Tokyo-Shizuoka-Tokyo

Deej

Maximum Pace
Oct 13, 2007
1,018
149
83
Setagaya
#1
Happy New Year, everyone!

For the New Year's holidays this year, I decided to ride my bike to my wife's hometown in Fujieda, Shizuoka Prefecture. My wife and two sons took the shinkansen as usual, and I went by Felt F75.

For the ride there, I went with a buddy who knows the route well. We met up at Atsugi, rode down to the coast, passed through Odawara, then headed up through Hakone and took a soba break at Ashinoko. From there, we rode down to Mishima and followed route 1 all the way to my in-laws' home in Fujieda. At the end of the ride, my computer displayed 198km. It felt much farther than that, however, because we faced a seriously strong headwind all the way from Ashinoko. The gusts were constant and intense, and held our speed down to around 20kph for about 90-100km -- the word "hellish" flitted through my mind more than once during that leg of the trip. Basically, the whole ride from the lake was a grim slog, but I probably added about 2cm of muscle to my thighs! The hot soak in the bath and cold beer afterward made it all worthwhile, though.

I really enjoyed the climb to Ashinoko in Hakone. It was very scenic, and although not terribly steep, surprisingly long, making for a good workout. It was the same road used by the runners in the Hakone Ekiden, and during the climb, they were starting to set up the TV filming sites, and fans were putting up signs of support for the various universities.

The ride back yesterday, Jan. 5, was a solo effort, as my friend had taken the train back to Tokyo a few days earlier to be with his family for New Years. I decided to follow a different route this time (I've attached a link to the route map), because I wanted a change of scenery and wanted to feel that sense of discovery that a first-time ride through a new area offers.

From Fujieda, I took route 1 to Numazu (with no wind, I was cruising along at speeds of 35-40kph -- a significant improvement), then turned onto route 246, following that up through Gotemba until I reached the little-traveled route 147. This road leads up to Mikuni Pass and then down to Yamanakako. Never before has a climb wiped me out so completely. There were relatively few switchbacks, meaning long stretches of straight, steep climbing -- one sign read 16%. It took me over an hour to reach the summit, and I had to stop three times. As a matter of (perhaps juvenile) pride, I make it a point to never stop on a climb -- but Mikuni had me shouting "No mas!" more than once. Damn. I'll be back in the spring to show that mountain who's boss.

It was very cold at the top, and blocks of snow and ice lined the road, but the pavement was dry. From there, I went into the drops and descended to the lake. Very, very cool view on the way down, with the Alps forming a white curtain behind the lake, and Fuji looming nearby.

From there, it was onto the Doshimichi (route 413), on which I threaded my way through valleys and villages for what seemed like ages. Almost the entire ride was downhill, which made for some fast and c-c-c-cold riding. I finally reached route 412 and made my way up to Sagamiko and then to route 20. I took 20 up and over Otarumi Toge (Takao) -- my final climb of the day (legs were surprisingly strong at this point, and I spun my way up fairly quickly) then descended to the Asakawa. I followed the river until it hooked up with the Tamagawa and followed the banks of the larger river practically to my doorstep in Setagaya.

At the end of the trip, my computer read 240km. The return trip was farther and entailed more climbing than the ride to Shizuoka, but it was far more scenic (the exception being Hakone) and involved less traffic. Because of the higher altitudes of the return trip, it was markedly colder. I'll be better prepared next time.

Here's a link to the map of my return route: http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/95618

Deej
 

chazzer

Speeding Up
Nov 23, 2006
449
0
36
Bushey Heath, Hertfordshire
#2
Great Ride !

Deej - that sounds like a great all round ride particularly the return leg. I know pieces of those routes and I can picture it well from your description.

I hope to be back on the road next weekend as the family have now departed and the dog is also moving to the UK on Tuesday. I am going to miss them all - especially the dog !!:D

Time to get rolling again !

Charles
 

Phil

Maximum Pace
#3
Great account Deej--nothing better than riding straight somewhere for that distance, instead of doing a loop... You actually get somewhere at the end of it, and it becomes a proper journey of discovery.

As for that ride down--was it on the 30th/31st? I went down to the Kujukuri coast on one of those days intending to put in a last training ride in for the Motegi event, but as soon as I turned south down the coast it was BAM! into a solid wall of air... Blown all over the place, a 20km/hr slog just as you describe. I could only stick it for 15 kms or so before giving up; can't imagine how you managed it for 100 km!
 

Deej

Maximum Pace
Oct 13, 2007
1,018
149
83
Setagaya
#5
Deej - that sounds like a great all round ride particularly the return leg. I know pieces of those routes and I can picture it well from your description.
Hi Charles -- Thanks for your response. Hopefully we'll be able to hook up for a ride one of these weekends. That is, if you're not still mourning the departure of your dog...:)

Great account Deej--nothing better than riding straight somewhere for that distance, instead of doing a loop... You actually get somewhere at the end of it, and it becomes a proper journey of discovery.
Thanks Phil. So true about not having to do a loop for a change. It was so fun to just push on -- wondering what's around the next bend -- without having to worry about turning around. Toward the end, all I could think about was the Cheese and Cheese Italian Crispy Pizza Hut pizza I was going to devour upon my return. Talk about an excellent source of motivation!

As for that ride down--was it on the 30th/31st? I went down to the Kujukuri coast on one of those days intending to put in a last training ride in for the Motegi event, but as soon as I turned south down the coast it was BAM! into a solid wall of air... Blown all over the place, a 20km/hr slog just as you describe. I could only stick it for 15 kms or so before giving up; can't imagine how you managed it for 100 km!
It was the 30th -- a Sunday. It was brutal -- I know what you mean about a wall of air. One of the hairiest parts of the ride was descending from Hakone at 50kph-plus and getting buffeted by cross-winds as cars and trucks trundled by.

198km....I bet you wished your in-laws lived 2kms further away right?
Ha! At the end of the ride, my friend suggested that I spin my front wheel until the computer read 200km. I have to say, I was tempted.