Ride Norikura Charity Ride 26 & 27 July 2014 - done

May 22, 2007
3,590
1,415
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Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#1

This event centers around a 20 km hill climb to the highest road in Japan passable on a road bike - Norikura on the border of Nagano and Gifu prefectures.

More importantly, it's a charity event. We raise money for TELL. TELL is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing world-class, effective support and counseling services to Japan's international community and helping to address the country's growing mental health care needs.TELL is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing world-class, effective support and counseling services to Japan's international community and helping to address the country's growing mental health care needs.

We will organize a fun weekend trip, traveling by train and bus to get to the wonderful and friendly Northstar lodge.

This is a great opportunity to make a personal challenge (get fitter, climb faster) and simultaneously help the very important work of TELL. We will organize some half-fast mountain practice rides in the weeks leading up to the event, so there will be plenty of opportunities to get out and practice. Climbing mountains is not easy - it's supposed to be a challenge! But you might be surprised what you can do.

It is NOT a race.

Routes and Groups

There will be three cycling groups:

A: The 'advanced' group ride about 140 km from Chino Station through three mountain ranges to Northstar on Saturday [map], and then 70+ km up and over Norikura and some other hills on Sunday. [map]

I: The 'intermediate' group ride about 85 km from Shiojiri Station through the mountains to Northstar on Saturday [map], and then up and over Norikura and maybe some other hills on Sunday. [map]

C: The 'challenge' group travel by train and bus to Northstar, have a short practice ride on Saturday, and then ride 20 km up and 20 km down Norikura on Sunday. [map]

These groups are not the same level as Half-Fast Cycling Advanced/Intermediate/Beginner rides. It all involves mountains, and is all very different (in a good way) from the Tokyo waterfront!

How much?

The cost for the event is 16,000 yen. This includes:

Bus travel between Northstar and Matsumoto station (where needed)
Overnight stay at Northstar, with yummy meals
Accident insurance
Donation to TELL

Train fares are not included.

All the details: http://halffastcycling.com/norikura/index.html
 
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DeltaForce

Maximum Pace
Sep 17, 2011
204
25
48
Toki, Gifu
#3
Surely interested.

I'd ride up from Nagoya on the Nakasendo, hitting Magome, Tsumago juku and any other old post town along the way. Then try meeting up with the group coming from Chino.

Anyone else interested in that?
 
May 22, 2007
3,590
1,415
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#5
New heights of disorganisation this year: managed to get myself so ill with a stomach bug that I could only ride the first half of the first day, then twisted my knee while waiting for the rescue wagon. Then another rider had a nasty crash and will be in hospital for at least two weeks it seems. So… not much fun for me. Some of the brave riders who braved the wind and rain that suddenly set in during their climb up Norikura might report below on their (I hope) more cheerful experiences...
 

bawbag

Maximum Pace
Mar 20, 2013
430
244
63
Tokyo
#6
Sorry to hear that. Hope both you and the rider are up and recovered quickly. Wouldn't want to miss riding in this heat and humidity now, would we?
New heights of disorganisation this year: managed to get myself so ill with a stomach bug that I could only ride the first half of the first day, then twisted my knee while waiting for the rescue wagon. Then another rider had a nasty crash and will be in hospital for at least two weeks it seems. So… not much fun for me. Some of the brave riders who braved the wind and rain that suddenly set in during their climb up Norikura might report below on their (I hope) more cheerful experiences...
 

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
2,659
477
103
Japan
#8
New heights of disorganisation this year: managed to get myself so ill with a stomach bug that I could only ride the first half of the first day, then twisted my knee while waiting for the rescue wagon. Then another rider had a nasty crash and will be in hospital for at least two weeks it seems. So… not much fun for me.
not really right to hit the like button, the "evil kiwisimon" wants to like this but rather than ask Owen and Thomas to add a "sorry to hear this but I like the dedication to a worthwhile cause" I'll just send congratulations and a get better soon!
 

TimeTraveler

Maximum Pace
Feb 6, 2012
397
103
73
Koto-ku, Tokyo
#9
The top few kilometres were up in the clouds. Very wet, quite cold and absolutely atrocious visibility. When we got to the top we had the westerly wind right in our faces. It was awesome.
Yeah, the weather wasn't the best, but an excellent ride nonetheless!

@Half-Fast Mike - thanks for organizing a great cycling trip! The Northstar accommodations were great and the staff was very helpful and provided excellent service! This was my first and certainly not my last Norikura Challenge!
 
May 22, 2007
3,590
1,415
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#10
Most of Mike's Intermediate Group set off from Shiojiri station. (Some decide after half an hour that their brakes are not working well, but don't mention that to the leader until the rest of the group are 2 km away)
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The new Northstar Lodge. Very comfortable indeed. Notable absence of Hawaiian manager Dan but staff very friendly and helpful. Around 8 people missing from group photo as their thumbs are still stuck up their ass trying to check out or pump up their tyres. It was wonderful to meet so many old friends and make many new ones too.
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I like this photo of Jake particularly for the hippy circle dance and incantations going on in the background. They were perhaps summoning the rain? Anyway it doesn't matter how ill you feel - fasten your damn chin strap!
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joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,429
874
133
Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
#11
Hope you're feeling better, Mike!

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I would like to nominate Reika-chan as our "Hero of Norikura" for volunteering to go with the ambulance. I hope B. will make a full recovery.

Compared to the crash, the heat on Day 1 and the windy rain on the peak on Day 2 were but minor inconveniences, as was my 3rd puncture in 20,000 km on the descent (Thanks, Dean and Akira for the assistance!)

In a way the 3+ hour climb to the top was easier then the ride in from Shiojiri, since on the Norikura climb I could count off the elevation remaining and it was pretty steady, whereas I was never sure how much climbing in the heat the first day ride still had in store for us.

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May 22, 2007
3,590
1,415
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#15
Dear TELL

I'm delighted to send you our donation resulting from the 2014 Half-Fast Cycle Challenge in Norikura for TELL.

The donation amount is JPY 294,411.

Last weekend we assembled 42 participants in our event. They braved blistering heat one day and torrential downpours the next, sweeping aside their perfectly natural preference for a cold drink and a comfy chair to instead cycle up to the top of the highest road in Japan, beautiful Mt. Norikura, at 2702 m above sea level.

http://halffastcycling.com/norikura/

I don't need to tell you to use the donation well - I know you will.

You can see some photos of our event here

https://picasaweb.google.com/118233924590411347950/NorikuraForTELL2014

Until next time, TELL, keep the rubber side down. And come and ride bikes with us - it's GREAT for stress relief.

=Mike=