Shine On! Cycle Challenge in Norikura

May 22, 2007
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Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#1
Here's news of a weekend event we're organizing at Half Fast Cycling. Anyone is welcome.

This is a fun ride, not a race.

A charity ride in Norikura on July 24 and 25, in support of the Tyler Foundation for Childhood Cancer

Norikura. It's a BIG mountain. It's a hill climb. It's for a great cause.

This will be the second year we've staged this event. Last year was a great success, despite challenges with the weather. This time we've got space for twice as many participants, so it should be at least twice as much fun.

Details are on our web site now: http://halffastcycling.com/shineon.html

The participation fee is just JPY 11,000. This includes overnight accommodation at NorthStar, two meals, insurance, and a 20% donation to the Tyler Foundation. (Of course we encourage additional donations!)

Team Shine On!, a group of dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers, are eager to handle your enquiries and pledges. Please please please direct correspondence on this event to shineoncyclechallenge@gmail.com

Of course we can discuss it here at TCCBBS too - I'll field questions if I'm able. But if you want to join the event, you need to write to the address above.

Keep the rubber side down!

--HF Mike--

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Ludwig

Speeding Up
Oct 9, 2008
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Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
#2
Very nice! So I take it is fine to cycle into Kamikochi? Cars are not allowed, so I was wondering whether they allow in bicycles, considering also that the entry is through a longer tunnel.
 

Wolfman

Speeding Up
Jul 31, 2007
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Suginamiku
#3
Very nice! So I take it is fine to cycle into Kamikochi? Cars are not allowed, so I was wondering whether they allow in bicycles, considering also that the entry is through a longer tunnel.
I went to meet them before the ride last year, cycling up from Matsumoto. Those tunnels on route 158 were pure hell, not helped by the rain. On the way back I chucked the bike on a bus to avoid them.

Narrow, dark, wet, and very busy with kanko buses. I think they used a different, nicer route to get to the hotel.
 

Ludwig

Speeding Up
Oct 9, 2008
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36
Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
#4
I went to meet them before the ride last year, cycling up from Matsumoto. Those tunnels on route 158 were pure hell, not helped by the rain. On the way back I chucked the bike on a bus to avoid them.

Narrow, dark, wet, and very busy with kanko buses. I think they used a different, nicer route to get to the hotel.
Yeah, I wouldn't take route 158 for sure to get to the entry to Kamikochi. Coming down from the other side might be OK though - which is what the proposed route looks like.

I'm still wondering whether Kamikochi itself is accessible. The tunnel to get in is harmless esp. as it is only one-way at a time, but I could imagine they don't like bicycles blocking the bus traffic... But I hope I'm wrong and it is fine to cycle in.

Does anyone know?
 
May 22, 2007
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Kawasaki
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#5
I'm still wondering whether Kamikochi itself is accessible [...] Does anyone know?
It's definitely do-able. There are a number of Japanese cycling blogs (e.g.) that mention it. Consensus is that it's hard. Relentless 11% uphill for the entire 1.4 km length.

Yes we can!

The old tunnel was around 500 m but 15%.

Last year the 'Advanced' team ran out of time and so just had a look at the tunnel entrance, thought "There's something for another day", and carried on back toward Matsumoto. This year, again, we'll have to play it by ear, but apart from the 15 min of cold, dark, uphill trauma it could be a really nice spot.

--HF Mike--
 

Ludwig

Speeding Up
Oct 9, 2008
871
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36
Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
#6
Thanks!! I haven't been there for a while, so didn't know there was a new tunnel. 150m climbing in a tunnel is quite something. But at least it is lighted and there isn't that much traffic.

The other day I took a rindo which was full of long, curvy tunnels without ANY light. And zero traffic, as it was completely closed to traffic. The only way getting through these tunnels was to switch on my (weak) flashing front light and note from the (weak) reflection of the cat eyes on the tunnel walls where I should (not) go. If there had been a bear waiting for me in the middle of the road, I would not have known until feeling its embrace...

Tunnels without light are not uncommon on rindos, but usually they are straight so one can see literally light at the other end of the tunnel... This rindo was special. I still need to blog about it.
 

Ludwig

Speeding Up
Oct 9, 2008
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Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
#7
BTW, I'm thinking of joining the group, but was wondering what "advanced" really meant. Could you give us an idea of how fast or slow the group is likely to be. I don't mind the occasional rest, but get somewhat impatient if I have to wait a lot for others instead of being able to cover more mileage and altitude...
 

trad

Maximum Pace
Dec 4, 2006
393
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Tokyo
#8
I think Ludwig's level of advanced (and many of the ex racer types in TCC) are of a different caliber - with the differences showing up mostly on the cliimbs. In alpine skiing parlance, I'd liken it to a difference between "double black" crew vs "single black" crew.
 

Ludwig

Speeding Up
Oct 9, 2008
871
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36
Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
#9
I think Ludwig's level of advanced (and many of the ex racer types in TCC) are of a different caliber - with the differences showing up mostly on the cliimbs. In alpine skiing parlance, I'd liken it to a difference between "double black" crew vs "single black" crew.
You mean to say I'd be better off doing this separately with a small group of like-minded TCC mates? Would be a nice thing to do over a weekend this summer. We could vary the route a little.

It might be even possible to do this in one day:

http://www.mapmyride.com/route/jp/nagano-ken/913127544151019957

May need to skip the Kamikochi detour though. The earliest one can reasonably get to Shiojiri is 9:30am, so would need to do this at the end of June, when the days are the longest and the temperature should be acceptable at 2700m.
 
May 22, 2007
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Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#10
Could you give us an idea of how fast or slow the group is likely to be.
As Trad suggests, if you are a mountain muncher you might find the Half Fast version of 'Advanced' frustrating; we're casual athletes. Saw echo3 summitting at Kazahari Rindo a few weeks back and my companion remarked "He's as fast riding up that cliff as I am on the flat".

However, all are welcome. It's for a great cause.

On the rare occasions that I'm one of the faster climbers in a group I may double back to the last rider and then try to encourage the others.

As the 'leader' of the advanced group last year, I was last up; out of shape, and stopping to take movies/pictures. Left NorthStar at 8.50 and hit the summit 20 km later at 11.05. The rest of my group had been there since around 10.30. Like I said, it's not a race.

--HF Mike--
 

paullb

Warming-Up
May 24, 2010
57
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Fuchu
#11
BTW, I'm thinking of joining the group, but was wondering what "advanced" really meant. Could you give us an idea of how fast or slow the group is likely to be. I don't mind the occasional rest, but get somewhat impatient if I have to wait a lot for others instead of being able to cover more mileage and altitude...
As msimswil had an issue or two. I wound up leading the "advanced" group over Norikura to continue. As msimswil points out it is not a race, but the faster members of the advanced group made it up in about 90 minutes and the remainer within 10 after that. It certainly is a situation where we wait for all to arrive before moving on.

The advanced ride descended into Hirayu where we had lunch and took a look at Hiruya Falls (one of the top 100 in Japan) and then over Abo Pass (about an hour up). We were low on time and the entrance to kamikochi looked formidable at best so we gave it a pass and rode down as a group to Matsumoto.

It was quite good because the members of the advanced group were all relatively close.

There should be some practice rides (up Matsuhime, I believe) before the ShineOn event, if you are unsure about which group, you might want to consider joining one of those and seeing how you compare to others.