- Oct 25, 2011
I rode my December century on the first Sunday of the month (162 km on Strava), one week after my November century on the Izu east coast. Back then I complained about not finding any road side stalls selling mikan so this time I went to the Izu west coast and did get what I wanted With this ride I am now at 136 consecutive months of "Century a Month".
It was cold and very windy. Often I was cycling directly into the headwind, especially on the flatter, more exposed parts of the route. I had enough clothes so I could deal with the cold, but especially after sunset it was really chilly.
Some days when I ride in west Izu it's so overcast that half a day goes by until I catch the first glimpse of Mt Fuji but this wasn't one of those days: I already saw the mountain from along the Kano river while heading south from Mishima, where I had parked the car. I would see it again and again all day.
Mt Fuji from below the tunnel above Osezaki:
I bought a bag of mikan at a fruit shop while riding to the northwest corner of Izu. Later I also passed a roadside stall attended by an old woman and decided to buy some there too. I inquired how old she was. She told me she was 84. "There's nothing good about age. My body hurts and I just want to die. My husband went a long time before me and I am looking forward to be with him again." Her answer was as direct as my question. Her mikan were really good and she lives in a beautiful part of the country but dealing with pain and loss must be hard.
In Heda I visited the sand spit to get the view of Mt Fuji behind the entrance to the port, near the shrine. Unlike the summer there were very few people around.
In the forest near Morokuchi shrine in Heda:
After Toi the road gets busier and the wind became more of a problem. I turned around before Matsuzaki, when I had covered about half my planned distance.
Shizuoka coast across the bay from the Izu west coast:
As it got dark on the way back towards Toi I decided to not continue on the coastal road but to climb over the mountains on Rt136 where there would be more traffic. I didn't fancy being alone on deserted roads through the forest in a cold night. That climb is much higher (450 m max, about double of the highest points of the coastal road) but there's no up and down.
I stayed warm on the climb but descending on the other side was really chilly!
Ugusu river after sunset:
Also, because Rt136 over the mountains is more direct than the winding coastal road I would have ended up with less than 160 km if I had directly returned to Mishima so I doubled up a part of the route between Shuzenji and Mishima to get enough kilometers in total.
I was really glad when I got back to the car. This was my first ride with over 2000 elevation meters since July. I did not get another long ride for the rest of the month -- getting too busy with the plans for building a new house next year.