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Nagano Report


Maximum Pace
Jan 14, 2007
We just spent Sunday to Wed in Nagano in a little town called Iida.
A few Japanese pro teams (Meitan & Daihatsu sponsored teams for example). have houses in this town as a base for their off season training so it's an excellent place for cycling.


A friend of ours has retired there and lives amongst the apple and peach orchards.
Right across the road from his home is a 2 km long straight narrow road (Cat 2---bordering on Cat 1) climb which was the warm up. The 1st day I took my son up and he rode his mum's Trek 1500 with his running shoes on. He made it which was surprisng as the pull with the cleats was necesary for me to get up. Once we got to the top we took off on a road called 'Harmonic Drive). It's a rolling harmonic road that skirts across the mountains... For about 10km we planned to go but my son soon found the climbs too hard with no cleats on, so we went back. Our arms were in agony from the braking down the steep descent. I went back later myself and finished the ride myself.

It was a busy trip and the only other ride I did was with my wife. She hasn't been riding much lately so we did the same course along Harmonic drive. Up & down, up & down across for about 10km. The first 10 km was mostly down and the up's were easy with the momentum. The return journey though was a challenge with some very long climbs. My wife had to bail out and walk the hardest climb so I doubled back and did it again... and again as I looped back to see how my wife was fairing. I ended up riding the whole course about twice while she recovered. (she almost passed out at one stage and had to lie down).

It was hot but not too hot....

This harmonic road was the highlight for the riding and there were many other roads branching off and up into the peaks as we passed them.... Some very hard cat 1 climbs. The rides down into the rivers were good as well.

For training I could see why the teams have houses down there. It is an excellent place for cyclists.

Now the bad part....



On the way home, while pulling into a supermarket to stock up on cool drinks we heard a large bang and then saw what looked like the feathers you see falling on cartoon's after a chicken explodes or something.... the fibreglassy fragments drifting down around the car were what was left of my wife's saddle as we hit an over head walkway roof in the outdoor carpark...the bikes had collided with the low steel framework of the roof.
We'd completely forgotten about the bikes on the roof....

I haven't had a chance to inspect closely as I was in a bit of shock...but my front fork will need replacing, the roof racks are bent down, the rack's brackets bent up and I'm just about to go outside now and inspect the total damage a little closer...

Hopefully all we need is a new saddle for my wife and a new set of forks for me, but the frames may be bent, the wheels may be buckled....etc....


All in all a good cycling trip... will upload some pics later...

Sounds like a great area for cycling. I have been hiking in Nagano but not cycling yet. It's a really beautiful area. With great onsens to boot. After reading your report I feel like taking a few days holiday and heading off to that little village in the mountains. Umm may be next month if I can.

Two bikes on the top of the car have been damaged:eek: That's terrible. I hope they will be ok. Frames can be pretty tough.

If the worst comes to the worst, you can always buy the new bike you have been looking for.
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