Tanzawa and beyond

Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
318
136
63
Yokohama
#1
For anyone interested to know what happens to Route 76 at the top of the pass...


At about the 29 km mark, the route turns to soft packed sand with large stones everywhere and continues like that for about 5 km (the 34km mark). I've not done much off-roading so can't compare, but found that the stones had me going off-balance while the sand had my tires sinking in to dirt that had the consistency of beach sand. I had Schwalbe 700x28s on the bike. They didn't flat, which actually surprised me a bit because the stones had pretty rough edges, but the tires weren't wide enough to give me the traction I needed to ride it.

Definitely wouldn't consider doing this section on regular road tires. My guess is the rocks would eat up the sidewalls. There is almost no asphalt. 95% loose packed sand and rock. I walked all but 5% of it. Took me 1.5 hours to hike this section. I took lots of pictures of the path on this part, so hope it helps you to understand what to expect.

About 2 km prior to the tunnel at the top (the 34km mark), asphalt returns. Yeah!! The south end of the tunnel has a load of rock dumped there to seal the entrance from cars. Bikers can easily scramble over. Another rock pile happens about a km further down the road. Again, easily gotten over by a biker. The rest of the way down the mountain is all asphalt.

From the tunnel down to the campground, the road is good but there were plenty of fallen rocks scattered over the road. Had to keep the speed low to be able to maneuver through them. Otherwise, easy to bust a rim or have a crash. Past the campground, it is smooth sailing down to Tanzawa and Yaga.

I liked Route 76. Almost no cars. Beautiful scenery. Certainly no speedsters. Lots of nature. However, the section I walked got a bit tiresome. Even on foot the rocks are throwing you off-balance while the sand is denying you traction. Plus, scrambling over rock piles got a bit old. So, if you choose to do this section, make sure you have either MTB shoes or carry a pair of tennis shoes. Plan to get them wet and muddy if it has rained recently.

I did pass one old man, hiking with his dog. He told me to be careful of bears. So, might want to keep that in mind. I had been fore-warned by Half-Fast Mike and had my bell on the bike.
 
Last edited:
May 22, 2007
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Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#6
Can't see the photos here, either. You're linking to photos on Google, it may be that they are only visible to your Google Fiends.

If you want to you can upload photos to TCC (up to 1024 pix wide) and they'll stay here no matter what Google changes in the future.
 

Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
318
136
63
Yokohama
#9
Yep. They're on Google Photos. Guess that doesn't work well.

I've put them on photobucket and now uploaded this one from there.

Hope this works now.

Sorry, if I've posted too many pics. Hoping to give folks an idea of the condition of the road/path in case they're considering trying this section.
 
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Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
318
136
63
Yokohama
#14
No asphalt but really beautiful place.

Anti-bear bell on bike. Must have worked. No bears.
Rockpile at south end of long tunnel and another about a kilometer later.




Took the train back from Yaga, but was a mistake. Didn't notice that the train only runs once an hour, until after I'd already bagged my bike. Next time, I'll cycle on to Shin-Matsuda, or take 710 over and then down to Hadano. Wasted most of an hour just waiting.
 
Last edited:
May 22, 2007
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#15
Thank you for persevering with the photos! Looks like a great ride. I want to ride it again, now ;-) So many places I want to go again. And so many that I haven't even been to once, yet...

The rock pile in the tunnel is an innovation - it wasn't there when I last went... in 2008.

 
May 22, 2007
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#17
Could you ride it or did you walk it. Looks like you have wider tires than I did.
Rode all the way. Those green MTB tyres are 26 x 1.9" - the same pair is actually still on the bike, but they will need replacing soon. I have ridden much worse conditions on thinner tyres. The 700 x 32 mm Panaracer CG Fairweather Force tyres that @hat and beard recommended have been great so far.

I see that Tanzawa-ko is still a yucky green puddle. Before I first saw it, I had imagined arriving the delightful banks of a sparkling clear lake like Yamanaka-ko. Mais non.
 

Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
318
136
63
Yokohama
#18
Yeah... Tanzawa did not inspire with pristine beauty. Pretty muddy looking.

You rode it all the way... I'm impressed. I think if I do Rt. 76 again, I'll do it when it hasn't rained for a while and I'll go the opposite direction so I have gravity working for me. I haven't really done any real off roading till now so I'm looking forward to giving it another go and get some experience. It was really pretty up there.
 
May 22, 2007
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#19
You rode it all the way... I'm impressed. I think if I do Rt. 76 again, I'll do it when it hasn't rained for a while and I'll go the opposite direction so I have gravity working for me. I haven't really done any real off roading till now so I'm looking forward to giving it another go and get some experience. It was really pretty up there.
I'm thinking November, for the red leaves. Chilly, but before any freeze.