Official Ride Tour de Tohoku (Golden Week, 14th TCC Tour)

WhiteGiant

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Nov 4, 2006
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#1
After completing my Kyushu ride, I think it's time to head North!
This time, it will be a 6-day trip from Utsunomiya to up past Aomori - to Omasaki.
There has been some interest from some other members who also might want to join; Kiwisimon, Thomas, Ash, and maybe Sora as well - Anyone else, you're all very welcome to come along too! Shay? Ken? Nobuko? Shinobu?

The day before the start - Friday, April 27, I will catch the train to Utsunomiya, and find a hotel to stay at.
Day 1, 28th, Saturday: Ride from Utsunomiyya to Kouriyama - about 130km... I think!
Day, 29th, Sunday: Kouriyama to Sendai. About the same distance - maybe slightly up-hill, then a down-hill to Sendai, but definitely do-able!
Day3, 30th, Monday: Sendai to Mizusawa. I'm not really too sure about the terrain, but it looks like a very slight "up" all the way for about the same distance - 120-130km.
Day 4, May 1st, Tuesday: Mizusawa to Hachimantai. Almost the same as the day before - all up-hill (slightly).
Day 5, 2nd, Wednesday: Hachimantai to Hirosaki: This will be a tough day! There are two quite long climbs on the way through. However, in saying that, it also means that there will be 2 awesome down-hills that follow - I imagine that the downhills will bring the average speed back up to a reasonable "24km/h"-ish.
Day 6, Thursday May 3rd: Hirosaki to Omasaki: This is the day that may cook me; This will be a long day! From Hirosaki, it's only 50km to Aomori city - and the Shinkansen (for any people who want to get home - back to Tokyo quickly). But I want to ride all the way up to Omasaki - about 100km from Aomori; From there, I can catch the ferry, to Hakodate in Hokkaido, and then I'll ride to Hakodate Airport (about 20km - ie. an hour).
I know that that day will be my hardest, but if I can make it to the airport in time to catch the last plane back (to Tokyo) , I'll be happy!
If I can't make that last plane, I will have no choice but to stay in Hakodate for the night, and catch the plane back in the morning.
Anyway, that's the plan so far!
I can change the above written schedule 1 or two days this way or that way, so that anyone else who wants to join in the ride can come along too, but at the moment, this is the schedule that I have set.
IF you have some interest in coming along, please reply, and we can possibly re-arrange things some more - it's still 4 months away, so you'll have time to adjust your plans!

If you've all followed the "Kyushu" trip, you will know by now that I always stay in business-hotels (no camping). So depending on the number of people on the day, we can get one or two rooms, to keep the cost down for everybody - 2 people per room (I don't mind sharing). And if any of the TCC ladies want to come along as well, of course you'll have a separate room.

Yoroshiku! Travis

Kiwisimon, do you think you'll be able to make the last 3 days from Sendai?
Thomas, is your schedule open enough for for you to join me for any of those days?
Sora, どう?来れる?来てほしいな~!
Anybody else???
 
#2
Hi

This looks a great trip. I will seriously consider joining the trip. Maybe just part of six days. From Utsunomiya to Sendai? Even as a junior rider, I may be ok in riding 130Km per day since I have done Hokkiado trip last year , participating in a guided tour from Tomakomai to the cape Soya.
I will just keep this trip in mind toward the golden week.

Minoru Arai
 

WhiteGiant

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#4
Who's going to join us?

Kiwisimon, does this mean you're in for the ride???
I hope you can make it!
So far, the people joining us.....
Definitely, YellowGiant (me) and Thomas: For the full distance.
Edogawakikkoman: For at least the first 2 days, Utsunomiya to Sendai (possibly, all the way up) - still depending on the "Tsukuba 8 hour-race" decision.
Kiwisimon: From Sendai, for the last 4 days up to Aomori.
All of my tours so far have been solo:
Tokyo - Kyoto; 560km (4 1/2 days).
Kyoto - Shimonoseki; 580km (4 days).
Lap of Kyushu; 980km (8 days).
So, this will be my first long "group" tour as well, and all I'm hoping for is a congenial dynamic between all the riders. I don't think it'll be a problem though:)
It's still 3 months away, but I'm already getting excited about it!
Rubber Down! T
 

kiwisimon

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Dec 14, 2006
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#5
i will at this stage only commit, to the lsat two days and even then i think i will be grovelling to the missus to get permission to leave the family behind. From Sendai is a POSSIBILITY.As much as I would love to, leaving tthree toddlers behind for just the wife to look after is not something I will feel happy about, but I will work on a solution if there is one. Maybe have a travelling entourage.I will be stopping at Ooma Machi however as going to Hokkaido just means I have to take the ferry back to Ooma. Me too, I'm looking forward to it, that Hachimantai- Hirosaki leg will take a bit of energy and I might be looking at riding a geared bike for that one.
cheers
 
Dec 10, 2006
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#6
I from Canada new to Tokyo and what other ways to explore the country other than cycling across. I am in-please count me in. Also if anyone knows where and how I can hook up with few bikers to go for weekend ride?
 

WhiteGiant

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#7
Training day!

Thank you "dpercyk" for your interest!
This day is only for the people who are seriously interested in coming along on the "Tour de Tohoku" ride.
To Thomas; I have no worries at all! - You've been a stout partner on many a cycling adventure, and I really am grateful for your enthusiasm!
To Edogawakikkoman; We've only ridden together once! But that was enough for me to know that you can definitely hold your own! It will be a pleasure to have you along!
To Kiwisimon; Although we've never met, I have NO doubts - BUT, please bring a "geared" bike for that Hatchimantai - Hirosaki day! Don't want you hanging behind because you don't have any "hill-climbing gears" on you!
To dpercyk; We haven’t ridden together yet, so I’m not too sure about things…
That’s the reason for this training ride.
To araim1; I hope you can make it too! The distance shouldn’t be too difficult for you, and we’ll ride as slow as we can to keep everyone together.
To Ashwarren; You haven’t sent any replies yet, which makes me think that your wife has already de-railed your plans for coming. But if you can make it on the training day, it might pick things up for you!
To Sora; I got your PM – THANKS! Even though you’re not coming on the official Tohoku ride, I think it will be great to have you come along on the training day!

The course is basically Miura-Hanto.
Yokohama to Kamakura – via Misaki – about 100km.
We’ll ride from Yokohama to Yokosuka – 30km. Then another 40km to Misaki.
From Misaki, it’s about 30km along the beach-side road to Kamakura.
The course is mainly flat, but there are some ups & downs along the way, as well as a few tunnels here & there – I rode this course with some friends from a different group in early January – It was great!
If everyone’s still got some energy left, we can continue on to Eno-shima, and possibly an Onsen!
The date for the ride: Saturday, 17th, or Sunday, 18th.
We want as many “Tohoku” riders as we can, to get a feel for how we’ll be riding together, so send your available days after this message, please!
Travis
 

kiwisimon

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Dec 14, 2006
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#8
To Kiwisimon; Although we've never met, I have NO doubts - BUT, please bring a "geared" bike for that Hatchimantai - Hirosaki day! Don't want you hanging behind because you don't have any "hill-climbing gears" on you!
Travis
I was thinking more of not having a tall gear for the flats.

Oh、 the LBS owner said Hirosaki to Ooma in very doable but hit the road as early as poss in case of mechanicals and try and get some time to eat 大間マグロ:p

Do you guys mind some hangers on , on the last day?
the local airbase JASDF and USAF has a few roadies but want to check before I spread the word.

Off on a 120 km spin (singlespeed) in the snow (possibly):eek:uch: tomorrow so that will be my training day
 
Jan 14, 2007
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#9
Devil's advocate-san...

Do you use panniers on these rides? And what kind of stuff do you pack?
I've only ever done long day rides... 120km etc and never carry much more than a few tubes, 2 bottles, a keitai and a bit of money...

When I ride to work and need to carry a lot I have a small pannier a bumbag and will some times use a small back pack...often carry a spare set of clothing in the summer and a towel...(25km each way)

I gather you'd need for this trip...
a light pair of walking shoes.
cycling shoes.
layers of cycling wear. (underwear optional :rolleyes: )
2-3 pairs of socks.
a pair of jeans? or wet weather cycling trousers?
a jacket? (cycling windbreaker?)
helmet.
sunglasses
rain wear...for riding. ( I have a pancho never used as well as some rain jackets.
a bike bag. (for plane? train?)
typical small repair kit/pump/tubes/tool/
money
credit card.
who needs a map?
Lights for night/dusk/dawn/ riding?
Bicycle lock...

:road01:

Travel light or pack the kitchen sink?

Other concerns are hotels being booked out due to Golden Week, bad weather, plane booked out.

Our club did a 120km day ride a few weeks ago and I thought it was going to be a slow paced 'cycling' day and I packed a bit of extra stuff, jacket, panniers, etc and I roll up and everybody is light and ready to race... I had a hard time... :eek: Those guys don't know how to ride slow....
 

WhiteGiant

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Nov 4, 2006
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#10
Gear!

There have been some very good questions regarding how much “luggage” to take on a trip like this. I can’t tell you exactly what to take, so I will tell you what works (worked) for me last time.

I never use panniers / saddle-bags on a road-bike. I’ve seen pictures of Sora-san with saddle-bags on the front & back of his bike, and I would probably recommend that for any trips longer than 10 days.

Last time though, I bought a “deuter - Trans Alpine 30”, 30 litre back-pack specifically for the Kyushu ride (on my previous tours, I only had a 25 litre back-pack.)

Bottom line is: “Most of what I was carrying, I was wearing!
I rode in the same clothes everyday. All I changed were my socks and underwear each day.
A good rule of thumb is, if you’re riding for 3 days, take four sets of undies, and four pairs of socks. If the ride is 5 days, take six pairs (Boy-Scout training – Be Prepared!)

Apart from the riding gear that I was wearing most of the time, because I was riding in winter, I had one pair of “ski-pants” to put on when I stopped for breaks to keep the warmth in, and my trusty blue “Columbia” all-weather jacket, for the same reason, and a small scarf to keep my ears warm – They are also “semi-casual” – and good for wearing around the town once you arrive.
That keeps the load down in the clothing department. NO extra shoes! You will hardly ever use them. Just walk around the streets in your bike shoes - if you have some cool shoe-covers, nobody will notice anyway.

Other important stuff is the rain gear!
I always take my wind/water-proof yellow rain cape, my full-length Pearl-Izumi rain-pants and Shimano waterproof shoe covers. Also, an extra pair of heavy duty winter gloves (which I only needed to use once on the last trip).
THAT IS IT! For the clothes! Nothing else needed.

BIKE STUFF!
I took THREE spare tubes with me (never had to use any of them), and one tire/tyre.
Most punctures are only pin-points, and the tube is all you need, but SOMETIMES, when the tire gets a long gash in it, even replacing the tube won’t fix it – the tube bulges out of the tire like a blister, and you need to change the whole tire as well (I've had it happen! And again, boy-scout training)!
As for puncture repair-kit & bicycle-fitted pump….. If I have to tell you that, then you’re not ready!

That’s it really!
Keitai, wallet and tissues were all carried in the jersey’s rear pockets.
Travel as light as possible. T

Pics are:
1. Columbia jacket & ski-pants (notice the shoe covers as well).
2. My 30 litre back-pack - with rain-cover on.
 

Sora

Basho's companion
Nov 2, 2005
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#11
To Sora; I got your PM – THANKS! Even though you’re not coming on the official Tohoku ride, I think it will be great to have you come along on the training day!

The course is basically Miura-Hanto.
Yokohama to Kamakura – via Misaki – about 100km.
We’ll ride from Yokohama to Yokosuka – 30km. Then another 40km to Misaki.
From Misaki, it’s about 30km along the beach-side road to Kamakura.
The course is mainly flat, but there are some ups & downs along the way, as well as a few tunnels here & there – I rode this course with some friends from a different group in early January – It was great!
If everyone’s still got some energy left, we can continue on to Eno-shima, and possibly an Onsen!
The date for the ride: Saturday, 17th, or Sunday, 18th.
We want as many “Tohoku” riders as we can, to get a feel for how we’ll be riding together, so send your available days after this message, please!
Travis
Hi Tora-san,

the tour (not training:mad: :warau: ) sounds good!
But I am busy on Sunday, 18th. I will go to Fujisawa to study about the new law of "bike on side walk" held by KCA(Kanagawa Cycling Association: branch of JCA(Japan Cycling Association)). Of course I will report to you later.
So Saturday is better for me.

And another suggestion, how about Monday 12th(holiday!)?
In fact, just before your post, I and Thomas-san have been thinking some tour on that day. And I am personally thinking about tour around Miura just same as your one.
Oh, of course it is just one suggestion. 17th is still good!:D
 

WhiteGiant

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#12
Saturday, the 17th it is!

Hello Sora-san,
I've heard from Thomas as well, that Saturday, the 17th is the best day to go.
The 12th MIGHT be O.K. too, but that weekend, I already have plans to ride to Kimitsu in Chiba to go "Strawberry picking".
I don't know when I'll be back yet, so I can't promise the 12th.

Also to "araim1" & "dpercyk", if you are serious about coming on the "Tohoku" ride, it will be great to see you there - we really need to find out our "group dynamic" before we all ride such a long distance together!
Please join us!
Travis
 

Sora

Basho's companion
Nov 2, 2005
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#13
Hello Sora-san,
I've heard from Thomas as well, that Saturday, the 17th is the best day to go.
The 12th MIGHT be O.K. too, but that weekend, I already have plans to ride to Kimitsu in Chiba to go "Strawberry picking".

I don't know when I'll be back yet, so I can't promise the 12th.
Sounds good!
Take care and enjoy strawberry riding!
気をつけてね~。:D

In my case I will go to watch rugby football game on 11th.
And then I will arrange another tour on 12th.

Also to "araim1" & "dpercyk", if you are serious about coming on the "Tohoku" ride, it will be great to see you there - we really need to find out our "group dynamic" before we all ride such a long distance together!
Please join us!
Travis
Then how about, others?:)
 

Ash

Warming-Up
Apr 23, 2006
686
1
0
shakujiidai, nerima ku, tokyo
#14
Thank you "dpercyk" for your interest!
This day is only for the people who are seriously interested in coming along on the "Tour de Tohoku" ride.
To Thomas; I have no worries at all! - You've been a stout partner on many a cycling adventure, and I really am grateful for your enthusiasm!
To Edogawakikkoman; We've only ridden together once! But that was enough for me to know that you can definitely hold your own! It will be a pleasure to have you along!
To Kiwisimon; Although we've never met, I have NO doubts - BUT, please bring a "geared" bike for that Hatchimantai - Hirosaki day! Don't want you hanging behind because you don't have any "hill-climbing gears" on you!
To dpercyk; We haven’t ridden together yet, so I’m not too sure about things…
That’s the reason for this training ride.
To araim1; I hope you can make it too! The distance shouldn’t be too difficult for you, and we’ll ride as slow as we can to keep everyone together.
To Ashwarren; You haven’t sent any replies yet, which makes me think that your wife has already de-railed your plans for coming. But if you can make it on the training day, it might pick things up for you!
To Sora; I got your PM – THANKS! Even though you’re not coming on the official Tohoku ride, I think it will be great to have you come along on the training day!

The course is basically Miura-Hanto.
Yokohama to Kamakura – via Misaki – about 100km.
We’ll ride from Yokohama to Yokosuka – 30km. Then another 40km to Misaki.
From Misaki, it’s about 30km along the beach-side road to Kamakura.
The course is mainly flat, but there are some ups & downs along the way, as well as a few tunnels here & there – I rode this course with some friends from a different group in early January – It was great!
If everyone’s still got some energy left, we can continue on to Eno-shima, and possibly an Onsen!
The date for the ride: Saturday, 17th, or Sunday, 18th.
We want as many “Tohoku” riders as we can, to get a feel for how we’ll be riding together, so send your available days after this message, please!
Travis
Yo Travis!

Thansk for the invite, but I am going to have to decline the Tour De Tohoku, that takes me away from the business for a bit too long!

The Sat 17th training day is also out I am afraid as I am teaching a special course on saturdays in Feb.

Its a shame, I would like to have a roll round Miura hanto!

I wish clear skies and a tailwind!

Ash
 
Dec 10, 2006
27
0
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Yokohama
#15
Last year few of us were planning two weeks of bike tour in Cameroon, we were thinking 150K/day but we couldn’t find enough people to join and had to cancel the trip due to safety. When I got transferred to Tokyo office last month I sent email to my team introducing myself and said one of my goal’s of next year (2007) is to travel from Tokyo to Kobe in May/June and Kobe to Fukuoka in August/September. I was thrilled when I show the message about the tour. I AM DEAD SERIOUS and I am in. I ride cross country and my average speed is about 24KM/HR (multi terrain). I am not sure how well I would do as far as KM/HR on a road bike. I don’t have a road bike (thinking of buying one). I do have set of road tires for my XC Cannondale so I’m all set to start with. I have not being on bike last 6 months and bit rusty but I will be just fine after few rides.

Now that I’ve committed to the tour I need some help. My biggest problem is that I don’t speak/read Japanese (learning now) and I live in Isogo (near Kamioka) on Keikyu line. I would like to get out of the home as much as possible. I am busy this Saturday (Feb 03) but have cancelled all of my activities on weekends after this Saturday. And I can be ready for biking in 30 minute notice (it does not get any simpler than that). The only problem is those of you who organize training trips needs to basically walk me through direction from my station to wherever you guys are starting (so help me out here) and I will be there. So please include me in any training and send me a quick message.
 

WhiteGiant

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Nov 4, 2006
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#16
!7th of February!

Hello dpercyk,
I sent the following message to your "Private Message" box a few days ago - Did you read it? If not, check the top-left part of the homepage screen, where it says:
Welcome, dpercyk
You last visited at ......
Private Messages: Unread 1, Total ..

Anyway, here is the message I sent:

Hello Donny,
I got your e-mail, and thanks for your reply to the message on the site.
The training day is not until Saturday,February 17th, so hopefully you can make it then; Is that right?
Also, we'll be meeting at 10:00 at Yokohama station, so if you know how to get there, we'll find you!
Also, no problem with the bike - Mountain-bikes with road tires can be just as fast as road-bikes sometimes!
Looking forward to meeting, and riding with you!
Rubber down! Travis
 
#17
Also to "araim1" & "dpercyk", if you are serious about coming on the "Tohoku" ride, it will be great to see you there - we really need to find out our "group dynamic" before we all ride such a long distance together!
Please join us!
Travis
Sorry, I did not mean to ignore this message. I am actually hopping Seuol, Beijing, Taipei and Shanghai until Feb 12 and did not have a chance to come to this site so far.

Yes, Tohoku is still in my plan, maybe part of the whole tour. I would love to join at least a couple of tours before this tour.

Feb 12 is not good for me. Feb 17 is ok.
 

WhiteGiant

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#18
Yokohama Station, East exit, 9:00

This is the official training ride for those wishing to come on the "Tour de Tohoku", but as there has been interest from other people who just want to "come along for the ride".... No problem! The riders so far: 6,

Travis
Thomas
Sora
dpercyk
AlanW
araim1

We should all meet at Yokohama Station, at the East exit, outside Lumine at 9:00. We'll do a quick map-check, and hopefully be rolling by 9:30.
I'll post this message on the "Tohoku Training" thread as well, so nobody misses it. Any others wanting to join at short notice, please reply to the TOHOKU TRAINING thread!
Rubber down! T
 

WhiteGiant

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#19
So, who's coming?

After reading about everyone’s recent rides, it looks like everyone is rolling smoothly!
Anyway, I’m having some trouble with figuring out who is actually coming on the “Tohoku” ride.
So far, we’ve got:

Travis: All the way - 6 days.
Thomas: All the way - 6 days.
DonnyK “dpercyk”: All the way, to Aomori - 5 ½ days.
Arai-san “araim1”: To Sendai - 2 days.
Peter “Edogawakikkoman”: To Sendai - 2 days.
Jeffrey “Triroo”: All the way, to Aomori - 5 ½ days.
Charles “Chazzer”: To Sendai - 2 days.
Kiwisimon: From Hachimantai to Aomori - 1 ½ days.

That means: 7 people for the first two days; 4 people for the next two days; and then 5 people for the last two days.
On the very last day though, the schedule will be very tight for the riders going all the way to Oma-saki from Hirosaki (we have to cover 150km by 3:30pm), so an early start is essential for that particular morning (May 3rd) – rolling by 6-7am!

For the first five days though, the distance won’t be far – about 120-140km per day – and while each and every one of us is capable of going that distance on any given day, the challenge of a ride like this is to get up every morning, and “ride the same distance that you did yesterday!” – in different conditions and on different roads.

All I’m asking is that you (you guys listed above) send in your confirmations for how many days you’ll be riding, please!
Rubber down! Travis