14 September 2014

Sunday ride with the next generation

Today was probably the nicest weather for riding in the Tokyo area since May.  My son Henry (not to be confused with other PE founding members' sons Henry) is visiting home before returning to the U.S. for Fall quarter of university, so we took a Sunday ride.

Henry has done the Hakone Ekiden ride as far as Odawara several times, and last year we did a climb from Chino through Tateshina then down to Ueda, but never gone over 100 kms by bicycle, and he has no bicycle in Chicago at university though he does plenty of other exercise.  Yesterday he rode to Yomiuri Land and back, and did a couple of repeats up Yomiuri V Dori.  Today, we decided to head toward the Akigawa and Tomin no Mori.  It has the benefit of being only a single climb, so possible at any point to bail out and return home if it proved too much.

The traffic -- both cars and, on the Tamagawa path, bikes/pedestrians -- seemed heavy as we headed up the Tamagawa.  It got even worse as we headed out toward Musashi Itsukaichi.  Places where Tokyo Route 7 normally clears out completely instead were full of cars.  Going through Itsukaichi there were preparations for the Aki-Matsuri (fall festival).  And more traffic.  There was a line of cars several hundred meters long waiting for the traffic light at Tokura, the last 7-11 before the climb up the Akigawa really starts.

At Motojuku / Hinohara Town Office, we decided we would be better off to avoid the traffic of the climb to Tomin no Mori.  Instead we headed for Tokisaka Pass -- my third trip in the past several months.
View from the Tokisaka Toge no Chaya

Henry at the pass
As usual, there was almost no traffic on the climb, and there were a few hikers and motorcyclists at the toge-no-chaya.

We decided to head for the main soba restaurant -- Michiko no soba tei -- in the woods.  I could practically taste the delicious tempura and soba as the building came into view.  But it was closed! Perhaps the staff were part of the Aki Matsuri going on down the hill?
We decide to head for the "main house" (本家) soba place and Edo period magistrate's resting place.

The spectacular old building comes into view.

But it is closed!
In any event, we got soba at a restaurant off the main road and across a bridge on the way back to Tokura/Itsukaichi.
Bikes at the soba place where we ended up.

Where we ended up eating lunch.
The matsuri was almost ready to start as we passed through Itsukaichi.  And we could hear drums beating and traditional instruments at various places along the ride home.
Matsuri!  Henry's PE jersey still looks like new.

Flowering trees .. as I manage to catch a break in the line of cars to snap a photo.
Then a nice -- if slower than usual -- ride back into town, the weather still pleasant, the roads still crowded.

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