|The valley NW of Matsumoto|
I arrived at the start point around 9:45AM, later than I would have liked but in plenty of time for a 10AM start. Almost all the riders were already heading out, having checked in and passed through the bike inspection. I got my bicycle, checked in, and headed out, the last 2-3 riders still visible up the coast ahead.
|There and back again - Garmin battery lasted the first 300 kms|
This route along the east shore of the Fujikawa is well known to brevet riders and other longer distance road cyclists in Japan -- low traffic, nice scenery, 3 or 4 nasty little hills, and frequent strong winds in one direction or the other. Other than the wind, it is generally a good way to get from the coast to the area nears Kofu.
But on Saturday a strong wind from the North that made progress painful. A relatively easy course became a long slog, as we would head North not only up the Fujikawa, but then continuing around the west edge of Minami Alps/Nirasaki on Route 12, then National Route 20 to Fujimi, Chino, Suwa, Shiojiri, then a local road all the way to Azumino/Hotaka. Upwind, uphill, and with plenty of traffic on long stretches during the day on Saturday.
|On the climb to Shiojiri Pass north of Suwa/Okaya ... next to the expressway|
|Sunset nears as we ride to the turnaround, Alps to the west. Beautiful Nagano!|