Ride Kii to a Great New Year

WhiteGiant

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Nov 4, 2006
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Kita-Ueno
#1
"Because it's there!" - I believe that's the usual excuse for these kinds of frivolous activities. That, and "Because I've never done it before", often go hand in hand when planning rides with the description: "600km in 4 days!"
I haven't done one of these tours in quite a while. My last was with Thomas, when we rode up to Aomori (Tour de Tohoku - May 2007). Since then, I've done a few one-day long rides - Tokyo to Niigata, and Tokyo to Nagoya; both in 24 hours - But I haven't done any multi-day rides (apart from 2 days around Noto Peninsula earlier this year).

Anyway, this time, it's Kii-hanto (peninsula), because it's there, and I've never done it before!
My plan is to catch the Shinkansen to Osaka on Saturday, Dec 27th. I'll stay overnight somewhere (TBD), and hopefully catch up with a few friends in the area.

Day 1: The ride-proper will start early on Sunday (28th) morning. For one thing, I want to get out of the city as early as possible and avoid those (ahem... "wonderful"... ahem) Osaka motorists. And for another, the first day will be the longest, at 180km, and I want to get as much of a head-start as I can.
I suppose this is where I should insert requests for "best route out of Osaka, heading south"! If anyone has any knowledge/experience in this area, your input would be greatly appreciated.
I'll head down the coast, past Wakayama, to Tanabe and hopefully get an early night.

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Day 2: From Tanabe, I'll continue heading SE towards the bottom tip of the peninsula, before heading NE up to Kumano - With any luck, this 140km will be uneventful, and I'll reach my destination feeling refreshed after an easy day in the saddle (and we all know how that will likely turn out, don't we?)

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Day 3: Anyone who has had any experience with these kinds of rides will tell you, that on the third day, there is a special sensation in the saddle area that makes itself known very early on - It remains there all day, threatening to get worse before it gets better, but it's bearable... usually... just! Anyway, my destination for the day is Shima - Or more specifically "Shima-Isobe". That'll be very close to 160km, and I think another early start might be in order.

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Day 4: The final day should be an easy one. 120km to my final destination in Kameyama (yes, that's where Sharp makes all its plasma TV displays), Mie prefecture. My wife's uncle is a Buddhist priest, and he has his temple there. Every year, his numerous brothers & sisters (my wife's aunts and uncles on her mother's side) all bring their extended families to stay at the temple - often between 20 ~ 30 people - to celebrate the New Year. I hope to arrive there early in the afternoon.

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600km in 4 days!
 

TCC

Tokyo Cycling Club
Jun 30, 2013
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#2
Proper plan you got there.

Make sure you wrap up warm, and go to the toilet before you set off. And don't eat all the car sweets like you did last time, or you will get travel sick.

This lot will be expecting a ridiculous amount of selfies and thigh-gap shots from this adventure, so please don't disappoint them.
 

jdd

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Jul 26, 2008
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Kanazawa
#3
Sorry to dis this, but I really hope this works out better than your around-kyushu trip a couple of years ago.

Give me a day or two, and I'll repost the thread on your kyushu ride here.
 

TCC

Tokyo Cycling Club
Jun 30, 2013
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#8
What are you on about, and why have you decided to relate the two trips, like it is somehow your duty to discredit @WhiteGiant before he does any more harm, that he didn't do in the first place? This is weird.

Oh hang on. Friday night, init.
 
Likes: WhiteGiant

WhiteGiant

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Nov 4, 2006
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#9
Please review his Kyushu trip from several years ago.
IMNSHO that trip was a huge fail.
https://tokyocycle.com/bbs/threads/kyushu-lessons-learned.218/
So now's there's this Kii trip.
Hopefully,
jdd
Dear jdd,
Of course you are welcome to your NSHOs, but I can't see how that trip was a "fail" either - My "goal" for the trip was to successfully ride the distance around the island of Kyushu - I can't see where I "failed" to do that.
Fair enough, I didn't win the lottery while I was there... I got rained on, and had a few not-so-nice experiences on some of the roads. However, I rode the distance, and that was my goal. Period. So, if I did that, how was it a "fail"?
As for this ride, the "goal" (singular) will also be to go the distance. If I make it, it won't be a "fail".
I'm so terribly sorry that I don't meet your high standards of what a cycling road-trip is supposed to be.
I promise I will write two reports when I get back: 1). With details of how the ride actually went. And 2). Telling of how I rode beside unicorns, with a constant tailwind (no matter which way I turned), through tunnels as wide as churches, being given-way to by motorists whose only mission in life is to please the cyclists around them.
T
 

WhiteGiant

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Nov 4, 2006
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Kita-Ueno
#11
Dear jdd,

After some more thought, I realized I'm still a bit annoyed with your comments, and here's why: It's because people like you, and idiots like @ericromney (I call him "idiot" because it's a term of endearment that he is fond of) keep taking that "Kyushu: Lessons learned" post out of context. You treat it as though it is some criticism about Kyushu itself, when it IS NOT!
All it is meant to be is a list of general "Handy Hints" for beginner cyclists, showing them things to watch out for - REGARDLESS OF WHERE THEY ARE!!! It just "happened to be" written after an 8-day trip to Kyushu, where all of the things listed in the "Handy Hints" were part of my experience. But, and I cannot say this often enough or loud enough, IT IS NOT SPECIFICALLY ABOUT KYUSHU!!! Have you got that, jdd? Have you got that, Eric Romney?

The truth is, I had a great time in Kyushu - But you wouldn't know that, because you've never read the actual ride report.
Here it is, day by day:
Day 1 ~ Day 8. Posted by Thomas
You'll have to scroll down to the daily reports, which were posted by Thomas in my stead. You might have to open the "Click to expand..." to read everything.
After you read it, if you still think the trip was a "fail", then you must be on a level of existence I am neither aware or worthy of.
 
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jdd

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Jul 26, 2008
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Kanazawa
#12
What are you on about, and why have you decided to relate the two trips, like it is somehow your duty to discredit @WhiteGiant before he does any more harm, that he didn't do in the first place? This is weird.

Oh hang on. Friday night, init.
Yes, you're right. That was a lot of beer talking, but I'm behind that, so...

@WhiteGiant You have my sincere apology for being a jerk, and if there's anything I could do to make up for this, start a conversation or post here and I'll try.
 
Last edited:

George5

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Oct 16, 2014
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#13
Back on topic, I'm unable to go but where do you typically stay? Is accommodation tight that time of the year? How much luggage do you carry? I read the very informative Kyushu threads and you seemed to carry almost nothing, no PJs? Thanks for that thread and good luck on this.
 

WhiteGiant

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Nov 4, 2006
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Kita-Ueno
#16
Back on topic, I'm unable to go but where do you typically stay? Is accommodation tight that time of the year? How much luggage do you carry? I read the very informative Kyushu threads and you seemed to carry almost nothing, no PJs? Thanks for that thread and good luck on this.
Yes, I generally travel as light as possible.
Being winter, I'll ride in a very warm fleece/lycra/gore-tex jersey with an under-layer, and lycra/gore-tex pants. I usually wear the same things every day, and wash them every second or third night at whatever hotel I'm staying at - Hung in front of the heater, they will be dry by morning. Socks however, must be changed every day (naturally), and I usually carry about 4~5 pairs, including emergency pairs for when it rains, and to wear in the hotel room.
So, the contents of my backpack: Mainly socks! I also carry a pair of ski-pants and a Uniqlo "fleece" to change into when I arrive. They're great if I have to venture outside the hotel. I can also wear them as pyjamas if it's particularly cold. I also take an extra under-layer, like a skivvy or long-sleeve T-shirt.
That's basically it for the clothes - I have a lightweight pair of slip-on shoes, and I'll also take my cycling rain-jacket. So, to sum it up...

I ride in:
  • Top under-layer.
  • Winter Jersey.
  • Winter Cycling Pants.
  • Wool socks.
  • Gloves (and inner liners)
  • Cap (for if it rains - keeps the rain off the glasses)
  • Ear-warmers.
  • Gore-Tex shoe covers

In the backpack (Deuter "Trans Alpine" 25 liter):
  • Socks (4 x pairs)
  • Top under-layer (long-sleeve T-shirt) - spare
  • Ski-pants (black)
  • Uniqlo "Fleece" (front zip)
  • Slip-on shoes (very light & compact)
  • Rain-jacket
  • Toothbrush/paste
  • Phone charger

As for accommodation: Yes, I typically stay in business hotels.
Depending on the season, sometimes I don't even bother making reservations - I simply turn up and hope they have a room available.
This almost backfired once though (during Golden Week), but this time of year, I don't think many places will be particularly full just before new-year.

As for spare parts, I used to carry an actual tyre as well as spare tubes. But recently, just a couple of extra spare tubes (touching wood now, hoping I won't need that tyre).

That's about it, I think.

The one other important tip I could offer about this kind of trip is that I now consciously go as slow as possible on the first day. Rather than going fast the first day and slowly losing speed throughout the trip, I start off going as slow as possible, and end up increasing the speed slightly over the first 3 days - this naturally leads to an early speed plateau, which, although slower than what you would normally do in one day, is sustainable over several days.
 
Likes: George5

George5

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Oct 16, 2014
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#17
Thanks for the detailed reply. Ride safely, I never really understand why people say this to me, it's the idiots that I can't control that are the danger, I am safe. Anyway, watch out for the idiots and have sunny skies and following winds. If you are not married, may the maidens be friendly and attractive and if you are, well may they be not very attractive. Look forward to updates. Are you going into Taiji to sample the local fare on your second day?
 

TCC

Tokyo Cycling Club
Jun 30, 2013
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#18
Thinking about it, this is a pretty monstrous mission you are going on. I know you will be buggered at the end of each day (not like that), but if you have the energy, it would be cool to follow your activities day by day as you do it.

Post a report, or a simple photo of you giving a knackered thumbs up or whatever.

Like Twitter, but slower. Haha.
 
Likes: WhiteGiant

TCC

Tokyo Cycling Club
Jun 30, 2013
2,362
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#20
Out of interest, do you know what the wind direction will be like on each stage, and did this have any influence on your planning?

I always wondered if the big pro tours took this into account too, for the stages.