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Anyone ride gravel?

TheAussieinJapan

Maximum Pace
Apr 15, 2014
198
342
@TheAussieinJapan that looks like it could be joined onto the sayamako loop pretty easily
Will definatley need to check it out soon
After reading these threads I took some alternative routes up to Kawagoe from Arakawa spaceship instead of the usual Arakawa road.

With all the rice planting it was really nice selecting a route they took in maximum amount of gravel between paddy fields. Often running parallel to a major road I could choose the ride fields. Just use satellite view when planning a route helped.

Shingashi River was able to get me almost all the way to Kawagoe nearly all gravel/dirt/grass on top of river embankments. Binnuma River from Arakawa cycling road then joining Shingashi river was a fun ride too.

Next ride might try to take Shingashi & branch off onto the Furo river back to Lake Tama instead of my usual Kawagoe coffee visit.
 

djentleman

Cruising
Mar 6, 2021
31
36
Went on a bit of an adventure with @47no yesterday and used some of the rivers you mentioned @TheAussieinJapan . We were suprised how much of it was gravel, especially on Kuromegawa (i think thats how you read it). It also leads pretty much all of the way to Tamako, meaning it's possible to cut off most of the tamako cycling road.

Will have to do another ride joining it up with some other good spots (Shibagawa, Tamagawa etc) soon

 

speedwobble

Scorpions - I can't get enough!
Jun 26, 2017
192
269
There's a 2019 Canyon Grail with the double handlebar and full GRX on Yahoo Auctions for 200,000 yen with a buy-it-now for 228,000. Its a lot of gravel grinder for that money. Its a "small" but a small in Canyon is an M or M/L in other brands.

 

andywood

Maximum Pace
Apr 8, 2008
2,894
3,033
There's a 2019 Canyon Grail with the double handlebar and full GRX on Yahoo Auctions for 200,000 yen with a buy-it-now for 228,000. Its a lot of gravel grinder for that money. Its a "small" but a small in Canyon is an M or M/L in other brands.

Don't know if it's the same bike or not but this is a 54 good as new listed at approximately the same price on FB.


Andy
 

speedwobble

Scorpions - I can't get enough!
Jun 26, 2017
192
269
That one's even better, it's Di2 (!) At 220,000, its beyond "bargain" and into "steal" territory. Get yourself some lighter wheels with tubeless 32s and it will double as a sub-8kg Di2 endurance roadie that is still more forgiving than 99% of the road bikes ever made.

The Yahoo Auctions bike sold last night for the buy it now price.
 

TokyoLiving

Maximum Pace
Dec 9, 2015
788
450
@andywood

Hey there Andy,

Allen here. If you recall we rode together for a spell during the Myoko Fondo last year and I contacted you on Strava the other day commenting on one of your gravel ride posts.

As I mentioned, I've got a 2 month stretch of vacation time from mid-July onward and planning a 2-3 day gravel vacation. Gravel riding a lot in the Tokyo area, but time to venture beyond.

Plan is to train it out to your neck of the woods, stay in a Ryokan for a few nights using it as base camp and do gravel rides in the area. Do you have any suggestions? I used to teach summers in Kashiwazaki I believe one of the areas you posted.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

AL
 

andywood

Maximum Pace
Apr 8, 2008
2,894
3,033
@andywood

Hey there Andy,

Allen here. If you recall we rode together for a spell during the Myoko Fondo last year and I contacted you on Strava the other day commenting on one of your gravel ride posts.

As I mentioned, I've got a 2 month stretch of vacation time from mid-July onward and planning a 2-3 day gravel vacation. Gravel riding a lot in the Tokyo area, but time to venture beyond.

Plan is to train it out to your neck of the woods, stay in a Ryokan for a few nights using it as base camp and do gravel rides in the area. Do you have any suggestions? I used to teach summers in Kashiwazaki I believe one of the areas you posted.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

AL

Kashiwazaki is my home of 20 years. I do most of my gravel rides out of here.

If you are interested in the beach, I would recommend riding in the morning and hitting the beach in the afternoon.

Not a Ryokan, but I'd recommend Sea Youth, as it set on the beach and has a nice bar/restaurant and 711 across the street. It's closed now but is planning to reopen this summer.


Failing that, a business hotel near the station or a family ryokan by the sea in Kujiranami beach, which is a popular spot, has a conbini, and has immediate access to the mountains.

I'm off for a month from July 22nd so can probably show you around parental duties permitting.

Another option, if you can get a car, would be to camp at Snow Peak HQ in Sanjo. We went there today. It's a huge network of gravel. Likewise, my mate could probably show you around if you give plenty of notice.

Compared to Myoko, there is much more gravel here and generally in better condition. Sanjo a bit wilder. It's all up and down but nothing more than a few hundred metres. With the exception of Mt. Yoneyama Rindo which goes from 0m to 800m.

Let me know what you are thinking.

Cheers, Andy
 

TokyoLiving

Maximum Pace
Dec 9, 2015
788
450
Kashiwazaki is my home of 20 years. I do most of my gravel rides out of here.

If you are interested in the beach, I would recommend riding in the morning and hitting the beach in the afternoon.

Not a Ryokan, but I'd recommend Sea Youth, as it set on the beach and has a nice bar/restaurant and 711 across the street. It's closed now but is planning to reopen this summer.


Failing that, a business hotel near the station or a family ryokan by the sea in Kujiranami beach, which is a popular spot, has a conbini, and has immediate access to the mountains.

I'm off for a month from July 22nd so can probably show you around parental duties permitting.

Another option, if you can get a car, would be to camp at Snow Peak HQ in Sanjo. We went there today. It's a huge network of gravel. Likewise, my mate could probably show you around if you give plenty of notice.

Compared to Myoko, there is much more gravel here and generally in better condition. Sanjo a bit wilder. It's all up and down but nothing more than a few hundred metres. With the exception of Mt. Yoneyama Rindo which goes from 0m to 800m.

Let me know what you are thinking.

Cheers, Andy
Hey Andy,

Thanks for the reply and all that great info. I will be in touch when I nail down the dates, but I'm sold on the area and will plan the trip around Kashiwazaki. Really looking forward to it!

Rather than doing this in a public forum do you use any other apps or FB messenger?
 

andywood

Maximum Pace
Apr 8, 2008
2,894
3,033
Hey Andy,

Thanks for the reply and all that great info. I will be in touch when I nail down the dates, but I'm sold on the area and will plan the trip around Kashiwazaki. Really looking forward to it!

Rather than doing this in a public forum do you use any other apps or FB messenger?

Gravel grinding as we speak.

PM here or FB messenger is good.

Cheers, Andy
 

jdd

Maximum Pace
Hardest Crash
Jul 26, 2008
2,985
1,383
I wonder if it's possible to do "the length of japan" exclusively on gravel...?
 

andywood

Maximum Pace
Apr 8, 2008
2,894
3,033
Today's gravel misadventure!

「school boy errors!」
today I plotted out a gravel event course
12 gravel sectors of around 6km each
a 90 to 100km out and back course
total gravel 70km / 2,600m
on sector 8 I got a small puncture
the sealant fixed it
but with a twisty descent ahead of me
I decided to add some air with the pump
but the valve snapped
and stuck in the pump head!
all the air out of the tyre
a broken valve
a broken pump
just one CO2 cartridge
the one chance saloon!
I inserted a tube
loaded the cartridge
click!
but no fire!
it had already been used!
talk about a schoolboy error!
I ran the 3km descent
knocked on the first door
and freed up the pump with some borrowed pliers
air in the tyre
ride on!
no tricks left
I should have gone home on road
but I want to map this course
to sector 9!
the gravel climb
the rocky descent
pop goes the tube!
another 3km gravel descent on foot
call the wife
my annual get out of jail card already used up!
once home
a nail in the tyre!
took me a while to get it plugged
120ml more sealant
ready for a big gravel ride tomorrow!
#teamimezi #imezi #imezi167 #167grv #imezisealant #プロジェクト167 #raphaprestige #grinduro #gfmyoko

 

djentleman

Cruising
Mar 6, 2021
31
36
sucks about the tyre, but wow look at those trails!

I think I will do a long weekend up there in September
 

andywood

Maximum Pace
Apr 8, 2008
2,894
3,033
sucks about the tyre, but wow look at those trails!

I think I will do a long weekend up there in September

@TokyoLiving is planning to come here in the summer. Maybe you could come together.

I was plotting this route with him in mind.

Basically all forest rindos and mostly gravel. It is all up and down but you don't go up too high and it is easy to escape out of there, as I did twice today.

12 gravel sectors. 6 out, 6 in.

The ride was cut short today. But this gives you an idea of the gravel sectors.

20210528_224221.jpg

Cheers Andy
 

djentleman

Cruising
Mar 6, 2021
31
36
I'll keep you updated on my plans - but nothing concrete yet. I'm just thinking I'll wait for it to be a bit less hot and humid.

Looks great though, much better than what we have in Tokyo - It's hard for me to get to any rindos making it a century.
 

andywood

Maximum Pace
Apr 8, 2008
2,894
3,033
Today's gravel ride didn't happen, so I had to improvise!

「mock up of the mock up rapha gravel ride」
after the puncture adventures of yesterday
last night I set up the tyre under the light of the car headlights
and threw the bike in the back of the car
a 430 drive to sanjo this morning to ride the rapha course
pull the bike out of the car
only to find the tyre all warped!
I didn't ride it flat yesterday
but pushed the bike for 6km of gravel
enough to deform the tyre?
I'll install a new tyre tomorrow and investigate further
for now the gravel ride is a DNS
drive home and jump on the road bike
it's been ages but the continental competition 25mm tubs with Imezi fine sealant still hold air
the 50mm Astuto wheels I've been riding with no issues since the Gran Fondo Worlds in 2016!
reliable, light and fast
nothing else is necessary
head for some smooth forest roads
I want 3,000m in 100km
the newly paved kurohime rindo is a delight
the isonobe switchbacks are always welcoming
shiba pass always has great views
more forest roads towards ogami dake
dirty asphalt feels like velvet after riding gravel
ogami dake is great as you enter the upper slopes
ancient buna beech forests
always a few degrees cooler
you can taste the oxygen
and see the deer in the natural open trees
out of the forest cover
and the wind is whipping up off the japan sea up here to 700m
don the windbreaker
komura pass and home
rest day tomorrow
#teamimezi #imezi #imezi167 #167grv #imezisealant #プロジェクト167 #raphaprestige #grinduro #gfmyoko #astuto

 

andywood

Maximum Pace
Apr 8, 2008
2,894
3,033
I'll take a few guys out on a gravel out and back course this Saturday.

This is the course I am thinking of maybe using for an event in the future and for anyone who wants to try a gravel ride in Niigata.

FB link and cut and paste below. Cheers, Andy


「ImeZi GRV KK gravel classic trial event」

kashiwazaki yume no mori park, saturday june 5th, 7:30am start

※85km (95km with gravel lead in / return)
※total 74km of x12 GRV sectors
※2,600m up

course notes:

(5km lead in from yume no mori park to gravel kilometre zero)
☆GRV sector1: 6.6km (km zero ~6.6km) gravel forest road
☆GRV sector2: 6.5km (7.5 ~14km)
first half gravel / second half tarmac rolling forest road
☆GRV sector3: 4.6km (16.8 ~ 21.2km)
gravel climb and descent
☆GRV sector4: 5.8km (21.6 ~ 27.4km)
gravel climb and descent
☆GRV sector5: 6.1km (30 ~ 36.1km)
asphalt climb / gravel descent
☆GRV sector6: 5.6km (36.1 ~41.7km)
gravel climb and descent
☆LAWSON CP @42.4km
☆GRV sector7: 5.7km (43 ~ 48.7km)
gravel climb and descent
☆GRV sector8: 6.3km (48.7 ~ 55km)
gravel climb / asphalt descent
☆GRV sector9: 5.8km (57.5 ~ 63.3km)
gravel climb and descent
☆GRV sector10: 4.6km (63.7 ~ 67.9km)
gravel climb and descent
☆GRV sector11: 6.5km (70.7 ~ 77.2km)
first half tarmac / second half gravel rolling forest road
☆GRV sector12: 6.6km (78.1 ~ 84.7km)
gravel forest road
(5km return to yume no mori park)

#teamimezi #imezi #imezi167 #167grv #imezisealant #プロジェクト167 #raphaprestige #grinduro #gfmyoko
 

TheAussieinJapan

Maximum Pace
Apr 15, 2014
198
342
I’ve been taking both my Domane and my Fairdale along different rivers in Tokyo with a mix of gravel, bitumen, dirt and paving.

Followed those rivers up to Lake Tama we talked about and did the loop of Lake Sayama dodging oldies spread out across the trail. If you just keep the chain fence on one side it seems to make a decent ride. Strava has a tough job sometimes routing when taking a mix of surfaces, and I seem to struggle a bit with Komoot.

Was good to take the river route most of the way out to the lake avoiding those busy roads although I did end up on the Tama cycling road but left it as soon as I could. They’ve made a pedestrian path and separate bike path but it’s a free for all.

Today on an Arakawa ride to Kawagoe took some detours through rice field dirt/gravel paths which was fun. Satellite view has been helping me to find some quieter roads in Saitama closer to Tokyo.
8F7F682D-D9D3-48B3-A9D8-9BB2D49D7B58.jpeg
 
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