Hello from Denis in Ome

Denis

Warming-Up
Nov 11, 2008
29
0
0
Ome, Tokyo
www2.gol.com
#1
Hi,
I'm from Dublin in Ireland. I spent 3.5 yrs near Kumagaya in Saitama and so far another 14 yrs here in Ome.
There are plenty of good cyclling routes near Ome, both on and off-road. For cycling and hiking, very few people know the area as well as me, but I still manage to discover new and interesting routes quite often. Some days I just cycle up and back every branch of a road to its end and back in search of any good trails or whatever. Some good medium-distance circuits/climbs include Umenoki-toge, Nokogiri-toge, Arima-toge, Nenogonnen, Higashi-Agano circuit. I have been planning on putting info on these and other routes on the web but haven't done so yet - will send an update if I ever do get that done!
I enter about 1 race a month on average - about half being Kodama-san's races (http://www.ne.jp/asahi/bicycle/race/). I'm a good friend of Kodama-san and now help with the organization of most of his bicycle events.
Let me know if you need a place in Ome to crash and I may be able to accommodate. We tend to go to bed early (before 10pm) and get up early (before 6am) so keep that in mind.
Hope to meet some of you in Ome soon!
Happy cycling!
Denis O'Connell
 

Mike

Maximum Pace
Sep 24, 2007
1,066
9
58
Kanagawa
#2
Hey Denis, nice to read your post. I enjoyed riding with you in the Giro on Sunday and it seems to be coming an annual thing for us to meet after the first climb. Ome sounds really nice and I'd love to do some riding with you again. Perhaps we could make it an official TCC weekend ride soon.

I'd like to race more and was interested to read that you're racing almost once a month. Are those mostly hill climbs? I'd love to find more races like the Giro.
 

Denis

Warming-Up
Nov 11, 2008
29
0
0
Ome, Tokyo
www2.gol.com
#3
Hi Mike,
Yes - it's mostly hill climb races that I enter. There are 2 local ones near Ome - Nariki (http://www.gem.hi-ho.ne.jp/kfc-onishi/) and Hinode(http://vuni.jp/hkej/). I also enter Keirin 400m/800m sprint races in Tachikawa once a year for the Tokyo-to amateur competition. Long official races require a lot of organization in Japan but I reckon they are on the increase. I did Tokyo-Itoigawa a few years back and Tour du Chichibu before they changed it to a cycle rather than a race and shortened the course. I'll be sure to let you know about any long distance races I plan to enter.
I also do the occasional trail run. There are 3 local ones - Takamizu, Mitake and Hasegawa Cup which I've done, and I enter Yamada Noboru run over Mt. Hotaka (same mt. as the Giro) every year - all male participants must carry 10Kg, for females it's only 5Kg!
Cheers!
-Denis
 

Denis

Warming-Up
Nov 11, 2008
29
0
0
Ome, Tokyo
www2.gol.com
#5
Hi AlanW,
Yeah I have an mtb and use it a lot.
Actually I do alot of mtb cycling on paved roads that are closed to traffic or have very little traffic.
For dirt roads I only recently discovered a short but cool mtb alternative to climbing Umenoki-toge which is pretty close for me. See http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=110928848479284483316.00045b77403cac3271824&ll=35.786627,139.222269&spn=0.051593,0.074072&z=14 showing a 4.32Km dirt section. Note that from Umenoki-toge down to Yoshino-kaido is a closed paved road but the condition is not great, so this section coulld also be considered dirt road.
For longer off-road cycles I recommend the circuit above Arima damn in Naguri. There's about 16 Km of dirt road with 700m climb between the fishing reception above Arima damn and naguri onsen.
Also, Onishi-san of KFC triatholon((http://www.gem.hi-ho.ne.jp/kfc-onishi/)) used to hold an mtb race up Mt Takamizu with the same starting point as the Nariki Hill climb, taking about 30mins for me to the goal. This is a super trail with many alternatives down if you can cycle on relatively steep hiking trails. There's also a trail from the Nariki hill climb goal as well.
I plan to check out Tenmokusan rindo pretty soon. It starts between Urayama damn and Arima-toge and I've only gone up a few Kms so far. From Ome it takes me about 2hrs to get to start point via Arima-toge. Are you interested in joining me?
Regards
-Denis
 
#6
はじめまして

Denis,

I could not resist not to respond to your post since I am your neighbor ,living in Musashi-murayama. When I started MTB several years ago, I used to ride on the mountain trails in Ome area also like Futatsuduka toge, Umenoki toge area.

I do not do a race so often as you do. Only Tokyo enduro and Kusatsu, so far with TCC folks. Anyway, hope to meet you someday.


Minoru Arai
 
#7
Rides near Ome

I visit in-laws in Akiruno, but live in Redondo Beach, Ca, and Manhattan, NYC. I'm near Hamura until Nov 22nd and would like to join Denis or others for a ride this week. I like the Hinohara routes, with less traffic, but would be open to other ideas. I raced years ago, but tend to go slow these days. I also make yearly visits to Italy for cycling in Riccione, and stay at www.hoteldory.it, and would be glad to provide iformation about this low cost cycling paradise.

Alan
 

Denis

Warming-Up
Nov 11, 2008
29
0
0
Ome, Tokyo
www2.gol.com
#8
Hi alangeiger,
tomorrow (mon 11/17) suits me and the forecast is currently good.
How about Kosuge1 as below - 93Km taking about 4hrs + any stoppage time. We can easily lengthen to 105km by taking in Tabayama, or returning by Tomin-no-mori instead.
Kosuge1: Ome, Itsukaichi, Kobu Tunnel, Route 18, Shirasawa shortcut, Okutama, Ome.
very rough map: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=110928848479284483316.00045bc30d690349d0145&ll=35.745955,139.12262&spn=0.265827,0.411301&z=11.
meeting place: Itsukaichi station @ 9am (or Ome @ 8:20am)
Let me know if you are interested in this circuit or some other course or start time tomorrow. Other days instead may also be possible for me..
Rgds
-Denis
 
#9
Monday Ride

Hi Denis,

Thanks, I'm almost certain that I can meet you at Ome station at 8:20, I'm on the hill, just across the Hamura Bashi. I'll confirm with you later today. Please be warned that I'm an old guy on an old road bike I keep here, and could be in better shape. The ride may be too tough for me, and I wouldn't want to slow you down. I've ridden to the top of the Yanagisawa Toge, but not in the last few years. We can start, and I won't be offended if you want to go on ahead. Especially with a rainy day off the bike today, you'll be fresh and may want to hammer

My wife may have other ideas about tomorrow, but I'm quite dependable and will confeer with you later. It would be better to contact me at ageiger40@msn.com-do the rules of this site permit this?

Thanks,

Alan
 

Denis

Warming-Up
Nov 11, 2008
29
0
0
Ome, Tokyo
www2.gol.com
#10
Hi Alan,
This is NOT Yanagisawa although there are 3 tough enough passes. The highest point is Tsuru-toge @ 880m comapred to Yanagisawa @ 1475 and overall climbing adds up to about 1200m.
Don't worry about pace. I'll contact you off the list with my mobile number - there's no problem in using direct mail.
Cheers
-Denis
 

chazzer

Speeding Up
Nov 23, 2006
449
0
36
Bushey Heath, Hertfordshire
#11
Mtb

Hi AlanW,

For dirt roads I only recently discovered a short but cool mtb alternative to climbing Umenoki-toge which is pretty close for me. See http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=110928848479284483316.00045b77403cac3271824&ll=35.786627,139.222269&spn=0.051593,0.074072&z=14 showing a 4.32Km dirt section.
For longer off-road cycles I recommend the circuit above Arima damn in Naguri. There's about 16 Km of dirt road with 700m climb between the fishing reception above Arima damn and naguri onsen.
Also, Onishi-san of KFC triatholon((http://www.gem.hi-ho.ne.jp/kfc-onishi/)) used to hold an mtb race up Mt Takamizu with the same starting point as the Nariki Hill climb, taking about 30mins for me to the goal. This is a super trail with many alternatives down if you can cycle on relatively steep hiking trails.
Regards
-Denis
Denis - I have an MTB too but it gets very little use. This winter I was wondering whether to use it more. Are these trails OK for a beginner or are there some more gentle intros you could recommend ?

Thanks for posting this info to date.

chazzer
 

Mike

Maximum Pace
Sep 24, 2007
1,066
9
58
Kanagawa
#13
Alangeiger

I was looking at the place you linked in Italy and thought it looked pretty good. Do singles often go there, as all the videos kind of make it out to be a romantic bike holiday? I could only find 2 ride profiles. Are there any good 1000m plus climbs on their routes? And how much does it cost for say a 1 week stay? Thanks in advance.
 

Denis

Warming-Up
Nov 11, 2008
29
0
0
Ome, Tokyo
www2.gol.com
#14
mtb Ome update

Denis - I have an MTB too but it gets very little use. This winter I was wondering whether to use it more. Are these trails OK for a beginner or are there some more gentle intros you could recommend ?

Thanks for posting this info to date.

chazzer
Hi Chazzer,
These routes are fine for a beginner but include a good bit of climbing at reasonable incline (<15% max so no technical sections). For Takamizu trail you should return the same way. A good start would be the Umenoki-toge including the off-road section. BTW you can see most of this trail between the trees from the google arial view!
-Denis
 

AlanW

Maximum Pace
Jan 30, 2007
1,214
435
103
Tokyo
#15
Hi AlanW,
Yeah I have an mtb and use it a lot.
Actually I do alot of mtb cycling on paved roads that are closed to traffic or have very little traffic.
For dirt roads I only recently discovered a short but cool mtb alternative to climbing Umenoki-toge which is pretty close for me. See http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=110928848479284483316.00045b77403cac3271824&ll=35.786627,139.222269&spn=0.051593,0.074072&z=14 showing a 4.32Km dirt section. Note that from Umenoki-toge down to Yoshino-kaido is a closed paved road but the condition is not great, so this section coulld also be considered dirt road.
For longer off-road cycles I recommend the circuit above Arima damn in Naguri. There's about 16 Km of dirt road with 700m climb between the fishing reception above Arima damn and naguri onsen.
Also, Onishi-san of KFC triatholon((http://www.gem.hi-ho.ne.jp/kfc-onishi/)) used to hold an mtb race up Mt Takamizu with the same starting point as the Nariki Hill climb, taking about 30mins for me to the goal. This is a super trail with many alternatives down if you can cycle on relatively steep hiking trails. There's also a trail from the Nariki hill climb goal as well.
I plan to check out Tenmokusan rindo pretty soon. It starts between Urayama damn and Arima-toge and I've only gone up a few Kms so far. From Ome it takes me about 2hrs to get to start point via Arima-toge. Are you interested in joining me?
Regards
-Denis
Denis,
Those routes sound quite interesting.
Will be in touch once I get my MTB out of the large box containing all my stuff that was air-freighted to Japan.
AW.
 
#16
Mike,

There are four different level rides each day, the strongest at race pace and at least twice each week there are long climbs, but not of the 1000 meter variety, but trust me, they're tough climbs, notably the "Cippo".

The rates vary from Euro 70-80/day with extrodinary meals,depending on time of year with no extras such as tax or service, other than renting a Scott carbon fiber at Euro108/week. this comes to less than 1000 USD/week.

I've been there six consecutive years, and have met other repeat guests from prior years. About 30% of the guests are from the UK, 50% from other European countries, and the balance from the US and Australia. It's not a singles scene at all, and is more about serious cycling and general fun socializing. After a day or so, you get to know most of the other guests. The owner was born in the hotel, and it's much more than a business for him. He goes on a few rides/week, is almost always available, especially during mealtimes. The town of Riccione is a gem, and close to other places of tourist/cultural interest.

As you can imagine, it's one of my favorite places, and I want others to enjoy it. If you have furthur questions, just ask.

Alan
 

Mike

Maximum Pace
Sep 24, 2007
1,066
9
58
Kanagawa
#17
Alan

Thank for the info. What I was getting at though, is that if I go alone would I feel left out, say at dinner time etc? It looks set up for couples, or at least that's what the videos suggest. I wouldn't go there to try and pick up, I really would want a serious cycling holiday/training week.

I was just wondering if other people go there alone, or usually in groups? Are you catching my drift? :D
 
#18
Mike,

I should have picked up on what you were asking. I'll relate my experience. The first time I went, a friend who discovered the hotel had to cancel at the last moment-I felt quite awkward and apprehensive going alone, but all the arrangements had been made, so I thought, it will be an "experience".

I sat alone at mealtime only for a day, during which Stefano(the owner) introduced me to other guests, and in a day was adopted by two British girls, and then a few other Londoners, and by the end of the week I was made an honorary Englishman, in a ceremony accompanied by a Scottish major in the English Army playing bagpipes(I have photos!). The next five visits I went with friends(including two trips with my older daughter), so I didn't have a problem(other than my daughter dropping me on the climbs).

This October a friend from NY went alone for a week(most people go for a week), and sent me daily(and sometimes more) emails about having the time of his life, including making friends during the rides, and spending time with them at the lobby bar(center of activity) and sitting with them at meals. Because of Stefano's gregarious personality infecting the atmosphere, and the social nature of the sport, most people aren't alone for long. Two years ago I met a French family there, and we arranged to return at the same time the following year. I must tell you though that I have sen some guys who go alone continuing to sit alone at meals, for whatever reason. I would go back alone in a flash.

After reading your posts today, I went back and looked at the website, and my impression was that the emphasis on "fun" somewhat obscures the pace and challenge of the rides. Even the slow group goes at a somewhat brisk pace, rather than a touring speed. I can forward my friends emails from last month if you need a second opinion!

Sorry about the length of my reply, I just get carried away.

Alan
 
#19
Mike,

I forgot, I didn't really answer your question after all that. Although there are a few couples, they are the exception. And they're probably too tired to be romantic. It's usually mixed or all guy groups, some quite large on occaision. I do remember all girl group from Australia.

Alan
 

Mike

Maximum Pace
Sep 24, 2007
1,066
9
58
Kanagawa
#20
Many thanks Alan for your informative reply. It really sounds and looks from the photos like a great place. I may end up going there next year some time. Anyone else interested in this place over summer? 1 week of Italian countryside and good food sounds intoxicating. We should make it an unofficail TCC tour:D