|The Renovo poses at Wada Toge in the usual place|
|130 kms and 1700 meters of elevation gain (if you believe RidewithGPS and Strava).|
I headed for Hachioij, then onto Jimba Kaido toward the hills. I realized that it has been a LONG time since I have gone the main road up Wada. Too much traffic, and shorter (if steeper) than the Daigo Rindo alternative (which is plenty steep, and actually climbs 35-40 meters higher, to boot). Today, I thought there would not be much traffic, mid-winter, and I was a bit worried about debris and perhaps ice on the rindo, so I decided to go straight up Jimba Kaido. On the approach, I was not disappointed. The weather was spectacular and there was almost no traffic.
|On Jimba Kaido!|
|College student heading for Kobe via the inland route|
I realized as I headed toward the stretch to the base of the climb that I had not seen the Women of Jimba Kaido in a long time. Were they still there? Still unclothed? Did they miss me? Or had someone else taken them away. I was delighted to see that the Women were still outside, unclothed and beautiful. But there clearly had been activity. I think a major change in the troupe--fewer massive reclining bodies and more diversity. Still plenty of headless bodies though!
|Some of the Women of Jimba Kaido|
For the first time ever, I could hear the sculptor at work, even see him through an open window along the road.
Anyway, I did the climb slowly, and needed to get off the bike twice because of traffic -- once when a cyclist coming down tried to go around me on my left/his right, and I needed to put a foot down and walk a few meters to somewhere with enough room to remount and lock in, cursing him for not passing on the left. Then there was the classic traffic jam -- Honda Odyssey going up and similar car trying to come down. They were facing off each other and the Honda was starting to back down, but there was not room for me to ride by, so I dismounted and walked around both cars. Next time I will take the rindo.
|Some snow near the top, but not much!|
|Near the top|
|Mikan, Palm Trees, and Tea Bushes!|
I headed down to the west since my sweat was starting to get cold from chatting at 700 meters elevation. The west side was great, a beautiful valley as usual, no traffic, only a bit of slush and ice near the top--but always a clear path through on dry pavement.
I had forgotten that getting from the west side of Wada to Fujino does include one short climb. Then I was on Route 20. Instead of continuing over Otarumi, I headed SE and took the high forest road on the North side of Lake Tsukui.
|Tsukui field -- I have photos all seasons. But this does not look quite like I remember previous winters.|
|On the north side of Tsukui. Just beautiful today.|
|Shadows getting long as I leave Tsukui behind|
January has been a good start to the cycling year, especially in comparison with the past two years!