Two-Day Tour de Chiba (Oct)

Phil

Maximum Pace
#1
Two-Day Tour de Chiba
Oct 11th-12th or Oct 12th-13th

The Tour de Chiba is a three-day recreational ride that circles most of the southern Boso (Chiba) peninsula and a good portion of the northern part of the prefecture, too. The 2008 site, heads-up courtesy of Edogawakikkoman, is here: http://www.tour-de-chiba.jp/

Now, I've been thinking about doing a two-day version of the Tour pretty much since the day after completing the official three-dayer last year.

The idea is to do the exact same route, on the same weekend, but over two days instead of three, and in the opposite direction. Assuming the official route is roughly the same as last year, that would mean going counter-clockwise from a location just east of Chiba City, down to the southern tip of the peninsula, turning north and proceeding up the Pacific coast almost as far as Choshi, then heading back southwest past Narita airport to the original starting point. The route takes in some of the best scenery of Chiba (especially in the inland hills to the south) and despite its length mostly avoids the larger, more heavily trafficked roads.

Why two days?
Simply for the increased challenge. Again assuming the route is similar to last year, the ride would be about 360 kms, or 180 kms per day.

Why in the opposite direction to the official tour?
Basically, to (a) avoid cheekily riding the Tour route and taking advantage of the marshals etc without actually paying for them and (b) seeing all the participating riders on the Tour (600 to 800 of them) streaming by in the opposite direction. Also, the weather is (usually) still coming from the south at that time of year and it would be nice to have the wind when going up the more exposed Pacific coast on the second day (no guarantees on this one though). It makes the second day easier and flatter, plus it would be possible to shorten the second day by cutting straight back in from the coast to Chiba City at any point north of Shirako, should that be required.

Anyways, that's the broad outline. Details will be settled (including exact route and accommodation) once the official Tour route is up. Obviously it's still a ways off yet, but I'm fairly set on doing this providing work allows and injuries heal...

Needless to say, it would be more fun with company, so if this sounds interesting, let me know!
 

Pucci

Speeding Up
Jul 12, 2006
283
1
38
Yokohama
#6
Katsuura

My father-in-law has an apartment in Katsuura, where I will likely be staying for that 3-day weekend.

If the break-point is in-or about Katsuura, I would love to do this.

Aaron
 

Wolfman

Speeding Up
Jul 31, 2007
631
18
38
Suginamiku
#8
I'm keen to have a shot at this as well.

There's a slight likelihood that I have some travel around that period - it's currently pencilled in for late Oct, but is likely to change.... I will hopefully have a clearer idea by aug/sept. If all becomes clear, then please count me in.

200km on each day sounds jolly difficult.
 

Phil

Maximum Pace
#9
Thanks for the interest guys...had been thinking this would be a solo slog... :warau:

chazzer > Not a big hurry on the hotels. We'll be stopping in a different place than the official tour so won't have to compete. I'm thinking of booking something two months in advance, and hopefully finalizing numbers at least a month in advance. Something with onsen, good dinner, and early breakfast, for approx 1 man (10,000) or less?

Aaron > The mid-point actually might well be near Katsuura, although just eyeballing the route it could end up being some way north, too. Will try to get a provisional map drawn some time this week so we know for sure. Need to be near hotels anyway, and Katsuura has lots of those.

Richy152 > Would be great to have you along. Back-to-back 200kms is going to be a first for me too. Still, northern Boso on the coast is flat flat flat; the wind can be a killer but if there are enough of us for a good paceline, it won't matter nearly as much as when you're alone.

Pete > Well, maybe see you going in the opposite direction :) I would recommend the official ride; makes a nice break from training and racing, just go in a group and sightsee. (And if you ride in the fast group, it's not entirely without challenge, either.)
 

chazzer

Speeding Up
Nov 23, 2006
449
0
36
Bushey Heath, Hertfordshire
#10
Phil

Hotels - sounds good.....hope you mean 10 sen or ichi man though !

Looking at the distances they are not as much as we thought - about 130km each stage.

When shall we sign up ? I am going via Sports Entry.

Charles aka chazzer
 

Phil

Maximum Pace
#11
No signing up on Sports Entry for this one! This is a two-day version of the whole route, with no affiliation with the official tour whatsover. Maybe double check my original post above?

(Edogawakikkoman started a different thread about the officicial tour...maybe you're cross-posting by mistake? Many sorries for the confusion...)

And whoopsy on 10 man. 10,000 yen, of course. Will fix in post.
 

chazzer

Speeding Up
Nov 23, 2006
449
0
36
Bushey Heath, Hertfordshire
#12
A ha !

Now I recall - hence Rout ed abihc.....ok got it

Consider me fully available for the two day monster nutter raving bastard turbo version as cunningly envisaged by your good self....

A pedant writes....shouldn't it be Abihc ed tour ?

Charles aka chazzer
 

Phil

Maximum Pace
#13
Backwards Boso, perhaps?

Drew up a (very) rough map of the route:

http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/japan/chiba/266235320153

Notes:

1. Distance only shows 350km or so, probably because I was cutting corners and straightening roads. Boredom started to tell around mouse click #35...

2. They've shuffled the order of the stages this year, so we will be doing the northern Boso loop first, then heading south into the hills. Probably works out for the best, as we get the nicer scenery later on in the trip.

3. We can adjust the launching and finishing points to ease travel times from Tokyo... ie. moving them inland to a suitable train station.

4. Overnight break looks to be Kamogawa area...next door to Katsuura so should be more than do-able for you, Aaron, depending on your plans.
 

Phil

Maximum Pace
#14
Trains

Just considering the starting off point for this ride, and I think Naruto (成東) might be our best bet. It's only 10km from the coast at a point 10km north of the official starting point, so we can head directly for the sea and join up with the route having covered about the same distance as from the official starting point.

The 特急 (tokkyu) Shiosai from Tokyo-eki and Kinshicho stops in Naruto, which will make for a comfortable start to the day (although it costs an extra 1000 yen or so):

http://www.jreast-timetable.jp/0808/train/095/099281.html

The only problem is that this train doesn't get in untill 8:48, which means a rather later start than I'd hoped for. I'm looking to avoid as much night riding as possible, and ryokans/minshukus generally prefer to serve dinner early (we need onsen time too)...

However, if we can keep the breaks to a minimum (both in frequency and length of time), I think 10 hours should be do-able for the 200 km(??) on rural roads, which would get us in at a reasonable 7 pm. (Charles, Lee: How long did the Sado ride take, total time and ride time? Might be a good point of comparison...)

Anyway, let me know if you have other ideas. There are other station choices, including Sakura (佐倉) and our old friend Honda (誉田)... (Sakura might actually work well too, as it offers good access from Tokyo. It would mean a bigger change to the route, as we would be starting further inland, but it would also mean an earlier start and a mid-point closer to Katsuura...)

Anyway, possible participants so far are:

chazzer (Charles)
Pucci (Aaron)
Richy152 (Lee)
TrufflesEater (David)
Phil

(Keren and others mentioned possibly joining when we met on the Backroads ride, but I don't want to jump the gun and add people to the list until they've posted here (or sent PM), so's we can keep it all official like :)).
 

Phil

Maximum Pace
#16
Official Route & Times

Day 1

Date: Oct 11th (Sat)
Start: Naruto Station
Time: 9:00 AM sharp
Finish: Kameyama Dam
Distance: 162 kms by MapMyRide
Pace: Brisk!
Route: http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/japan/naruto/475451932397

Notes:
- A Shiosai 特急 (tokkyu) train gets into Naruto at 8:48, leaving Tokyo at 7:36 and Kinshicho at 7:45. Should be a comfortable start to the day.
- We'll leave at 9:00 sharp, but no worries if you miss the train...we can meet up later when the group comes back down from the Choshi loop.
- Pace will be brisk. This will be a "sportive" rather than a tour. Thinking 25 km/hr average, 30 km/hr base pace, minimal stops. Most of the first day is flat, flat, flat, so if we stay together and get a nice paceline going, this should be easy to maintain. Want to make sure we get to the hotel in a reasonable time and avoid too much night riding on unlit rural roads (the last 20-30 km is in the hills).

Day 2

Date: Oct 12 (Sun)
Start: Kameyama Dam
Time: 8:00 AM
Finish: Honda Station
Distance: 180 kms by MapMyRide
Pace: Brisk as possible :)
Route: http://www.mapmyride.com/route/jp/kameyama/926826549572

Notes:
- Generally a hillier and longer day, so we'll have to be a bit more flexible about pacing. Main objective is to try and get back to the station before it gets too dark.
- This day we will be overlapping the official Tour de Chiba coming in the opposite direction. Should be fun to see everyone streaming by.

Hotel

亀山温泉ホテル (Kameyama Onsen Hotel)
http://tabi.joy.ne.jp/kameyama/

It's 12,000 yen per person, so a little pricey, but it has decent food, a superb location, one of the better onsens in Boso, large, airy rooms, and a spacious veranda overlooking the lake that is perfect for enjoying restorative beverages in the evening.

I've booked 3 half-Western, half-tatami rooms for six people. The rooms have two beds plus tatami space for two more in futons. If we have LESS than 6 I will cancel one of the rooms. Obviously for the hotel's sake I don't want to do that at the last minute, so I'd like to have numbers confirmed by, say, September 15th at the latest.

Anyway, should be fun(?) Please let me know if you are confirmed for the ride (no one is confirmed yet). Early bookers get first dibs on the beds. :)
 

Phil

Maximum Pace
#19
Great guys, that's three confirmed:

chazzer (Charles)
TrufflesEater (David)
Phil

Should mention also that it would be no problem if anyone wants to join just part of the ride, on just one of the days. For example, join us after we come back down from Choshi near Naruto and just do 80 km on the first day. Or come for the first day, stay at the hotel, and then go straight back to Chiba without doing the long southern loop. Etc, etc...

Aaron > If you're still interested, I think the Kameyama stop works for you if you want to stay at Katsuura. You can split off from us at the 297 to go down to the coast, and then pick us up the next day where the 24 meets the 181. It'll end up being about the same distance (maybe a little less?)