Hi! I'm new to TCC, and relatively new to Toyko, but I'm looking for people to ride with so I'm thinking about joining the ride. (If that's ok!) Do you mind if I ask a few questions?
I should probably introduce myself quick too. I've been riding for 3 years through the end of college and just moved out here for work last fall. Unfortunately work hours and winter have kept me from riding as much as in school, but I try to get out on the weekends whenever possible.
1) How hard do you guys normally ride? I know that's a hard question to answer, but do you gel pack/water bottle it the whole way without stopping, or take food breaks, etc. Just to give myself an idea of what I'd be getting into. Looks to be a pretty solid distance as well. I'm fine with dropping off early if I can't keep up too.
2) I get the impression you guys train it back afterwards? People are ok with that? I guess I've never seen a bike on the train so I always assumed it was against the rules.
3) Around what time do you think you'll get back to the city?
1) Depends who is on the ride! Food stops, yeah, we do that. Also take powerbars, gels and fizzy water tablets etc. Probably somewhere inbetween a regular food stop style ride, and all out going for it.
2) Yeah, train back. Not a problem at all if you have a bike bag. The locals do it, and it is totally fine in the rule book, so you are good to go. We always aim to get to the front / back of the train, and are considerate to ruffle as few feathers as possible so all good.
3) Depends where in the city you want to get back to!
Pfffff, not sure if it will be a problem. You will definitely need to wrap the bike in something. A few 70l bin bags from a combini could work. Not tried that myself, so someone else will need to chime in on that one.
Shinjuku; I reckon a lot of the people tomorrow will be going back in that direction for sure. I am lucky this ride, as for once my train ride is the easy one, but you will be going down through Omiya then onto Tokyo, and I suspect will go right into Shinjuku on that train.
I will take the train back to Shinjuku, too. Also, in the morning I am starting in Minato/Shirokane, which means I will take 317/17 up all the way to the meeting point. It's quite a fast ride with little traffic at that early time.
However, you definitely will need a bike bag. Otherwise, they won't let you on the train. All shops sell one, though. Just swing by one tonight and you are all set.
100-yen shops sell fairly light bike covers for mama chari http://i.imgur.com/AAx9smB.jpg. One will fit in a jersey pocket and might make a serviceable disposable bike bag in a pinch when combined with some tape. It's probably one step up from a bin bag.