From Japan (Part 7): the real journey begins in kyoto

so i’m writing from an inn in kyoto after taking the bullet train from tokyo. we’re a day behind already on the planned ride back to tokyo thru the mountains of central japan. just me and an old roommate are gonna ride thru the nastiest passes on honshu, the main island in the japanese archipelago. i’m beginning to think that this may have been the dumbest idea i’ve ever had. the profiles for the climbs later in the trip are just vicious.

goodbye to cushy stays at the u.s. embassy residences, hello to paying thru the nose for hotels and probably sleeping on the ground without camping gear once we get to the mountains proper.

we’re debating whether to jump on the bikes tomorrow and hammer out 90 miles to gifu, just to get us out of the hole. we haven’t been riding all that much since we got to japan, so that would be pretty harsh. i guess we’ll decide tomorrow.


Reminds me of the 6 hours of climbing during our tour of south east Alaska. Yes, six hours straight of climbing and some challenges along the way, like running out of water and straining it from a glacier with a sock. The climbing was never steep, ‘cept for the last hour, but steady and 3 to 5% and it took a toll. Best part was after climbing for 6 hours, we descended at about 50 MPH for 45 minutes into Valdez and that was the end of that ride.

I ran out of water climbing stevens pass a couple years back, but I resisted filling up in the creek that ran parallel to the road.  Good thing too as I came across a dead deer decomposing in said creek a few hundred meters later.  Not sure a sock would have been enough.

Part of the reason we got so low was that we didn’t want to drink out of streams. Alaska is still def a wilderness and the resorts had closed early. We didn’t think we needed to bring pills or filters. We were right on the edge of the glacier and the sock wasn’t working so well, mostly from the silt. Luckily, we spotted an RV with a retired couple and I offered to trade them one salty nut bar for a bottle of water and they just filled us up

Hey, I just came across this entry and know that you are going to pass the Japanese Alps! (Yes, we call it “Alps” :-)  Wow, that should be an awesome ride!  Enjoy!

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From Japan (Part 6): Uichi and Eiske was the previous entry in this blog.

Slipstreamz for Commuters and Racers is the next one.

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