Went out today for a ride, hoping that this time I would be lucky and wouldn’t get caught in rain, despite the mixed forecast. I was lucky indeed and missed the short rain that must have gone down on Tokyo when I was out.
I thought after all that rain and the low temperatures, the mountains would be all in snow, so decided to avoid them and do the Arakawa – Irumakawa – Tamagawa round trip, only this time the other way round. I also wanted to check out the site of the first JCRC race in Kawagoe.
All of this came to nothing. As the clouds cleared somewhat when I was heading up the Tamagawa, there was no sight of snow in the lower mountains. I decided to stick with my original plan, thinking it was clever to at least inspect the race site.
I remembered the site was somewhere along the Iruma-Kawagoe cycling path, so thought I can’t miss that. Well, I did, and when I realised I had reached the Arakawa without seeing the park in which the race was to be held, I no longer felt like cycling at least 10 km back to see it.
Instead, having come this far relatively quickly (28km/h despite constant headwind) , I thought this was a good opportunity to explore the part of the Arakawa I didn’t yet know, i.e. going up further upstream.
Indeed, there was a nice cycling path, and quite a few riders on it. There was the occasional detour because of construction on the cycling path. After exactly 100km of riding I had my first pit stop for food and drink, and let the cycling path to seek out a soba place on the outskirts of Higashimatsuyama.
Filled up, I worked myself back to the cycling path, but from there on, the cycling path was no longer continuous, and I found myself going back and forth between roads outside the river bed, roads inside and actual cycling paths. Eventually there was no more and I had to continue on the road. But this was already quite close to where the Arakawa comes out of the mountains.
I then worked myself up the Arakawa valley and side valleys (to avoid a very busy route 140) to Chichibu. From there it was the usual Ome-Chichibu line in reverse. Climbing up 299 until the tunnel was nasty, but from there on, crossing Yamabushi Toge and Ozawa Toge, cycling was fun again, except for my increasingly stiff and hurting back.
Just as it was about to get dark, I reached Ome station from where I went back home by train. 210km in total, 7h45 in the saddle (makes an average of 27km/h) and another 1.5h of breaks – a nice workout to prepare for the first race, even if I missed the site.