new Tokyo~Itoigawa route

andywood

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Apr 8, 2008
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#1
It seems that Tokyo~Itoigawa will be taking a new route this year after the big hotel at the finish has been sold to new owners.

Apparently it will follow the same route as October's team event:

http://latlonglab.yahoo.co.jp/route/watch?id=cbbd586845be554f04b5bebd21ff3205

Presuming it will start in Takao as usual and not Yamanashi (as in the route above), that should make it 300km plus.

I know the roads through Nagano and Niigata but would be interested to hear about the roads after Kofu (Tom! Ludwig!).

Not looked at it closely but it looks like an easier route in terms of climbing but a more difficult route in terms of the likelihood of getting lost!

Andy

www.jyonnobitime.com/time
 

Ludwig

Speeding Up
Oct 9, 2008
871
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36
Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
#2
It's a bit strange they would give up on the historical route. The new one is already 272km, so I presume the start would really be where it is indicated - though that itself is an odd spot.

The route is not quite as bad in terms of truck traffic than the old one, but it is not great either. Route 141 has quite some truck traffic too. Route 18 up to Nagano-shi is not quite so bad, because of the highway running parallel. After Nagano-shi it gets again worse.

If they were really worried about the safety of riders, they could have come up with a much safer route, either one that runs quite close by the new one, or one that starts in Ome and goes ultimately over Jikkoku Toge. Maybe you can offer me as route advisor? :)
 

TOM

Maximum Pace
#3
Thanks a lot for sharing this info Andy.

I think Ludwig's idea to let the event start from Ome (still Tokyo) over Jikkoku-toge is brilliant but then the subtitle would probably need to be changed to "Slow Run" :D but why not?

Starting from Ome and going over Yanagisawa-toge down to Katsunuma and the historic route could also be an alternative...but I'm not as good at routing than Ludwig is!

Personally I don't mind the extra distance (every year I was adding 30k from my place to Takao anyways) and I'm OK with the road/traffic conditions of the historic TOITO route.
 

dgl2

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Nov 3, 2007
284
48
48
Tokyo - Minato-ku
#4
Rte 141 for Tokyo-Itoigawa

A great reason to try Tokyo-Itoigawa again next year!

I've fond memories of Rte 141 from several Brevets this and last year. Much less traffic after 10PM than during a Saturday afternoon.

-- the climb from Kofu to Nobeyama tops out at around 1400m elevation, almost 400 meters higher than Route 20/Fujimidai and a long way from the low point in Kofu (approx 300m elev?). A real climb. If they started at Takao and took this route, I think it would be at least another 60-65 km beyond the 271 km shown on Andy's linked Route Labo map, over 330km total. Combine long distance and the long climb to Kiyosato/Nobeyama, and it would be more of a challenge, and I think will take an hour or two longer at least on average ... even if it is very fast from Nobeyama to Saku.

-- Yes, agree with Ludwig that the part of Route 141 as you approach Saku from the South can have fairly heavy truck traffic and is a bit narrow for a stretch (heading North, after Koumi and Rte 299, if memory serves). But when I've taken it the traffic has always been flowing. And I don't recall as many traffic lights as heading through Matsumoto on Route 20.

I've never done the stretch from Nagano-shi to the coast, ... but it cannot be worse than the tunnels north of Hakuba.
 

andywood

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Apr 8, 2008
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#6
Nothing confirmed as yet, but looks like they'll be starting from the same point on that map. Yamanashi~Nao doesn't quite have the same ring to it!

The high point is 1387 m apparently.

I can confirm R18 from Nojiriko to Naoetsu is a much better road. Perhaps the fastest stretch of road (of notable length) that I've ever ridden on. We ride it quite a bit as a "BBQ run" finishing in Takada. You can do 60kmph all the way. Much faster than the cars, so you have to be careful of cars turning into or out from the left.

Also lots of nice riding options around there for the Sunday if you have anything left in your legs.....

Andy

www.jyonnobitime.com/time
 

dgl2

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Nov 3, 2007
284
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48
Tokyo - Minato-ku
#9
Still on Route 20 Kofu to Matsumoto

Hi Andy:

Good to have it posted on LatLonglab.

I was expecting that the route would go on Route 141 via Nobeyama and down to Saku, but it looks as if it still goes via Route 20 past Kofu, to Suwa and Shiojiri/Matsumoto, then veers Eastward to finish via Nagano city instead of the Hakuba route. At least it avoids the tunnels. And the climb after Nagano city looks if anything easier than getting from Takao to Sasago, and is followed by the fast stretch you mention. I think it will be an easier route than the old route, as long as there is not a stiff headwind along the coast line.

I guess if the start is very early (as usual), then it has the added advantage of going through Kofu before there is any traffic, and Matsumoto by mid-morning. The last time I took Route 19 between Matsumoto/Akashina and Nagano it was almost deserted and quite nice ... then again, that was after midnight, on a Brevet.

I see that entries have not yet been opened. Please post when they do.

If there are not other volunteers, if the entries work the same as in the past, if there is interest from a TCC group this year, if the deadline is after I get back to Tokyo next month, and if my schedule stays open on May 19 so that I can ride again this ... then I'll be happy to act as Directeur Sportif as well as a rider, and to organize entries for a TCC team.

Hope we can get the TCC kit delivered in time for a May 19 event. It seems far away, but time flies.
 
Sep 2, 2009
5
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#10
Hope we can get the TCC kit delivered in time for a May 19 event. It seems far away, but time flies.
I can't absolutely guarantee that you will have it by then, as the orders not only rely on me, but also the members to get their money in at a reasonable speed, but I will do everything in my power to get this done for you in time.

Thanks
 

andywood

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Apr 8, 2008
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#14
Just had a chance to look at tghe map properly.

I really like the look of this course. It cuts out all the major tunnels which is a plus.

I'm not sure about the initial climb and bump before picking up route 20. I want to check out this part of the course.

From here the course is still the same through Matsumoto before heading towards Nagano (instead of veering off towards Omachi).

The climb from Nagano to Shinanomachi is quite a tough one. I usually come down it the other way as part of our team's 200km TOITO training route. It's a 70 kmph chin on the stem drop for a good few kilometres. Coming up, I imagine it will be a case of finding a good climbing rhythm. Maybe this year I'll do the 200k loop in reverse to practice it.

From Shinanomachi down to the coast it's downhill all the way. And very fast. Even with a head wind, you can get good momentum going on this stretch.

Certainly much easier than the route down from Omachi to Itoigawa which has a few nasty bumps that feel like big climbs after 250 km.

As for the final section of coast road, there will likely be a wind (there usually is). This direction often changes during the day too so it's difficult to predict which way it will be blowing.....

There is actually a cycle path right down the coast from Joetsu to Itoigawa (an old train line) - although I want to be going as fast as possible!

Andy

www.jyonnobitime.com/time
 

basilleroux

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Jun 26, 2011
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Tokyo
#15
hi Andy, I am relatively new to Japan. Can you give me some details of what this is, when, how long it takes, entry requirements etc.

Many thanks, Basil
 

andywood

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Apr 8, 2008
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#16
Edit:
Those two early bumps in the profile must be the climbs up Fujimi Toge and the climb after Lake Suwa…

Basil, in answer to your questions:

It’s a long ride from Tokyo ~ Itoigawa. It’s been run for 40 years starting from Takao station and finishing in Itoigawa. This year the start will be in Yamanashi.

There are aid stations along the way where you can pick up food and drinks. You also get your time card stamped here. At the end you get a certificate with your time splits. There are prizes too. However, the word “race” is avoided for legal and insurance purposes (the event takes place on open roads).


This year it will be held on May 19th (Sat). How long it takes depends on how fast you ride it. Anything ranging from 8 to 16 hours. However, the organizers would like you in Itoigawa before it gets dark so slower riders go off first very early in the morning (when you apply, you give the organisers an estimate of the time you require).


As for entry, it’s not openly advertised but is on a team invitation basis. TCC have been present for the last few years. David mentioned he could help organize things if TCC members are interested.


For more information check out Tom’s post about the history of the event:


http://vlaamsewielrenner.blogspot.com/2008/05/37th-tokyoitoigawa-fast-run-classic.html


And Mob’ post about the nitty gritty of it:


http://cyclitis.wordpress.com/2008/05/20/the-true-tokyo-itoigawa-monogatari/

Andy

www.jyonnobitime.com/time
 

joewein

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Oct 25, 2011
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joewein.net
#17
This year it will be held on May 19th (Sat). How long it takes depends on how fast you ride it. Anything ranging from 8 to 16 hours. However, the organizers would like you in Itoigawa before it gets dark so slower riders go off first very early in the morning (when you apply, you give the organisers an estimate of the time you require).
For what it's worth, there will be 14 hours of daylight on 19 May 2012:

Sunrise: 04:33
Sunset: 18:42
Hours of daylight: 14h 09m 09s
To cover 308 km in 14 hours requires roughly a 22 km/h average. I know I couldn't keep up with a TCC team, but it sounds interesting :)
 

dgl2

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Nov 3, 2007
284
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Tokyo - Minato-ku
#19
Tokyo Itoigawa info

No limit on team size. Some years they have had a lottery to see which teams get in.

Last year I think the fee was 10,000 yen, including a basic box dinner, transfer of a bag from start to finish, some snacks at the intermediate checkpoints, etc. Plus another 7000~8000 yen for accommodations and breakfast in Itoigawa Saturday night. And we will need a place to stay Friday night (a short night) near the start in Yamanashi, unless you use a hammock, like Gunnar, or crash in a Gusto 24 hour restaurant, as I think someone might have done last year. Most people will take a train out Friday night on the Chuo Line to Yamanashi since the really, really early starts (3AM to 6AM slots?) make it impossible to get there from Tokyo on Saturday morning.

If you have the legs and the weather cooperates you can ride back all or part of the way on Sunday, but most people take the train ... which is an express along the Japan Sea to Echigo Yuzawa, and Shinkansen from there -- pretty fast trip home. Last year it was pouring rain on Sunday morning.
 

Pedro

Speeding Up
Mar 1, 2009
68
18
28
Kichijoji-Honcho
#20
Thanks Dgl2,

I'm really interested in doing this. A Question...Will someone sing out when you have to sign up? The bike store I rode for used to handle all the logistics when it came to entry forms etc, so I apologize for my ignorance. Thanks again for the information

Cheers, Pete