What's new

Ride VeloViewer tiling in Japan

Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
4,209
2,807
I wonder what's gonna take to get the one on the NW slopes of Fuji.
Thank you for the props. I'll admit to being a little obsessive about my tiles. Feeding my obsession has the great benefit that I visit new places all the time... although some places are more hospitable than others.

There's a handy, little-known trekking trail, 御中道, from 5th station around to the great rift. That'll take care of a couple.

Snap001.png

For the whole mountain, I can't see any tiles that don't have a road, track or trail somewhere, although not all lines on a map can actually be navigated.

that SDF blight to the right
This is the problem. I discussed with a former JSDF rifleman (the only person I've ever met who actively hates Mt Fuji). He told me 'you'll be fine, the locals, who own the land, go in and out all the time to pick mushrooms and collect logs'. I'm thinking summer 5 a.m. excursions/incursions - before any live firing starts!
 

Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
1,007
1,079
@Half-Fast Mike That was quite an adventure and a great write up! Gonna have to download that route for some future misadventure. I was hoping to do more Mt. Fuji stuff this year but it didn't work out. Glad to see someone is doing what has to be done! I'll be lucky to get my Chichibu area tiles done this year. Way behind 'the plan.'
 

Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
1,007
1,079
Heck of a couple of days.

Got to Chichibu at 8:50, on the bus at 9:10, arrived at Mitsumine shrine at 10:25. Walked around the shrine a bit, ate some udon and was on the trail at 11:00. The weather had been free of rain for a few days so the trails weren’t slick or muddy, and the temps were perfect.

Day 1 -This is my first time hiking with stuff I needed for an overnight. I was staying at the lodge but decided to save a buck or two and didn’t get the evening meal (1,600 yen). So, carried up my cook gear and food, and water, clothes, and, and, and…. Total weight was 9kg without water, probably 2kg more with water. Add to that some newly purchased hiking boots (due to my last excursion with @Half-Fast Mike ) that felt like Frankenstein shoes. I sure felt the extra weight. Would have been fine with a nice pair of trail running shoes. Will definitely trim the weight from the pack next time. Glad I didn’t decide to camp. The extra weight of the tent, bag, and mat would have been pretty tough (for me anyway). *Oh, yeah, no chances for water on the way up. Gotta carry it.

The trail is nice, no parts were difficult compared to some of the stuff I’ve hiked in the past. Only one place near the lodge where there was a chain to hold onto. Probably wasn’t needed. It is nice, flat forest trail at the start, then there are some steep parts but it gets flat again about 1 km before the lodge. I arrived at the lodge at 5:30 so it took me 6.5 hours. I was going pretty slow because I had a long day the next day and figured I needed to keep some energy in the tank.
IMG_1443.jpeg
The lodge is nice, BTW. Looked like it was at about 25% capacity. Few rooms were occupied. Not much for privacy. As @luka said, it gets stuffy. But it was nice to get a good night’s sleep. I had a look at the camping area and it was on a narrow ridge with sharp looking gravel for a site. Didn’t look very comfortable.

Day 2 - Woke up, or more accurately, was awakened (4:00 AM, light on), cooked spam and eggs, had a cup of coffee, got on the trail at 6:30. I made a command decision not to climb up to Kumotori but rather to skirt it. My knees weren’t in great shape and I didn’t know what to expect, so took the detour. It was nice and flat for about 2km or so.
IMG_1454.jpeg . IMG_1465.jpeg . IMG_1466.jpeg

Detour 1 – The first tiling detour was the hardest. The trail disappeared and if I hadn’t had my route on my Garmin I might have lost it several times (@Half-Fast Mike …like our last outing). Plus, it is a bit of a climb. Not much, but with the overgrown trail and few markers, it is tough to follow. I spotted several of the red ribbons in the dirt.

Made it back to the main trail, which is wide, smooth and flat for long stretches. The part around Mt. Nanatsuishi required some climbing and had switchbacks but no alternative IOT get to detour #2. The downhill section before Detour #2 is not too bad.
IMG_1475.jpeg

Detour 2 – No problem. There is a sign that said, “closed” but risked it anyway since I was only going 1km out and 1km back. Again, a flat route, no problem to follow it. Forest track, dirt. It adds about 2km to the hike but ‘hey,’ a tiler’s gotta do what a tiler’s gotta do.

With the last detour out of the way, I headed for the last stretch. The trail descends sharply until 1 or 2 km past the lodge.
IMG_1477.jpeg
From that point on, it is really nice. Forest dirt path, gradual descent, easy to make time. Arrived at Kamosawa station at 2:00. Total elapsed time, 7.5 hours. Took the bus from Kamosawa, at Okutama for the 4:27, back home by 6:00.

Long couple days. All intended tiles bagged. Beautiful views of Fuji. What more can a guy ask for?
 

Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
4,209
2,807
Long couple days. All intended tiles bagged. Beautiful views of Fuji. What more can a guy ask for?
Great job, @Karl. And thank you for all the useful intel. Enjoy those Golden Tiles™ while they last.

I notice you didn't take a third detour, and thus left a lonely tile. I really hope it's reachable with a short scramble from the end of the Ōdawa rindō...
 

Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
1,007
1,079
@Half-Fast Mike said: "I notice you didn't take a third detour, and thus left a lonely tile. I really hope it's reachable with a short scramble from the end of the Ōdawa rindō..."

I didn't see any way to get to that tile on this trip. I was looking at a cliff on my left. No way to get it. :cry:
Screen Shot 2020-10-05 at 7.30.20.png

So, in the immortal words of Arnold Schwarzenegger, "I'll be back." I'll be doing the rindo again and test the theory that 'nothing's impossible.'
 

Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
4,209
2,807
I didn't see any way to get to that tile on this trip. I was looking at a cliff on my left. No way to get it.
Your strategy of staying at the hut sounds more sensible than mine of carrying a tent and camping.

Hmm. We discuss(t)ed this first in June then in August, of course. The warning on Yamakei in the middle of the trail says it has been closed since March 2014; lots of time to get overgrown, but judging from the position of the (X) I'm surprised that there's no evidence of the turnoff at all from the Kumotori trail. Well... I'll take a look myself when I finally manage to haul my Assos up there.

odawa.jpg

I can't be sure, but I think you were on the start of it - or maybe what use to be the start of it - near here. The 'old' trail should have started (down) from just north of the saddle.

Google ChromeSnap 001.png

Ōdawa looks like a good spot for a rest.

Google ChromeSnap 002.png

This sign was photographed in 2016. I wonder whether there used to be a fourth finger, pointing to Ōdawa-rindō and Nippara.

Google ChromeSnap 003.png

Notes to myself, really. I know that sometimes trails really are gone, however much I want them to be there.

Even if it is there, it's a heckuva long way down, just to go straight back up again. (Around 240 m, in fact.)

Google Earth ProSnap 001.png
 

Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
1,007
1,079
Argh!! I might have been able to snag that tile if I was willing to do some serious down and up. ( :eek: )

I don't remember that little jag or seeing a sign for the trail, but do remember it was a serious drop on my left. That rindo has disappeared from the maps, and I'm kinda glad I forgot about it. My knees were in enough of a mess by then but with a tile on the line, I might have been tempted.

Oh well, I have to go back up to Okutama anyway so if I can sneak past the bears again, I'll see if I can knock it out when I have a pair of fresh knees.
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,923
2,104


I waited until the end of the typhoon to head back to Hinohara, where two tiles had escaped me on Friday, September 18. They were located in the mountain range south of the road from Akiruno to Tomin no Mori, a little before where Rt33 turns off towards Uenohara via the tunnel. Last time I rode on a Friday and forestry workers were loading logs on the first road I needed to pass. At the second road a small bridge was missing. So this time I picked a Sunday (no forestry workers) and brought sneakers for easier hiking.



I turned off onto the forest road. Everywhere there was running water, from the rains of the last typhoon. After two barriers I got to the logging place, which was significantly flooded. It proved difficult to find enough solid objects to step on to avoid ankle deep water as I pushed the bike. After that I could ride a bit, but mostly I chose to push because I was too worried about the sharp edged debris on the road from fresh rock slides.



Finally I got to a stream crossing the road that I didn't want to risk crossing by bike. I changed into my sneakers, placed some rocks as stepping stones into the middle and tip-toed over.



I started a Strava recording on my phone just for the hike, and a RWGPS one as a backup. I ventured a bit further even after Google My Maps showed me inside the tile. At a small waterfall I took pictures, then turned back. I crossed the stream again, packed away my SPD shoes (I wouldn't need them until after the second hike) and descended again. Below the logging place I followed the other branch of the road, to the missing bridge, meeting this guy on the way. He was absolutely motionless.



In my sneakers I scouted out a way to cross where the bridge was missing:



The hike to the tile:



I was safely inside the second tile after I passed this landslide and puddle:



Pretty waterfalls everywhere:



I retraced the path back to the bike and descended back down to the village. From there I continued on to Tomin no Mori. On the way I collected another tile at a village to the left side of the main road.

With all planned tiles collected, I could relax and enjoy the climb and the rest of the ride, which turned out very pleasant.

2020-10-11 Hinohara tiling (+3T), Tomin no Mori-Okutama-Ome loop with some drizzle (174 km)

Hinohara Tile 1 (hiking)

Hinohara Tile 2 (hiking)

Tilers are a crazy lot :D

 
Last edited:

Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
1,007
1,079
So, Sunday was about getting the elusive tile up around Okutama. (Mike knows the one.)

The day started out well. Beautiful weather. Got to Okutama station and headed out by 8:30. Biking up to the trail start point, in good time (for me).
IMG_1487.jpeg
Began the hike. At first, it seemed like my decision not to bring my hiking shoes was a good one. Soon, it was clear, it wasn't such a good idea. The trail quickly became a 'trial.' The slope that the trail was marked out on was rather steep, and since it hasn't really been used much, it had deteriorated.. or maybe never was all that much of a trail. So, there was no walkable stuff. Just loose scree, rather steeply inclined slope and haphazard trail markers. I spent as much time searching for grabbable roots and tree limbs as I did walking. Only one or two places with ropes available.
IMG_1489.jpeg
I had hoped the trail would be quickly pocketed, but it took me till 12:00 to scramble far enough to get it. I looked for the start of the trail at the 1st "missed it" point. Saw nothing marking a trail. Biked to the end of the bikeable trail and set off to find the other option. If it existed, it also wasn't well marked, if it existed at all.
Screen Shot 2020-10-22 at 15.55.42.png

Scrambled on until I realized that this trail crossed into to the Promised Land (the tile I needed) only after another 1km of scrambling. Made a command decision, said "Screw it," headed down the ravine to the river, found a crossing, then scrambled up the other side. Steep slope, rock filled ravine, but got the tile (I hoped).
IMG_1492.jpeg
And then it was back to the bike the same way I came.

I still needed to get one more tile and by now was pretty tired. Got on the bike, rode down to the junction then back up to the gravel pit.
IMG_1496.jpeg . IMG_1493.jpeg
Tile bagged, time to head down to Okutama. By now it was getting dark and cool. Uneventful but chilly descent to Okutama, caught the train just in time and home by 8:00.
IMG_1497.jpeg
A quick check on Strava VV showed the tiles registered, so that's a good thing. If they hadn't I don't think I'd ever try for them again.

For anyone interested in bagging the tile I went for, I think it is probably much better to get it from the trail up by Kumotori. At least that part of the trail is well marked and likely to be an actual trail.
 

Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
4,209
2,807
Quality tiling weekend in Minami-bōsō with @Kangaeroo and other friends. I was the only one actually tiling - they were just along for the ride, and what wonderful rides they were.

boso2day.gif

Missed a few tiles from the master plan: two because the rindō were too messed-up and some of our party had only skinny tires and road cleats; one because there weren't enough rocks to walk on to get over the tile border; and one because we were running out of daylight and opted instead to dash for the ferry. I'll be back for more, so no problem.

Snap001.jpg
 

Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
1,007
1,079
Wow! You're closing in on completing all of Chiba.

I saw that someone in Germany has the #1 max square 102x102. Won't happen in Japan, but I don't see you having much competition for #1 in Japan.
 

Kangaeroo

Maximum Pace
Jan 24, 2018
754
848
Quality tiling weekend in Minami-bōsō with @Kangaeroo and other friends. I was the only one actually tiling - they were just along for the ride, and what wonderful rides they were.

View attachment 21122

Missed a few tiles from the master plan: two because the rindō were too messed-up and some of our party had only skinny tires and road cleats; one because there weren't enough rocks to walk on to get over the tile border; and one because we were running out of daylight and opted instead to dash for the ferry. I'll be back for more, so no problem.

View attachment 21123
It was fascinating to learn about @Half-Fast Mike's introduction to tiling, inspiration and motivations! As well as to get to experience it! Absolutely magical weekend! Thanks
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,923
2,104


Sunday short version: 183 km, +5T, 2120 m of elevation gain, 6-20 C (on Strava)

After two weekends of randonneuring one week ago and three weeks ago, back to tiling. Actually, I had tried to still be admitted into a 300 km brevet for Saturday that had already closed weeks ago but that may have had spaces due to people choosing not to run, so I could ride with my friends who had signed up months ago, but no dice.

Anyway, back to my Max Square: The tiles that I really need to make it larger are around the NE corner, in the flat part of Saitama. I could get two dozen of them there if I headed over there some 30-40 km away. Instead I cycled to Chichibu with the plan to grab a cluster of 6 tiles near the western edge of the square. It would also be a good practice run for a koyo (autumn leaves viewing) ride. The last couple of years I usually cycled out the night before to stay at a cheap hotel, then did the ride the next day and cycled back to Tokyo afterwards. But for this tiling adventure, I would ride out and back the same day, since I didn't think the tiles would take all that much time. Chichibu one way is 90 km for me.

I left home at 7:00, about an hour later than planned but who cares if it's a solo ride. At worst you lose an hour of daylight and get back an hour later at night. It was a gorgeous day, blue sky but quite cool. I was still riding in shorts, but wore Heattech longjohns as tights underneath. For the top, base layer, LS jersey and GS Astuto "Santa" winter jersey. In my front bag: uniqlo windbreaker and full fingered conbini smartphone gloves for when it gets really chilly such as a Yamabushi toge descent after dark.

On the Tamagawa I had a chance meeting with Bjorn who was on his way to Y's road, the start of Akira's ride to Hinohara and Wada. We chatted a bit on the bike trail and then outside the still closed shop, until Akira also arrived. I wasn't going to join their ride as my tiles were calling and I missed my chance to see @microcord again by heading on soon.



Near Haijima I visited Haijimadaishi, a temple near Enpukuji, another temple where I had taken pictures before.

I could take off the long underwear in a conbini dressing room (aka toilet) before Ome. I also had a second breakfast. It was good to get back to Naguri, There are many interesting looking log houses by the roadside and also some large Buddhist temple up in the hills that I would like to visit some time. You see some enormous white statue and a pagoda from the road. I had once tried to get there but took the wrong road.

At the base of Yamabushi, where the road starts getting steep, some kind of cycling team in matching uniforms had gathered, complete with moms driving support vans (some riders were junior cyclists). There I turned off onto Rt73 for my first tile. First it went gently uphill, then got steeper. Eventually at a bridge there was a turnoff. The left side was the main road, leaving the river (and entering tile #1), the right (with a "road closed" sign) stayed on the river, cutting through a corner of tile #1 to take me to tile #2. I knew I would also enter tile #2 from the north if I climbed Mt Buko to get tiles #2 through #5 as I was planning, but it seemed smart to secure it now, in case anything went wrong later.

The first "road closed" notice and barrier wasn't the last one. The next notice mentioned that a certain bridge was out of action (to be honest, all I could decipher with my superior Kanji skills was "...橋" (something-something-bridge) but that was enough to figure it out). So I decide I'd cross that bridge when I get to it -- or not, as the case may be -- and continued. The next two bridges were OK, then I got to this (apologies for the stray finger in the corner of the picture):



Looks like this lovely bridge was indeed pining for the fjords. Conveniently a temporary bridge had already been constructed next to it from I-beams and steel sheets, though still blocked off with a barrier made from scaffolding pipes that was just high enough to push a bike underneath without having to tilt it sideways. A few more bends in the road after that I was securely inside tile #2. I did one RWGPS recording from the bridge and back as a backup.



I had noticed on the rainy Fleche last weekend how I had significantly more brake lever travel on the left than on the right. Now the lever touched the bar. It soon became obvious why: The pad at the rear was gone, nothing left there. It was probably scraping metal on metal. The front was still good but I had this 10+ percent descent back down to Rt53 ahead of me, then the descent from Yamabushi toge to Chichibu, then the descent from Mt Buko to Chichibu and finally one more Yamabushi descent towards Ome on the way home (not counting the gradients where I could rely mostly on air resistance to do the job). I chose to continue, banking on the front having enough pad life to see me through, even if it had to do all the work now.



I had never noticed this "Hilchryme Base" on the Naguri side of Yamabushi toge and the helpful stats it keeps, but if you ask me, their spelling is chryminal!

At the toge I snapped some pictures and put on my layers for the Chichibu descent. At the Michi no Eki near the bottom a large crowd of bikers had gathered (I would guess about 100), maybe enjoying one of the last sunny weekends not too cold for them to ride. I bought some bread at bakery and had lunch on a bench out in the sun, then continued.



A few km before Chichibu proper I turned off the main road to head for Mt Buko. This deeply scarred mountain overlooks the valley around Chichibu and can be seen from the other side of the Greenline because of its height. Close to 500 million tonnes of limestone have been quarried here since before WW2. Most of it is turned into cement for construction in Tokyo and around the Kanto plain. One tonne of cement equals about one tonne of CO2 emissions from decarbonization of the lime stone and from burning of fuel for heating and for generating electricity to grind the hard clinker into a fine powder, etc.



There are seven large cement plants on the side of the mountain, all processing lime stone mined there. Every morning, holes are drilled into the terrace being mined. During the lunch break explosives are set off. In the afternoon the broken rock is removed and the cycle begins again.

The shrine that used to sit on the top of this mountain, honouring its kami, now stands elsewhere as it had to be moved back to allow the quarry to consume more and more of the mountain.

I headed past all of the industrial behemoths covered in grey dust. On this Sunday there were very few trucks being loaded. During the week the road is much more busy. Between the Michi no Eki and the quarry I had passed a huge lot for trucks used exclusively to transport the cement to concrete plants.

After the last factory there was a spot where trucks could make a U-turn. Beyond that the road considerably narrowed, with two cars barely able to pass each other. It was steep as a typical tiling road, 10+ percent. At the top there was a car park below which there were already many cars parked on the roadside of the (here wider) road. The road then turned into a gravel road.



All the way up from the main road I encountered a steady stream of hikers coming down who must have set off in the morning to hike Mt Buko. When the road finally ended after a short stretch of broken asphalt (from falling rocks?), I locked up the bike, took the GPS off the handlebar and grabbed my two phones. I started one Strava and one RWGPS recording and hiked up the steep concrete footpath towards the ridge on my cycling shoes (SPD). The climb on the bike had taken me from tile #3 in the NE to #2 in the SE (the one I had visited earlier). The hike then took me to #4 (NW).

Checking Google My Maps, I found I was not far from the border to #5 (SW) when I saw a narrow footbridge (i.e. steel sheets) cross the stream. Amazingly, the tiny hiking trail on the other side was shown on the map of my Wahoo Elemnt Bolt cycling GPS. I loved it!

I crossed the stream and followed the dirt path through the trees up the hillside until I was inside the tile. After that the path made a right turn, so it wouldn't take me deeper. I continued between the trees for good measure, to make sure all was registered correctly. It was easy to walk there as many branches were lying on the dirt, perhaps from tree trimming. Finally I turned around and backtracked to the bicycle. Walking downhill on the steep path took quite some effort, I could appreciate how some of the hikers looked quite exhausted.

I descended all the way back to the main road, Rt299 and headed for a nearby conbini to get some food and decide on the final tile, #6. This one was further from the max square edge than the other five that I had already collected. It was getting late in the afternoon. I only had one working brake and more than 80 km ahead of me. I decided to save the final tile for another day.

I put my layers back on again and started climbing towards Yamabushi toge. The temperature dropped to 7 C around Naguri. By then I was wearing my full fingered gloves and 4 layers on my upper body. It had also been a mere 6 C at Yamabushi toge, but then I was still warm enough from the climb, so 7 C at Naguri felt the coldest. It recovered to 9 C by the time I was in Ome. As I got closer to home it rose to 11 C. This is something I noticed on all the rides in the mountains in the colder months: The heat output of urban areas coupled with lower elevation of Tokyo far outpaces any night time cooling as you head back from Yamabushi toge to Tokyo. The later in the night the milder it will end up being!



Asian cafe dining Sherpa in Ome was busier than I had seen it in a long time (due to Covid-19). The epidemic is not over so I suspect this was due to the Go To Eat vouchers the government is distributing. I took the risk and ate there anyway. Another 2 1/2 hours after that and I was home.



It's still way too early for koyo in Chichibu - in two weeks it should be good!

There's quite a few other edge tiles in the area still to clear, especially around the northern end of the Greenline, so I hope to be back before snow and ice make it too risky to ride there.
 
Last edited:

speedwobble

Scorpions - I can't get enough!
Jun 26, 2017
157
227
Just checking in to thank everyone for the entertainment. You're all completely crazy!

With the undergrowth starting to die back soon. I guess we are moving into "hiking tile" season. It must be easier to head up path-free hillside when you don't have to bushwhack your way through.
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,923
2,104
PXL_20201031_235901122.jpg
I finally reached 27x27 for my Max Square. My previous 25x25 could slide around but was limited at the Northeast corner in a flat piece of Saitama. At the same time, I was at 1145 km for October with a day to go and it seems like a shame not to push beyond 1200, so I did. I didn't quite reach the 1250 of the Strava Distance Challenge, but I am happy with 1230, my most km in a month since May 2015 (back in my busiest year).

I spent most of the day with the family, but several of us already had plans for the evening, so I also headed out too when my wife did.

The closest tile was about 40 km away, not enough daylight left for that. All 24 were cleared after dark, on Halloween 🎃 night with a full moon.

The second half of the set was more rural which made it easier as there were barely any traffic lights.

The temperature was fine. It started off at 16 C and gradually went down to 8 C, but I was wearing my warm long trousers and a SS jersey plus either a light windbreaker (uniqlo) or a LS winter jersey (GS Astuto) on top. I never really had to combine the two.

By the time I reached the last but one tile my stomach was really empty (no conbini stops) so I had dinner at an Indian restaurant where I was the last customer and then cycled back another 40 km, half of that after midnight. The roads were pretty empty then.
 
Last edited:

Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
1,007
1,079
Biking Log – Star Date, October 31, 2020

At Gotemba by 8:00. On the road by 8:15. Brisk morning at 5C (according to my Garmin). Wore my Craft windstopper undershirt, a merino wool jersey, a Dhb thermal jersey and a Dhb polartec gilet as well as a warm neck gaiter. Worked really well. Began climbing up to the pass but took a couple detours to collect a tile or two. Wasn’t long before I took off the polartec gilet. Got up and over the pass, and descended. Circled Yamanakako, picking up a couple more tiles. Treated to some beautiful views of Fuji, made even more beautiful by the autumn leaves of the trees along the cycle path.
IMG_1503.jpeg
IMG_1502.jpeg IMG_1504.jpeg
I had some hiking ahead of me so pushed a bit to get to the base of the first trail. Up and back down in about 45 minutes of hiking, tile bagged. Compared to last week’s ‘trial’ it was a breeze. Next, on to hike #2.
IMG_1505.jpeg IMG_1506.jpeg
Once I got over the pass, it was mostly downhill from then on.
IMG_1510.jpeg
IMG_1509.jpeg
The road was closed to vehicles, so I had a long descent on really good road, no traffic, and beautiful fall colors. Doesn’t get any better than that.

Got to the base of hike #2, parked the bike and hiked up and back. Pretty good trail all the way. A bit rocky and a couple small stream crossings but otherwise uneventful.
IMG_1513.jpeg . IMG_1514.jpeg
Back on the bike about 50 minutes later. Continued the descent on leaf covered roads, enjoying the sights.
IMG_1511.jpeg
Now it is decision time. It’s 4:00 and the sun is getting low, but there is one lone tile I need. It adds 20km to the ride and has a hike at the end of it. Should I stay or should I go? Throwing caution and common sense to the wind, I decide to go for it. I get to the turn off of Route 35 and start ascending. I’ve got about 3.5 km of ascending and the sun has set. On I go. The road ends and I’m on gravel. There is a water crossing. It isn’t deep. Maybe I could ride through it? But on closer inspection, the rocks are slime covered and slick as bat guano. So, I wade through it and keep riding with wet feet. Now, it is almost dark. On I go. In no time, it is dark except for the light from my Cateye Volt 400. It is slow going due to the rocky trail. I’m also aware that dusk is bear feeding time and this is Halloween night, but I ride on hoping no bears are interested in a crazy guy like me, and that no self respecting ghost would bother with me either. I reach the end of the trail. Only 100-200 meters to go but the trail is nonexistent and all I see ahead are fallen trees and boulders. What would be a difficult scramble in daylight is a ‘tile too far’ for me in the dark with no discernable trail to follow. So, “NUTS!” This tile is jinxed!! But, in the immortal words of the Terminator, “I’ll be back!”

I turn around, descend in fairly good time, cross the slimy rocks again, pedal on with wet cold feet and reach Otsuki about 7:00 pm. Home by 9:30. A beer and a nice hot bath never felt so good.

PS. Tried out the new Panaracer Gravel KIng SS tires. The were great on the road and did well on the rocky trails, too. Good for getting to the trails and then on the trails. Best tire so far. Hope they last.
 
Last edited:

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,923
2,104
so that means your Oct total was actually 1,210 km, and 20 km belong to Nov ;)
Nope, I stopped the recording at midnight and started another one at 00:01 on November 1. Therefore it was 1230 km in October and another 21 km in November already :) Got to keep those numbers clean!
 
Last edited:

Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
4,209
2,807
Excellent insanity reports from my tiling compadres. @joewein... doing it all in the dark and apparently defacing his HFC windbreaker. (Or is that a map printed on 'paper'? How gauche.) And @Karl proving that third time is not necessarily the charm.
I’ll be back!”
I should jolly well think so too. It was a tough one, as I recall. I took my shoes and socks off – twice – to negotiate that ford, while mildly cursing "@Karl might have mentioned this." No way I'd have gone paddling after sundown on hallowe'en. Kudos to you.

I have a couple of ride reports to share, when I have the time. The madness continues...
 
Top Bottom