Up Mount Tsukuba – almost
Ok, this was my first attempt on my giant bike to get up Mount Tsukuba or rather, up the back of it. A friend told me about a quieter route that goes around the back that many cyclists use. The main route can be chocker-block with cars with people going for hikes and being all touristy.
Again I used two apps, Runtastic and Strava, with my heart rate monitor.
I compared the two apps and in this case I really like Strava. I like the comparisons over segments. If other riders have done the same route it shows how you did compared to them. I didn’t do well, but I don’t mind. This was my first attempt over this route and I can only get better.
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It was interesting, but a bit too competitive for me. I just want to get fitter and up the hill, not race. But it did let me know that I need better cadence, not power. Plus when other riders were zooming past me it made me remember not to worry and I will get better.
So on with the route. As I made the route on Google maps, it did put a few rough patches in. I felt like I was on the Paris-Roubaix, which is on TV right now.
There were no convenience stores along the route, but there was this handy local produce shop. I suggest stopping here and getting some food and drinks.
Then eat it at this lovely park, especially if you do it during cherry blossom season. Soon after you will see other cyclists as you will start to go past carparks full of other people on this part of the route. You could skip the first bit and just go up and down from here. I wanted to do a circuit though.
Then it starts to go up. Last time I was around here I basically walked the whole way up to the torii gate or the point where you can catch a ride on a cable car. This time I rode/walked the road that takes you to the top car park. I would guess I rode 30-40% which is a huge improvement. I knew it was extremely ambition to think I could cycle all the way to the top or even part of the way, but you have to start somewhere.
There were many other cyclists on the route going both directions. Many people passed me and it was inspiring to see them. The views were great.
When see this bridge you still have a little way up to go, but the road starts to get much busier as it joins back with the main car route. There are cars on this route, but they are slower. After this point there are many boy racers trying out their cars, it was a little scary. I don’t think I have seen as many Lotus cars in one day. I saw some children on the route, one had a car following it with hazards on, which was a wise move.
When you are very close to the end of the ascent you will see this shrine.
There is still a little more to ascend from this point, but then the pay off…the descent.
There are a few measures in place to slow people down though I think these might cause issues on rainy days. It doesn’t matter how hard an ascent is, coming down the other side is awesome and worth it all. I can’t wait to get fitter and be able to get all the way up to really earn this pleasure.
The route I made didn’t make use of the RinRin, but I decided to take it as it was right there.
I also decided to skip another off road section, but was greeted with a better route that took me down a street with many traditional houses. By this time my phone was dying, even with an extra battery, that seemed to affect the camera functions.
And that was my day. This weekend I cycled 100km, spring has sprung and so have I.