Komatsu Ride Suggestions

Malte

Maximum Pace
Sep 26, 2011
496
54
48
Tokyo
#1
I will be going to Komatsu (by plane) and think about bringing my bike along. I struggle to find/invent great routes for a one day trip (~200km). There seems only the Rd158 in the south and Rd54 (Bunao Pass) in the north to pass the mountain ridge.

So far I am thinking:
a) Loops ending in Komatsu. I had two ideas:

a1) Komatsu Loop (draft)
a2) Kanazawa to KomatsuLoop (draft)

b) Send my luggage back via takkyubin from Komatsu, do a ride (maybe jump on the train for some station first) and return with Shinkansen back to Tokyo

Idea b1): Komatsu to Maibara (draft)
Idea b2): Kanazawa to Nagoya (draft)

Any ideas/ recommendations?
Which roads to avoid?
 

jdd

Maximum Pace
Hardest Crash
Jul 26, 2008
2,523
650
133
Kanazawa
#3
First, I'm not sure Bunao pass is open. It's a beautiful area, but is most always closed to vehicles. (bikes?) Some truly serious climbing, if open...!

Leaving/returning to komatsu, you might adjust your routing north a little and follow tedori-gawa (手取川). On the north side, there's a levee road (also open to cars but traffic is nil) between Mikawa (美川) and Tsurugi (鶴来). Zoom in, and this loop shows that section: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/232727880

From Tsurugi into the mtns (or down & out to Tsurugi), pretty much stay on the south side of the river: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/162624209 (of course further into the mtns is possible)

Both of those show how to get from Tsurugi into Kanazawa, where you could add this loop: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/179942182

Or this one: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/172719404

And it'd be easy to combine those two, plus linking them with Kanazawa-Tsurugi-Tedorigawa/Mikawa-Komatsu. Cruise on up Tedorigawa to Watagataki and beyond on the way back. (If you come across a road called Hakusan super rindo, it's closed to cyclists.)

Your first big loop seems to circle around and miss 県民の森. (google: 石川県加賀市山中温泉上新保町 県民の森) That area is good riding, w/lots of climbing. One local club (tondemo) loops thru there all the time.
 

jdd

Maximum Pace
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Jul 26, 2008
2,523
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133
Kanazawa
#4
http://ridewithgps.com/routes/1844138

Add 13km each way between the start point and Mikawa (美川), maybe another 8 between there and the airport. Also +11km from end point back to the start. From about the 18km mark on, you'll be out of town, Fukumitsu (general area is also called Nanto) is very quiet with almost no restaurants/combini, but enough machines. Very quiet from there back around to Kanazawa. Then at the 56.8km (or 60km) decision points--continue as I have drawn, or return to Kanazawa on route 10 (or 207) and find your way back to Tsurugi, Mikawa, and the airport.

For shorter return but another 1000m of (really steep) climbing, look at 77.4km on the above map, and then do this: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/1844184 Personally, there's no way I'd do this chunk unless I had mtn gearing, but you may find a challenge in that.
 

Malte

Maximum Pace
Sep 26, 2011
496
54
48
Tokyo
#6
http://ridewithgps.com/routes/1844138

Add 13km each way between the start point and Mikawa (美川), maybe another 8 between there and the airport. Also +11km from end point back to the start. From about the 18km mark on, you'll be out of town, Fukumitsu (general area is also called Nanto) is very quiet with almost no restaurants/combini, but enough machines. Very quiet from there back around to Kanazawa. Then at the 56.8km (or 60km) decision points--continue as I have drawn, or return to Kanazawa on route 10 (or 207) and find your way back to Tsurugi, Mikawa, and the airport.

For shorter return but another 1000m of (really steep) climbing, look at 77.4km on the above map, and then do this: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/1844184 Personally, there's no way I'd do this chunk unless I had mtn gearing, but you may find a challenge in that.
Thanks a lot for all these great suggestions, I am considering a loop again. But it will also depend on the weather. I see rain in the long therm forcast (for next weekend) but then you posted this ... is that Kanazawa now? :eek:
 

jdd

Maximum Pace
Hardest Crash
Jul 26, 2008
2,523
650
133
Kanazawa
#7
Note that on that loop, you go up to and then back towards Kanazawa from the reservoir (Tori dam), about the 40km mark. Do this loop in reverse (shorter to the dam) and from Tori dam you could give the Bunao Pass a try. If it's open, fine, if not, then back down to Fukumitsu and Kanazawa. (It's steep, and some of the road-side drop-offs are jaw-droppingly vertical, w/no guardrail)

Yes, the week is looking wet, but sat/sun might be okay:
http://www.jma.go.jp/jp/week/325.html
 

jdd

Maximum Pace
Hardest Crash
Jul 26, 2008
2,523
650
133
Kanazawa
#9
Thanks John for the suggestions.
I have now drawn a loop with and without Bunao Toge.
Only one or two more comments. On both those, you're doing the same routing thru Kanazawa on regular roads. On your "with" map, at the 157.8km point, compare this: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/1849120 (you have to turn off "follow roads" to draw that)

The start point for that is 50m or so towards the river from your 157.8 turn. Going to my start point and making a right is illegal for cars, but bikes do it all the time. This follows roads paralleling the river up to the 4.8km point, at which you jump onto the riverside cycling path (there's a little more cycle path before this, but its surface is marginal). The first 1.5km of this route is fast, then slower thru town, and a few lights. The cycle path is as fast as you want it to be. Last, I've ended this course at the last combini before the run along the coast. Note the different turn point than on your "with" course at 170.6. Follow that road on past the combini and you'll naturally join your course along the しおさいロード (a really nice stretch).

Second, on your "with" course, at the 175.5 point you jump to the seaside cycling path. I do that leg a lot (usually, in fact), but route 25 is also okay: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/1849151

Choice might depend on wind direction, traffic, how tired you are, time of day, etc. Evening rush hour can be busy on 25, and while it's mostly fine with a decent enough shoulder, it is tight in a few places. With a tail wind it can be really fast, or even with no wind the traffic can pull you along. The seaside cycle path is slower (25kph?), and while mostly fine, there are a few sections where worn expansion joints make it bumpy. But it's traffic-free if you're tired and don't want to think. And the ocean is nicer to look at than a road.

Finally, after either of these last choices, you cross Tedorigawa (手取川) and have your route going on south along the coastal path again. It's been quite a while since I've been on that, so I can't offer anything on its condition.

Good luck!
 

Malte

Maximum Pace
Sep 26, 2011
496
54
48
Tokyo
#10
So here the quick ride report (mainly copied from my Strava comment) with some photos. The actually route I took is here and changed quite a bit from what I actually planned.

It started to rain as soon as I arrived in Kanazawa city. Weather cleared up at the top of Yugiri Toge (夕霧峠) but it was freezing cold (5°C) and I was wet to the bones. Rode up to Tori Dam (刀利ダム) and tried to climb Bunao Toge (ブナオ峠) but needed to abort it as the road was in extreme bad conditions with trees and giant stones laying all over the road (climbed over them for some km). So I went back and got a puncture of my front tire. I forgot my pump on the other bike and only had a CO2 cartridge. As everything was wet the value froze immediately, releasing all the CO2 again. Managed to get the tire half inflated with the remaining CO2. As the front wheel was a bit wobbly now and as I didn't had any more spare air I gave up my initial plan of going back through the mountains and went back through Kanazawa and the Shiosai Road instead. Of course it rained most of the way back. No extreme distance and no extreme climbing but the 'cold and wet' took their toll, I was pretty spent when arriving back at the hotel. One reason might have been that I didn't eat much as taking of the soaking wet gloves was a pain of its-self.

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jdd

Maximum Pace
Hardest Crash
Jul 26, 2008
2,523
650
133
Kanazawa
#12
Malte--sorry for the late reply...

Yes, it was rainy sat. a.m., but it did clear off later. (Sunday was fine) Too bad about that. I don't know if you passed it, but as for the tire, this LBS was just off your route. Not the cheapest place (full retail prices), but I do use them for some things, and they'd've had a pump to use or CO2 bombs for sale.

I guess one of your pics is towards Bunao--long ago I was up that road in a car, and did some hiking from a parking area. Definitely bear bell country. But I've never been all the way over to Shirakawago. I'm not at all surprised that it is as impassable as it appears to be.

I hope it was overall positive enough to come back someday!
 

Malte

Maximum Pace
Sep 26, 2011
496
54
48
Tokyo
#13
I guess one of your pics is towards Bunao--long ago I was up that road in a car, and did some hiking from a parking area. Definitely bear bell country. But I've never been all the way over to Shirakawago. I'm not at all surprised that it is as impassable as it appears to be.

I hope it was overall positive enough to come back someday!
Hi John,
wrote the report on the same days night, so it might sounded a bit negative. However I think it's a great area for cycling and on the next chance I will do it again. Actually I was a bit more lucky on Friday morning with the weather and did a short loop. The flat and the pump was my own stupidity, I just found out that I had a 1cm cut in the tire, so maybe good I didn't inflate it more. I found this video about Bunao-toge, so some years back it looked passable.