Ride SAT, OCT 19th - Nichitsu Ride (Autumn 2013)

Yamabushi

Maximum Pace
Jun 1, 2010
2,335
188
1,083
Tokyo (Nezu)
fudoushin.com
#1
It's that time again!! This ride isn't for a couple of weeks, but I want to give everyone a bit of advanced notice.

We'll be riding up the Arakawa, out #463, up over Yamabushi-toge, descending down into Chichibu where we'll grab some food. From there we'll 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: 2200-2500m
Distance: 170-175km
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!

Additionally, for anyone coming from farther south that is interested in joining us, a good and simple route from Oume is located HERE. This will take you to the Chichibu Mecca Plaza where we will be making a stop for food before heading out into the wilderness. I estimate we'll arrive there about 10:45am plus or minus 15 minutes.
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,458
942
133
Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
#2
Perhaps RWGPS is over-estimating the elevation more than usual on this ride. Normally RWGPS is off by a factor of 2, but when Jose and I did this route (but heading to Oume via the Tamagawa) my total came to only 2200 m of total elevation. I wouldn't expect much more elevation via the Arakawa route. RWGPS counts all tunnels as if you went over the top of the mountain through which they were drilled. For example, the highest elevation shown above is 1464 m with a 23% grade, when you're actually going slightly downhill through the tunnel at around 1200 m :) There are a lot of tunnels on this route, which may account for the more than the standard 2x overestimate. When I uploaded my track to Strava, the total distance jumped from 180 to 184 km, which is perhaps because it initially didn't measure distance inside tunnels as I don't have a wheel speed sensor for my Garmin.
 

Yamabushi

Maximum Pace
Jun 1, 2010
2,335
188
1,083
Tokyo (Nezu)
fudoushin.com
#3
Perhaps RWGPS is over-estimating the elevation more than usual on this ride. Normally RWGPS is off by a factor of 2, but when Jose and I did this route (but heading to Oume via the Tamagawa) my total came to only 2200 m of total elevation. I wouldn't expect much more elevation via the Arakawa route. RWGPS counts all tunnels as if you went over the top of the mountain through which they were drilled. For example, the highest elevation shown above is 1464 m with a 23% grade, when you're actually going slightly downhill through the tunnel at around 1200 m :) There are a lot of tunnels on this route, which may account for the more than the standard 2x overestimate. When I uploaded my track to Strava, the total distance jumped from 180 to 184 km, which is perhaps because it initially didn't measure distance inside tunnels as I don't have a wheel speed sensor for my Garmin.
If you noticed in the ride details, I estimated the total climbing to be 2200-2500m.
 

Bartek

Maximum Pace
Jun 28, 2010
248
35
48
118
Chchibu
ewaandbart.webtobiz.net
#4
It's that time again!! This ride isn't for a couple of weeks, but I want to give everyone a bit of advanced notice.

We'll be riding up the Arakawa, out #463, up over Yamabushi-toge, descending down into Chichibu where we'll grab some food. From there we'll 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: 2200-2500m
Distance: 170-175km
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!

Additionally, for anyone coming from farther south that is interested in joining us, a good and simple route from Oume is located HERE. This will take you to the Chichibu Mecca Plaza where we will be making a stop for food before heading out into the wilderness. I estimate we'll arrive there about 10:45am plus or minus 15 minutes.
Hopefully, I will be able to join you this time.

A couple of months ago I met a former Newsweek journalist who lives in the area. She specializes in North Korea and still does an occasional article for Newsweek. Anyway, we talked for a couple of hours as the woman is full of interesting stories. She told me that there were about 1000 North Korean war prisoners working in the mine. Quite a large number stayed in Chichibu and surrounding villages after they were released. Unfortunately, the last of them died a few years ago. Just thought I would share it with all who are interested in this place.

As for the last stragglers, when I first discovered the place back in 2003, there were still a few people living there in the housing complex near the school. Back then all the buildings were still untouched. Today, most of them have been demolished. Apparently, there are some maniacs who go there to live for a while in the abandoned buildings to experience I'm not too sure what and Chichibu government has been slowly demolishing the buildings to eliminate that.
 

Bartek

Maximum Pace
Jun 28, 2010
248
35
48
118
Chchibu
ewaandbart.webtobiz.net
#5
Perhaps RWGPS is over-estimating the elevation more than usual on this ride. Normally RWGPS is off by a factor of 2, but when Jose and I did this route (but heading to Oume via the Tamagawa) my total came to only 2200 m of total elevation. I wouldn't expect much more elevation via the Arakawa route. RWGPS counts all tunnels as if you went over the top of the mountain through which they were drilled. For example, the highest elevation shown above is 1464 m with a 23% grade, when you're actually going slightly downhill through the tunnel at around 1200 m :) There are a lot of tunnels on this route, which may account for the more than the standard 2x overestimate. When I uploaded my track to Strava, the total distance jumped from 180 to 184 km, which is perhaps because it initially didn't measure distance inside tunnels as I don't have a wheel speed sensor for my Garmin.
Nakatsugawa, the village passed the turn towards Nichitsu is at about 800m (I was told this by a person who lives there, so I think it is pretty reliable info). From that Y junction there is still a bit of climbing left, so I would say the mine is at about 1000.
 

bird

Speeding Up
Nov 30, 2010
322
18
38
Kawasaki
#8

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,458
942
133
Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
#10
I second the cold warning. When I cycled there last year about two weeks later in the season than Pete is planning, the temperature at the very top was down to 3 C, so winter clothes made sense.

It was before I bought my winter cycling gear. I wore long trousers, long underwear, up to three shirt layers (two short sleeved, one long sleeved) and a wind breaker, plus neck scarf and winter gloves for the descent. You won't need all of that on the climb because you'll be burning calories, but the cold on the descent is something to be reckoned with.

As for the ride back, the sun will set around 17:00.
 

theBlob

Bokeh master
Sep 28, 2011
2,865
1,451
129
...
#11
I hope to come on this ride, I have to see how my recovery goes with the injury I have. But if all is good I'd like to complete this ride after bailing for a swim on my last mid summer attempt.
 

j-sworks

Maximum Pace
Feb 5, 2012
1,199
48
68
Tokyo
#15
The weather is a bit cooler today. I wonder what we'll have in store for us for the ride?
Looks like the weather will be pretty good, but I am prepared for cold (for my skinny butt at least) like around 12 or less on the way up in the climbs, and ball-shrinking cold on the main descent (single digits). Don't forget to ask mommy to pack your scarf and mittens ;)
 

GrantT

Maximum Pace
Oct 2, 2012
1,620
1,199
143
Setagaya
#16
The weather is a bit cooler today. I wonder what we'll have in store for us for the ride?
It was 13°C near the top of Yanagizawa toge yesterday, only survived at all thanks to unlimited hot tea refills at the little restaurant at the top. Forecast was for sun but of course that was 100% wrong. Really wished I had brought my leggings and non-fingerless gloves with me, and maybe some shoe covers.
 

j-sworks

Maximum Pace
Feb 5, 2012
1,199
48
68
Tokyo
#17
It was 13°C near the top of Yanagizawa toge yesterday, only survived at all thanks to unlimited hot tea refills at the little restaurant at the top. Forecast was for sun but of course that was 100% wrong. Really wished I had brought my leggings and non-fingerless gloves with me, and maybe some shoe covers.
Thanks for the feedback!

I'm going to bring the knee warmers, arm warmers, vest, long but lightish gloves, cap, and my new 11inch merino wool socks :)