Monthly Archives: March 2015

Yatabe Circuit – Ushiku Swamp

Yesterday I had my original bike spring serviced. The gears were not shifting properly and I thought I needed a new cable and rear derailleur. I thought about doing it myself, but after watching some videos on youtube I realised I didn’t have the right tools or patience. So off to my local bike guy I trotted and I watched for 2 hours as he cleaned, oiled, and adjusted stuff. I learned a lot.

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He put on a new front tyre, an e-tyre he said because it had no wire apparently. New hand grips, with a special design to stop my hands aching…apparently my old grip showed signs of “grippage”. He didn’t replace the cables, but took them off and oiled them and the housings. He took off the back wheel and the cassette and oiled all of that too.

It felt like a new bike and is now my favourite again over the giant bike, for a while anyway. I decided to try it out on a bumpy path, not suitable for a road bike. I chose to go around one of the inlets to Ushiku Swamp.

For my actual course you can follow this link. I created the course by using Google Maps to give directions and used the directions on this blog to export the data to a GPX file for my gps machine. I also used the gpx file I generated to test out uploading it to mapmyride.

Though it is a short ride, only 14km, I actually cycled 10km to get there. So for me it was a 40km ride. One day I might try cycling round the whole of the swamp, but for now I went to the last bridge from where I began.

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On the way there I passed this weird street that was “bricked” for no reason at all. It didn’t see like a special place, it was lovely though.

I started the circuit at Yatabe Baseball Ground, for the reason that it had a car park and toilet block. So it seemed as good a point as any.

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The road starts off ok, but quickly changes to a rough path. I had seen on google maps that this was the case, hence the cross bike.

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By the time I returned to a real road from this track I had forgotten how bumpy the initial road was it was to start with and was loving the flatness and the hills. With the gears all fixed, going up the few hills felt like a breeze and it made me want to try Mount Tsukuba again…before I wreck the gears again. The track itself was ok, but I did keep my teeth together to avoid a bitten tongue.

There were quite a few fishermen along the side of Yadagawa River, proper fishermen..not the electronic, watch tv and wait for a beep kind.

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Parts of this route are quite quaint. It would be a great outing for a blue sky/picnic day.

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There are many kinds of birds to be seen along the route swans, coots, geese, ducks. Some of the route is quite urban and feels a bit derelict.

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On the whole I had a lovely day despite the fact I wasn’t sure if it was raining or just loads of were bugs hitting my face. When I got home I realised it was indeed bugs and had a bath to remove them. No smiling on this route please.

Here is a link to a map of the circuit: Link

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