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Old 09-05-17, 08:52 PM
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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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On Monday I did my century ride (171 km with 1600 m of elevation gain) for CAM month #61.

I cycled to Nanayono-taki, a set of waterfalls in the mountains, about 60 km from here, then over Nokogiri, a mountain pass on a forest road. The latter was supposed to be closed to traffic due to logging work, but I managed to slip through.

The waterfall was at the end of a remote mountain valley. Not many cyclists go there because the road is a dead end, you go out and have to come back and a lot of cyclists prefer loop courses. Also, part of the route was on gravel, which road cyclists on skinny tires tend to be afraid of.

The waterfall was a ten minute hike from the end of the road. It was a bit of a challenge in my SPD cleat shoes.

The last couple of km of road were fairly steep, 10% and more.

The descent back gave me a chance to properly bed it my recently swapped resin brake pads and rotors. Now they're silent and grippy, just like the front brake. I love the Shimano hydraulic brakes.

For the logging operation near Nokogiri pass they run steel cables across the valley from one tree to another to lift felled trees off the slopes. The end points are secured to tree stumps with multiple cables.

It was my first climb of Nokogiri. I had heard the road was in bad condition and you should only climb it from the Okutama side to the Hinohara side (north to south). Indeed the north side I descended on was rougher than the fairly well maintained south side, with exposed gravel in some places and debris in others, but it was far from the worst road I had recently cycled on. On my wide Compass tires it really wasn't an issue.

I want to explore more of these dead-end mountain valleys, with their temples and shrines, water falls and limestone caves, plus the odd gravel road. The Elephant NFE is more than enough bike for it
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