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Third time lucky!


Maximum Pace
Nov 4, 2006
We (several of our members) have attempted this course in the past, but we never seemed to be able to complete it...

YES! Once again, it's Deej's fabled Karibazaka, "Oku-Musashi" farm ride!
The map can be seen here:

It's a great course (well, we think it could be, but we don't really know yet ...)

I was hoping to do it this weekend, but I have caught a slight flu (chest cold), so how about the following week?
Saturday, Nov 29th?

The start & finish are both "Higashi-Ome", and we'll need to leave quite early if we want to be back before night-fall.
It's an extremely mountainous and challenging course, and hence, all break-times will need to be severely limited.

Are there any takers?
>Denis: This is really close to you!
>AlanW: You said you wanted to try this.
>Deej, Philip, Thomas: Ye wanna give it another go?


P.S. If you wish to read about one of our previous attempts, it can be found here:
Yes, you can count me in.

I know most of the route pretty well - I don't quite follow the logic of it though, especially the return through Kami-Naguri back the same 20Km or so as the start. I can suggest a few alternative routes to Agano on the way out if that suits better - all super routes with some climbs as well (eg. via Nenogonnen).

There's room for 2 or 3 people to stay in my place in Ome on Friday night (11/28) which should make Saturday a bit easier.

Any more details?

Hi Travis,

This ride sounds good to me and I think I will be clear on Saturday. Got any more details? Like the train to take and meeting time etc on Saturday morning? And I can confirm that Higashi Ome eki does not have lockers, so bike bags will need to be carried.

I can only do a train trip out on Saturday morning, so I can't take up Denis on his kind offer to stay over on Friday night.


lanterne rouge?

My family is out of country and I have a porch pass. Is there a lanterne rouge crew for this? I've not been on a bike in a bit, but need to put in long rides in prep for enduro.

I think I caught the same cold :eek:uch:
If I can kick it by Saturday, I'll do the ride. Not at race pace though.

Will let you know on Friday.
Good to go!

>Denis, Keren, Todor, Alan: Thanks for your responses!

Technically, it's 2 1/2 biggish climbs; 132km.
And yes; there are NO coin-lockers at Higashi-Ome station, so I think this time I'll ride the 3km from Ome, and put my stuff in the locker there.
The following train arrives in Ome at 9:08

And we should meet at the 7-11 just north (500m) of Higashi-Ome station on Rte.28 at 9:30. Roll-out at 9:45.
With no mishaps, we should all be back by 4:30 at the latest - (but how many times have we said that, eh!?:()

Breaks will be minimal, and there aren't many places to fill up on food along the way - not until Chichibu - so we'll all need "Calorie-Mates" & "Soy-Joys" & Gels, etc. to take with us.
Although the top elevation is only 700m-ish, it might still be quite cold - ie. dress for the occasion.

Even though there are only 5 of us now, I reckon it might end up being a large group by Saturday.
See you there!
My legs permitting (among many other "ifs"), I'll probably join you guys - still on my commuter.

Don't tell anyone, but I'll be taking the train today... :warau:
And yes; there are NO coin-lockers at Higashi-Ome station, so I think this time I'll ride the 3km from Ome, and put my stuff in the locker there.
The following train arrives in Ome at 9:08

Hey Travis,

Good idea, I will join you on the train to Ome and ride out with you to the 711.

It will be the 08:09 Chuo line train out of Shinjuku. Meet in the front carriage?

All righty...

Ready to roll, guys!
Todor, Keren, Denis, Travis (meybe Thomas).

Regardless, this will be the first time we complete this course!
Looking forward to it.
See you tomorrow morning! T
hope you made it

Sorry to miss you guys. Had a hard time breathing from something I picked up. Ended up poking along into Okutama andand some of the rindo's.

Do hope you guys made it.

Sorry to miss you guys. Had a hard time breathing from something I picked up. Ended up poking along into Okutama andand some of the rindo's.

Do hope you guys made it.

Trad, after you split, 5 of the remaining 6 made it back to Higashi Ome just before 5pm- no small feat!

Great course - the scenery was awesome!:D

Much tougher than my perception from the map - plenty of challenging climbs:warau:.

See attachment for Kariba-toge group photo.

I was glad to be so close to home at the finish.
After that spin, I'm interested in checking out more routes around Nihongi-toge.

Thanks to Travis for organizing.
Must remember to bring my flashlight though, next time you organize a tour!
Legs like steel, erm, lead...

Great ride yesterday! This morning my legs felt like lead, but as Denis stated: "Mission accomplished!" And Chainbreak Mountain lost its "scare factor"... :warau:

Travis, thanks for organising TTL! Another one off the list...
Todor, my comrade-in-titanium, sorry you had to leave us so early.
Ben, Keren, Steve, it was great riding with you! See you at the next cycle folly.
Denis, it's been a pleasure. Your climbing technique is truly unique: in the drops, standing and spinning away. Literally, away. And then the "Lance glance" in every curve! I hope you further introduce us to the beauty of Okumusashi and Chichibu after your winter break.

Riding home along Tamagawa in the pitch-black night was something. I clocked 262km.
A great day out

Thanks for the great ride on Sunday. I got my a#se kicked by the climbs, but I still enjoyed the ride. But my face may not showen this by the time we got back to the 711. Thanks for waiting for me at the tops. As I have to blame something for my poor form; I point the crooked finger of blame at my gearing. :p So I went and ordered a 10 speed compact crank yesterday. Been wanting to upgrade from 9 speed for a long time anyway, so this ride called me to action.

Surprisingly my legs felt fine yesterday, so I did a 60km recovery ride at Oifuto. And I am up for another ride on the coming weekend.


Full report...

Woke up at 5am, had carbonara spaghetti for breakfast, cleaned my bike, and set off for Tokyo station at 6:30. I got on the 7:54 train and was soon greeted by Todor (Trad) and Ben at Yotsuya station, and then Keren (astroman) at Shinjuku.
The four of us took the train to Ome, set up our bikes and then set out to the meeting-point in Higashi-Ome, where we met Denis, Thomas and SteveT.
We (now 7 of us) started rolling towards the first small climb. Along the way though, Todor wasn't looking well – due to a chest infection, found his breathing labored – and he decided to call it a day.
>Trad: That flu has been going round a lot lately (I had it a week earlier), and I hope you're feeling better! Still, big kudos for even making the ride out with us in that condition.

Once we hit the first major climb up to "Yamabushi-toge"/"Shomaru-toge", we stopped briefly to put on our wind-breakers for the downhill to the start of the next serious climb.
*Note: We were all at the top of Shomaru-toge by 11:00am, and we never stopped from there until the top of the (other) fabled 20% climb [not Mikuni-toge] that TOM says is called, "Kaoburi-toge".

After a short break there to suck down an onigiri, power-gel and Calorie-Mate, and to fill up our bottles we kept rolling up to Karibazaka-toge. We were there by 12:40… Then we still had Deej's "farm-ride" to go!

We rode mostly N-W from Karibazaka-toge through Ono-toge, Shiraishi-toge, and finally to Teihou-toge (定峰峠 – not exactly sure of the reading for this one; maybe Denis can help). From there, we rode down about half a kilometer to the left-hand turn-off that looks like it might be a closed road, until we found ourselves up to where Thomas broke his chain the first time we tried this course, and then finally onto virgin territory past the farms.
Denis also showed that as well as being an "animal" on the climbs, he is also quite adept with a map. (Cheers Denis, for your navigational suggestions!)

>Deej: We finally made it, dude! Although, we rode straight past the "ice-cream" shop, and kept heading north! No milky-creamy stuff for us that day.

After Nihongi-toge (二本木峠), it went up for a little bit, until it finally started coming down – quite steeply along Rte.361, until we were back on the main road to Chichibu – Rte.82.
Rte.82 is not as flat as one might expect; it's a long gentle up before coming back down, where it finally meets Rte.299. We all said goodbye to Steve at that intersection – And for the record, Steve had carried all of his luggage with him up those monstrous mountains! (A pretty good effort for someone with a broken hip).

As the remaining 5 of us; Denis, Thomas, Travis, Ben and Keren rode along Rte.299 up to Shomaru-Tunnel (and our final climb), we were all feeling how much we should have stopped at that last convenience-store… But just up ahead, about 500m from said tunnel, was Denis (with the local knowledge) waving us down to savour the "O-yaki's" from the road-side stand – What a lifesaver!

After that last 5km climb, we were all at Yamabushi-toge (again), and we only had a 20km-ish downhill run to Higashi-Ome, from whence we had started.
Our original goal was to be back by 4:30pm. However, we only managed to get there just before 5:00.

*As a personal note: Even though the distance is less than 130km, and even being in "semi-race-mode", we were unable to do it in under 7 hours. That just goes to show how hard this loop actually is – Thanks Deej!!! That said, it is a good one, and if we wish to do better at "Hotaka" next year, this is definitely the course we should all train on!

Anyway, a great ride with great company!
Thomas – Who rode ALL the way there, and ALL the way back; Awesome!
Denis – I also noticed your climbing style (standing up, on the drops); Have you been watching too many "Pantani" videos?
Keren (astroman) – Pure Tri-athlete: Non-stop all the way!
Ben: Thanks for keeping me company on the climbs!
SteveT: Always a pleasure – If your riding ever gets better than your humour, I'll have to give up.
Todor: I've seen you in form, and you always kill me – Once your cold gets better, I'm sure you'll be whoopin' ass again!

Seriously, BIG thanks to everyone!

Hi Guys, thanks to all for a great ride. Coming from a flat as a pancake country, moving to flat as a pancake cities (Chicago, Singapore, Tokyo), this was my first ever real hill ride. Damn.:eek:uch:
And though i got humbled on the climbs and made to look like a real -i.e no bike skills whatsoever- triathlete on the descends, i enjoyed it more than any ride i've done.
Lessons learned:
1) I need a 27 or compact cranks when doing the hills. I did NOT like walking up the steepest part.
2) Cold weather gear is great when it's dry. Not when soaked in sweat.
3) Braking on descends can actually be more painful than doing the climb. (quality suggestion from the roadies: "don't break". Thanks.
4) O-yaki is some of the best tasting food ever.
5) Roadies are not quite as 'big-a-a..holes' as they are made out to be by the triathlete forums. Just a little bit :)

Travis, if sucking your wheel on the climbs is company then: My pleasure!

Dennis, Thomas, Travis, Steve and Todor, thanks for the ride and guidance. Keren, thanks for dragging me out there. I'll be back!
Great stories

:clap:eek:f what must have been a very tough ride! Wonder where exactly that o-yaki stand is located...is it always there...is it that "Shomaru nantoka shokudo" establishment on the left?...just wondering but would be good to know. Travis, btw 定峰峠 is Sadamine-toge :). Thomas...a 260k-plusser at this time of the year...phew:clap:!
Great report guys, would love to do this ride someday. Ben, as an ex triathlete I'll let you in on a secret. Riding with roadies is the best way to improve your cycling leg. Just don't bring your tri bars along, as most roadies will frown upon you. Try to look as much like a roadie as you can. If in doubt have a chat with Philip, he's mastered this;)

I can't explain the negative attitude some roadies have towards triathletes, but even I must admit when I see someone tucked down on their tri bars who gives me the nod as they go past the other way, I have to force myself to respond. What a snob I've become:confused:

Brilliant write-up. Sorry I had to bail out before the end, but figured it best to stop before the nagging twinge in my hip became all-out pain (to join my lungs, my legs, my arms :( ...). It was great to be riding in a group again, especially one so sociable, and er, damned fast. Thanks to yourself and Denis (bloody 'ell, what were you on ?!!) for getting us through some really amazing Chichibu back-roads, always a pleasure to ride with Thomas & Keren, and nice to meet you for the first time Ben & Todor.

A (not so) imaginary conversation...

Fellow cyclist: So how far up that ridiculously steep bit then Travis ?
Travis: Oh, 300 metres I'd say, mate.

(1.5 painful km later, in desperate need of replenishment)

Fellow cyclist: (puff, gasp) by the Gods man (wheeze), how far to the next 7-11 ??
Travis: No worries, 300 metres. Max.

(now where did that convini go ?)

Fellow cyclist: Alright Travis, alright. So how far to Mongolia d'you think ?
Travis: Would that be Inner Mongolia, or Outer Mongolia mate ?

Fellow cyclist: Oh. Right, yes. Ermm - Inner Mongolia ?
Travis: Well that'd be 300 metres....


Steve, didn't these also appear?

"Downhill all the way..."

"Only about 3% ..."

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