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Ride SAT, May 17th - Nichitsu Ride (Ghost Town)

Yamabushi

Maximum Pace
Jun 1, 2010
2,335
188
It's that time again, and with a few route alterations to keep it interesting!!

We'll be riding up the Arakawa, and out and over Ono-toge, to avoid the traffic of Route #463. From there we will be descending down into Chichibu and out to Mitsumineguchi where we'll grab some food at a local soba shop. We'll then 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, and HERE for Tom's ride report from a previous trip there. From Nichitsu we'll climb another 200m before eventually descending back down to #299 and the top of Shigasaka-toge. 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: 2500-2900m
Distance: 175-185km
Route: HERE

This is always a pretty amazing ride with stuff you definitely don't see every day!! I hope to see you Saturday morning!
 

leicaman

Maximum Pace
Sep 20, 2012
2,875
2,689
I'll have a little bit of nichitsu too please. Don't think I'll be riding home but might ride to another station that would make it easier for me to get home. Possibly Hanno
 

macrophotofly

Maximum Pace
Aug 27, 2012
581
234
My knee's still a bit messed up from the Taiwan ride so I'll probably give it a miss this week, but will be back next week.
 

leicaman

Maximum Pace
Sep 20, 2012
2,875
2,689
I've mapped out a route back from Chichibu to Ogawamachi (The tobu line is much easier for me to get home). Anyone who feels like they would like to get an extra 30km or so in their legs and about 500m of climbing, is welcome to join me.
 

Chikako

Maximum Pace
May 6, 2012
181
107
Fun adventurous day out today.
Again we were blessed with the weather (including that wind which stayed with us the whole day), the backside of Chichibu was gorgeous, and the regulars made another day an enjoyable one.
We were at times challenged by the road conditions, but in return were able to keep the road to ourselves; around the Momiji-lake and the last few km ascend and the descend of the Nichitsu climb.

Thanks leader! This route is quickly becoming one of the standard runs, but you somehow polish it up even better every time.
I hope (well I'm pretty sure) @leicaman was quick enough to cycle the extra segment to Ogawamachi before dark.
Kudos to @Andy in Tokyo for all the pulls, and to @Waichan for the morning escort up the river.
Looking forward to the photo/video postings by @saibot including the rapha ads and the expedition inside the ruins.
 

Yamabushi

Maximum Pace
Jun 1, 2010
2,335
188
Yeah, really great ride with a lot of memorable moments including being within 2 meters of both a monkey and a wild boar, as well has having a descent with large tree laying across the road, literally cleared just for us with a chainsaw and a large power shovel! Great stuff!!
 
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Andy in Tokyo

Maximum Pace
Dec 16, 2012
605
824
... as well has having a descent with large tree laying across the road, literally cleared just for us ...

Here they are in action:



And here's @saibot at work, taking a photo of @Yamabushi and @leicaman taking a photo.



Nichitsu was interesting. The highlight for me was finding this stuffed rabbit who'd clearly gone off the rails and decided to end it all, Kurt Cobain style:



You can see his girlfriend in the background. Her arm was covered in track marks. A destructive relationship if ever I saw one.

Thanks for a great ride, everyone. Looking forward to the next one!
 

saibot

Maximum Pace
May 29, 2012
812
959
And here's @saibot at work, taking a photo of @Yamabushi and @leicaman taking a photo.


IMG_2418.JPG
Now we just need the actual picture from either @leicaman or @Yamabushi


Awesome ride yesterday, the roads and views was amazing... some sketchy descending, but no mechanicals or other problems. Will try to put together some sort of video when I have the time. Thanks everyone involved!
 

leicaman

Maximum Pace
Sep 20, 2012
2,875
2,689
Good ride on Saturday. I always enjoy Nichitsu. Like others have said, the road up to Nichitsu was a little dirty and as we climbed above Nichitsu it became laughable. Through the tunnel and the downhill was just as bad. We had to stop and wait for some workmen to remove a big tree that was in the middle of the road.

It's a shame the road was so dirty as it is one of my favourite descents.
Tobias Kubrick was directing the next Rapha short film the whole day although he can be seen taking a short break from filming to enjoy the natural surrounding of his, err, iPhone.


And here, @Yamabushi was trying his best to pose Rapha style. I guess he needs to take his helmet off and get some tattoos.

After being pulled back towards Chichibu by Andy, I headed off by myself to ride back to Ogawamachi. The route took me over Sadamine and was probably my favourite part of the day. The sun was slowly setting over the mountains and there was a perfect stillness all around. A family of around 15 monkeys were sitting in the middle of the road at the big sweeping switchback near the top of the climb. Although the following picture would have you believe otherwise, I got to Ogawamachi just before last light.


Oh, and the photo taken while I was having my photo taken is here.


Thanks everyone for the ride.
Very much looking forward to Kubrick's masterpiece. I hope Andy's "Cav tuck" makes it to the final edit.
 
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