Another Tour de Nagano

andy_w

Warming-Up
Feb 4, 2009
143
4
0
Tokyo
tri-japan.blogspot.com
#1
With another public holiday on Monday, and the weather looking warm and relatively stable I am thinking of following at least some of Mike and Ludwigs tyremarks in Nagano this weekend.

I have a tentative plan, starting Enzan to Chino then to a place I really like the sound of, Besho Onsen. Please give me any comments about the route for day 1 and day 2!

Ive heard of the BIG Odarumitoge before, is this the correct road out of Enzan?

Day 1 Enzan - Chino
http://www.mapmyride.com/route/jp/enzan - chino/592128623928165123

Day 2 Chino - Besho onsen
http://www.mapmyride.com/route/jp/chino - besho onsen/279128623973276260

Day 3
Besho Onsen - Matsumoto (even Hakuba?) Depends on tiredness, weather, etc etc but it will be the easiest route possible. Which will of course be very hilly

An alternative is the Norikura loop, but I really dont want to cycle up those series of tunnels out of Matsumoto. But if I can get on a bus and start from the village of Norikura, then it would be great to ride this mountain again.

Does anyone want to join in for part of the route, especially the climb of odarumitoge?
 

paullb

Warming-Up
May 24, 2010
57
0
0
Fuchu
#4
No I didnt know - thats why I was asking! Thanks for the reply.

Is it unrideable?
I've not ridden it myself, but according to my Touring Mapple the dirt is 9km long and an image search (here) makes it look like it is pretty rocky. I wouldn't want to roll over that on my road bike.
 

Wolfman

Speeding Up
Jul 31, 2007
631
18
38
Suginamiku
#5
I really wish I could join you. Beshonsen is one of my favourite little towns. They have lovely hot springs (sulphuric smelling kind) and some really beautiful temples there, including a wonderful pagoda.
If you can, I recommend stopping the night there.

I haven't cycled there yet as I normally go along 143 then turn off at Aoki village onto Route 12. This is the road just above Beshonsen on the map.
There are some nice toge's round there and you can loop it to Utsugushigahara etc.

I think Tom and Ludwig did Odarumi on their cyclocross bikes recently....
 

paullb

Warming-Up
May 24, 2010
57
0
0
Fuchu
#7
I would have loved to join you on that, but with exams the following week I have to stay back and study.

Cycling to restart on the 15th!
 

Ludwig

Speeding Up
Oct 9, 2008
871
0
36
Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
#8
Hi Andy,

You don't want to do the north side of Odarumi. You can do this only with a cyclocross or mountain bike downhill. Uphill is tough even with these bikes and will require quite some walking (the surface is just too sandy or stony in places, with the road being washed out pretty badly).

You could go over the Crystal Line though and then Shinshu Toge to get you into the Kawakami-mura valley (where you would end up going down Odarumi or Mikuni as I have also done). I can map this out for you if you are interested. This is a fair bit of climbing though so I'm not sure you would want to do Mugikusa Toge on the same day, at least not if you want to save some energy for the remaining days.

Your Chino - Bessho Onsen route will take you through nice territory. I would recommend building at least Kurumayama into the route at the start, possibly also the lake - that area is very scenic. I also recommend considering avoiding descending from Utsukushigahara all the way down and then up to Takeshi Toge. I have done this, but the descend is on a very rough road and the ascend very long, without much of a view. (I was misled by two maps which both gave Takeshi Toge at 1,350m even though it is 1,850m!) Instead, cycle over the gravel road across the Utsukushigahara meadow (quite doable, Mike and I had no problems) and thus stay up around 2,000m to get to Takeshi Toge. It is very scenic up there and you don't want to miss it (unless you are in clouds anyhow, which could easily happen this weekend.)

I wanted to take this small road over the Misayama Tunnel to get to Bessho Onsen just like you, but missed the turn - though now I know where it is. The maps indicate this turn as Takeshi Toge, but in reality there is no sign there and just a closed, overgrown rindo turning off. Takeshi Toge is where the rindo comes up from Asama Onsen. I have no idea whether that overgrown rindo is passable by road bike (at least the surface is paved), but would like to find out one day. (Because I missed this turn, I ended up in Matsumoto rather than Ueda that day - quite a surprise, but not a big deal.)

Hope this helps with the planning.

Good luck! Ludwig
 

TOM

Maximum Pace
#9
I think Tom and Ludwig did Odarumi on their cyclocross bikes recently....
Yes indeed we did! Here's some reading on that rough ride.

While some sections are probably fine on a mountain bike, others are just outright dangerous (if going down) because of huge chunks of rock sometimes interspersed with sandy patches. We did come across one guy on a mountain bike who seemed to enjoy the downhill.

Whichever route you choose, have fun!
 

andy_w

Warming-Up
Feb 4, 2009
143
4
0
Tokyo
tri-japan.blogspot.com
#13
Thanks for all your comments, its just me against the weather now! (But Steve T might join in on day 2 or 3)

If the weather is really bad, at least I can sit in the onsen all day. Monday looks to be the best day, so I'll have at least one good day in the mountains.

With Ludwigs advice, my tour looks like this now:


Day 1 Chino -> Bessho Onsen
http://www.mapmyride.com/route/jp/chino - bessho onsen/694128633820422918

Day 2 Visit matsumoto jo, plus Utsukushigahara
http://www.mapmyride.com/route/jp/matsumoto/581128633866739243

Day 3 loop north east to Nagano
http://www.mapmyride.com/route/jp/bessho -> nagano/701128633848540890

Not great distances, but Im allowing for
1: getting lost
2: getting punctures
3: getting cold
4: getting lost
 

Ludwig

Speeding Up
Oct 9, 2008
871
0
36
Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
#16
Looks like a reasonable plan to me. As you say, not enormous distances, but still plenty of climbing for three days. The last day will be your hardest (assuming you don't end up in rain on the first day). Good you are doing Jizo Toge first on the last day - this is a long, relentless slog, and not that scenic. The climb out of Kusatsu and beyond is very nice (and not so steep), but there will be a lot of tourist traffic.

Have fun, Ludwig
 

Mike

Maximum Pace
Sep 24, 2007
1,066
9
58
Kanagawa
#17
Looks like a reasonable plan to me. As you say, not enormous distances, but still plenty of climbing for three days. The last day will be your hardest (assuming you don't end up in rain on the first day). Good you are doing Jizo Toge first on the last day - this is a long, relentless slog, and not that scenic. The climb out of Kusatsu and beyond is very nice (and not so steep), but there will be a lot of tourist traffic.

Have fun, Ludwig
Oh man, Jizo togs brings back terrible memories, she sure is one long , steep and boring climb. The day Ludwig and I hit it it was stinking hot and we had to stop a couple of times to ward off heat stroke. The first 5 km Is very steep, around 10-12% and then it levels off to around 6-8%. As Ludwig said the roads from kusatsu onwards will make up for Jizo. Enjoy Andy;)