23 July 2017

Matsuhime Pass, ahead of the heat

View from near the top of the climb to Matsuhime Pass, looking back down the valley toward Saruhashi
Today Jerome and I wanted to ride, but the heat has been awful. I decided that I would be on a 613AM train from Musashi Mizunoguchi, arriving at Saruhashi at 746AM, meaning I would need to leave home before 545AM.  Jerome wanted to join, but was planning to go later ... but take an express from Shinjuku to Otsuki. I told him he could catch me on the climb. I missed the 613AM train, and ended up at Saruhashi around 815AM. ... and Jerome only 15 minutes or so behind when he started from Otsuki.

The strategy worked really nicely. We met at the top, and enjoyed the last 2/3 of the ride together. The heat was bearable, much more shaded roadway on the South side of Matsuhime than I remembered, a slight breeze, and little traffic (and no traffic at all on the "old road" to Matsuhime Pass, now that Matsuhime Tunnel is open and the old road is closed off on the South approach to the Pass--but still accessible for ingenious cyclists).
Leaving Saruhashi ... but this is not the famous bridge.

Beautiful empty road! Route 139.

Many types of flowers along Route 139

One of the stretches of Route 139 that has not yet been widened. Eventually it should all be 2 lanes, as most of it is.

Approaching Fukashiro Dam.

Hydrangea at the dam in the small rest area.

The reservoir is almost empty. Only generating 124kWs!
(I checked online and my Hiroshima solar project was over 450kWs at the same time Saturday morning 

Turn left just before the LONG Matsuhime Tunnel ... Then go around the locked fence and through several shorter, completely unlighted tunnels.

On the climb. Much more shade than I remember. I took it slow and easy ...

We came from down there. Up, Up, Up!
The bus driver must have been asleep somewhere in the back of this bus. No sign of activity... 

At Matsuhime Pass

Jerome arrives. Wonder why the included English on this one? ... if only they had done so where we entered below, we would have been on notice ...

On Yamanashi Rte 18 after Tsuru Pass, traditional stop for water/rest on the left.

No one is taking care of the gateball court this year. The elderly are now too few and old for gateball!

More hydrangea!
A cold beer and cold udon for recovery at a place in Uenohara complete with bike bar/rack

At Uenohara for the trip back to town. Girls in yukata for summer festivals?
The ride was only 60kms, with around 1700 meters of climbing. Plus another 10kms or so in town getting to/from the trains (and with a stop at C Speed to chat with Hiroshi). I feel as if I have "acclimated" a bit to the heat and humidity for this year, but also as if over the next month my rides will involve early starts and rinko transits to skip the miserably hot slog from and back to town and start nearer climbs that will take me to pleasantly cooler elevation.
Maybe I have reached the point MOB did, where I will no longer have the patience for a slog along the Tamagawa and through the sprawl of Tokyo suburbs? Maybe I will be a regular rinko bag user? Okay, I WILL be a regular rinko bag user, especially after I complete a planned move closer to the middle of Tokyo for the Fall.


Richard said...

You'll need some sturdy rinko nuts ;-)

Brenton said...

So where did you find the coopers?

David Litt said...

Coopers was consumed at an almost cafeteria-style restaurant on the North side of Rte 20 in the middle of Uenohara. They had a bike rack/bar.