Ride Looking to plan/join rides Dec 16 - 20

barnett

Warming-Up
Aug 25, 2019
6
6
3
28
Looking for 60-160km rides with ~3km or less climbs (could be convinced more but would need a good reason 😉) for each day. Can start 7am-9am and looking to end by 5pm. Found a bunch of inspiration for rides from y'all but happy to organize/join others.

Strava profile: https://www.strava.com/athletes/18444351

Arakawa: https://www.strava.com/routes/22843729
Lake Okutama: https://www.strava.com/routes/22843771
Ogawa Machi Mitsumine Loop: https://www.strava.com/routes/20707747
Tama River: (need to plan route)
Tokyo Heart Ride: https://www.strava.com/routes/1287088
 

stu_kawagoe

Maximum Pace
Jun 23, 2018
732
715
123
I'm off that week so I'll try and post a ride up on one of those days. I can probably meet around 8~8:30 in the morning at either Kawagoe or Sakado station. I usually ride around Higashi Chichibu, Moroyama/Ogose and Hanno areas. Btw, there might be road closures on some of those routes you've posted up.
 
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microcord

Maximum Pace
Aug 28, 2012
969
368
83
Tokyo
You helpfully point out that your "Lake Okutama" ride is from this handsome blog page. It takes you via what it calls Tokisaka pass. (I've always thought that the name was pronounced Tossaka, but either or both could be right.) Yes, you can go up there, but you can't descend the other side: instead, you have to make a U-turn. Anyway, go up there and make the U-turn if you wish: then proceed to the blue bridge at 13.7 km on this RwGPS map and decide whether or not to go up to Kanoto rocks and back down. (However, if you do this then wear shoes for walking over wet and slippery boulders: if you don't want to walk over these, then a diversion to Kanoto will be uninteresting.)

After the Kanoto diversion (or not), don't head for Tomin-no-Mori -- a road frequented by people who tend to overestimate their skills handling their bloated and overpowered motorbikes; crashes are common -- but instead follow the route 205 westwards. It's more scenic than the Tomin-no-Mori route. Turn sharp right at 22.8 km. Here is where it gets steep. If you can make it to the mushroom centre (24.3 km) you can do the rest (and you'll be telling yourself that the Tomin-no-Mori route is for sissies). Get to the top (27.1 km) and walk down the steps from an opening in the fence. Careful, you're now in petrol-powered idiot territory. Gingerlily (?) turn right without crossing the road and you'll see a stick which (in Japanese only) announces that you're at the highest point of any road in Tokyo. Take a self-congratulatory selfie there.

Fast forward to the NE edge of lake Okutama. Again, don't follow that Strava map; instead, follow the mukashi-michi (marked, perhaps imperfectly, on the RwGPS map). Scenic, it will make up for the lack of Tossaka/Tokisaka.

This is what I did with two friends last weekend. We started at nine, not seven. For the first twenty kilometres, frost covered most bridges that hadn't yet had sunlight -- and when you're worried about frost, you suddenly realize that there are a lot of inconspicuous bridges. Of course it's going to get colder. Think hard about the chance of black ice. (And yes, somewhere between 28 km and 36 km we saw the aftermath of a motorbike crash.)

Even if you're sure you can do all of this in daylight, take lights, because there are numerous tunnels.
 

microcord

Maximum Pace
Aug 28, 2012
969
368
83
Tokyo
Is that because of recent storm damage? I've ridden up over and down Tossaka, although it was a few years ago.
That's right. Typhoon 19 of mid-October (called Hagibis elsewhere) rendered Tossaka impassable. At the turning up to Tossaka from the east (10.6 km on the RwGPS map, just next to Chitose) you'll see a man standing in the road telling people that yes they can drive up but that they won't be able to go down the other side. We saw him there as recently as last weekend. I believe the road was not just covered in crap but washed away, so no you can't just ignore him and the barriers you're sure to encounter. But I could be wrong. Anyway, if he's not there then you can infer that the road has been fixed, so you can after all go from 10.6 km westward over Tossaka to 16.9 km on the map. And this is what I'd recommend, if it's possible and if you're not in a hurry. NB the descent is steep and black ice there would be lethal.

More generally, remember that 19/Hagibis caused a lot of damage and that if you, O visitor to Tokyo, want to avoid unexpected U-turns you should check to see that any proposed hilly route along minor roads is still open. (Yes, you can ignore some locked gates, but not all.)

More specifically, avoid the mukashi-michi I touted earlier if you're in any kind of hurry. You have to attend to the surface and look out for groups of walkers. Either do it at a very leisurely tourist speed or take the regular road (as shown in the Strava map).
 

barnett

Warming-Up
Aug 25, 2019
6
6
3
28
Really appreciate everyone’s feedback on the recent events around the routes. Any other routes people would recommend for that timing? Very open to any ideas or joining others planned rides.
 

microcord

Maximum Pace
Aug 28, 2012
969
368
83
Tokyo
This ride over Matsuhime pass is one I did very recently. (From 41 km, it's the same as your "Okutama" ride; eastwards from Ōme it's pretty humdrum. You can put your bike and yourself in the train anywhere from Okutama onwards.) I did this ride over Wada, Makime and Hanbaragoe just the day before yesterday. I enjoyed both. As it gets colder, the risk of black ice on either route (particularly the former) of course increases. Careful!

Both routes have sections you should not enter. One of the sections on the latter route is along an actual road (and not merely a "forestry road") and people are working on it. Of course, approach and pass them slowly, quietly, modestly (etc); avoid giving the impression either that you might get in their way or that you're the kind of idiot who might zoom along recklessly and fall into a sinkhole. (Yes, farther along, half a bridge is missing.) An elderly friend of mine and my elderly self have been through there twice since the typhoon and each time amiably said "Konnichiwa" to a guardman, who clearly decided that we posed no threat to anyone, even ourselves, and who didn't hinder us.

The Tama and Arakawa rivers are pretty boring, In My Haughty Opinion: they're just routes to and from places where I'd want to ride. If you want hills 'n' scenery but are worried about black ice, head for the Bōsō peninsula, for example by taking the train to Kurihama or Keikyū Kurihama station and thence the ferry to Kanaya.
 
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barnett

Warming-Up
Aug 25, 2019
6
6
3
28
I'm off that week so I'll try and post a ride up on one of those days. I can probably meet around 8~8:30 in the morning at either Kawagoe or Sakado station. I usually ride around Higashi Chichibu, Moroyama/Ogose and Hanno areas. Btw, there might be road closures on some of those routes you've posted up.
Hey 👋 , flying in tomorrow so maybe Tuesday or later in the week would work for me. When’s good for ya?
 
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stu_kawagoe

Maximum Pace
Jun 23, 2018
732
715
123
@barnett
I’m available on Tuesday. Can you get to Sakado train station? Say around 8~8.30? People do ride out from Tokyo but it’s a fair way (and it’s pretty dark and cold this time of year). I followed you on Strava.
 
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barnett

Warming-Up
Aug 25, 2019
6
6
3
28
@barnett
I’m available on Tuesday. Can you get to Sakado train station? Say around 8~8.30? People do ride out from Tokyo but it’s a fair way (and it’s pretty dark and cold this time of year). I followed you on Strava.
Salads Station works for me, was going to aim for 8:15 so I’d be good by 8:30 on Tuesday (do a quick move around to adjust the rental). Looking forward to it!
 
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stu_kawagoe

Maximum Pace
Jun 23, 2018
732
715
123
I checked the forecast and tomorrow looks pretty rainy so I won’t ride. I could probably reschedule for Thursday if you want. Btw, Wednesday looks nice weather-wise so that might be a good day for you to go out too. Unfortunately I’m busy😞
 
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barnett

Warming-Up
Aug 25, 2019
6
6
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28
Alright rained out for today but let's plan Thursday at 8:30 at Sakado station, that still work? Anyone else want to join?

Also looking to ride tomorrow and friday if anyone wants to?
 
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stu_kawagoe

Maximum Pace
Jun 23, 2018
732
715
123
Alright rained out for today but let's plan Thursday at 8:30 at Sakado station, that still work? Anyone else want to join?

Also looking to ride tomorrow and friday if anyone wants to?
Yep, that should be good. Do you plan to ride back to Sakado station? There are lockers at the station to store your stuff and there’s also a decent onsen nearby. My idea for a basic plan was to ride up to Dodaira Observatory and then make our way down to Ogose on the forest roads. There’s a very bike friendly bakery (Shirokuma) in Ogose that we can stop off at on the way back. See you Thursday.
 
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barnett

Warming-Up
Aug 25, 2019
6
6
3
28
Ya, I have no context on what would be best but riding in a loop back to the station makes it easy. I’ll be able to carry all my things on my bike but the bakery sounds great.
I’ll be coming from Tokyo station so was just planning to ride back/forth from there.
 
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