Tomin no Mori / Okutama-ko slow climb

joewein

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Oct 25, 2011
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#1
Having signed up for a brevet ride in May and to celebrate the official start of spring, I am planning a training ride to Tomin no Mori / Okutama-ko for Tuesday, 2012-03-20 (Shunbun no hi / Vernal Equinox Day), assuming the weather will be OK. Right now the forecast is cloudy, 10 or 40% chance of precipitation and I'll decide on Monday night wether to go or not.

Route on MMR:

(EDIT: >> updated latest route 2012-03-19 <<)

I'll be leaving my house in Setagaya at 06:00 (sunrise) to head out from Tokyo on route 7 to Musashi-Itsukaichi (09:00), then climb to Tomin-no-mori, brief stop, over the pass down to Okutama-ko (Lake Okutama) and along the lake shore to find a conbini on the north side for lunch. Then I'll be heading back up to the pass from the lake side, back to Tomin-no-mori, descend to Musashi-Itsukaichi and return to Tokyo the exact same way I came. I expect to be home by sunset.

This will give me 190 km, 2000 m of climbing in 12 hours for the full course, but you can easily vary that to do less.

You can drop in / drop out by train at Musashi-Itsukaichi (for example: 07:44 from Shinjuku => 08:48 Musashi-Itsukaichi) to shorten it by 44 km each end. Or you can go right back down from Tomin-no-mori to skip the lake-side climb. Or you can ride on from the lake after lunch, down to Okutama-station a few km from the conbini to return that way by train or bike.

It's still going to be cold at the top (at about 1200 m), with snow by the side of the road, but I expect the road to be clear. I'm a slow climber just trying to build more endurance on hills. It's not about speed.

Bring:
- warm enough clothes for the descent
- helmet
- spare tube / pump
- wallet for conbini food stops
- bike bag if returning by train

Let me know if you're interested in joining the ride or part of it.
 
Jul 13, 2010
279
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Shinjuku
#2
I am very interested in joining you Joe. Will be watching the weather forecasts closely before I make up my mind though.

Wouldn't it be possible to get the same amount of climbing by looping back down to Takao? When the afternoon traffic starts it would be god to cruise down Tamagawa instead of fighting the cars and trucks.

/Andreas
 

joewein

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Oct 25, 2011
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Setagaya, Tokyo
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#3
Andreas, how about something like this?
http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/75650874/
This doesn't change distance much, increases total climbing by about 5% and returns via Takao-san and the Tamagawa.

Instead of heading back the original route towards Musashi-Itsukaichi from Okutama-ko, it heads over the hills to the SE (R18 over Tsuru pass + R33) towards Sagamiko, then on R20 over Takao-san and somehow along the Tamagawa towards R3 to Setagaya. Another possibility is R139 from Okutama-ko south to R20 and the east on R20 to Sagamiko (I did the R20 part on my last ride), but that adds 20 km.

While I have visited Okutama-ko and Tomin-no-mori by public transport for hiking trails and have cycled along Sagamiko and over Takao-san, I can't vouch for the segment from Okutama-ko to Sagamiko. Also I have not cycled between the Hachioji area and the R18 bridge on the Tamagawa, so I don't know those roads from experience. Do you have a log or route map of your proposed return route from Okutama-ko?
 
Jul 13, 2010
279
6
38
Shinjuku
#5
Andreas, how about something like this?
http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/75650874/
This doesn't change distance much, increases total climbing by about 5% and returns via Takao-san and the Tamagawa.

Instead of heading back the original route towards Musashi-Itsukaichi from Okutama-ko, it heads over the hills to the SE (R18 over Tsuru pass + R33) towards Sagamiko, then on R20 over Takao-san and somehow along the Tamagawa towards R3 to Setagaya. Another possibility is R139 from Okutama-ko south to R20 and the east on R20 to Sagamiko (I did the R20 part on my last ride), but that adds 20 km.

While I have visited Okutama-ko and Tomin-no-mori by public transport for hiking trails and have cycled along Sagamiko and over Takao-san, I can't vouch for the segment from Okutama-ko to Sagamiko. Also I have not cycled between the Hachioji area and the R18 bridge on the Tamagawa, so I don't know those roads from experience. Do you have a log or route map of your proposed return route from Okutama-ko?
This route looks more tempting I think. There is a psychological advantage of making rides like these into loops rather than using the same roads out and back IMHO.
Mostly worried about the weather now...altitudes like these in combination with rain/snow is ususally a bad idea.
 

Yamabushi

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Jun 1, 2010
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#6
Takaaki and I will join you all at Musashi-Itsukaichi Station. Our train arrives there at 8:48am. Additionally, if you are open to it, I'd like to propose a small change to the route after Tsuru Toge that will allow us to stay off of Route 20 as long as possible. See ROUTE HERE. The suggested change is between the 76-88km markers. It's a nice stretch of road and more interesting than the alternative, but either way, we'll be there. Let me know what you think.
 

joewein

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Oct 25, 2011
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#7
Thanks for the improved route, Pete! It sounds good.

I won't be going at the speeds you're used to, not even what are LSD speeds for you. Both of you are much more capable than I am.

On my 227 km ride to Yamanako I had a moving average of 19.7 km and overall average (including dinner 3 km before the goal) of 15.4 km/h. My guess is we'll be at Takao station some time around 16:00.

Will there be any conbini on our route between Musashi-Itsukaichi and R20 (Fujino / Lake Sagami)? What do you normally do for food on Tomin no Mori rides, besides stocking up at Musashi-Itsukaichi or carrying energy bars / gels? There should be toilets and water at Tomin no Mori. My original route plan was to head far enough towards Okutama station after the descent down to the lake to find a conbini, and then turn back, but if we turn towards R18 after the descent I'm not sure if we'll find anything...

When my wife and I used to drive in very rural areas we would sometimes joke that we had returned to civilization when we passed the first conbini again :)

Let's hope the weather will be OK on Tue.
 

Yamabushi

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Jun 1, 2010
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#9
Thanks for the improved route, Pete! It sounds good.

I won't be going at the speeds you're used to, not even what are LSD speeds for you. Both of you are much more capable than I am.

On my 227 km ride to Yamanako I had a moving average of 19.7 km and overall average (including dinner 3 km before the goal) of 15.4 km/h. My guess is we'll be at Takao station some time around 16:00.

Will there be any conbini on our route between Musashi-Itsukaichi and R20 (Fujino / Lake Sagami)? What do you normally do for food on Tomin no Mori rides, besides stocking up at Musashi-Itsukaichi or carrying energy bars / gels? There should be toilets and water at Tomin no Mori. My original route plan was to head far enough towards Okutama station after the descent down to the lake to find a conbini, and then turn back, but if we turn towards R18 after the descent I'm not sure if we'll find anything...

When my wife and I used to drive in very rural areas we would sometimes joke that we had returned to civilization when we passed the first conbini again :)

Let's hope the weather will be OK on Tue.
No worries about the speed, it is your ride. Takaaki and I can do some repeats if we are feeling extra genki! :eek:

So after leaving Musashi-Itsukaichi, there are several options. The first recommended place for food, drinks, etc., is at the top of Tomin no Mori at the rest stop. That'd be a good place to regroup anyways. After that once we descend to Okutama-ko if you turn right and cross the bridge there is a place to get a few things there. After that in Kosuge before Tsuru-toge, there are a couple of small shops. From that point there really isn't much except the odd vending machine until we hit Route #20. Anyways, my point being that there aren't a lot of them, but there are options. Personally, I won't be carrying more than my two water bottles.
 

AlanW

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Jan 30, 2007
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#10
Joe,
Naomi-san and I will join you tomorrow from Musashi Itsukaichi. This is one of our favourite routes! The descent from Tsurutoge is just fun, fun, fun :D


AW.
 
Jul 13, 2010
279
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Shinjuku
#14
Andreas, would you be riding from Shinjuku or from Musashi-Itsukaichi?
Joe,
I wouldn't mind skipping the ride out to Musashi-Itsukaichi but it would mean an unreasonable amount of train changes for me.
I will ride out from Shinjuku. My house is just north of R20 between 318 and 317.
Which road will you use and what time do you expect to cross R20 on your way?
 

AlanW

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Jan 30, 2007
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#17
The front (if my memory is correct)....The LCDs inside and signs on the outside of the train have the destination showing. Starting station for the Holiday Rapid Akigawa No. 1 is Shinjuku.
 

joewein

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Oct 25, 2011
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#18
I am looking forward to the company of so many great cyclists tomorrow!

Here is the latest route, looping back via Tsuru pass to Takao and Tamagawa as suggested by Andreas (Japanviking) and the back roads off R20 as proposed by Pete (Yamabushi):

Setagaya-R7-Tominnomori-Tsuru-Takao-Tamagawa-Setagaya, 192 km

For those who want to ride out together, I'll be riding in mostly following Inokashira-dori / R7. I'll pass Kyodo station from the south (near the Koban) at 6:00, then cross R20 from R428 (Shimotakaido) at 6:10. There's a Lawson on the left on Inokashira-dori near Nishieifuku station, next to a Summit supermarket at an intersection called Nishieifukueki-iriguchi, which I'll be passing around 6:15. I'm taking it really easy for the ride out, hence the early start!
 
Jul 13, 2010
279
6
38
Shinjuku
#19
I am looking forward the company of so many great cyclists tomorrow!

Here is the latest route, looping back via Tsuru pass to Takao and Tamagawa as suggested by Andreas (Japanviking) and the back roads off R20 as proposed by Pete (Yamabushi):

Setagaya-R7-Tominnomori-Tsuru-Takao-Tamagawa-Setagaya, 192 km

For those who want to ride out together, I'll be riding in mostly following Inokashira-dori / R7. I'll pass Kyodo station from the south (near the Koban) at 6:00, then cross R20 from R428 (Shimotakaido) at 6:10. There's a Lawson on the left on Inokashira-dori near Nishieifuku station, next to a Summit supermarket at an intersection called Nishieifukueki-iriguchi, which I'll be passing around 6:15. I'm taking it really easy for the ride out, hence the early start!
I will try to catch you at the Lawson around 6:15
 

StuInTokyo

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Dec 3, 2010
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#20
Time wise and fitness wise I cannot make the whole ride tomorrow, but I'm thinking of hooking up with you for the ride out to "Musashi-Itsukaichi" and then turning around and heading for home. I know I know, that is where the ride really begins, but I can't take the day off work, so I'll try to steal a morning, if I can get up. :rolleyes:

I'll meet you at the Lawson conbini near Nishi-Eifuko Station that you mention above, >> THIS PLACE <<

How long do you think it will take to get to Musashi-Itsukaichi station?

I need to be back home in Shinjuku well before noon.

I figure it will be around a 100Km trip just out to Musashi-Itsukaichi station and back....?

Cheers!