Over the hills and far away...

WhiteGiant

Maximum Pace
Nov 4, 2006
1,192
240
93
Kita-Ueno
#1
Just throwing this on out there, to see if anyone is interested.
A 300km journey along Rte.299, out to the Azumino region of Nagano prefecture.

http://www.mapmyrun.com/run/japan/-nagano/156127882809454760

Departure will be Wednesday, August 11th, at around 10pm for anyone coming from central Tokyo.

I want to get there by early-mid afternoon at the latest, so the plan is as follows:

21:00 – Leave home (Shibamata, eastern Tokyo)

22:00 – Pass through Ikebukuro, and head out on Rte.254 towards Tokorozawa, on to Rte.299, through Shomaru-tunnel, and finally to Chichibu.

02:00 – The 100km mark. Arrive in Chichibu, and have a big long sit-down meal at Denny’s there.

04:00 – Leave Denny’s, and set out into the hills. The sky should start to lighten within 30-50 minutes of departure.
I won’t worry about the time too much after this point. From here on in, I’ll mainly be concerned with distances.

33km A.C. (After Chichibu) – Summit the first climb, Shigasaka-toge (志賀坂峠), at 780m.
68km A.C. – Summit Jikkoku-toge (十石峠), at 1,356m.
115km A.C. – Summit Mugikusa-toge (麦草峠), a true monster that goes on for 28km, and climbs to 2,120m.

These three climbs though, these 115km, comprise the core of the ride. The ride out to Chichibu will be leisurely, but then we’ll hit the mountains.
After these three climbs though, the ride is technically over; with about 85km to go, it’s downhill for most of the way thereafter.
I’m hoping to be at the top of the final climb (Mugikusa-toge) by 10am. That will see us in Matsumoto just after lunch-time.

I will be staying in the area for two nights with my wife, who will be coming by train (but she’s bringing her bike with her:D).
However, if anyone is interested in the ride itself, you can quite easily catch the train back to Shinjuku from Matsumoto, and you should be back in Tokyo by 5pm.

The offer is open for anyone who has the time and the inclination.

Travis :bike:
 

Gunjira

Maximum Pace
Oct 2, 2009
1,003
176
83
Tokyo
#2
Another great endurance adventure planned. While I share your ambition, I sure lack the skill to pull the likes of this ride off.

I hope for perfect conditions and look forward to read how it went!
 

Ludwig

Speeding Up
Oct 9, 2008
871
0
36
Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
#4
These are two nice climbs, especially when you can avoid the weekend motorbikes in summer. Jikkoku Toge can be quite unpleasant when you get passed by literally hundreds of motorbikes.

On the other hand, I'm really not keen riding through the night. Managed to ride all the way (340km) to Joetsu (Japan Sea) via Jikkoku Toge in late spring, in a real dawn to dusk ride (4am to 7pm). Now it is too hot though to contemplate doing something similar again.
 

WhiteGiant

Maximum Pace
Nov 4, 2006
1,192
240
93
Kita-Ueno
#5
Thanks...

...For the well-wishes.
Just letting you know, that all preparations have been made;
The bike's been cleaned, and the gears changed over to the 27-tooth cassette (23 for commuting).
Will be rolling out in about 3 hours, and I hope the rain holds off until tomorrow night:eek:
Will post the usual report when I return.
Until then...
Ciao! Travis
 

WhiteGiant

Maximum Pace
Nov 4, 2006
1,192
240
93
Kita-Ueno
#8
I made it!

Howdy all!
I did in fact, manage to complete the overnight run to Nagano, over three mountains.
And, you can read all about it in the (wordy version) blog:
https://tokyocycle.com/bbs/blog.php?b=69

There's a gnarly section involving a truck, if you're into near-miss stories.
Hope you enjoy it! And thanks for the support!
Cheers! Travis
 

Yamabushi

Maximum Pace
Jun 1, 2010
2,335
188
1,083
Tokyo (Nezu)
fudoushin.com
#9
Wow, I just finished reading your write up... epic ride mate! I'm truly inpsired!

BTW, I was just riding out in Nagano the weekend before last not far from where you were riding between Suwa and Shiojiri. My wife's family's place is just over the hills to the south of your route in Shinanokawashima.
 
Jan 14, 2007
2,516
213
83
Noda
japanichiban.com
#10
Howdy all!
I did in fact, manage to complete the overnight run to Nagano, over three mountains.
And, you can read all about it in the (wordy version) blog:
https://tokyocycle.com/bbs/blog.php?b=69

There's a gnarly section involving a truck, if you're into near-miss stories.
Hope you enjoy it! And thanks for the support!
Cheers! Travis
Nice write up as usual and another awesome adventure...

Cars and trucks overtaking in Nagano have been a problem for me as welll..


I went to Hotaka last year from Hakuba... you'll have to come riding in Hakuba next...
 

Gunjira

Maximum Pace
Oct 2, 2009
1,003
176
83
Tokyo
#12
Very enjoyable read, sat down with a cup of coffee to read from start to finish - thank you for the write-up. I like how you don't make the truck-driver the reincarnation of evil, whose mission is to kill cyclists. Maybe he is, but either way, I'm happy you got to meet your lady in one piece and on time.

I also realized why people (Ludwig?) were telling me, this route for going to Kanazawa in two days was unreasonable. If unlike you, you are a mere mortal it is. I will stay in the valleys :)
 

Wolfman

Speeding Up
Jul 31, 2007
631
18
38
Suginamiku
#13
Hi Travis,

Great kudos for completing the ride, and sorry for messing with your head during the final bits.

My own ride was less successful. At 5:45, fifteen minutes before I was to get on my train to Ome to begin my own carefully planned ride out to Nagano, I suddenly had the idea that it would be better to cycle the whole hog. Somewhat impulsively, I let this idea get the better of me so off I set.

I wasn't too sure of the route but knew that as long as I got to Chichibu it would be ok, and just a case of following 299. I had a route from Tokyo to Chichibu programmed into the Garmin so uploaded it and off I set onto the Arakawa. I then turned off at Kawagoe and headed into those very hills of Deej's "Okumashi Madness" - I desperately wanted to avoid the Shomaru tunnel (I've ridden it before but in daylight and didn't want to go through it again), so thought that it would be somewhat pleasant to do the Green Line and then turn to 299 after the tunnel. Anyway, my ride to Nagano now included Kaoburi Toge, Iimori Toge, Oono Toge, Maruyama Toge, even before I'd reached Chichibu.

After Chichibu I then followed your own route and took exactly the same photo as you on the Shigasaka Toge. I actually enjoyed this Toge quite a lot. The distance between this one and Jikkoku Toge threw me though, and though it looked far on the map, I thought it would actually be closer for some reason. My energy was gradually depleting, and it was already 4pm by the time I'd got into the valley between the two toges. Here, I was thinking of getting a minshuku for the night, but after speaking with the wife decided to continue on and meet somewhere after Jikkoku Toge.

What a beast that is and it also took me a long time to climb. I was just at the top when I met the missus. I had one little helmet guy blinky on both rear and front and it was really getting dark. Made it just in time.

Map and data can be found here:

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/45050472

Distance: 175.27km
Climbing: 3,046

Next time, I shouldn't fall prey to sudden impulses and should probably prepare a bit more. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the challenge and route especially 299 beyond Chichibu which is very beautiful and tough.

I also have great respect for you for completing the ride.

Lee
 

Mike

Maximum Pace
Sep 24, 2007
1,066
9
58
Kanagawa
#15
Travis, great write up and congratulations on completing that ride. I just rode over the same toge's along R299 and they sure are tough. That near miss with the truck was one hell of a story....so glad you're OK mate. See you on the road soon.