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Ride VeloViewer tiling in Japan

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
3,045
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I had planned to head down the east coast of Izu, but for that I needed my car to get my bike close enough to Odawara and my daughter wanted to borrow it for furniture shopping. I almost went to Miura on Sunday with @olykoek and @jonmanjiro, but then they couldn't join me there for an all day ride.

If I couldn't ride into Izu I could still take a peek at it from around Odawara and ride enough km for my February Century (on Strava). There was a tile just south of Odawara castle that I had never touched because the main road that I always take skirts it. About 15 km beyond Odawara was the Manazuru peninsula with another tile not touched by the coastal road. Out and back would be around 180 km taking the shortest route, so just about doable in a day.

If I had done the ride with @olykoek I would have left at 06:00 to get to Yokohama reasonably early to make good use of the daylight, but with no meeting time I ended up leaving a very leisurely 2 1/2 hours later because unlike most people I don't mind riding hours and hours after sunset and coming back late.

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The forecast for Saturday and Sunday was very mild, 16-18 deg C which is too warm for my usual winter wear of uniqlo fleece pants. I was wearing my shorts already on Saturday, partly to figure out how that would work, only to find it got very chilly at night when we were out on a family trip. Therefore on Sunday I started out in fleece pants but then changed into my shorts on the first conbini stop. I changed back again into fleece pants more than an hour after sunset as it was cooling off again. That worked very well.

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First I rode down my usual route to Miura on Rt409 and Rt15 to near Minato Mirai. From there I switched to Rt1, following large parts of the Old Tokaido road and doing a route in reverse that we would have taken as the final leg of the Fleche ride from Aichi to Tokyo last year. Rt1 is not the greatest cycling road for sure, and neither is Rt246 which I used for the return trip (Matsuda to Futakotamagawa). So it was basically a Century ride on not to nice roads, with the reward of beautiful ocean views and views of Izu from Odawara, a stroll around the castle grounds, a Nepalese curry near the station and some sunset Fuji views before it got dark.

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When I got to Odawara I figured it would be another 2 hours to Manazuru and back. I wouldn't get home before 23:00. So I only visited the tile there after the castle, then had a late lunch and started my return trip. On the way to Odawara I had already cleared on tile in Hiratsuka that only needed a short detour from the main road. I picked up two more tiles near Hadano south of 246 as it was getting dark. Then a couple of hours in the company of trucks and cars on Rt246 back to Tokyo, since it was the shortest, least hilly route.

Those tiles don't change my Max Square, but it was a good preparation for my 2021 Fleche ride coming up in 8 weeks. We'll be doing mostly the same route as planned last year, hopefully without 18 hours in the rain this time. The ride also extended my "Century a Month" streak to 102 months (8 1/2 years). Only 18 more months to make it to 10 years ;) Meanwhile, there's a tile in Manazuru still waiting to be collected!
 
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joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
3,045
2,471
Rode this yesterday. Plus 55 tiles.
Congratulations, Chuck! I see you're back to 29x29 now, recovering from what you said was about 23x23 on January 17. Once you retake the lone tile just off the main road on the way to Tsuru toge, your west side looks pretty clear for a number of extra columns and the rows needed on the north are almost all accessible without hiking. You may well hit 35x35 before the summer :)
 

Chuck

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
1,117
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Congratulations, Chuck! I see you're back to 29x29 now, recovering from what you said was about 23x23 on January 17. Once you retake the lone tile just off the main road on the way to Tsuru toge, your west side looks pretty clear for a number of extra columns and the rows needed on the north are almost all accessible without hiking. You may well hit 35x35 before the summer :)
Thanks Joe.

If I'm going to increase my max beyond 35, I have to move the SE base up and over to where yours is. If that ever happens, I can maybe get to 39 or 40 (but who's counting? :ninja:). Beyond 39 or so and I'd have to move the base above Uenohara and do loads of tiling in Saitama.:confused:

Did another tiling effort yesterday. Added another 60 tiles or so. I love the mountainous areas of Saitama, but the flat, farmland areas sometimes feel like deserts. Not terribly inspiring.


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joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
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I love the mountainous areas of Saitama, but the flat, farmland areas sometimes feel like deserts. Not terribly inspiring.
I was surprised to see how much unexplored territory you have around the Greenline, north of the line Chichibu - Hanno. There's beautiful riding around there :)

I don't mind the flat farmland of Saitama anywhere near as much as the built-up urban areas closer to Tokyo, on the Saitama side of the Arakawa and the southern part of the Edogawa. I was very happy once I had moved beyond the traffic lights and cars.
 

Chuck

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
1,117
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I was surprised to see how much unexplored territory you have around the Greenline, north of the line Chichibu - Hanno. There's beautiful riding around there :)

I don't mind the flat farmland of Saitama anywhere near as much as the built-up urban areas closer to Tokyo, on the Saitama side of the Arakawa and the southern part of the Edogawa. I was very happy once I had moved beyond the traffic lights and cars.
Yeah. The Greenline and Chichibu areas are a bit longer to get to by train due to poor connections from my home, so I haven't done much up there. I hope to change that soon. And, you're right. Even if the scenery of Saitama's farmland isn't exactly awe inspiring, it is better than the cars and traffic lights of Tokyo.
 

Chuck

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
1,117
1,244
Ping! Bagged the lost tile today. Max square 31x31 again and all is right with the world.
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
3,045
2,471
Ping! Bagged the lost tile today. Max square 31x31 again and all is right with the world.
Congratulations! And your 31x31 has two rows of slack north/south, so it can quickly grow to 33x33 with just two tiles near Rt411 west of Okutama-ko in the way. I am at 32x32... (@joewein looks carefully at his heels)
 

Chuck

Maximum Pace
Feb 7, 2011
1,117
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Nice ride yesterday, I'd recommend to anyone looking for a nearby getaway with climbing, great views, good road, no traffic and a fair bit of gravel.
+14 tiles.
 

Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
4,303
3,065
You missed my animated GIFs, didn't you!

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OMG THE WIND :-(

It got in my ear, blew out the remaining particles of brain, and I missed one planned tile. I did get 39 new tiles though - the most I've collected in a single ride since mid-December. I'm quite out of the habit, and want to get back into it.

Most of the day was unapologetically grey, with a strong wind from the east. Not much to take photos of, except some sakura!

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joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
3,045
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I got to channel my inner @Half-Fast Mike for a brief part of a weekend ride, but I am nowhere near as intrepid as the real explorer
You've caught the bug too! Is there no vaccine?!

I was happy that on Sunday's ride I was able to pick up the Cape Manazuru tile that I didn't make it to a month ago on my February Century ride.

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It was true serendipity as I was just riding with teammates on a planned route that was not going to take us there, but because it was much colder than most of us were dressed for we had to abandon the plan to head up to Hakone, descend to Yugawara and come back via the high road at Manazuru. I suggested a visit to Cape Manazuru via the coastal road instead, before returning via the high road as planned and that turned out to be an acceptable alternative for the group :) There are some pretty nice houses with ocean views on that hilly peninsula, like a peninsula off a peninsula.

Despite its southern location Manazuru is not the southernmost point of Kanagawa, Jogashima in Miura is (beating it by about a km). Technically anything north of Atami (which is in Shizuoka) is not considered Izu. That includes Hakone, Manazuru and Yugawara which make up the southwest corner of Kanagawa.
 

Kangaeroo

Maximum Pace
Jan 24, 2018
845
991
You've caught the bug too! Is there no vaccine?!
No, no way! I haven't got the courage! Fell into the spot accidentally because I can't read maps or use computers!

Another friend also rode to Manazuru over the weekend. Following your adventures and his trip, I want to go there, too.
 

jdd

Maximum Pace
Hardest Crash
Jul 26, 2008
2,945
1,320
Instead of the largest square, has anyone tried instead for the longest string of tiles?
 

Half-Fast Mike

Lanterne Rouge-et-vert
May 22, 2007
4,303
3,065
Instead of the largest square, has anyone tried instead for the longest string of tiles?
I don't think so – and I like thinking about pointless things.

There are two 'official' VeloViewer challenges: largest square of collected squares ('Max Square') and largest cluster of collected squares with no uncollected neighbors above, below or to the sides ('Explorer Cluster'). [VV blog entry]

How would you define a 'string' of tiles? A straight line, one tile thick, following a latitude or longitude? For me (and I may sue you regarding my eyestrain incurred in determining this) it's 92 tiles, east-west from Choshi to the gravelly bit north of Ōtōge.

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But there are other ways to conceive of a string.

A 'straight line' on the Earth's curved surface, i.e., an arc? On land, that seems to be 11,241 km, and would come to around 6,000 tiles.

If it doesn't have to be straight, but has to be a trail, then the longest possible is reported to be 22,387 km - most of that would be bike-able. (I'd probably make it longer, detouring around lions or warlords to get extra, adjacent tiles.)

But one could make a very long 'string' anywhere by riding without crossing over one's own trail - a bit like the Snake video game, which you can play on Google Maps

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