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Ride Norikura Charity Weekend 27&28 July


Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
Second year in a row I used this event to prep for the Haute Route Alps. This year I cheated somewhat and started the ride from Otsuki rather than Shinjuku. Well, actually I rode from Chofu to Shinjuku, then back to Chofu, then train to Otsuki - so total km was about 40km less. Weather was much better this year and pacing excellent thanks to Travis. I stopped in Chino, got a breakfast and 30min snooze. Then joined the A-Team. Another fun, evenly paced ride out to Northstar. We missed ALL the rain and had some gorgeous small detours from the 'official' route. The Super Rindo was also a nice ride notwithstanding the debris ridden descent - but honestly, aside from a few rocks pinging off my spokes, it was super fun - especially with no cars to worry about! Always enjoyable to climb up Norikura and this year was no different - I did a few 'repeats' and staggered my climb to get more use out of the mountain (and conversation with friends). Performance wise - slower than years past 2011- 59:10, 2012 - 1:03, etc , but my focus was a little different this year. Finished with a fairly zippy ride back to Matsumoto and then train back to Tachikawa. The new lodge is beautiful and I'm hoping next year to stay longer!


Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
Second year in a row I used this event to prep for the Haute Route Alps.

That event will be August 18-24. You use Norikura to train for Haute Route, I've been using Norikura as an excuse to go on other training rides. You'll do over 20,000 m of elevation in a week, about as much as I did in June and July combined (9,000+11,000 m)!


Maximum Pace
Hardest Crash
Jul 26, 2008
Two pics of mine...

In this first one, the parking area is at about the 7km point up from the Northstar lodge--that's where the gate is, and no cars after that:

This is at 18km on the climb:

The road was very clean, but I'd rate the surface (overall) as average--some places were fine, others a little so-so. I'm sure it's hard/expensive to maintain a road that's only open for part of the year.


My two cents on the full loop that I think only a few people did (from the top, descending via the other side of the skyline towards Hirayu Onsen, and then going down 158, before turning onto route 300 to Shirahone Onsen to get back to the Northstar):

Don't do it. Or be really careful about trying it. (IMO) The road (as mentioned) is rough, and the tunnels (on 158) are many, narrow, & wet. Once you get onto route 300 (the only rindo in Japan that is an official highway), it gets better, surface, traffic, and scenery-wise. But getting down to there is a b1tch.

Others might disagree.

I drove this both days--to get to the northstar and then when leaving. Those tunnels on 158 are almost white-knucklers in a car, good luck on a bike.

That said, after I had returned to the Northstar, loaded everything up and started home (via car), I did pass Mike and a couple others who had done the multi-tunnel descent on 158, and who had turned onto route 300. It looked like they were doing fine, and had survived it all, so it is possible.


Maximum Pace
Nov 4, 2006
I rode all the way up Norikura with Travis (we introduced ourselves to each other on the way up) and didn't realise he is WhiteGiant!!!!
.....:(Gutted:( because I missed the opportunity to thank him in person for his original post about the Boob ride a year ago that had stayed in my mind until I finally rode it two weekends ago

Likewise! It was a pleasure to meet you Warren.
Even better, was finding someone else climbing at the same speed to set the pace with.
BTW, how was the Boob ride?
Hope to see you on more rides in the future.


Maximum Pace
Aug 27, 2012
Likewise! It was a pleasure to meet you Warren.
Firstly many thanks for the original post on the Boob ride! I enjoyed the challenge of it so much that I'll be out on it again this Saturday with some from HFC - details will be distributed in the usual manner. Likewise hope to ride with you again soon!
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