Half Fast Nichitsu ghost town autumn leaves -- Nov 2, 2014

joewein

joewein

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#1


This is an early announcement for a scenic autumn leaves viewing ride from Seibuchichibu station in Chichibu to the Nichitsu ghost town in the mountains to the west of Chichibu, Saitama on the first November weekend. I'm doing this ride for the 3rd year in a row (2012 ride pictures here, 2013 ride report here).

Start time and arrival
The ride will be on Sunday, 2 November 2014, with a possibility of postponing it to Monday, 3 November 2014 (which will be a public holiday, Culture Day) if the weather turns out to be unsuitable on Sunday.

I'll be taking the Seibu Red Arrow at 06:50 from Ikebukuru to Seibuchichibu, arriving 08:12. We will start riding at 08:30.

The Red Arrow requires a separate Limited Express ticket, total fare: 1420 yen.

Two ride groups
There will be two groups, a slow one and a faster one, with separate ride leaders. Both will make occasional stops for taking pictures of the beautiful scenery, but the slower group will take a bit more time!

What to bring
Wear a helmet, bring a spare tube or two and a rinko bag for the train ride. Have breakfast in the morning. Carry a water bottle. Please bring some food, as there are virtually no shops on the rural 94 km loop back to Seibuchichibu station. Please also bring something warm to wear for the descent from the tunnel above the ruins at over 1200 m (minimum: wind breaker, more is better).

Ride completion
The group ride ends at Seibuchichubu station, though I will probably ride back to Tokyo afterwards. We expect to get back to Chichibu by 15:00, but if you intend to ride back towards Hanno or Oume you should bring lights (sunset at 16:45).

Route map
Here is the route (with optional Tokyo return ride). For the main loop you'll be doing 91 km with about 1200 m of climbing.


Contact
joewein at gmail dot com

Kudos
Kudos to Pete (@Yamabushi) for the route!
 
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JackTheCommuter

JackTheCommuter

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#2
I'll be taking the Seibu Red Arrow at 06:50 from Ikebukuru to Seibuchichibu, arriving 08:12, then the local train from adjacent Ohanabatake Station at 08:22 to Mitsumineguchi station, arriving at 08:42. We will start riding at 09:00.
Would it be easier to start at Seibuchichibu Station?

The reasoning is avoiding a train transfer, the distance is not too far between Seibuchichibu and Mitsumineguchi, and Mitsumineguchi does not accept Suica / Pasmo exit.
 
joewein

joewein

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@JackTheCommuter, I didn't know about the Suica / Pasmo issue. Thanks for pointing it out.

You're right, having to buy paper tickets is a hassle and the local train doesn't save much time: It takes you 13 mostly flat km further in an extra 30 minutes of train time including transfer. I will amend the announcement to start from Seibuchichibu station.
 
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Half-Fast Mike

Half-Fast Mike

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Mitsumineguchi does not accept Suica / Pasmo exit.
@JackTheCommuter, I didn't know about the Suica / Pasmo issue. Thanks for pointing it out.
Oh, the hardship.First world problems 'R' us.

The annoying thing about the transfer is having to haul bagged bikes through the shopping arcade between the two stations. But for me that's preferable to the boring urban 15 km up R140. Whenever I've been there, that road has been jammed with cars going to a farmers' market or festival.
 
joewein

joewein

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Personally I hate train changes carrying a bike. I even hate train changes without a bike and when I'm able to use my Pasmo. They always make me nervous about missing connections, especially with crowds. So I'm going with @JackTheCommuter on this.

We'll turn off 140 after the first km. Altogether we'll be on it for less than 2 km out of the first 13 km to Mitsumineguchi, see the updated map. Most of the route is smaller backroads running parallel to 140 :)

And if any farmers are heading into town on a Sunday morning, they'll be going the opposite way from us (and on Rt140, where we'll mostly not be riding).
 
JackTheCommuter

JackTheCommuter

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In +4 others. Total of five.

Some of us in the group are pansies and will decline to #9. If rain is foretasted in the morning or mid-day, some of us will drop out. We're also going to be acting like the Wicked Witch of the West and abort mid ride at first sign of rain. At this moment, the forecast is cloudy with rain on Monday.
 
joewein

joewein

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Hope to see you on Sunday (or Monday), @JackTheCommuter! :)

I'll definitely keep an eye on the weather forecast. It's still too early to take a forecast for Sunday too seriously.
 
Sibreen

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#9
@joewein and @Half-Fast Mike
The Hanno Festival runs on Sat and Sun. I would advise against taking the train from Hanno as the roads near the station will be chock-a-block. Station itself is likely to be fairly busy, too, around going-home-time.

Edit: south side of station looks like it might be ok.
 
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joewein

joewein

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@Sibreen, I expect most people will be taking the train to Seibuchichibu from Ikebukuro or other train connections,so hopefully busy roads around Hanno station won't be much of an issue.

I've been off the bike for over a week, but often walking 10 km a day on my business trip. Looking forward to the ride this coming weekend!

 
joewein

joewein

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I'm keeping an eye on the weather forecast to see if Sunday will become possible or not. It's not looking very good yet. I'll post here on Saturday.
 
mau

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Joe i was watching the weather since last week too. But with my app, i think its looking good since this morning.
 
JackTheCommuter

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Propose moving this up to Saturday? According to tenki.jp, the weather is still "not rain". (Ignoring bad news on other weather report sites)

But it would give the post Friday Halloween hangover crowd a challenge though. They could recover on the train ride up.
 
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Arcadiandream

Arcadiandream

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#18
Just to confirm; the ride will be taking place on Sunday (weather permitting) and hasn't bee moved to Saturday, right?

Fingers crossed for a dry one on Sunday!
 
joewein

joewein

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#19
The ride hasn't been moved. My preference is still Sunday, but I'll announce on Saturday night if we'll still go with Sunday or shift to Monday.

Here's the current forecast from forecast.io, my favourite weather site:

 
JackTheCommuter

JackTheCommuter

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#20
My group lost a member so down to a total of four. The group except me will take the Red Arrow from Ikebukuro.

I'm looking forward to riding in a group instead of all the solo riding I normally do!