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Ride Sunday, 31 May: Tomin-no-mori - Imagawa-touge

thomas

The Crank Engine
Nov 1, 2005
1,943
440
It's been a while since we announced our last TCC ride, but here we go. Nothing "official", just one of the well-tried routes we used to take so often over (cough, cough) a decade ago.

Route:

We shall be riding out to Musashi-Itsukaichi along the Tamagawa and have the first meeting point at Koremasa Bridge at 07:30. Of course, we can meet up anywhere along the route, too. If you'd like to skip the river you could rinko out to JR Musashi-Itsukaichi Station. I expect we roll out from there at 09:00. We'll be taking Rt.33/Rt.206 to Tomin-no-mori (not Kazahari-rindo this time, I think), heading down to Lake Okutama and continue to Imagawa-touge along Rt.411.

Those who can still muster enough enthusiasm and energy for yet another gruelling climb could head back up to Tomin-no-mori and Musashi-Itsukaichi, but there is also the option to take Rt.411 to Oume.

We shall be providing more info later today or tomorrow.

In so far:

The weather forecast for Sunday looks good.
 
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WhiteGiant

Maximum Pace
Nov 4, 2006
1,231
384
The course is pretty simple, something like this!


Once we get back to the lake, you can choose which way you go from there. As Thomas mentioned, you can go back up and over to Tomin-no-mori the way we came, or you can head down Rte.411 to Ome, which is probably what I will do (although I may change my mind on the day... who knows?)
 

thomas

The Crank Engine
Nov 1, 2005
1,943
440
A little update: the meeting point at Koremasa (07:30) will be under the bridge along the cycle path, just to avoid confusion.
 

WhiteGiant

Maximum Pace
Nov 4, 2006
1,231
384
That was a lot of fun… and brutal towards the end.

It was a bit of a “short notice” ride, with Thomas making the suggestion on Thursday night to see if anyone wanted to go riding on Sunday, and he posted the ride on the forums here the following morning. In the end, there would be 5 of us.

I met Thomas at Koremasa bridge just before 7:30, and Nobu turned up soon after. From there, the 3 of us rode up Tamagawa at medium pace, arriving in front of Musashi-Itsukaichi station at 8:45, where we met Allen (@kruucks) and Nico (@47no). We refilled our bottles at the 7-11 and then set off up the hill.

Setting the pace on a ride is not as easy as it sounds – There are all sorts of things to consider, and some of these things are at odds with one another: The ego is saying, “Go fast so they don’t think you’re a slow-poke!” The legs are saying, “Hey, save something for the trip home!” I’m checking behind me to see if everyone’s still there… they are. “Oh no, do they all think this is too slow!? Maybe I should go faster!”

When we arrived at the base of the climb (the turn-off for Kobu tunnel), Nobu said “Hey, that was pretty fast!” My ego said, “Yay! Job well done”. My legs said, “Darn it, I should have taken it easier!”

We had all agreed to “Wait-at-the-top”, so I thought that we might go at a more reasonable speed after that – “Everybody go at your own pace!” In truth, I was hoping someone would come around in front of me so I could settle into a less strenuous pace, but no-one did. Once again it was the ego talking: “Everyone’s right behind you. No slowing down now!” I would pay dearly for all that effort later on.

As we approached the entrance to Tomin-no-mori, Thomas and Nobu said they would stop there for a bit and wait for Nico. I said I would continue all the way to the top (Kazahari-toge) without stopping. I was soon joined by Allen, and we chatted a bit as we neared the top. With about 400m to go, Allen says “See ya!” and takes off up ahead like a rocket. I was already on the limit, with very nearly nothing left in the legs. Thomas & Nobu joined us there about 5 minutes later, and then a few minutes after that, Nico came around the bend too.

The descent from Kazahari to the lake is probably the best in Tokyo. Once again, it was Allen who took the lead, flying down the hill, followed by Nobu & Thomas. In truth, I haven’t been to any hills for nearly a year, so my descending skills are seriously lacking at the moment. It was a pretty chilly downhill, and we were all glad to be at the bottom where it was slightly warmer. We filled up our bottles from the vending machines near the Soba shop, and then we headed west on Rte.139 towards the Imagawa-toge turn-off. Just as we neared the turn-off, Nico said that he would turn back and wait for us to come back around to the lake again – If only my ego were that smart!

I swear that road gets steeper every time! Surely, it wasn’t this steep last time, was it!? Please describe the experience: “Searing white pain!” But thankfully, at only 3km, the climb is mercifully short, and we were soon descending into the tiny town of Tabayama on the other side.

My legs were pretty much dead by now, and I was grateful to have Allen up the front leading us home. As we came back around to the lake (and narrowly missed being taken out by a Porsche overtaking other cars in a tunnel), we met up with Nico again, who was waiting for us there. The 5 of us now headed down Rte.411 through all the tunnels, and somewhere just before Ome my legs gave out completely. Thankfully, a decision was made to stop at a 7-11, where we could all get something to eat. There are certain times when food is just so amazingly wonderful! This was one of those times. Feeling somewhat refreshed, it was now a nice easy run alongside the train tracks to Haijima, where Nico & I would catch the train after saying goodbye to Thomas & Nobu, who would continue down the river.

Big thanks to Thomas, Allen (@kruucks), Nobu, and Nico (@47no) for a great day out!
 

47no

Maximum Pleb
Dec 29, 2019
34
61
Just as we neared the turn-off, Nico said that he would turn back and wait for us to come back around to the lake again – If only my ego were that smart!

After looking up in the map how close we were to the climb I 100% regret having turned back at that point. The descent to the waiting point was so relaxing and chill though...
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,988
2,289
On my way to Onekansen for my ride to Akiyama and Tsuru, I was passed by a cyclist near the Tokyo Oval Keirin stadium on the Tamagawa and noticed the TCC jersey he was wearing. So I sped up to catch back up with him and shouted "Tokyo Cycle Club!"

It turned out to be @thomas on his way to Musashiitsukaichi :) We chatted about our route plans for the day. It was very lucky we met there because it was literally at the next traffic light that our routes diverged, so we couldn't have met any later.
 

thomas

The Crank Engine
Nov 1, 2005
1,943
440
Thanks for this epic ride (epic at least to someone who hasn't seen the mountains in a while) and the great company! Sorry, it was on such short notice. And Travis, thank you for chronicling, as always!

I'm still pretty knackered today, but look forward to the next sufferfest. :)

Here are a few impressions from yesterday, some of which have already been posted by Allen.















 

Nobu

Warming-Up
Apr 18, 2020
1
5
Thank you guys for the wonderful ride!

Travis, your legs were very very strong on the long and brutal climbs of Tomin no mori ;) I had to keep my legs up until home (due to No Rinko policy) so I was so glad that you kept a great pace up to the Tomin no mori parking lot ;) I appreciate that!

Hopefully we will have more adventurous rides like this one.

Cheers all!
Nobu
 
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