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Ride VeloViewer tiling in Japan

Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
4,212
2,812

Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
1,008
1,083
Shurley thrice?

But finally got it. Congratulations! Have a mud medal, for obsessive persistence. 🥇

Did you spot the buzzsaw blade I left in a tree for you?

View attachment 28302

And is now a good time to discuss the other road?

View attachment 28303
The "Uenohara area" expedition wasn't a real attempt at that tile. I still had illusions (delusions) that I could get that tile from the other side, so only went far enough to score the lower tile.

And, I didn't see the saw blade you left for me. OTOH, I did see a cigarette lighter on my last trip on a trail you'd visited a week before. The lighter looked pretty new so my first thought when I saw it was to wonder if it was yours.
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,924
2,107
On Saturday I wanted to do some hiking with my wife to clear the tile around Mt Mito near Tomin no Mori, but car traffic was so bad we soon abandoned the plan and went elsewhere. So on Sunday I did a "bike and hike" to grab a different tile, somewhere between Ome and Okutama. This one started about 2 km north of Hatonosu, some 5 km downstream from Okutama. I had already cleared the tiles along the main road and along some side valleys, but everything further back calls for hiking expeditions.

A few km before Ome I visited the Sherpa Kabab House opposite Kabe station for a second breakfast in the late morning. I bought a cup of coffee at the nearby 7-11 to enjoy it with my Kabab Wrap.



On the way home I stopped at the main restaurant for curry.

Normally I only descend from Okutama to Ome. I almost never climb the opposite direction, but I did yesterday. I followed Rt45 instead of 411 to avoid traffic.



After 62 km I arrived at Hatonosu. The village itself is built on a steep slope above the road. I pushed my bike up a footpath to near the temple at the top. Next to it was a playground with public toilets. I locked up my bike there and changed into my sneakers for hiking. In a backpack I carried a sandwich and some drinks. I brought along a windbreaker, one bidon and my phones.



The first part of the hike was steep. Eventually the path crossed a gravel road which @Half-Fast Mike had cycled up when he took the tile.





On the way up I met many hikers coming down. People must start early.



The rest of the hike had a lot less climbing. All in all it was about 450 m vertical with a bit over 7 km round trip.



Once I was safely inside the tile I sat down on a rock and enjoyed my sandwich and drinks. Then I headed back again on the exact same route I had come on (only faster). On the gravel road I met a cyclist on his way to a nearby abandoned village that I had read about.

Back at the bike I changed back into my cycling shoes and headed down to Ome for an early dinner, then back home to Tokyo.

I recorded the bike ride on my Wahoo Elemnt Bolt and the hike on Strava and RWGPS on one phone each to make sure I'd be covered. With this tile cleared, the left edge of my Max Square has expanded by one. I just need to clear another tile or two to expand by another. 31x31 appears within reach before I have to worry about snow.
 

Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
1,008
1,083
@joewein Nice pics, as usual! And good intel.

I need that tile!! It has been on my 'to do' list for a long time. Been wondering what the best way to get it is. The way you did it looks good (about 2 hours there and back). But had been thinking of this way:
Screen Shot 2020-11-16 at 16.50.32.png

Looks like whichever way I go, I'm in for a rock garden trail.
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,924
2,107
But had been thinking of this way:
View attachment 28318
I had considered the route on the right, but it climbs to 930 m before it gets close to the hiking trail. The course I took on the other hand enters the tile at 760 m of elevation with the gravel road topping out at 660 m. The final 2 km hike from the gravel road to the tile was really easy, more Sunday afternoon walk than hike (5 % average gradient).

The gravel road descends again towards the river after where it intersects with my hiking route and the abandoned village is somewhere down there. After you head about 100 m downhill towards the river the hiking trail I took splits off to the left starting with some steps.

I used the Osmand app on my phone to make sure I had maps regardless of cell phone reception and to check my position on the hiking trail. Openstreetmap also has a lot more detail than Google Maps. Now if only I could display the tile square KLM on Osmand, that would be the perfect solution!
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,924
2,107
What's the Max Square you see now, @joewein?

Your 'public' Max Square is a very respectable 27x27, but from what you write I infer that you see more than the public.

View attachment 28350

View attachment 28352
My Max Square is indeed still 27x27, but I have a buffer of about two rows of tiles on all 4 sides that are mostly done already and require very little extra work to clear completely (mostly a compact chunk on the NE corner that could be done in a day, plus the odd single tile here or there). Therefore 31x31 is definitely doable before the end of the year :) (not that @Karl should worry too much about this ;) )
 

Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
1,008
1,083
@joewein wrote: "Max Square is indeed still 27x27"

Phew! :oops: I just cleared 30x30 with that last stubborn tile so was afraid I was going to lose my coveted '2nd place'.

Like you, I will have to do some work up around Kawagoe and out past Okutama to get much more. Pretty close to my limit out west so if things are going to grow much past 31 or 32, I'll have to start slogging through Saitama and move the base of my max square north of Uenohara. Not sure I'm up for all that city riding, but then, a tiler's gotta do what a tiler's gotta do.
 

Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
4,212
2,812
Thanks for the recommendation. I'll check it out.
Welcome! maps.me is a strong ally in the quest for new tiles. A few features I use, that might come in handy for you and others.

1. The standard 'unexplored tile' .kml from VeloViewer only includes a buffer of 10 tiles around my MaxCluster. However, from my Activities or Routes map on VV, I can download a .kml of my unexplored tiles in the current map view. (Important not to zoom out too far, as the file gets very large very quickly.)

IMG_8017.jpg

2. Periodically replace the unexplored .kml in maps.me, to reflect my increased cluster. I usually deactivate the previous set first, download the new .kml, transfer to maps.me, and finally delete the old set.

IMG_8016.jpg

3. I sometimes also upload tracks to maps.me, as a backup. Whatever tool they were created with, maps.me only accepts .kml files. I use gpx2kml to convert tracks downloaded from Stravr Route Builder. There's probably a drag-and-droppier way to do it, somewhere out there.

IMG_8015.jpg


IMG_8018.jpg

4. Important to remember that a smartphone and Garmin/Wahoo/etc. may not be registering exactly the same GPS coordinates. This can result in heartache, after the fact, for skin-of-the-teeth tile borders.

The only negative issue I have with maps.me is that the periodic updates to maps take a very long time to download.
 

Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
4,212
2,812
I took a day off work to go on a bike ride. I deserve it, and the weather was threatening to be perfect.

Exploring Tsuchiura, Kitaura to Chōshi 150.2 km, 441 m up, +82T

Netted a modest increase to my cluster, and some of the tiles may one day make it into my MaxSquare if I can ever get enough up on the north side. There were some short but steep hills, but the route was mostly very flat. Plenty of gravel to be found just parallel to the beaten track. I took my racing bike, but the 28 mm Conti GP5000 tires were fine on flat gravel. It was quite refreshing to have a ride where I can get my head down and pedal, rather than having to dismount regularly to scramble over landslides etc.

If you build (the velodrome), he will come.
20201118-085113-Exploring-Tsuichura-Kitura-Kamisu.jpg

It was a little hazy over Kasumigaura lake. Construction work necessitated extra detours in a couple of spots.
20201118-090047-Exploring-Tsuichura-Kitura-Kamisu.jpg

Oh here we go...
20201118-102152-Exploring-Tsuichura-Kitura-Kamisu.jpg

First glimpse of the Pacific Ocean, near the very unlovely Kashima Port.
20201118-134645-Exploring-Tsuichura-Kitura-Kamisu.jpg

This whole stretch of the Ibaraki Coast, from Kashima to Kamisu, is distinctly lacking in charm when viewed from the road. There's either huge concrete seawalls or huge overgrown dykes. Even atop this viewing tower I could barely see the sea.
20201118-143826-Exploring-Tsuichura-Kitura-Kamisu.jpg

However, I had to traverse the dyke and get close to the waves for one tile. This involved a fairly long trek along a beach. It was backbreaking work, pushing/dragging the bike through the very fine sand.
20201118-145753-Exploring-Tsuichura-Kitura-Kamisu.jpg

Final tile for the day, at Hazaki Port just across the Tonegawa estuary from Chōshi.
20201118-153742-Exploring-Tsuichura-Kitura-Kamisu.jpg

From Chōshi station, the best option for getting home was a limited express train, departing 50 min after I got there. This gave me time to buy supplies (including a clean T-shirt) and freshen up.
20201118-155038-Exploring-Tsuichura-Kitura-Kamisu.jpg

When I say "supplies", I mean of course "beer". Oh, but the 特急 was so peaceful; only very occasional, subdued announcements, in stark contrast to the constant cacophony on regular trains. Enjoyed a lovely nap.
20201118-165730-Exploring-Tsuichura-Kitura-Kamisub.jpg

I was very pleased that the new(ish) battery that came with the replacement case for my Garmin lasted the whole 150 km ride, and still had 5% left at the end. A big improvement.

Hmmm... where to go at the weekend?

kamisu.gif
 
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Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
4,212
2,812
this weekend I begin my effort in Saitama
Go for it! I guess did a lot of Saitama in the winter.

Saturday looks like the best weather of the three-day weekend. I may get some Tochigi tiles west of Kanuma. 104 km, and (Stravr says) 2,100 m gain. But as far as I can tell it is all paved - even the little detours.

Google ChromeSnap 001.jpg

It will be quite the contrast to yesterday's ride. Need to check where/whether I can resupply.

Google Earth ProSnap 001.jpg
 

Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
1,008
1,083
Wow! You're really knocking out those tiles. Looks like there is another stopper up around Nikko, though.


Screen Shot 2020-11-19 at 19.04.43.png
 

Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
4,212
2,812
Looks like there is another stopper up around Nikko
You're right. In fact it's worse than that. There's one a little further south, that (if I let it) would prevent me from getting 60x60. There's an awful lot of absolutely nothing up in those mountains.

PhotoshopSnap 001.png

And these are only the ones I've noticed so far!

If it came to the difference between 59x59 and 60x60, I'd probably take my chances straying from the trail in the adjacent tile. But before that I'll need to really start liking hiking and camping. The next line north has at least one impossitile™, then four in a row...

Google ChromeSnap 002.png

If I hit the solution limit on this game, I'll play another game. For now, there are still some roads.
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,924
2,107
I'm thinking that this weekend I begin my effort in Saitama. Love the mountains but need to get a real ride in.
No, you don't! Don't be silly! There's nothing interesting to see there.

I mean, a Max Square is just a number on the Interwebs, isn't it? ;)
 

Karl

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
1,008
1,083
I mean, a Max Square is just a number on the Interwebs, isn't it? ;)

Heresy!!! :p

Figure I'll start along the rivers and see how it goes. Thing is, getting to Oku-Tama is over a two hour train ride, Chichibu is close to three hours. Getting to Saitama is only 90 minutes. Getting a bit tired of riding trains on the weekend. Anyway, I'll be back in the mountains most of the time. Love the quiet and the nature too much.

@Half-Fast Mike "impossitile™" Good thing you trademarked that, or I'd have to steal it.
 
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