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Conquering the "Crazy ride"


Maximum Pace
Sep 20, 2012
About six weeks ago, I asked route master Pete ( @Yamabushi ) to create a route that would see me hit 300km. The monster he created was a little "hillier" than I was expecting. The original route finished in Oume but I thought it would be a shame not to ride back to my house. It wasn't to be an easy ride. Having failed twice before (due to the weather) I was hoping for a fine day to tackle the ride. The forecast looked good for Sat 26th so I decided I'd give it another shot. Tobias (@saibot) agreed to join me at around the 80km in Chichibu. The plan was for him to get a train out there, then ride the rest of the way with me.
Getting to bed at 12:00am and with my alarm set for 3:00, it was going to be a long day on little sleep. I left the house at 3:55 and it was already pretty hot. I rode up the Arakawa and hit the slopes of Shiraishi. I was sweating buckets by the time I got to the top of Shiraishi. Down to the pizza place for 7am and perfectly timed to pick up a cinnamon roll. I got to the meeting point with Tobias half an hour early but luckily he was also early. We headed on up towards Gunma then up and over Budo Toge. To say it was boiling would be an understatement. Considering Tobias is from northern Sweden, it is no wonder he started to feel the heat. We dropped down the other side of Budo toge and stopped to pick up some supplies. Tobias didn't look too well. Hitting the next climb, it was evident that Tobias was really suffering in the heat. He was showing signs of heat exhaustion and decided to would be best turn back and ride the Koumi tourist train back home. I continued on into the high mountains, slowly tick off each of the seemingly endless climbs. I had hope for it to be cool and fresh in the mountains. How wrong I was. My clothes were constantly soaked with sweat. A few times, I had to go in search of water. A closed onsen came to the rescue on one occasion when a member of staff was kind enough to fill up my bottles.

I finally dropped down into Enzan before the last climb of the day. Let's just say that a climb with over 1000m of elevation gain in the baking sun is not the most appealing when you already have over 250km in the legs. Having said that, despite the heat and the distance already travelled, if felt strong.

Topping out on the Yanigisawa Toge was a very good feeling but I knew I still had almost 100km to go. The remaining distance was all a blur really. I hit Okutama then Oume. My legs felt great and to my surprise, I found myself standing up and almost sprinting at times with the flow of traffic. I made it down to Oume then Tokorozawa, although the traffic lights because something of an annoyance.

I finally came within sight of my house and with 6470m of climbing on the clock, I decided to make a quick detour and ride up a local hill for no other reason than to hit 6500. Sad I know but I felt compelled at the time. I got home, still drenched in sweat. The shower that followed felt amazing. I felt a little tired but was very happy to have conquered the Crazy ride.

Ride data

Distance- 357.3km
Metres of climbing - 6509
Approximate spending on water at vending machines - ¥16,000 ;)

A few pics


At the top of Shiraishi


Damn the heat


Not a bad view


Maximum Pace
May 29, 2012
I was pretty damn naive to think I would be able to keep up with you @leicaman :) in the back of my head I was thinking I could last to enzan, and IF I felt ok then continue on. But yeah even though I knew I wasn't in the best form, I still overestimated my abilities. Looking back, my last climbing ride was on the 14th of June, and then only 1692m
So this was not the best ride to use as a way to get used to the heat haha. Still got 2500m in 114km until it was time to ride the train for longer than I had been on the bike :)

Mark you are indeed a beast Mark, I honestly want to to join some hill climb event, you would be on par with the elite guys for sure!


Maximum Pace
Aug 27, 2012
Impressive ride, Mark.

I hear in Sweden they have a ride that goes over 24 hours because the sun doesn't set that time of year. That would be a decent challenge for you.
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