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Anyone ride gravel?

djentleman

Cruising
Mar 6, 2021
38
51
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.
View attachment 31621
I was planning on a kawagoe loop last weekend but was unable to go in the end, I'll have to check out these side roads next time i go there

There is also a nice gravel track that comes off of arakawa/irumagawa at the bridge to the west of kawagoe (入間大橋) , but unfortunatley it dead ends after a few km
 

speedwobble

Scorpions - I can't get enough!
Jun 26, 2017
222
307
I went up the gravel climb in Kinasa, Nagano that's on the Myoko Gran Fondo course yesterday. We did it in the 2020 direction and just on road bikes with 25c. It's a tough climb, about 450 vert at close to 8% if you include the steep concrete at the bottom. The gravel was quite rough in parts, but was mostly dry and made a fun change from climbing regular rindo. That particular road opens up onto big views of the Togakushi mountains, which are really gnarly and otherworldly. Andy's team flew up this climb last year in the event.

The plan this year is for the Gran Fondo is to go in the opposite direction, so that will bring its own challenges. I don't mind climbing gravel on skinny tyres, but I'd want something fatter going down. You can go much faster with less anxiety and more recovery, so it's win-win-win.
 

andywood

Maximum Pace
Apr 8, 2008
2,933
3,102
I went up the gravel climb in Kinasa, Nagano that's on the Myoko Gran Fondo course yesterday. We did it in the 2020 direction and just on road bikes with 25c. It's a tough climb, about 450 vert at close to 8% if you include the steep concrete at the bottom. The gravel was quite rough in parts, but was mostly dry and made a fun change from climbing regular rindo. That particular road opens up onto big views of the Togakushi mountains, which are really gnarly and otherworldly. Andy's team flew up this climb last year in the event.

The plan this year is for the Gran Fondo is to go in the opposite direction, so that will bring its own challenges. I don't mind climbing gravel on skinny tyres, but I'd want something fatter going down. You can go much faster with less anxiety and more recovery, so it's win-win-win.

That climb was quite rocky from what I remember.

I wouldn't want to descend it on narrow tyres or rim brakes.

I'm running 43mm tyres on my new gravel bike which is a game changer.

In addition to Myoko, this gravel event is definitely one for the calendar next year.

Cheers, Andy

 

speedwobble

Scorpions - I can't get enough!
Jun 26, 2017
222
307
Yeah, it was good the road was dry. We got up it with no punctures, well done Conti GP 4000 and 5000, but our tyres wouldn't last long doing that often.

My son goes to school on a gravel bike, a GT Grade I got second hand. Its an XXXS, but the stack and reach are only about 30mm off my Canyon and I could probably ride it with a big stem and seatpost. That'll take 35c block tyres. I must say doing a super tough Gran Fondo I'm never going to win on a child's bike with Shimano Claris has its own appeal. Otherwise I suppose I could hack a rigid mtb fork onto my disc road bike and go big in the front. I can get a 32c block tyre on the rear, but as is, a 32c slick is all I can get on the front with the normal fork.
 

andywood

Maximum Pace
Apr 8, 2008
2,933
3,102
Another big gravel ride on Sunday.

We had our local "Gururin 200km" road event on Sunday. I decided to try and do the same distance on forest roads. 5000m elevation for my troubles!

I put videos, photos and a ride report on the Imezi blog.


GORAN KUDASAI!

Andy
 
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