa, stopped for Curried Udon, turned around and I hopped the train from Oume, instead of crazier ideas such as a side trip to Kamihikawa, or maybe coming home via Imagawa Pass and a soak in the hot spring in Kosuge that we missed on Halloween morning.  Still, 170+ km and over 2000 meters of climbing for me, and home by 6PM.  Jerome, of course, rode all the way home, putting his day at 230 km or so.
The climb up Route 411 beyond Okutama-ko was ... peaceful, with very little traffic, as nice as I have ever seen it.  The view from Yanagisawa toward Mt. Fuji was breathtaking.

Even more so without obstructions:
On the way up the hill, the thermometer at 1400 meters elevation reported 11 degrees C.  On the way back down, after 2PM, the sun had slipped below the edge of the Southern ridge and the valley was entirely in the shade.  The thermometer at 1400 meters showed 4 degrees.
We stopped briefly at Okutama-ko, hoping to catch a ray of sunlight ... but were 15 minutes late, the sun slipping across the waters and still lighting the dam and opposite hillside.
As with last weekend, this was a nice, recreational pace.
I'll embed the Garmin data ... but one complaint.  Garmin has switched from Google Maps to an MS/Bing version.  I hope they are saving money and will pass the savings on to the consumer, since it seems to provide a noticeably inferior view on screen.


Manfred von Holstein said...

I had the same beautiful view of Fuji from Yanagisawa a week ago, and I suspect Tom too. Yanagisawa was the end of my cyclocross trip on various new rindos in the area:


BTW, your post is perfect proof of how unreliable the altitude gained readings are. The site says 2,700m of climbing, which is clearly a gross exaggeration. You say 2,000m, which is probably what the unit stated. But how can it be that much when the pass is at less than 1,500m and the bit of up and down between the lake and Tabayama can hardly account for 500m, even both ways...

You are rather kind on the Bing maps. They are complete crap! I cannot see anything advantageous about them. Lacking many details, no terrain view, and the road map is outdated (e.g. the first tunnel getting off route 299 just before Sakuho on my trip today is not even on it - but it is on googlemaps.


David L. said...

Glad you got to enjoy the view of Fuji.
As for altitude, I will disable the "correction" feature for this entry on Garmin Connect. The Edge 705 reported a little over 2000 meters for the full trip before corrections, which I think is roughly accurate. The up and down from Okutamako through Tabayama is maybe 200 meters in aggregate, multiplied by two since you get it going each way. Plus a little more up and down further down river (10 meters? after Okutamako station, another 20 meters? after Ikusabata? and so on). Then again, my Garmin device told me that I had done less than 100 meters of climbing when I had gone from near sea level to Oume (around 200 meters elevation).

Knotty said...

Maps: Google vs. Bing vs. Yahoo