Ride For any TCC 'tilers'

Karl

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Feb 7, 2011
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Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
973
1,032
113
Yokohama
Went to Okutama today to finish off five tiles that required a hike. The hike started out pretty tough. Did all the climbing in the first few kilometers. After that, it was a breeze. Surprisingly flat along the ridgeline. The descent went well but my knees hated it. Gonna have to get a walking stick. https://www.strava.com/activities/3967688394

Nice day in the mountains. One snake, no bears, beautiful waterfalls and butterflies feasting on what's left of the sunflowers. Five new tiles and grew my max square by 1 from 28x28 to 29x29. Been a long time since I saw any growth of my square.
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luka

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Jan 13, 2015
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nice one @Karl I've done a two day hike once in the area. starting from mitsumine jinja above chichibu, spending the night in kumotori sanso, then 30km hike through these lesser peaks nanatsu ishi, mutsu ishi etc all the way to okutama station. we ran out of food in the latter half and packed half a convini of crap in our bellies as soon as we reached semi-civilization. ah memories

 

Karl

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Feb 7, 2011
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113
Yokohama
@luka It's beautiful up there, isn't it. Also quiet. Only saw one other hiker the whole time.

After yesterday's hike, seems my knees are really not so keen on hiking...mostly the downhill stuff. I'd like to do an overnight hike sometime but not sure my legs would be up to it. Getting old, I guess.
 
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Half-Fast Mike

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May 22, 2007
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Tiling Revenge!

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I had tried to get this tile on the Tokyo/Saitama ridge from Chichibu side, as noted above, in April 2019. That turned into a scary hillside hike, as I persevered too much despite the the hiking path being completely gone.

Today was the day I finally got it, aided and abetted by @Karl. But it did not come easy.

Drove up to the car park by Nippara Limestone Caves, and were riding by 06.00. Why so early? Well, on my first attempt to ride the rindō (Sep. 2017) I failed to get past the construction gate. My second attempt (Jul. 2018) was successful, but I got dirty looks from the construction crew on my way back down, even at 08.00. So I wanted to minimize the likelihood of hassle.

As it turned out, the road was free of construction and completely cleared of fallen rocks. Some small stones and patches of mud here and there, but on the whole a nice rindō with no difficulties other than the easily-circumvented gate.

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We saw caterpillar tracks in some of the muddy sections. With each corner I was expecting to stumble into a construction site where we'd have to risk our necks to tiptoe through, but there was nothing of the sort and the 6 km climb passed without incident... other than @Karl inhaling a bug.

Hard to believe it's the same road. Very different vibe. This from two years ago...
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So after an hour of climbing we reached the logging clearing, and investigated the 'road' up toward the hiking trail, that would lead us to the infernal tile.

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We wouldn't get more than 200 m in this direction before we had to leave the bikes, extend our trekking poles, and set off on foot.

The hike was 4.5 km, and took four hours. You can do the math. It was tough. The trail is officially closed - because the road is also officially closed, and apparently sections of the trail are blocked by landslides. The mischievous pink ribbons (trail markers) led us astray a few times; I trusted them, rather than @Karl's suggestion to just walk along the river bed. Various sections of rope swinging and slip-sliding on barely compacted gravel and un-compacted leaves added to the fun.

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At this confluence of two streams, the tile was at last in the bag, and we worked our way back down - carefully as we we both getting tired.

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High up on the trail, we saw a big deer and a couple of monkeys. Until we got back to the cave car park, we only saw one other human - an older Japanese hiker who came down the trail after us just as we had finished it. Could hear his anti-bear bell for ten minutes before he finally came into view.

We agreed that (1) neither of us fancied hiking that trail again, and certainly not alone; (2) neither of us really wanted to carry on with the day's original plan to do more rindō and more terminal tiling; and (3) what happens in Nippara stays in Nippara.

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13 hours, door-to-door. For one tile. Madness.

OK... where next?
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
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Setagaya, Tokyo
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On August 10 I did my second Century ride of the month and passed by Miyagase-ko, hoping to grab two tiles there to enlarge my 23x23 max square but ran out of daylight.

On August 22 I did another century ride with @microcord to Gandō Toge, hoping to detour from Doshi michi to Miyagase after the toge. Two closed roads with ongoing construction prevented a northern descent from Gandō Toge and we had to return the way we came.



Third time lucky! Yesterday I rode with @microcord again and this time we made it to Doshi michi (via a different scenic route) and I could head to the lake. At Toya village I followed some back roads and climbed a road through the forest to where another road would branch off to take me within hiking distance of the tile.

I was feeling pretty exhausted by this time, with over 100 km in 35 C heat in my legs. When I finally got to the turn-off, I was surprised to see the road closed. It even specifically mentioned bicycles and pedestrians. So I sneaked around the barrier, prepared to turn around if and when the road became impassable as promised. After some descending I arrived at a washed out section, with the road completely gone for several meters.



Luckily, a temporary detour had been constructed right above the wash-out. So I was on my way again soon. After a final bridge there was a split in the road and I knew I had to take right one. Both routes were blocked by gates.



I had expected hiking courses, but behind the gates there were roads. I again I sneaked around and continued. The road was not in the best condition and turned out to have some issues:



I continued, looking for a turn-off to the right. When I found it it looked less like a road but a field of rocks and mud, as in the aftermath of serious flooding. Heading up there, now pushing the bike over bigger than fist size rocks. It only got worse from there. This place must have turned into a river periodically, with the road ripped to pieces by powerful currents. By the time I had entered the tile, this is what the "road" looked like:



I was glad to turn around and head back to civilization when I was done.

The second tile was much easier. I continued on to Hayatogawabashi, entered another closed rindo and headed upstream at the Kanazawa river that drains into the lake. The roads there were in pretty good condition, a far cry from the first tile which was post-apocalyptic.

After the second tile I headed to the Michi no Eki and washed off a lot of sweat, then headed to the Familymart at Toya. A half-hour break there with coffee and food restored me to near-human condition so I could ride the final 50 km of the 171 km ride.

With this latest ride my max square is now at 24x24. Before it can grow to 25x25 I will have to collect some tiles in Saitama. Stay tuned in September!
 

joewein

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Oct 25, 2011
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looking at your map, it seems if you only went another tiniest bit, you could have bagged the one to the north as well?!
I think the tile you're speaking of is the tile that @Half-Fast Mike and @Karl were bagging. The one just below it only changed colour because it changed status from an edge tile to a cluster tile. And the tile north of the cleared one had already been cleared from the Chichibu side.
 
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Half-Fast Mike

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May 22, 2007
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the first tile which was post-apocalyptic.
Dang... I need that tile. It's one of @Karl's 'Golden tiles', i.e., not yet claimed by me. I might try it from Dōshimichi side, just for laughs.
I will have to collect some tiles in Saitama.
Oh no.
you could have bagged the one to the north as well
And we did. Red tile is collected. Blue tile is part of the cluster, i.e., collected plus all four neighbors (NSE&W) also collected. The (still green) next row west will have to wait for me to do that Kumotoriyama hike.
 
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Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
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@joewein Seems you've caught the tiling bug good and proper. The route you took to get that tile looks terrible. However, it allows you to join the very exclusive and newly founded "Tiling Knuckleheads Club." So there's that.

@Half-Fast Mike said, "Dang... I need that tile. It's one of @Karl's 'Golden tiles'".

NOOOOOOOO!!!! :eek:
 

Half-Fast Mike

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May 22, 2007
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but your gravel bike has... black (!) bartape?! :eek:
An oversight that will shortly be rectified.

Or not. The Niner tape is really comfortable. Bike shipped with the brakes wired (hosed) US-style, and although I'd like to switch them over for consistency, it's more hassle than I need at the moment, works perfectly, and really doesn't cause me any difficulty. When I get round to doing that, I'll change the tape to my usual asymmetric idiosyncratic Deda stuff.
 
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joewein

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Oct 25, 2011
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Dang... I need that tile. It's one of @Karl's 'Golden tiles', i.e., not yet claimed by me. I might try it from Dōshimichi side, just for laughs.
I had been considering both the northern (Dōshi michi) and eastern (Toya) approach. OSM shows a road leading south up the mountain from Aonohara village on Dōshi michi (road in front of Ihara temple / 井原寺). Google Streetview shows the barrier at its entrance at the edge of the village, but the map doesn't show it to continue much. That doesn't mean there isn't a road, see Kazahari rindo.

This would have been my fallback option if the eastern approach along Mizusawa hadn't worked out.
 
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joewein

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Oct 25, 2011
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201 km. 33 C. 48 tiles. It was a looong day.

I left late, it was almost 08:00 already but I got back after midnight. I drank about 5 liters.

My max square went up only by one to 25x25, but even at the larger size it has room to slide around. That means if I clear some limiting tiles, it will pop to the next level, but some of those will involve hiking.

PHOTO BOMB ALERT!

Kusaya, a grass roof building built for Studio Ghibli in Kijijoji


The name of this bakery in Tanashi (ガタン ゴトン) located right next to Seibu line is a Japanese onomatopoeia for the sound the wheels of a train make as they pass the joints in the rail sections.


Little shrine with Sarusuberi in bloom


Rice harvest has already started. These fields were harvested the traditional way


Old farm house in Ogose:


Windows of a Japanese storehouse (kura, 倉) in Ogose:


Bus shelter, decorated by the kids from a nearby school in Ogose


A Dragonfly, considered a harbinger of autumn in Japan


A stream in my first tile near Ogose


Proof that there are people who wash their car(s) less than I do


Another storehouse, no longer in mint condition


View of the Kanto plane from the hills (my preferred viewing distance)


Rice fields waiting to be harvested


Combine harvester in action


Offloading the harvested grain


Flowers


Love hotel


On Strava:
 

joewein

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Oct 25, 2011
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My first goal were a group of 4 tiles near Ogose that I had never visited because I always head up to Kuroyamasantaki and the Greenline. That's near the NW corner of my max square.

After that I wanted to clear tiles along the northern edge and the NE corner. I didn't pre-plot a course, so a lot of time was spent checking maps and position on the phones buy hey, everybody needs to take it easy on a hot day! I realized it would be a late night, but didn't want to skip the NE corner because getting there from my home is 100% urban riding and I want to minimize having to go back there.

I recorded the ride on my Pixel 3a, with which I also navigated, and shot the pictures on my Pixel 3. I carried extra juice in a 6000 mAh USB-C battery, from which either phone will recharge rapidly. I started using RWGPS on the Pixel 3a for ride recording after three recent rides with my dedicated GPS unit in which it lost satellite lock after 70-odd km. Recording on the phone has been flawless. It does use power, but not so much that an external charger battery couldn't take care of it.

While the main goal was to ride at least 160.9 km (my Century a Month goal), I had no idea how much I would end up with until late in the ride as I picked up tile after tile, optimizing routes and making little detours to touch as many tiles as possible and still reach the final tiles planned for the day. I'm now at 97 consecutive months of Century a Month.

The Ogose area is really beautiful. That would be my bribe to get me to ride urban areas to get there. But wherever you ride, there are always little discoveries, like that Excalibur car gathering dust in a shed or the brightly illuminated love hotel (no, I didn't go in there because a) it was a solo ride and b) Strava doesn't offer a matching activity ;) ).
 
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Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
973
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25x25! You're really growing your max square fast. I have to get over to the Saitama area one of these days but have a hard time working up the motivation to ride the train, slog through the urban sprawl, traffic & stoplights, then ride the train back again. But with the rain keeping me off the mountain trails, I should really use the time to knock out some tiles up there.

BTW... What was the story on the Excalibur? Pretty nice car to be sitting in an old shed without even a cover to keep the dust off.
 

joewein

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Oct 25, 2011
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Setagaya, Tokyo
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BTW... What was the story on the Excalibur? Pretty nice car to be sitting in an old shed without even a cover to keep the dust off.


Maybe that the owner prefers to ride his bicycle, which is parked right next to it? ;)

I had just passed a business sporting a very eclectic mix of artefacts, including a tall Buddha statue overgrown by vines and a rooftop playground that looked like that of a kindergarten.

Take a close look:

As it turns out, it's some kind of recycling business but they also do construction. I am not sure if this garage with the Excalibur is owned by the same people or if it's a next door neighbour.

When this Google Streetview picture was taken in March 2014 the car still looked relatively clean and appears to have carried a license plate:
 
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joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
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Correction: Looks like it's not actually an Excalibur but a first generation Mitsuoka Le-Seyde (1990-1993), an Excalibur clone based on the mechanics of the Nissan Silvia. The seven-pointed star you see on the radiator was used on older Mitsuoka models.
 
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