Yabitsu 2X

Some hurried emails Friday evening ended up with a suggested 7:20AM start at/near my house.  Dominic arrived a few minutes early, Rapha clad and riding the Cervelo he bought from Knotty.  Dominic explained, as per his email, that he could not ride out with us because of duty with his daughters, but he wanted to stretch his legs early and so went for a spin.  It was good to at least have a few minutes to talk … actually more than a few, as I waited for Jerome, who missed his alarm and called to say he would be at my place in 20 minutes or so.

In any event, Jerome and I decided to go out Onekan, and the North Shore of Tsukuiko, then decide on a destination.   The weather was clear and brisk the leaves spectacular.  And this was a true „recreational ride“, without a pre-determined destination and at a reasonable pace.

The brisk weather and foliage („koyou„) made for a spectacular day … though that meant lots of people were out.

Looking South over Tsukui-ko toward Yabitsu, on the horizon.

We made the obligatory stop at Casa Pablo Escobar on the North shore of Tsukui.

The guard dog was indeed a bad dog — neither seen nor heard.
One of the henchmen did make an appearance, and he looked a bit threatening when I snapped his photo.
(I wish I could remember to suck in my gut like that for photos.) 
Miyagase-ko, getting ready for the Christmas festival.
Hillside at Miyagaseko, with blue sky and puffy, wintry clouds.
Japanese cloning technology at work — a sheep dog?  a dog-sheep?
Onto the road to Yabitsu.  Usually deserted, it was as crowded as I have ever seen it.
We took it easy, snapped photos, and still made it up to the pass in less than an hour.
The glowing Mavic jersey made me visible to drivers in the mirrors rounding corners on the narrow, twisting Rte 70. 
The red momiji were beautiful… did not think to stop for a picture until this one, not a great specimen.

During the usual quick descent on the South side, Jerome suggested we stop for food at a „donut shop“ near the convenience store above 246 that marks the „official“ start of the Yabitsu climb.  I smelled the donuts as I passed, then saw the flags, but could not see any shop.  Where was it?  Here:

There are two ladies making donuts inside the shed. 
Mostly the donuts get shipped out by truck on large trays … not consumed on site.
The flags mark the spot.

We turned around at the Daily Yamazaki and implemented our plan to climb back over Yabitsu — the first time I have done the South side climb.  It was not bad, some steep sections, and 600 meters elevation gain in 10 km.  On the way back, we swung a bit South of Tsukui-ko, and stopped for some food.  I should have passed on the donuts and eaten a real lunch earlier, but the donut „shop“ was one of those amusing interludes about living in Japan. …

The traffic was heavy, here and on every major road — this line is heading toward Atsugi.
Busted!  A non-PE approved Family Mart.

We took Rte 513, then looped back over to the North shore of Tsukuiko, then via Hashimoto, the tank road and Onekan, and we were back home by 5:30, having ridden 175+ km and climbed about 2450 meters.  Very satisfying.  Now after turkey soup, turkey leftovers, and a hot bath, I should sleep very soundly.

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