Ride Mt Shirane and surrounds

theBlob

Bokeh master
Sep 28, 2011
2,863
1,450
129
...
#1
Last weekend a few of us took to the hills of Gunma to revisit a ride we did in 2013 to Mt Shirane. It is a spectacular route reaching just over 2000m. Due to logistics it was a car trip to the starting point and thus it wasn't posted in advance. (My apologies to anyone who might have wanted to attend- Please post up if you might want to join in the future as there are more distant missions on the horizon)

Anyway we left Tokyo at 6am and made good pace on the highway arriving at our destination still with a solid cloud cover. But it wasn't cold so I left my jacket in the car and we set off. Heath, Darragh, Ben, Takaaki and me.
We started through the rolling foothills slowly rising to the first climb about 6km 500m. As with all the hills around that area it wasn't so steep and was green and very pleasant. After a chilly descent down the backside it was onto Mt Shirane which starts with a 500m climb to the onsen town of Kusatsu. The clouds were looking ominous above and I was wondering if we might see some rain. We regrouped and decided to push on to the first chairlift going up the mountain. As we climbed the clouds started to clear or should I say we started to climb through them. All of a sudden we broke through into full sunshine and continued the climb above the clouds to the top at just over 2000m.

Mt Shirane is one of those classic big snow mountain climbs, steady 5-6%, amazing views, nice well kept wide road. We passed the sulfur moonscapes and up and up, switchback after switchback.

Reaching the top we found the large restaurant that used to be packed with busses and tourists boarded up and the entire sides of the road roped off so you couldn't stop. I stopped for a pic and some guy in a van stopped and started yelling at me. Then some other hard hatted dudes yelled at me further when I headed into the restaurant area through a small gap in the rope. Apparently the mountain is about to blow... well if you believe the guys sitting on top of it!

We regrouped and started heading down... Monster descent, taking no prisoners of course.
Lunch at the bottom then we made our way over the next hill a 6km 450m hill again not so steep. Lovely and quiet. and from there back to the car, A decent headwind kicked in for the last 10km or so, so called @Mlac Peek to assume his usual role, and he looked happy to be asked such an important task. We made it back with me winning the final sprint and thus the entire ride!!!!

Off to the Onsen, Ramen just to complete another top day on the bike! Great scenery, roads, and of course company!

Certainly one to remember and looking forward to next months trip.
Just a few pics, I'm sure the lads will post a few more...

Mr No face otherwise known as ...@kawa

Rising above the clouds
 
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luka

Maximum Pace
Jan 13, 2015
903
444
93
#6
Looks fantastic! I've done some climbing in Gunma and love it so far, though I'm usually limited to what is accessible from Tokyo by train in a single day there and back. Fat chance I know, but if there's an empty seat or something next time I'd love to join. My usual car rental joint is useless, as it starts from 8 and doesn't do overnight rental, but I'd be more than happy to chip in for fuel and expenses etc. or otherwise contribute, so if there are any openings I'd appreciate a shout out.
 

theBlob

Bokeh master
Sep 28, 2011
2,863
1,450
129
...
#10
Unfortunately I lost my phone last night, so unless the person who picked it up decides to hand it in that will be the end of my ride photos... :mad::merde:
 

andywood

Maximum Pace
Apr 8, 2008
1,597
1,277
133
Niigata
#13
If you do this ride again I'd love to ride out and meet you.

In the summer we have a club run out from here, climb over from the Nagano side and spend the night in Kusatsu.

Ride back the next day.

Will post on here if it gets organized this year too.

Andy

www.jyonnobitime.com/time
 
Likes: Heath

leicaman

Maximum Pace
Sep 20, 2012
2,514
2,191
133
Asakadai, Saitama
#14
If you do this ride again I'd love to ride out and meet you.

In the summer we have a club run out from here, climb over from the Nagano side and spend the night in Kusatsu.

Ride back the next day.

Will post on here if it gets organized this year too.

Andy

www.jyonnobitime.com/time
I might be doing it pretty soon. I was going to join last Sunday but then I went and lost my drivers license (as in , I can't find it..... Not a driving ban ;) ). Will give you a shout when I plan to do it
 
Likes: andywood

Heath

Maximum Pace
Dec 13, 2014
525
452
93
47
Kamagaya
www.nanairogakudo.com
#18
@theBlob took out the, 'fastest time award' in the sprint to the finish.
That was a dandy effort, indeed!

Do you reckon that I managed to grab, 'the quote of the ride award' when I said to Spartacus (@Mlac Peek ), "Mate, you could stop for a dump and still catch up." after @Mlac Peek stopped for a slash on the first climb and caught back up (easily) to the fronties?

Just sayin'.
 
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