utsukushigahara back roads?

andywood

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Apr 8, 2008
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#1
I'll be riding the Tour of Utsukushigahara this weekend. After the race I was thinking of heading back down a different way to avoid waiting around at the top.

When I've ridden the event in the past, I remember a few people doing this. I think regular shoes are necessary as some of the road is unpaved. Looking on google maps I can see a rindo that looks like it might be the way down.

http://maps.google.co.jp/maps?q=美ヶ原...a=X&ei=He_rT4SbO_HomAW5h-H0Ag&ved=0CFIQ_AUoAg

It's a long shot but does anyone know how to find the road???

Cheers,

Andy

www.jyonnobitime.com/time
 

AlanW

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Jan 30, 2007
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#3
Andy, Naomi-San and I will also race on Sunday. Heading down the loop rindo looks like a good plan. If you keep an eye out for us at the summit we'll join you on the way down.
 

Quicksilver

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Jan 9, 2011
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#7
Thanks for the reports and pictures Alan and Andy!
I went up to Matsomoto Saturday to sign in and spent a pretty hot afternoon wandering around the castle and the town with my family. At the sign in Imanaka-san, a Japanese former pro and TDF commentator, was talking through the race on the stage and giving advice on how to ride to get under 1:30. I wondered how long it would take me! The main bit of advice I remember was not to drink beer later than dinner time, which I followed religiously;) At that time, I was envisioning a long climb in sweltering heat, so was almost relieved to wake up to a cool morning that soon turned to rain. My wife and kids were probably rather less exillerated by the weather and the prospect of hanging around at the top for me;) Spotted Alan and Naomi easily before the race in their new TCC gear, unfortunately just waiting to get mudsplattered. There were absolutely loads of ojisans in this race so I was in Danshi-D Group 3, of maybe 5 or 6, and set off a long time after Champion Class (and there were still juniors and recumbent vehicles behind us). I started off at the front of my wave but it soon merged with the previous one. The sharp climb after the first corner up a fairly narrow road looked gruesome but after Fuji a couple of weeks ago it somehow seemed no big deal especially as everyone around me seemed to be suffering a lot more than me and once I got a nice rhythm going I was mainly just cruising past other riders. Riding the same compact crankset as Fuji with a bottom gear of 34x28 I could comfortably take the steep bits of corners to push ahead without ever going into the red. This was a course rich in variety with narrow wooded steep sections giving way to flat and even downhill near to top so I was using nearly the full range of gears for a change. In case you are thinking it was all too easy though, there was a nice kick in store at the end just when the 21km+ length of the climb was taking its toll the final hill was steep and now exposed to blustering wind and rain. Among other things, I was relieved to have Alan's description of the course as something to go on, which perhaps saved me from pushing it into the red or going too mad on slippery wet corners. Only too grateful to get into find shelter with my family in the resthouse at the top and eat juicy fresh tomatoes which were being given away at the top. Unfortunately, the slippery weather seemed to have brought a few casualties on the way up and there were more on the way down despite using cars to control speed. I saw one man lying in the road with blood near his head, though he seems to have been conscious and being looked after. Made me shudder a bit but was fortunately distracted when I got chatting to an Aussie living up in Nagano called Soren who is apparently planning to move to Tokyo soon. He had never heard of TCC but now he has so will probably be looking to join rides after he settles in. Despite the continuing drizzle the many race helpers remained by the side of the road bidding us a cheery farewell as we wound our way down. This marked my fourth and last race this year before summer and my first season riding with gears which I was particularly glad of on this day. Still, a long way off Champion Class but I came home in 1:18:59 well inside the 1:30 mark Imanaka-san had talked about...Meanwhile, I might leave the carbon bike, garmin and turbo for a bit and get back to those pure fun rides on the steel fixie :D
 

andywood

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Apr 8, 2008
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#8
Here's a picture of me leading Alan into the pain cave!

If you don't know this website, it's a really good picture site for races in and around Nagano.

http://www.jooj.tv/photo2012/index.php


The guy is really nice. If you see him at a race he'll always take pictures of you, the bike, the family... and you can download them from his site for free (he doesn't mind).

Is that a photo of prorace Chuck at the Two Days of Kiso........

Andy

www.jyonnobitime.com/time
 

Phil

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#9
Great picture. Always figured Alan was champion of the race face but you're giving him a run for his money there...

Between your reports and Mike's pictures of his tour, I'm really becoming interested in visiting this area--some very nice looking scenery.
 
Dec 31, 2009
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#11
Damn Andy, that looks painful! Great photo! Looks like both of your handlebars are twisting from the force. Also noted is that Andy's arms are were very animated. Alan's has a firm grip and curved upper spine. It seems Andy pulls on the bars and moves his arms with a solid torso and Alan flexes his arm muscles and undulates his upper body. A picture tells a story. I have spent many a hours analyzing cyclists and notice these nuances. I use a slow speed camera in my fit business now and I drive myself up a wall analyzing these effects on performance.

And yep that's yours truly in the Kiso section of his photos. I have a feeling that will be me when I retire, going to races taking photos. Really nice guy. Always down for a chat.
And also Andy, When are you going to give in and just buy black handlebar tape, seems like every photo of you has crusty bar tape LOL! Black tape never gets dirty! And where is your helmet race number, you know the nail that sticks out...
 

andywood

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Apr 8, 2008
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#12
Chuck, I only tug on the bars for the last blast. As a big guy I find I can go faster in the saddle like that rather than dancing on the pedals. For the majority of the climb though, relaxed upper body, all the effort in the legs and core, like a duck on the water.

Alan had a nice blend of sitting and standing to get through the steeper sections.

Yes, he's a nice guy. A great hobby, taking photos of bikes, dogs and birds.

I really want to do that Kiso race one day. Will you be around at Norikura in August?

Andy

www.jyonnobitime.com/time