Nichitsu Ghost Town - Friday, May 4th

Yamabushi

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#1
Postponed till Sunday (6th). New ride plan and discussion is located: https://tokyocycle.com/bbs/showthread.php?p=45621#post45621

Friday we'll be riding up the Arakawa, over the Green Line descending down into Chichibu. From there we'll be heading out the southwest side of Chichibu climbing up to the abandoned mining town, Nichitsu. Nichitsu at an altitude of a little over 1000m was mostly abandoned in 1978 with the last few stragglers leaving in the early to mid 80's. See HERE for a 10 minute video about the ghost town. From Nichitsu we'll climb another 200m before eventually descending back down to #299. Once reaching #299 we'll continue with a long descent back to Chichibu to Seibu-Chichibu Station where we'll hop a train back to Tokyo.

This is a reasonably hefty ride with minimal bailout points and not so many stops, so pacing yourself will be important. All climbs will be wait at the top (WATT). There'll be plenty of climbing, descending, greenery, countless miles of beautiful rindos, and an eerie ghost town to really make it special! If you are capable and interested please, join us!

INFO:
Meet Time: 6:30am
Meet Place: Family Mart (HERE)
Climbing: 2500-2800m
Distance: 170-175km
Route: HERE

This should be a pretty amazing ride with some stuff you definitely don't see every day!! I hope to see you Friday morning!
 

TOM

Maximum Pace
#2
preview

Very nice plan! You'll love it :) For a preview, check out this: http://vlaamsewielrenner.blogspot.jp/2010/07/haikyo-freak-ride.html

Friday we'll be riding up the Arakawa, over the Green Line descending down into Chichibu. From there we'll be heading out the southwest side of Chichibu climbing up to the abandoned mining town, Nichitsu. Nichitsu at an altitude of a little over 1000m was mostly abandoned in 1978 with the last few stragglers leaving in the early to mid 80's. See HERE for a 10 minute video about the ghost town. From Nichitsu we'll climb another 200m before eventually descending back down to #299. Once reaching #299 we'll continue with a long descent back to Chichibu to Seibu-Chichibu Station where we'll hop a train back to Tokyo.

This is a reasonably hefty ride with minimal bailout points and not so many stops, so pacing yourself will be important. All climbs will be wait at the top (WATT). There'll be plenty of climbing, descending, greenery, countless miles of beautiful rindos, and an erie ghost town to really make it special! If you are capable and interested please, join us!

INFO:
Meet Time: 6:30am
Meet Place: Family Mart (HERE)
Climbing: 2500-2800m
Distance: 170-175km
Route: HERE

This should be a pretty amazing ride with some stuff you definitely don't see every day!! I hope to see you Friday morning!
 

Bartek

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Jun 28, 2010
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#3
Very nice plan! You'll love it :)
+1

Once again a great plan. I might be able to join you after all.

Today, I'm working not far from the town and I just talked to my Kyoto sensei who is a local guy. He thinks the road passed the town leading up to the Hacchio tunnel and over to R299 is already open, but due to the rain we've had since last night, it might be covered in debris.
There are some roads in this area that are open from late May.

Bart
 

Yamabushi

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#4
+1

Once again a great plan. I might be able to join you after all.

Today, I'm working not far from the town and I just talked to my Kyoto sensei who is a local guy. He thinks the road passed the town leading up to the Hacchio tunnel and over to R299 is already open, but due to the rain we've had since last night, it might be covered in debris.
There are some roads in this area that are open from late May.

Bart
Sounds good, that'd be great if you can join us again, Bart!
 

AlanW

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#5
Looks like a nice ride - I am sorely tempted but.....with the Mt. Asama HC race next weekend I need to do high intensity rides, so will be off battering myself on something shorter and steeper.
Enjoy :D

AW.
 

theBlob

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Sep 28, 2011
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#6
I am a tentative yes.......

to Chichibu, then I will take your Chichibu to Hanno route, and jump a train there.

This is of course reliant on approval from the boss!! :D
 

theDude

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#7

theBlob

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#8
I have been through that valley a few times on a motorbike, I remember lots of rocks on the road at various times from the mining operation and wash over from rain. I also seem to remember a very dark narrow tunnel at the top?
 

Yamabushi

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#9
Looks like a nice ride - I am sorely tempted but.....with the Mt. Asama HC race next weekend I need to do high intensity rides, so will be off battering myself on something shorter and steeper.
Enjoy :D

AW.
That's too bad, but I completely understand your thinking! If all goes well, I definitely plan on heading out and around there again this summer.


I am a tentative yes.......

to Chichibu, then I will take your Chichibu to Hanno route, and jump a train there.

This is of course reliant on approval from the boss!! :D
Sounds good!



So what is there to worry about regarding the tires? I see your comment regarding not wanting a race-type tire for the ride.....
Tom particularly mentioned the Michellin ProRace 3. That's generally known to be a puncture prone tire. That and the fact that Tom usually rides solo are probably why he commented about it. FYI, I always carry two tubes just to be safe, but based upon all the information I have, it should be perfectly passable via road bike. Additionally, we'll have a small group so we should have safety in numbers! I hope you join us! :D
 

Yamabushi

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#10
I have been through that valley a few times on a motorbike, I remember lots of rocks on the road at various times from the mining operation and wash over from rain. I also seem to remember a very dark narrow tunnel at the top?
We'll be climbing all the way to Nichitsu so we can pick our way carefully and deliberately which will minimize any hazards we may encounter. As for tunnels yes there are going to be a handful of them, some will be particularly dark and narrow. That being said they are sufficiently wide for a car to get through, and we're not the first explorers, other cyclist have been through there and lived to tell the tale! As I mentioned in my introductory post, it will be an adventure! :thumb:
 

theDude

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#11
Yup, working on joining, just need the Master Plan to come together.


I generally carry two tubes as well, so should be OK there.


But....this is my first summer cycling.... Recently been going to a two-bottle strategy. Which means my rinko doesn't travel with me. How do you do a two-bottle strategy with rinko and everything else? My pockets tend to be full with essentials, so not usually any space there. Strap the rinko to the frame or something?
 

theBlob

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Sep 28, 2011
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#12
As for tunnels yes there are going to be a handful of them, some will be particularly dark and narrow. That being said they are sufficiently wide for a car to get through, and we're not the first explorers, other cyclist have been through there and lived to tell the tale! As I mentioned in my introductory post, it will be an adventure! :thumb:
I only mention it because a light may be advisable. A lot of motorbike riders ride with tinted visors and that cuts visibility down, and I seem to remember the tunnel was very ling, narrow and no lighting.

Just a thought...
 

Yamabushi

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#13
Yup, working on joining, just need the Master Plan to come together.


I generally carry two tubes as well, so should be OK there.


But....this is my first summer cycling.... Recently been going to a two-bottle strategy. Which means my rinko doesn't travel with me. How do you do a two-bottle strategy with rinko and everything else? My pockets tend to be full with essentials, so not usually any space there. Strap the rinko to the frame or something?
Great, I hope you can make it! As for carrying stuff, I carry two water bottles, a small saddle bag and my rinko goes in one of my jersey pockets, leaving me two others for whatever else I might need.

I only mention it because a light would probably be advisable. A lot of motorbike riders ride with tinted visors and that cuts visibility down, and I seem to remember the tunnel was very narrow and no lighting.

Just a thought...
I appreciate any and all advance scouting, and for the record, I had already planned on bringing a light! :)
 

Bartek

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#14
Although having lights will not hurt, you will still be OK without them. Just stay near the middle and go slowly. They are not long enough and you will see the other end unless there is a cloud passing through. But then even having lights will not help :(

Speaking of tunnels, there is one right before the town that is actually a hole chiseled through a rock as they would do it a 100 years ago. It gives me creeps even when I am in a car.
 

Yamabushi

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#15
Although having lights will not hurt, you will still be OK without them. Just stay near the middle and go slowly. They are not long enough and you will see the other end unless there is a cloud passing through. But then even having lights will not help :(

Speaking of tunnels, there is one right before the town that is actually a hole chiseled through a rock as they would do it a 100 years ago. It gives me creeps even when I am in a car.
Damn, I am looking forward to this!
 

GSAstuto

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#17
I'm thinking about this as well - but need some 'active recovery' under my saddle. I'd suggest you guys pack Ultra Gatorskins and plenty of Tufo Extreme - the rain will let down tons of shard rock. And if you're travelling in a bunch it seems every flat burns up 15min or so. This killed Pete and I in a couple rides. If 3 or 4 people get flats at different times it burns up more than 1- 2hr of ride time. Out in the hinterlands this is critical to finishing a loop within a specified period of time.
 

Yamabushi

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#19
Thinking about joining this one. The weather doesn't look very good at all, but are you going rain or shine?
This is definitely NOT a go rain or shine ride. I'm in the process of talking with Bart who actually lives in Chichibu about current conditions there and probable conditions in and around Nichitsu. As Tim alluded to, from first hand experience we can tell you that wet tires and sharp rocks don't play well together. Nothing has changed yet, but at this point, I'm considering postponing this ride one day to Saturday, or possibly even postponing till next weekend.

I'll be back with an update in a few hours.
 

TOM

Maximum Pace
#20
Tom, great write up and awesome reading about the history. Appreciate the time you put into that write up and taking pics!


So what is there to worry about regarding the tires? I see your comment regarding not wanting a race-type tire for the ride.....
My pleasure, glad you liked the pics. I've ridden through Nitchitsu three times now and I can assure you that the route is entirely safe and very picturesque. Should you guys have extra time to spare (i.e. nobody in the bunch puncs), I recommend you actually park your bikes and enter the place to take a peek! As to tires, go for ones with the best puncture resistance. As Tim recommended, Continental Gatorskin PolyXBreaker are excellent, otherwise if you prefer a domestic brand, go for Panaracer Duro Protex. Oh, if you can also mount mudguards, especially in the rear, that would be perfect and also welcome for your buddies riding right behind you :D.