Another weekend, another Saturday ride … this time with a plan (achieved!) to return by the Noon hour. Aurore bakery in Oume was closed, so we took that as an omen not to go into Nariki and approach the Holy Fountain or Yamabushi Pass.
Instead, we went via Ikusa-bata (Battleground), over the forest road climb to Umenoki Pass (approx 650M elevation) and Tsuru Tsuru onsen. We took a slight detour to swing by Stephen and Ryoko Coady’s place near the bridge at Ikusa-bata. Ryoko’s familiar bright red VW was parked outside and there were signs that the house is in active use (but it was early Sunday morning and no signs of activity stirring inside, so we moved on after a few minutes rest in the shade on their porch.) Is Stephen still in Switzerland? Back in Japan? I’ve lost his cell number when my last phone died and was replaced, the data unrecoverable by normal measures.
At the top of Umenoki Pass, another in my series of photos of Jerome resting on concrete road surfaces:
My Cervelo … still with the bulbous saddle bag from last weekend’s Brevet:
The onsen is 2.8 km from the top of the climb. The lower stretch of this descent on the S. side of the ill, after passing the Onsen, was one of the most delightful roads I can remember within the Tokyo prefectural limits, a classic 2-4% grade along a river/stream with very little traffic and lots of green. It must be spectacular in April/May. The climb up the North side had nice variety, mostly shaded, some very steep stretches but none that lasted for long, almost entirely in the shade, and on a closed forest road with no traffic yet a decent road surface (for climbing, anyway). I’ve known about this for several years, but never managed to try it until now. (The entrance is not obvious from Yoshino Kaido on the N. side — you would miss it if you did not know where you are going or have a good map.
This may help for anyone who wants to try it and does not know where the entrance is: