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Old 05-05-17, 08:32 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Tokyo, Japan
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Bikes: Elephant Bikes National Forest Explorer, Bike Friday Pocket Rocket

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Month #57 of "A Century A Month" complete!

About once a year I do a ride known as the "Ome Temple Loop", as it starts from Ome to the west of Tokyo and passes numerous temples in the mountains of Saitama prefecture. It's pretty hilly: I accumulated 2,700 m (9,000 ft) of climbing over 190 km (118 mi). There is one climb that goes uphill for about 8 km (5 mi) and gradually gets steeper and steeper, peaking at over 20% just before you get to the top.

This year I actually did this loop twice, once on the last Saturday in April (my third April century) and this week on Thursday for my May century. Each time I was joined by someone who had not done the course before, but we all survived

On both days I got up at 05:00, left home at 06:15 and arrived in Ome, 47 km from home around 08:50. Both my friends arrived by train. We stocked up on food and water and headed into the hills. The area is very rural. We cycled through many rural valleys. We stopped in front of one house and got talking to its owner, a sculptor and retired art professor from Kyoto university.

For my May loop the weather was warmer and sunnier than last weekend. On Saturday it had actually started raining and even hailing, but on Thursday it remained warm and dry throughout the day.

The main temple we visited has an unusual collection of footwear, including oversize straw sandals, huge geta (wooden clogs) and a 2 m long high heeled shoe.

After numerous climbs and descents and not many cars on most of these roads we got back to Ome a little before 18:00. From there I cycled home to Tokyo alone for another three hours.

Last edited by joewein; 05-05-17 at 08:36 AM.
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