Official Ride Utsukushigahara HC Race

Pucci

Speeding Up
Jul 12, 2006
283
1
38
Yokohama
#1
It’s official! TCC will be racing at the Tour de Utsukushigahara hill climb race.

http://www.j-cycling.org/utsukushigahara/

The race starts in Asama Onsen, which is about a 20 minute flat ride from Matsumoto Station. This is one of the harder HC races, with a 2km section of 17% grade at the beginning of the race. After the 17%, the grade levels out to something more tolerable.

The scenery, though, is fantastic and there is a chance to see Matsumoto castle, a national treasure and the oldest extant castle in Japan.

This time, I hope to replicate a bit of lunacy from the past. Instead of taking the train to Matsumoto (too obvious, they will see us coming) the plan is to take the train to Minami Suwa on the wrong side of the alps. We can then ride over Kirigamine to Asama Onsen where the race starts. This will make the approach the day before harder than the race. A no-brainer, yes?

As soon as I have some idea how many are interested, I will arrange the accommodation.
 

Ryano

Cruising
May 27, 2009
44
18
18
Tokyo
rhinorun.blogspot.com
#6
Some say that Norikura is the ultimate hill climb in Japan, but frankly they don't know what they are talking about. For true lovers of racing there is no hill climb like Utsukushigahara. What it lacks in outright altitude, it makes up for in spades with gut wrenchingly steep ascents and wild, high-speed roller coaster sprints across the mountaintop, followed by more gut wrenching ascent.

I threw up across the finish line on my first attempt, and it wasn't as if I was in bad shape either; I did an ironman race not long thereafter. Yes - there may be less hype than some other races, but Utsukushi instills a fear and excitement in the hearts of in cyclists that puts it in a league of its own. (well, it scares the heck out of me anyway)

As Keren mentioned above, it just so happens that one of the ryokan right there near the start line also happens to be run by my parents-in-law - one of whom incidentally is the daughter of the inventor of one of the world's first folding bicycles - perhaps the very first.

I can't get you any accommodation for free, but I can get you a discount. If you want to join us there, please send me a personal message. We usually have a small group going up from Tokyo together on the Saturday before race, and sometimes do a touring ride the day after the race also.

Ryan
 

Ryano

Cruising
May 27, 2009
44
18
18
Tokyo
rhinorun.blogspot.com
#7
This time, I hope to replicate a bit of lunacy from the past. Instead of taking the train to Matsumoto (too obvious, they will see us coming) the plan is to take the train to Minami Suwa on the wrong side of the alps. We can then ride over Kirigamine to Asama Onsen where the race starts. This will make the approach the day before harder than the race. A no-brainer, yes?
I like your thinking! I have done this ride the other way - from Asama to Minami Suwa along the Venus Line. It was fantastic. In previous years, we have done a similar sort of thing over from Ueda. I might be tempted to join you.

Just need be sure to get to Asama in time for the last registration at 5pm. We tended to take our time from Ueda and then find that we had to scream down the other side to get there in time...:eek:
 

Mike

Maximum Pace
Sep 24, 2007
1,066
9
58
Kanagawa
#8
Ryan, how many can you take there? I think as this a TCC official race we'd all like to stay together? At the monent there are 4 of us?

Pucci
Mike (registered)
Keren
GSAstsuto
 

Ryano

Cruising
May 27, 2009
44
18
18
Tokyo
rhinorun.blogspot.com
#9
Ryan, how many can you take there? I think as this a TCC official race we'd all like to stay together? At the monent there are 4 of us?

Pucci
Mike (registered)
Keren
GSAstsuto
I can confirm but it shouldn't be a problem. Other thing is cost. Standard price is 2 man pp but I can get it for about 1man w 2 meals kaiseki. If you're ok with that I can book for the whole gang.
But just so people know, there are cheaper places out there if they want them.
 
#10
Official TCC Tour ??

Has Utsukushigahara been "upgraded" to an Official TCC Tour this year :confused:?
I did the 2007, 2008 (rained out) and 2009 editions and will be there again this year...just love the climb, the atmosphere and the lovely race queens !
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proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fi41.tinypic.com%2Fmm3g51.jpg&hash=da998d9d6e89b7071f2e5746c8183bc5

proxy.php?image=http%3A%2F%2Fi41.tinypic.com%2Fo8xt04.jpg&hash=8e4d8143bf071b2b8da4322a69338c5b


BTW, who is currently in charge of updating the "Site Navigation Official TCC Tours" featured on our site's opening page? ....it is still stuck in the year 2008...:eek:uch:
 

astroman

Speeding Up
Mar 19, 2007
264
0
36
Shirokanedai, Tokyo
#12
I can confirm but it shouldn't be a problem. Other thing is cost. Standard price is 2 man pp but I can get it for about 1man w 2 meals kaiseki. If you're ok with that I can book for the whole gang.
But just so people know, there are cheaper places out there if they want them.
I can vouch that the ryokan is an excellent place to stay. While there are cheaper options in town, the high quality of the meals, the location, the great facility and the super friendliness of Phil's in-laws make it well worth while. I stayed there for the infamous rained out race in 2008 and had a great time.

K
 

Philip

Speeding Up
Feb 15, 2007
765
7
38
Setagaya
#15
I signed up for the race today. This will be good motivation to get fit again :)

I would also like to join the group at Phil's (Ryano) family's ryokan. Thanks for the kind accommodation offer Phil.

Phil - my wife MAY?? be able to join me. IF?? she is able, can I book a room for two?? Am happy to pay whatever additional costs if this is available.

Cheers,

Philip
 

Mike

Maximum Pace
Sep 24, 2007
1,066
9
58
Kanagawa
#17
Kimm, if by financial minister you mean girlfriend, dude you need to cut you losses and run:confused: You're not even married and she's calling the shots!!!
 
May 22, 2007
3,608
1,440
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#19
Utsukushigahara training near Tokyo?

Can anyone suggest a nearby route that offers a similar grade/distance to the Utsukushigahara HC, but is not so far away that it costs a fortune to get there or that riding there would leave little energy left for climbing practice?

--Mike--
 
#20
Kazahari-rindo

Mike, the nearest route in Tokyo that is similar to Utsukushigahara is without doubt Kazahari-rindo 風張林道 . Do a Google Custom Search on this site and you will find plenty of information - including maps. The 300 meter or so stretch up to Kinoko Center is in my view even tougher than the famous Utsukushigahara 22% wall (which is rather shortish and exaggerated for the sake of sponsor/media-buzz). Excellent training ground familiar to many TCC-ers!


Can anyone suggest a nearby route that offers a similar grade/distance to the Utsukushigahara HC, but is not so far away that it costs a fortune to get there or that riding there would leave little energy left for climbing practice?

--Mike--