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New Rider in Akigawa

spooky_cat

Cruising
Aug 16, 2023
12
5
Hello hello!

I'm new in town. My name is Max and I am from the US. My girlfriend has been assigned for 2 years at Yokoto Air Base. We live in Akigawa ( near Fussa & the military base )

I was apart of the gravel scene in Austin, TX. Gravel is huge there because it's one of the few places where you are unlikely to get hit by a Ford SuperDuty.

But it doesn't seem like there are many Ford SuperDuty's around here so I'm excited to start biking on the roads again. Looking for people to ride with ASAP :D

Would also love to know about any weekly group rides near my side of Tokyo. Or what would be a good bike route near me? Or anything! Looking to meet new friends! Thank's Y'all!

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Welcome, Max! And congratulations on living in an excellent part of Tokyo. I'd invite you along on a ride, except that (i) I am ancient and slow, and (ii) I shall soon disappear from Tokyo (reappearing in late October).

Here's a route for you:


It's scenic. It's steep. You may enjoy it, you may hate it; you're unlikely to feel indifferent about it.

For the last three kilometres or so until the top (above the "mushroom", i.e. maitake, place), you're going along a rindō (literally, "forestry road"). It's important to note that cyclists have no right to be on this kind of road, that there's no guarantee that the surface will be safe (and no possibility of complaining if your front wheel falls into some miniature crevasse and you crack your skull), no phone reception, and no ambulances. The surface of this particular rindō is good (my tyres are 28 mm, and friends have done it on 23 mm), and nobody along it has ever looked at me askance, let alone given me a sermon on why I shouldn't be there. However, if you do encounter forestry workers, boar hunters, road maintenance people, etc, along a rindō, good etiquette is to give them priority and get out of their way. This will help protect the reputation of cyclists in general.

PS Part of the road down northwest from the top of Tossaka (aka Tokisaka) too is a rindō. It's blocked to cars by a landslide, but you can walk your bike over this. It might be muddy and horrible if very wet; if this is a worry, just follow the main road and avoid Tossaka. There's also quite a lot of debris along this descent: definitely bring a spare inner tube, etc, along with you.
 
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Once you reach the top -- which according to the monkey stick is at 1146 metres and the highest point on any road in Tokyo -- my route has you descend to your left (the south). Descending to your right (the north) is good too. The route would be a lot longer and you should have good lights. (There are a lot of tunnels, not all of them well lit. And, barely visible in the murk, there can be pedestrians, who might carry toy flashlights or might not.)
 
On the other end of the spectrum... Do you have any go-to flat training loops near Fussa? This is the closest one I have found so far. But I have not ridden it yet so not sure how busy the route is with traffic.:

 
@spooky_cat I would think to go down to the Tamagawa, then along there. I don't ride there, but maybe someone can offer which side is more rideable. I think you can go upriver a little from where you are, but down and back would get you the most flat km.
 
For that stretch of Tamagawa, the path on the left (north/east) bank.

But "training loops" suggests to me that you hope to go fast. You'll be sharing the path (which cyclists optimistically misname "cycle path") with five- to ninety-year-olds riding bikes, runners who may make unannounced U-turns at any point, people walking their pooches, perambulators, and more. Do try not to end anyone's life prematurely.
 
Agreed that if you're pushing the pace you don't want to be on the Tamagawa cycle path at any kind of busy time. There are roads that run parallel to the path though, and you often see guys ripping along those.

For the path itself I find the south bank to be more civilized/less busy, but you need to ride the north bank until you get past Seisekisakuragaoka. About 8km down the river from a point due south of Tachikawa station there's a dogleg in the path where a bunch of people day camp on your right. Immediately following the dogleg/camping area is a bridge to switch to the south bank. That's the one you want.

I commute along the river path, and while I try to maintain a decent speed, I am extremely cautious around other users of the path. If you hit someone, you're gonna be in a world of hurt.
 
Immediately following the dogleg/camping area is a bridge to switch to the south bank.
The dogleg. The bridge slightly downstream from this is Koremasa (是政) bridge. Some people actually prefer not to cross the bridge and they instead continue downstream on the left bank. I'm not one of them. The left bank has a lot more capricious children than has the right, it has almost-barriers and speed bumps seemingly requested by some committee with a hatred of cyclists, and it has other annoyances besides.
 
it has almost-barriers and speed bumps seemingly requested by some committee with a hatred of cyclists, and it has other annoyances besides.
I saw those yesterday! My first thought is that those could really mess someone up if they were biking along at night and not aware of their existence.
 
The dogleg. The bridge slightly downstream from this is Koremasa (是政) bridge. Some people actually prefer not to cross the bridge and they instead continue downstream on the left bank. I'm not one of them. The left bank has a lot more capricious children than has the right, it has almost-barriers and speed bumps seemingly requested by some committee with a hatred of cyclists, and it has other annoyances besides.
Thanks for adding the details. I stay on the south bank as much as possible. Much better for cycling in my experience.
 
Hello hello!

I'm new in town. My name is Max and I am from the US. My girlfriend has been assigned for 2 years at Yokoto Air Base. We live in Akigawa ( near Fussa & the military base )

I was apart of the gravel scene in Austin, TX. Gravel is huge there because it's one of the few places where you are unlikely to get hit by a Ford SuperDuty.

But it doesn't seem like there are many Ford SuperDuty's around here so I'm excited to start biking on the roads again. Looking for people to ride with ASAP :D

Would also love to know about any weekly group rides near my side of Tokyo. Or what would be a good bike route near me? Or anything! Looking to meet new friends! Thank's Y'all!

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Im at Yokota too and there is a few groups who weekly ride! Feel free to reach out and connect!
 
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