18 November 2019

Fall River in Fall / 秋の秋川

The Akigawa Gorge - 秋川渓谷

Weekend work-related events will severely limit my riding opportunities over the next month, so I was not about to miss the opportunity for a ride on Sunday. Jerome had just returned to town, and Peter also wanted to ride, so the three of us headed out. I met Peter at Meguro, and Jerome caught up with us at Futako Tamagawa.

We made excellent time up the Tamagawa and out Mutsumibashi Dori toward Itsukaichi, then stopped for water and a snack at the Seven Eleven on that road just before the Ken-O-Do under/overpasses. This Seven Eleven used to be in a small shopping mall with other shops, and the doors opened to the East in the direction one rides from approaching from the Tamagawa. Now it is alone with a very large parking lot and the doors open North toward the road. It is newer, and bigger, but still a Seven Eleven!
The Rideable part of Minami Fussa Park
The main attraction at the Seven Eleven was a yellowish lime green Lotus roadster with two women in it who were heading up the Akigawa for lunch somewhere beyond our turn-off. Non-cyclists, they were Japanese but spoke English as if each had lived a long time in the USA. Peter, a car person, told me that an old Lotus roadster is not so expensive, but it did look as if it would be very fun to drive on a winding road through the mountains.
Fun to drive!?!
Descending on lower Bonbori Rindo
At Tokura we entered the Bonbori Rindo and started the climb toward Iriyama Touge. We passed by a "road closed for urgent repairs" notice and went around some pylons to continue. There was earthmoving equipment on the left side, a power shovel to remove debris from Typhoon 19. Was that the repair? Alas, no. We only made it about halfway up the climb before we came upon some more serious blockage -- a pile of logs tossed down the hill along the stream in the torrential downpour of that storm.
Not easily surmounted

We gave up and returned toward Tokura, and within a kilometer or two of the U turn, each of Peter and I had flat tires, leaves and other debris on the road hiding some sharp rocks, I think. We passed several Japanese cyclists doing solo rides up. When we told a man on a road bike about the blockage, he turned around. A woman on a mountain bike continued to get in a bit more climbing and see for herself. We no longer had enough time to do the Kobu Tunnel alternative. But we headed up the Akigawa Gorge (秋川渓谷)to the Hinohara Village Office, then did another U-turn for home, stopping at a couple of the gorge's classic photo spots.
Across from the Hinohara Village Office

The typhoon damage still makes it a bit difficult in places along the Tamagawa. The park south of Mutsumibashi (睦橋), Fussa Minami Koen (福生南公園)was blocked off. Again, we could get around the barrier and ride half way through the park, then walk a bit, then ride the remainder. Others were doing the same. The weather was just about perfect for riding.
I walk my bike in Fussa Minami Park
All clear once we passed this footbridge/debris-catcher

Hinobashi near Tachikawa (日野橋), closed for major post-typhoon repairs.
My total distance was around 140km. Almost exactly the same as last weekend's Fuji ride.  That was a tougher ride by far, with more climbing. Is 140km that the "new normal" for me? I really need to do another 20km or even 30km to enjoy many of the Positivo Espresso traditional rides starting from Takanawa -- to get to Tomin no Mori or through Kobu Tunnel or out over Matsuhime Pass. Other classic rides are even further away. Still, my legs felt strong most of Sunday. I feel as if I am getting into good cycling shape again.

And it was great to ride with friends instead of solo.
Out and back

11 November 2019

Four Views of Fuji - South, West, North and East

First view -- South side. On my approach, on Shizuoka Route 72 after the climb up from Shin-Fuji Station to around 450m elevation.

Second view -- West side. Taken from a small road that connects Shizuoka Route 71 with National Route 139 just south of Asagiri Kogen.

Third view -- North side. From Lake Shoji at midday. Spectacular!

Fourth view -- West side. From Lake Yamanaka as I head back toward Tokyo. (If I had waited another 45-50 minutes here with many photographers, I could have taken the "diamond Fuji" with the sun setting directly over the summit ... but that would have meant a cold and dark descent down Doshi Michi).

All in all, an excellent ride. Doshi michi is completely blocked below the Route 76 turn off, and so there was a line of sitting cars several km long on Route 76 trying to get onto Route 20 at Fujino. ... and another line of cars on Route 20 beyond. So I rode cautiously past these cars, then hopped the train from Fujino.
Even Rte 139 near Fuji Yoshida looked nice on Sunday.
A bike alone at the Doshi "michi no eki" with its signs welcoming the Olympic Road Race

Fall colors in fading daylight on lower Yamanashi section of Doshi michi
Endless traffic as Route 76 approaches Route 20 (Koshu Kaido)

The day's route. As you can see, not QUITE straight no S, W, N and E views.
More like SW, W, NNE, ENE?