Lake Okutama Tour

thomas

The Crank Engine
Nov 1, 2005
1,808
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#1
Yesterday, I embarked on a (not so short) one-day ride to Lake Okutama (奥多摩湖) in the very west of Tokyo Prefecture. Here's a short summary.

I started at 8.20am from Koto-ku, heading west on Yasukuni dori and Ome Kaido via Shinjuku. Terrific weather and the Golden Week contributed to a massive flood of day-trippers. I am not very fond of using Ome Kaido, as it is quite busy and narrow. In case you know of any viable alternatives, please let me know. :D

I reached Ome City around 11.15am despite the heavy stop-and-go traffic. Having impatiently jumped between street and pavement too often I was rewarded with a flat rear tyre. A local jitensha-ya-san helped me changing the tube, but well, he was a mamma-charrie-type of jitensha-ya-san, so my tyre felt quite uneven, producing this beating kind of sound. The flat tyre had cost me about 45 mins in delay. I decided to continue against all odds (and without spare tube), reaching Okutama-ko around 1.20pm (exactly 80km from my home, and a ride of 3:26'). The climb up to the lake is not that challenging, the traffic was however!

It is amazing how many kind people you met on your way. I will remember Kenta-san from Kokubunji who made the same trip up to the lake on a shopping bike! And the friendly mountain-biking ojisan from Tachikawa who - after overtaking him for the third time - shared his anko-mochi with me.

I returned home via Ome Kaido (did you know that street stretches for about 50km from Ome to Shinjuku???).

Find my specs below (and pics in the gallery):

05/04/06 (CB)

Distance 164,81 km
Av 24,5
Mx 55,3
Odo 2209,8
Time 6:42'15

Below: a picture of Ogochi Dam (小河内ダム)
 

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
2,661
477
103
Japan
#2
that brings back memories. I used to do that ride about 3 or 4 times a year from Saitama. I went up route 16 through
Kawagoe then cut across from Iruma to Ome and up the Gorge to the lake. It was always a blast on the down hill but one high school boy from Omiya, a long time ago, got hit and killed by a car when he went too wide on a corner coming down so everyone always told me how dangerous it was. From my house it was also exactly 160kms so that was my standard century ride. I don't remember the traffic being that bad and almost never saw other cyclists. The views down to the river were spectacular and at one place, Kawaii, if my memory serves me correctly you could often see kayakers playing in funboats in the rapids.
Thanks for bringing those back.
 

Ash

Warming-Up
Apr 23, 2006
686
1
0
shakujiidai, nerima ku, tokyo
#3
hi Thomas!

Thanks for your mail! You should have told me you were going, I have done that ride myself! You must have just about passed my house!:mad:

I think though a better ride is from musashiichikaiichi station, go 17k lovely rolling flat through forest and then it is an 18k climb over the top of the mountain (tokyo's highest point)and then a 9k descent down to Okutamako (lake Okutama). Then home on omekaido. The mountain pass is closed during the winter but when it opens let me know and we (and anyone else whol wants to come) can do it! It is a very challenging climb, to say the least.

well done anyway!

Ash
 

thomas

The Crank Engine
Nov 1, 2005
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#4
Thanks for your interest, guys. Ash, I actually did that tour last May, but I am always ready for another run. I think I need a bit of training during the 正月 holidays. :)
 

KWill

Warming-Up
Oct 7, 2006
47
0
0
Yokota Air Base, Japan
#5
hi Thomas!

Thanks for your mail! You should have told me you were going, I have done that ride myself! You must have just about passed my house!:mad:

I think though a better ride is from musashiichikaiichi station, go 17k lovely rolling flat through forest and then it is an 18k climb over the top of the mountain (tokyo's highest point)and then a 9k descent down to Okutamako (lake Okutama). Then home on omekaido. The mountain pass is closed during the winter but when it opens let me know and we (and anyone else whol wants to come) can do it! It is a very challenging climb, to say the least.

well done anyway!

Ash

I tried that climb about a month ago and it took everything I had to make it...I'm still 200lbs. I perfer the 411 route until I drop about 20lbs.
 

thomas

The Crank Engine
Nov 1, 2005
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#6
I did the Tomi-no-mori route yesterday - by accident actually. Riding up to Lake Okutama via Route 411 I met Arai-san, a very interesting gentleman who was interested in joining the TCC and who recommended me to take Route 206 up to Tomin-no-mori.

itsukaichi_010407_01.jpg


He told me it would take about an hour to reach the peak and he was right. The road is closed during night in winter and - not being exposed to sunlight - it was wet. Not a lot of traffic, but a lot of motor bikes and sports cars revving up their engines. The view however is spectacular.

itsukaichi_010407_03.jpg


It seems that the climb from Okutama-ko is steeper than starting to ascend Tomin-no-mori from Itsukaichi: less inclination, but much longer. Long live my Shimano granny gear! Descending into Akiruno and Itsukaichi was fantastic, negligible traffic, challenging curves, but my fingers and legs got very cold.

itsukaichi_010407_04.jpg


Reaching Itsukaichi was a bit difficult, because there were not even Japanese roadsigns, I had to ask for my way twice. Itsukaichi is - surprise, surprise! - the starting point of Itsukaichi Kaido (the infamous and narrow Route 7), I rode it from one end to the other. Route 7 is shortly interrupted nearby Haijima Sta. where you have to cross Route 16 close to Yokota AFB and continue to Shinjuku.

My stats:

Distance 198,75 km
Av 25,9
Mx 55,6
Time 7:39'27
 

thomas

The Crank Engine
Nov 1, 2005
1,808
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#7
I did it again!

As I have missed the Tour d'Okutamako last week I decided to head up to Tomin-no-mori once again, doing a clockwise loop from eastern Tokyo to Itsukaichi taking Route 7, then up to Tomin-no-mori, down to Lake Okutama and back home via Routes 411 and 5 (Ome Kaido).

Today's stats:

Distance 197,08 km
Av 23,6
Mx 56,6 <-- guess where...? Of course Yasukuni dori!
Time 7:32'00
I had started quite late and eventually reached Itsukaichi around 12.30pm (78km from my place). Thanks to Travis' superb directions it was easy to find my way up to Tomin-no-mori via Routes 33 and 206. Actually, they do have roadsigns in Japanese and English, but they are only visible when you start to climb from Itsukaichi.

Travis, I couldn't break your record up Route 206: :D

Dst 15,53
Av 15,7
Tm 0:59'11
I came close to your 0:57'30, but you are still entitled to the maillot à pois rouges. :)

The weather was quite sunny, not too cold, but there was still some snow and plenty of icy stretches, especially on the descent down to Okutama-ko. Therefore, I could not release the brakes as often as I wished.

itsukaichi_011207_09.jpg


Technically, I was very satisfied with the performance of my new Bontrager wheelset: light, stable and fast. Also, I've installed a longer stem and a narrower handlebar (40cm C-C) which possibly adds a bit of geometric instability, but significantly increases manoeuvrability.

Man, I just wish Ome Kaido had less traffic lights... :warau:
 

WhiteGiant

Maximum Pace
Nov 4, 2006
1,192
240
93
Kita-Ueno
#8
Hell of a ride!

Well done, Thomas!
If it's any consolation, you already had 60km more on the clock at the start of the climb than I had - I ended up taking the train the whole way to Haijima.
Still, you broke the "hour"! And that's a feat in itself! This time was my 7th time up Rte. 206, so I know the course fairly well - It was your first time, and you still made it in an awesome time! Really, Congratulations!!! (My first time up there took more than 2 hours).
I'm definitely going to ride in the "Tour de Kusatsu" race (I'll put out a post in regards to that race at a later date) again this year, and that Okutama ride is our (the friends' I race with) official training ground - we try to do it at least 2-3 times in March and April.

Also, those new wheels look really light & sexy! I'm glad they handled well.
And that decent in the warmer months, is absolutely fantastic - after all the snow and ice has gone!
Take care, and I'll catch you on the next ride! T
 

thomas

The Crank Engine
Nov 1, 2005
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#9
Hit Tomin-no-mori once again today. While the weather conditions were not brilliant (drizzling all day long), traffic conditions were in fact. I took Routes 20, 29, 16 and 7 to Musashi-Itsukaichi, as usual and arrived at the "Tomin-no-mori Starting Point" at 11:30am. I am glad to announce that I have broken my personal hill climb record (see below), though I couldn't beat Alan's fabulous time. :)

I returned via Route 411 down to Ome and from there via Akigawa dori (another 5km hill climb I hadn't expected) and Itsukaichi back to Tokyo. My bike has never been as dirty as today.

Stats:

First leg (to "Tomin-no-mori Hill Climb Start")

Dst 78,25
Av 28,6
Mx 48,2
Tm 2:44'06

Second leg (hillclimb)

Dst 15,37
Av 17,1
Mx 47,3
Tm 0:53'46

Third leg

Dst 114,91
Av 29,9
Mx 55,2
Tm 3:50'31

Total:

Dst 208,53
Av 25,2
Mx 55,2
Odo 1260,2
Tm 7:27'23


Sorry, keitai pic only:
 

specbiker

Warming-Up
Jan 10, 2007
5
0
0
fussa
#11
timed climbing route

I ride this quite a bit durring the summer and was wondering where you guys start and stop for the timed part. Do you start at musashitsukaichi station or where 33 and 206 split and go to the top at the sengen ridge parking lot or the tsukiyomi parking lot?

Paul
 

thomas

The Crank Engine
Nov 1, 2005
1,808
215
93
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#12
I ride this quite a bit durring the summer and was wondering where you guys start and stop for the timed part. Do you start at musashitsukaichi station or where 33 and 206 split and go to the top at the sengen ridge parking lot or the tsukiyomi parking lot?
We start clocking at the fork of Route 33/206:

DSC01688.JPG


The finish line is at the very peak of that hill, between the parking lots actually and next to a large antenna.