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Tsukuba-san Run (summary)


The Crank Engine
Nov 1, 2005
Today I embarked on a fast run to Tsukuba-san in Ibaraki Prefecture. Sora-san had helped me out with a map*, so getting there was quite easy. I used Routes 6, 125, 124, 55 and 408 from Sumida-ku. Route 6 is a busy expressway with lots of trucks and not always in best condition. I departed around 6.45am and reached Ushiku in Ibaraki around 9am.

I am mentioning Ushiku, because it turned out to be the stage of my Trek's second crash, this time a bit more severe than my little mishap during the Tour de Himono. I was riding behind a small van, doing around 40km/h, when the van slowed down all of a sudden and turned left without using its indicators. The driver hit the brakes fast when he saw me, but too late - I touched his front fender and fell, sliding across the asphalt. To make things short, he led me into his house, wanted me to see a doctor, kind of implored me to return to Tokyo. He was very helpful, but I continued. I had suffered a few bruises and contusions, my bike's bar was twisted, that's it.** :eek:uch:


I continued and reached Tsukuba-san at 10.30am. The climb is steep, but not too long. The route from Tsukuba-san (the peak can be reached by cable-car) to Ichioka is one of the most beautiful landscapes I have seen so far in Japan. It's basically up and down all the way, a few lovely descents with narrow curves and... humps (see below). Fatal at high speed, a BIG minus in terms of bicycle-friendliness. :susp:


I returned via Tsuchiura using Route 6 to Asakusabashi, arriving at home around 4.30pm. Tired, sun-burned, bruised and beaten. However, a lovely cycling day! :)

My data:

08/04/06 (RB)

Distance 178,71 km (Tsukuba-san)
Av 26,0
Mx 117,4 (???)
Odo 832,5
Time 6:51'24

* Sora's Google map => https://tokyocycle.com/sora/tsukuba/kameido_tsukuba.htm
** Afterwards, some of my Japanese friends told me I should have asked the driver for money, lolol.
so desu

That sounds like you have been riding the Tour de Pain. Same thing almost happened to me in the bike lane. Driver's in California don't look for riders in the bike lane at all. I was riding in the bike lane in the direction of oncoming traffic so I could make direct contact with a driver's eyes. I was locked into the Shimano PD R540 pedals and they aren't easy to unclip when you are not ready for the unexpected. As I approached the car at an intersection, I was looking at the driver riding as slow as I could to stay up and locked in. He never looked my way and pulled out. I slowed to a point and standing up that I couldn't unlock in time and I had to make that uncomfortable lean with one arm and then unlock. The next driver let me go by, but damn the embarrassment.....LOL! It was the slowest accident I had and most awkward cut-off. Bike sustained no damage and I rode off in embarrassment. Driver's need to understand when you are locked and in motion, that's it!
Freeride39 said:
That sounds like you have been riding the Tour de Pain.

Yep, that's how I am still feeling right now. :eek:uch:

I have been using my R540 pedals as well, but frankly... everything happened so fast I didn't even have time to think about unlocking. :)
Freeride39 said:
They aren't designed for the unexpected but for predictability.....LOL.
I never tried locked pedal for road bike, just only SPD. Can't SPD-R be ajusted or are there any types like SPD: they have two types, release in one direction and release in three direction.
Next time you go to Mt. Tsukuba head up Edogawa and take a right at Noda. Almost no traffic that way... Tokyo Bay to Edogawa.---->40km to Noda---->50km (less I think) to Tsukuba.
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