Ride Tokyo-Aomori 2014

Would you be able to join a 1 week long ride at the end of May/ start of June

  • Yes

    Votes: 16 76.2%
  • No

    Votes: 5 23.8%

  • Total voters
This Spring Astuto hosted a ride from our workshop in Shinjuku all the way to Aomori. We rode the 800km course over 4 days with a support van meeting us at 50km checkpoints. It turned out to be a very fun ride and the route was quite nice. There was only a 20km span where we were on a major road, but other than that we were out in the country side (after leaver the Tokyo/Saitama industrial centers of course). We averaged about 175km a day with 1 marathon day of 270km. 1 day was just over 100km as our "recovery" day. At the end of every stage we had a BBQ buffet waiting for us and nice cozy bungalows with soft beds to sleep in. Through this experience, we have learned what we did well and what needed to be improved.

The main thing we realized is that the more people who can join, the better the ride and the lower the cost per person will be. I am taking a poll to see how many people would seriously consider joining the ride next year if we were to host it again. Saying Yes to this poll does not obligate you to come if we host the ride but I would like very serious thought put into your answer. If you have any doubt that you would not be able to go please think about your answer.

2014 Ride Improvements:
  • There will be an A group for those who want to ride really hard and a B group for those who want to enjoy the tour at a decent pace.
  • 2014 will be a 5 day ride so we can have "shorter" stages (get rid of the 270km marathon day) as well as go around some high traffic areas on the 2013 route.
  • All stages will start and end near a Shinkansen station so that people may join in later or leave earlier during the tour.
  • The end of the tour will coincide with the Mt. Iwake hill climb event if possible, so those who wish to join the race may do so while in Aomori.
To make this tour cost friendly to everyone, we have deemed that having roughly 15-20 participants is necessary. Depending on how the poll goes it may decide if we host the ride again next year.

Last edited:


Speeding Up
Nov 30, 2010
This is a great bike tour with excellent support which means you can purely enjoy the journey with friends without worrying too much about anything else. Of course you need to be prepared to take care of yourself at certain basic levels against common troubles, but this tour will provide extra support you can only dream of in your regular weekend long rides;
- Travel light with minimal baggage, carrying in your pockets only what you need/when you need. Light kit or rain gear can be kept in the van when not in use.
- Spare wheel support.
- In a worst case where you can't continue riding due to physical/mechanical problem, you just call and wait for the support van.

I was very fortunate to have joined the 2013 edition of this ride. I can't thank you guys enough for it @EricinIkebukuro & @GSAstuto. After experiencing this ride I came to enjoy riding more and more, in any environment be it rainy, cold or dark.
Personally I'd prefer to include one marathon day (250+ km) just to make it more fun, but I also understand it would make the time management (such as time for dinner!) more challenging.
I'm in if not for all then certainly from Sendai.

Oh B group and likely on a singlespeed.
Completely doable on a fixie. I did it on a 6 speed vintage this year round.

@bird it was great having you along! I hope you can make it again next year! Definitely need to bring more milk next time too. You were doing what, about a liter per meal?! lol!

@Half-Fast Mike Cost depends on the number of participants. The more people we get the lower the cost can be, especially if we have enough people to make Costco runs reasonable.

@theDude I don't like maybes. They usually end up being a no when time comes. I understand work can change and your times have to be fluid but maybe is too much of a grey area.
@Sibreen I am making calculations at the moment. I am basing them off of last year's expenses so they should be close but there will be some difference because of the extra day I am adding plus alpha.

@Musashi13 I am glad to hear you are eager to go, with the positive feedback and the other locations I am looking for riders, I think it may be possible to host it again next year.


Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
This was indeed a great ride. The only neg I had was the severe hay fever attacks but that's just me. We organized this based on cost only with no profiteering intentions. Hence getting a few more riders to join will help us increase the support and reduce the costs due to the fixed cost of providing rolling support. I might mention, the format is not a "SAG" where support follows you and hands out coffee and cakes and fresh fruit. It is a rolling brevet where you go to each checkpoint with the support van used to carry incidentals , baggage and refueling for the next stage. So, the challenge is very much there in similar veins as a Gran Fondo or Sportif type ride
This was the route this year. For next year, I am planning of going west around Fukushima and heading into Yamagata-ken (adding an extra day) before turning east to Sendai. This year we rode straight through Fukushima and didn't stop until Sendai. It was a long day and I did not like being on the #4 for that long. I will post the proposed 2014 route in a few days.

<iframe src="" height="500px" width="100%" frameborder="0"></iframe>


Maximum Pace
Oct 2, 2009
So, if arriving in Aomori for the Iwaki hillclimb it will be end of June?
Should be pretty warm then, are you planning an inland route with some altitude?
Start and finish each day will be the same for slow and fast group?

I am contacting a riding buddy from Germany about this awesome tour. Should be hell to do the hillclimb on tired legs. Can't commit yet, but lets keep this conversation going.
Aug 30, 2013
Assuming I'm in Japan, and assuming I can take that week off of work, I'm game. Looks like a great tour, done tours like it in California and glad to see people doing it here in Japan. I'll either be in the front of the B group or dropped by the A group towards the end of the day and roll in while everyone's in their yukata and at the onsen or something :D
@Gunjira I am confirming the dates of the race and will announce when this will take shortly. I hope your buddy from Germany can make it. This ride was the best ride I had ever done and I hope we can top it next year!

The A and B group will have the same course. The difference will be the pace at which the group leaders set. Of course switching between groups is perfectly fine if you feel strong one day or burnt out the next.

I want to clarify that this is in no way a race (nor a strava race). Period. Safety was the main goal this year and it will be next year as well. We want everyone to have a carefree, enjoyable and epic ride.

@Jason Cha lets hope you are still here. Even if you are not, you will have to fly over here just to ride this!

Let me do some more calculations for cost and timing over my day off tomorrow and I will post the info ASAP.

Cheers everyone, I'm glad this is getting positive remarks
Likes: Musashi13
Quick Update**

This year the Iwaki hill climb was held on June 30th, the last sunday of the month. If they stick to this, it is safe to assume they will hold it June 29th of 2014, again the last sunday of the month. So to have a 5 day tour up there with 1 rest day between the finish of our tour and their race, tentatively we should be aiming to do this on Monday, June 23rd 2014 to Friday, June 27th 2014. Once they announce their official date we may adjust slightly.
Jun 18, 2011

The whole area east of Kansai is a big grey zone for me, so I've always wanted to go there. Can't think of a better way, what a great opportunity.

What kind of pace are we looking at for both groups?
@Half-Fast Mike No worries about that. 2014 we are having this open to all cycles. No restrictions on what kind of bike you ride. Also the Hill Climb is an option. This year when we arrived, Tim and I joined a vintage bike "race". We thought it was kind of fun to ride all the way up and then join an event, so aligning with the timing with the Hill Climb next year just seemed right. I expect most people would want to return to Tokyo after the ride is over rather than continue on to a race. People are free to leave the day we arrive (hopefully they stay for the last BBQ) or the next morning, which ever suits them best.

@okayamaPaul I hope you will be able to make it! The paces I set are just a suggestion based on a guesstimate of how much time it would take to complete a stage and what time your arrival to the next rest area would be. These are completely flexible and up to the decision of the group. A group will be faster pace (23-25km/h+/-). Nothing crazy like what you see on the 1 day rides we have here. If you blow your load on the first day, the remaining 4 will be hell. B group can be anywhere from 23km/h or less depending on consensus. The one thing I want to avoid is having B group have 1 rider want to push a fast pace and blow the other riders up. If you feel fast that day, hit A group. If not, relax in B. This year our group averaged about about 23-26km/h over the 4 days, getting a slower average everyday. We were pushing hard most of the time so I do not expect A group to go much faster than that.

What most people don't realize until they wake up on the 3rd day is how slow the body takes to recover after repeated long rides. We will stress the importance of pacing yourself and remember to ask yourself "Can I keep of this pace for 5 days straight". Once we start hitting March of next year Tim or I will be leading some rides that would help train you up for this event so please feel free to join.


Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
Again - this is a 'brisk but not macho' ride. The intention is to stay in the saddle more than the coffee shop with minimal stops allotted. I'd also say that you'll find how QUICKLY the body recovers from repeated riding at or near tempo. This is really the key to training efficiency in your riding.