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Yamanakoko Loop via 二十曲峠


The Crank Engine
Nov 1, 2005
Here's a brief report on our tour last Saturday, just for the records. What had originally been planned as "Matsuhime Loop II" turned into a Yamanakako Loop with a slight twist. Meeting up was as seamless as usual: Philip and I met at 06:20AM in Kamiuma, Deej joined in at 06:30AM along R246 and Christoph filled the ranks of the dudes' team at 07:00 at Eda Station.

We proceeded along R246 and R16 and turned into R413 in Hashimoto. What followed was the usual R517/R35 run in the usual "German tank engine" formation, Christoph ahead with the other dudes in tow. Deej, whose knee seems to be much better, had to leave us along R35 and headed back via Uenohara and Wada-toge. We continued to R139 and had a little break at - guess what? - the local 7-Eleven. There were large numbers of bicycle tourers on the roads that day, and the combini was literally besieged by lycra crowds.

Heading towards Fujiyoshida along R139 we explored a new route: R713/R717 towards Yamanaka Lake. It turned out to be difficult finding that tiny 713, but thanks to Philip's masterful sense of orientation we were soon back on track (without GPS, mind you!). :)

Sorry, my lense had completely fogged up!

R717 is a picturesque road winding around Oshino, very narrow, in good condition apart for a few hundred metres of gravel and practically no traffic. The peak is called 二十曲峠 (ni-ju magari toge, the "Twenty-Curves Hill", if I'm not mistaken). Descending from Ni-ju magari toge we got a bit lost taking R138 into the wrong direction. We turned around heading back to Oshino and ... lost Philip who didn't spot our right turn. After a lot of drama we were reunited at the eastern shores of Yamanakako. Philip had taken the R729 along the northern parts of the lake, while Christoph and I followed R138.

We recharged at the 7-Eleven there and embarked on our ride back to Hashimoto. It had started to rain, so we couldn't enjoy the "Doshi Ride of Hell" along R413 in the usual fast manner. The last leg of that day, "The Weaving" through R16 and R246 was spectacular! I think it was the fastest we have ever done that route, meandering through endless columns of standing or slow-moving cars. Passing the tunnel along R16 reminded me of Kubrick's famous scene from 2001 Space Odyssey. :D

Philip, Christoph, Deej: thanks for that exciting ride!

My stats for the day:

Dst 272,27
Av 27,9
Mx 71,3
Tm 9:43'43
Great Report . . .

Thanks Thomas for the report. It was a great days riding.

The "twenty curves" road is amazing. The R713 disintegrates into a gravel road which we continued along out of bloody mindedness to be rewarded with a superbly maintained tarmac road just a few kilometers later. The tarmac road starts abrubtly in the middle of nowhere and then climbs up to Niju Magari Toge at 1152 meters.

This toge is covered in the Cyber Cyclist's Pass Guide. His view from Niju Magari Toge was a lot clearer than ours:



Fun day

Thanks for the report, Thomas. Over 270km on the day -- that's some serious distance. I ended up with only 140km.

As usual, I enjoyed myself immensely and was disappointed that I had to turn back early. That climb -- Niju Magari Toge -- sounds well worth exploring. As you noted, Thomas, my knee was better than it was last week (probably thanks to lots of stretching and no intervals at the gym), but it was still only at about 70%, and I could feel my right leg working harder to compensate for the weaker left. Time and knee restrictions kept me from tackling Wada on the ride back, so I opted for the easier Odarumi.

I really enjoyed the hilly and scenic course that was route 517 -- I'll definitely do that again soon. And man, Cristoph set a fast pace on that! As much as I tried, I couldn't catch him, mainly because his descending skills are so much better than mine. I tried to follow his line, but he took the turns so much cleaner and with less braking. It was a good learning experience.

Nice report and pics guys, thanks.

Deej > Glad the knee is getting better...be careful and don't overdo it.

Deej > Glad the knee is getting better...be careful and don't overdo it.

Thanks, Phil. I'm trying to resist the temptation to ride more, but it's so hard! I'd die if I lost fitness to the point where someone like, say, Travis beat me on a climb. :p

But I think a couple weeks of 我慢 is better than risking permanent injury. Thankfully, my son has a sports festival on Saturday, so I have an excuse not to ride. And a rainy Sunday would help, too.

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