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Ride TCC GW Boso Ride


The Crank Engine
Nov 1, 2005
We haven't had a TCC ride in quite a while - official or unofficial - so here are a few pictures of last Monday's Boso loop. Thanks for the pictures, @Phil !

And here's the ride (taken from Travis' Strava page):


It felt like in the good old days, thanks for the great company, gentlemen! :)
Ride report:

It was Jessie's idea. He was planning a few days at the in-law's out in Chiba, so he contacted Phil to see if he was up for a ride. Then they got in touch with Darragh, and as the snowball went, there ended up being 8 of us.
The usual starting point for these "Boso rides" is in Honda (誉田) - Everything starts and ends there (at least on the official map, anyway). Although Honda is the official "start", it has one major downside, in that there are no coin-lockers at the station. So this time, some of us decided to get off the train at Soga (蘇我), where there are coin-lockers, and ride the extra 10km to Honda - Personally, I think this worked out extremely well, and will make future "Boso rides" much more accessible (for me, at least).

Four of us met at Soga - Thomas, James, Munheng and me - and the ride from there to Honda was fairly brisk. A nice warm up for the legs. Once at Honda, we met Serguei, Phil, Darragh and Jessie. After a quick 7-11 stop, we were ready to roll.

As usual, the route planning had been left in Phil's capable hands - I think Phil knows almost every back road between Honda and Kamogawa - and this time we took a counter-clockwise course past Takataki lake, through Kururi, across the Kameyama dam, and back to Honda along an almost parallel route just to the east of where we had come down.

We left the 7-11 in Honda at about 9:20, and headed south along a familiar roads, threading between rice-paddies and golf courses, as we made our way to Lake Takataki. This was not actually a "scheduled stop", but simply out of habit from the old days, we stopped by the lake for a quick canned-coffee and to take some photos. We were soon off again, and 15km later, we were having lunch at the 7-11 in Kururi. After we'd eaten and filled our bottles, we continued south towards Kameyama dam.

When it comes to navigation, I've been using an old secondhand smartphone (Sony Xperia Z5 Compact) with a data-only SIM card - It's cheap and functional, although the short battery life sometimes lets me down. It sits nicely on my bar-stem, but at times it can be a little bit difficult to navigate with finger gestures (pinch-to-zoom, etc.) while riding. The only other person with the map was Munheng, loaded into his Garmin. And of course, there was Phil, who had the course locked in his head. I was looking down at my un-zoomed map, which looked like it was going straight. So I said to Phil behind me, "(something, something).... Straight!" Now, Munheng was in front, leading the way, and on his (I assume) zoomed-in map, he saw that we had to turn left. The problem was that it was a long uphill to the turn-off, with tunnels and bends, so that our group had become stretched out to where some of us couldn't see the person ahead and/or if/where the others had turned. Remember I had told Phil, "...straight!" but after the rest of us had all turned left (following Munheng), Phil was simply following my last words to him... He went straight! Thomas and I went back to see if he had had a mechanical problem, and it didn't take us long to realize that he had continued past the turn-off. Fortunately though, Phil, as creator of the route, has multiple alternate courses that can get him back on track, which is how, miraculously, he ended up in front of us! After a quick phone call, we were all back together, as we neared the southernmost point in our journey, and we could start heading north again.

Not long after we had turn NE, we were at our second scheduled stop: The Shop! "The shop" is not a well-known convenience-store per se, it's just a family-run "mom & pop" convenient-store, without the 7-11/Family-Mart/Lawson branding. But there is nothing else around there, and it's like an oasis in the desert.

We were now onto the final stretch - ie. 50km to go! But there were still a few more climbs to go - the typical ups & downs that Boso is famous for - all on almost-no-traffic back roads; Huge credit to Phil for finding these amazing roads! About 30km later, we had our final stop (another 7-11), before the final final-stretch.

At the end of these rides, I never know which climb is the last one, always racing to the top thinking, "Yay! This is the last one!" only to realize that there's another one to go. Darragh, Munheng and I were racing up the final climbs, with Darragh the eventual victor - Well done, mate!

We all made it back to Honda just before 3:30pm - about 6 hours after we had left that morning. It was such a great ride though! Perhaps because we hadn't done it in so long, but we all unanimously agreed that it was an excellent day out!
Thanks, Travis, an excellent write-up! I hope we won't have to wait another five years for the next Boso loop! :)
Thanks for the writeup, Travis, always fun to re-live the ride through your reports.

For the record, missing the turn was all on me. First for dropping off the back, and second, for deciding to go straight even though I was certain the route went left. When I got to the intersection, up ahead I saw the crowd of mini-motos that had been following you guys the last I saw you just disappearing around the bend, and made the split-second decision to follow them, thinking you might still be in front of them. Halfway along the road I realized you probably *had* turned left, but at that point I decided to just push on to Kameyama by my own route and figure out how to get in touch once I got there.

Still recovering from this ride one week later, hah. It's amazing how much faster you can (have to) push yourself when in a group vs. solo.
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