Mission accomplished. David and me rode the first 47 km from his house to Ome station in 1:47 hr, a little bit more than the 80 minutes I have anticipated. If only I would have know what wonderful supply of pastry was awaiting as at Ome station, I would have rode 10 minutes faster.
We almost maintained our speed then going up to Okutama station. And then the rather hard part began. A short but steep climb through many tunnels to Okutama lake where the two Davids added valuable minerals to the potable water supply of the Japanese capital.
A speedy trip along the shores of the lake, then crossing over a red light in front of the assembled police force of north-west Okutama and the the really hard part going up to Yanagizawa.
Luckily we met Tom, which allowed for a first break and then we made a second break before reaching the top. The restaurant at the top is a remarkable break from the Japanese tradition: In former times, when there was a famine, the older people were taken in the woods and let alone. Most of them opened restaurants, for example on top of Wada Toge. As society wanted to get rid of them in he first place, they are normally grumpy and unfriendly people.
The Yanagizawa restaurant however was ok.
We then rode down to Ensan, over huge bridges and then into a town full of peach blossoms.
Sasago was a little bit too ambitious for us yesterday, so we stayed in line with our great tradition to have great plans and less long actual rides.
In 2001 I was riding to Ome and got back on the train. This used to be a long weekend ridefor me. I graduallt expanded to Okutama and Okutamako in the following years, but always took the train back. Ensan is probably the limit, hard to imagine to go any further.
But then again, who knows.
To be sure, I added Togebaka #7 on the left : Okutama Station to Yanagizawa Toge.