The Crank Engine
Nov 1, 2005
I would like to propose a new ride for next Saturday, August 22: Threepeaks (aka YAM Loop: Yabitsu-Ashigahara-Mikuni).

Meeting point/finish: Hashimoto Sta.
Rollout time: 9:00AM
Distance: ~160km
Ascent: ~2.700m


We'd start easy, climbing Yabitsu-toge from the north (see profile above), then continue on to Hadano and Ashigahara-toge. Ashigahara is not too long, but has two steep sections (up to 14% gradient). After a fast descent we'd proceed to R147 and the biggest challenge of the day, Mikuni-toge (only 7km of climb from the turn-off, but a few sections of up to 16% gradient). Once we'd hit Yamanaka-ko and replenish, it's R413 (Doshi-michi) all the way back into Hashimoto. I expect the pace to be relatively fast.

Who's interested in joining? :)


Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
Would love to but Im racing on the 23rd and leaving for Shuzenji on the 22nd.


The Crank Engine
Nov 1, 2005
@ TOM, Lee: nice to have you on board! :)

@ James: good luck in Shuzenji! Next time, mate.

Too early to say, but the weather forecast looks great, a bit hot though (32°C). :warau:


Maximum Pace
Sep 24, 2007
Would love to join you boys but am in the Philippines doing some mountain bike riding. You should see these hills, my computer clocked a stretch of road at 25% the other day......Hopefully will come back fit and ready for a TCC ride in a few weeks. have a good one gentlemen:D


Maximum Pace
Oct 13, 2007
Sounds ... painful. :)

I'll try to make this, but I've got to take care of some family stuff first. Hopefully, I should be good to go.



The Crank Engine
Nov 1, 2005
Looking forward to seeing you all. Meeting place at Hashimoto Sta. is around the koban which is - I believe - at the Northern exit. See you there! :)


Speeding Up
Jun 13, 2007
Ugh and ouch!
Thomas, thanks for putting up this brilliant insanity.

Right now, I am sitting at home, eating cheeseburgers and trying to do the impossible - replenish the enegy I lost today :D:D:D

It feels absolutely great to complete this kind of ride without taking an easy way out, but it's not something I'd do again soon (not until the summer heat subsides). Thanks everyone for the company, hope you all made it home safely.
Thanks folks, this was an unforgetable day and I felt very happy to be able to cycle in such nice company. Thomas, this Threepeaks Route is a new classic; a lot of experience went into putting this one together. Let's do it again this autumn (with an earlier start maybe). i-gatU map is here.


Maximum Pace
Apr 20, 2007
Thomas-san, Thanks for planning the big challenge ''Threepeaks''
I am still so tired, and don't feel like doing anything:warau:, but now I am very satisfied to have achieved three things which were to complete the whole course without being left far behind, beat my max speed and distance. My couputer showed 75.5km/h on the long descent from Ashigara-toge!! The total distance was 165km with 2700m of climbing:eek: :eek: :eek:.
To be honest, I had been wondering if I should have gone or not until I arrived at Hashimoto station yesterday morning, as it looked impossible to pass big three peaks in one day at least for me, a weak woman:p, and moreover with ''speedy gents''

It was remarkable riding and the most tough riding in my life.
Many many thanks everyone. See you next time:)



Maximum Pace
Jan 30, 2007
Threepeaks Insanity

Peak of dehydration; peak of disillusionment and peak of despair for me, in that order!
The first climb up Yabitsu-toge was very pretty, following the river on our left hand side. A pocket of cooler air kept the temperature bearable as we cruised up the hill. It was my first time on that pass and I quite enjoyed the steady gradient and twisting narrow road. There were many groups of bikers on the road, heading in both directions. At the top, we stopped for the first of many drink stops, and I found my bottle was already empty.
The following descent was really good fun, quite steep in places. After a short combini stop we rolled once again towards Asahigahara-toge. As we climbed the lower slopes, I dropped the chain off the inside chainring, and as I stopped to put it back on, I started to really feel the heat. The sun was beating down despite the clouds and the humid air was reflecting the heat from every direction :warau:
When I got back on my bike, I was feeling quite weak and uncomfortable as I set off in pursuit of the group. My body couldn't muster the strength to catch everyone, and I had to be content with grinding up to the top. There was no shelter from the heat on the climb, so I eventually took off my helmet and completely unzipped my jersey to try to disperse some heat. It helped a bit, but I was still finding the climb unbelievably was like someone had stolen all my lower gears.
An eternity later, I dragged myself over the summit and spent the next quarter hour trying to recover a bit. I had doubts about my ability to get over the next climb, the notorious Mikune-toge.
On the descent, I was initially feeling chilly due to my saturated clothes against my skin, but inside I know my body was in fact still very hot.
Sure enough, Mikuni loomed up in front of us in no time at all. I forced myself to eat an energy bar though I had no appetite at all. Soon after the turn-off, I saw the 7.0 km to go sign and steeled myself to get to the top. Once again, I was quickly into 1st gear and plodding up the road, and despite the sweat pouring out of my body, I felt like I was just getting hotter and hotter. The numbers on my cycle computer clicked up oh-so-slowly. Just after the 16% gradient sign I had to stop and gather some energy (from somewhere), and about 1 km after that, had to stop again.
Eventually I saw the familiar jerseys of our group waiting at the top, where I wobbled to a halt. The only thing that kept me going was that I know it was pretty much all downhill from there.
Sure enough, we set off down towards Yamanakako, and with one small climb over Yamabushitoge, began the long long drawn out downhill of 413. I was able to freewheel or soft pedal but still keep a reasonable speed. The swooping curves were nice. My one moment of drama on this road was when a driver pulled out from the left in front of me, but fortunately he had his window open and stopped when I yelled at him.
It was almost dark when we rolled back to Hashimoto station for a well deserved beer and the train ride home.

Thanks (?) to Thomas for putting the route together and the whole group for the company on the ride. Think I'll wait for the heat to subside a bit (a lot!) before I attempt this one again.
Dec 23, 2008
Torture, rage, despair and advanced dehydration all in one day ......can Saturday's ride be classed as an "epic"?

I trust everyone is recovered - not to put too finer point on it, but i seem to be peeing custard still.

As challenging as it was, it was a great day.

See you all next time



Speeding Up
Sep 8, 2008
Indeed, thanks all for the ride, and Naomi, you are incredibly fast, stop talking yourself down!
Once again words were muttered at the top of Mikuni, "Why are we doing this, let's never do it again." But also, once again, the mind has worked its wonders, and I've pretty much forgotten the "unacceptable" nature of the climb... so let's do it again sometime. :)