Hi from Spain

pperesai

Warming-Up
Aug 27, 2018
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39
#1
Hi Guys!

First it´s a pleasure to join TCC and I would like to introduce myself. My name is Pedro, I live in Madrid however I will have to spent in October 6 weeks at Yokohama due to job issues. I'm mainly a road cyclist with quite a lot experience on cycling (12000-16000 km per year last 7 years) and decent high level on fitness (I´m single so plenty time to train hahahaha).

I´m planning to bring my bike with me to not lose fitness at first and also it´s a good opportunity to explore a new country with my bike. During my stay I will be living in the Intercontinental Hotel at Yokohama for your reference. I have never been in Japan so I do not know anything about the rules (every country have different rules), tricks and how is to cycle in this country in general. To be honest I see the area around Tokyo is very busy and high populated and I´m afraid if I will be able to cycle around without finishing on highway by mistake... I assume that in general it´s allowed to cycle on the roads, isn't it?.

During the week I will be working till 17:00 or so, so I will not be able to do much, but I normally try to train 2h, 3 days in between the week and the weekends do longer rides with other people, so I don´t know if there is any cycling area not far from the hotel to do some training not very crowded of vehicles to be able to develop a decent speed and cycle safe. A bike path with not many stops (I imagine in that area this might be difficult) where a steady training could be done would be great. Also I don´t know if there is any hill area not far to do some intervals.

For the weekends I would like to join rides with some other cyclists to explore the area around Tokyo/Yokohama and meet new friends!

Any help or information will be appreciated on above thank you in advance!
 
May 22, 2007
3,608
1,440
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Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#2
Hi Pedro

Bike paths without traffic signals = riverside. The major rivers on your side of town are the Tamagawa and Tsurumigawa.

Getting to the mountains requires a couple of hours' stop-and-go through suburbia, or a quicker train ride to get straight to the fun. To take a bike on the train you need to remove one or both wheels and put the whole thing in a bike bag, so it becomes 'luggage'.
 
Likes: thomas

Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
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135
63
Yokohama
#3
Hi Pedro,

I live out west of Tokyo. As @Half-Fast Mike says, the Tamagawa cycling road is good. The Tsurumi river path is nearby as well, so either would work for you. Also, there is the Sakaigawa cycling path that I'd recommend and a route along the Sagami river. I'm linking you to them.

Getting out of Yokohama by bike is not so much fun, so if the paths I've mentioned don't work for you, then I'd recommend you buy a bag for your bike (rinko bag = about 5,000 yen) and take it on the train. (If you do this, position yourself at the front or back car on the train so you can lean your bike up against the wall.) If you decide to use the train, you can get to a town called Hadano on the Odakyu line, that puts you at the base of a nice climb up to Yabitsu pass. The road to the pass coming from the north is closed due to a washout, so once you reach the top, you can no longer descend down Route 70, so you'd have to just turn around and come back the way you came.

(Sakaigawa and Sagami paths)
(Tsurumigawa and part of the Tamagawa path - the Tamagawa path continues about another 20km north)
 
Likes: thomas

pperesai

Warming-Up
Aug 27, 2018
3
2
3
39
#4
Thank you very much to both for your response. I think the riverside will make the job for the in between weekend days training. Will study the area. The train bag I assume should be easy to buy around as must be very popular for people taking the bike on the train.

Additionally I would like to know how the behaviour of the japanesse drivers is, it is safe to ride on the road?
 

Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
315
135
63
Yokohama
#5
The bike bags are available at most bike shops. Should be able to pick one up at a shop near where you're staying. Or, if you go up the Tama river, there is a shop there called Y's Road that I know sells them. My recommendation is to get one big enough to cover your bike when the front wheel is removed. Some bags are smaller and require both wheels to be removed before getting on the train. That takes more time and is a hassle, plus it isn't really necessary.

Roads in Japan are narrow. Bike lanes are few and you'll usually find cars parked in them anyway. If you ride in the city, you won't be doing much training, only stopping at stop lights. Drivers are OK but they will pass you very close at times. If you want to do training, you'll be better off to get on the river paths. If you get out of the city by train, once you're up in the mountains, traffic usually thins out and it isn't a big problem. Kinda depends on what roads you choose, even then.
 
May 22, 2007
3,608
1,440
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Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#6
Additionally I would like to know how the behaviour of the japanesse drivers is, it is safe to ride on the road?
I ride on the road and have few problems. Most Japanese drivers will have grown up riding bicycles, and show more courtesy to bikes than I've seen in other countries where I've ridden. Of course there are selfish motorists as well – mostly driving taxis or German cars – and distracted driving is an increasing problem. There are also many selfish and impatient cyclists.
 

pperesai

Warming-Up
Aug 27, 2018
3
2
3
39
#7
Hi guys

I´m already in Japan and have made my first rides around Yokohama. Mainly as daily ride I ride from the hotel to Tsurumi river path at 5:00 AM and make a loop between barriers as training steady (almost made a KOM on strava first day ;-)) before going to the office. On Monday 8th I made the route from Karl (I think is yours), Tsurumi-Tama-156... man those bike paths are really crowded of runners and people I felt them dangerous, I think I prefer to stay on the roads despite of the traffic lights... hahahaha. Route was nice thanks for sharing however it looked that if would have gone away further the 156 section quieter roads started, I was tempted to continue away but need to be in the hotel not very late.

In the mean time I will probably focus on ride on the week and do a little bit of foot tourism by train the weekends.

For future routes I´m planning one weekend to ride to Hadano from Yokohama and climb Yabitsu south. I have been trying to find a route with not heavy traffic (particularly I hate the big trucks). I was planning to go down route 1 and connect with route 22 and then route 246 which seems to be most direct route from Minatomirai area however I have seem there are sections of this route that look like a highway on my country (despite I know they are not) not very funny and quite scary... Do you an advice to draw a route with reasonable traffic to cross the suburb west? I do not care to do 150km I´m used to it.

I have already discarded the option of the train, I see to take the bike inside a mess, walk long distant with the cycling shoes is not feasible and to be honest it´s very very slow to reach the places by train with those long connections... it´s a pity I do not have much time left with the job because I see Japan must be a great country to explore by bike!
 

Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
315
135
63
Yokohama
#8
Yeah. The Tamagawa cycling path is pretty crowded on the weekends, especially the southern section.

22 to 246 will work. It is a bit busy for my taste but probably no better options since the rivers run north south, not east west. 246, once you're out of Isehara isn't so bad. The road widens a bit as you're going up to Hadano.

If you don't already know, you can climb Yabistu from Hadano but the road is out about 10km or more north of the 'toge' after a long descent.' Last I heard, it's still out.

Here's another two-river route (Sakaigawa and Sagami river) that is an option if you want to put in some longer miles before/after the climb.

 
Likes: Kangaeroo