I have actually been cycling a fair bit recently, but I have gotten out of the habit of adding blog posts. I have been obsessing with my camera blog instead. Yesterday I did go for a blog worthy ride, but despite the million cameras I have, I completely forgot to take one with me. Therefore no photos of my fellow riders or need for pseudonyms.
The destination for the trip was the good old RinRin Road, which of course I have written about before. Here and here and here. I made a new map of the road because I could. You don’t really need a map until one point where the road disappears for a little while.
I even added two toilet stop and parking places 🙂
Anyway for this ride we headed to the lower stop at Fujisawa as there was a special event… Free pears from Ibaraki for cyclists. Who can resist?
Here is their website about the event, from which I stole the featured image. Hopefully you are using a web browser that will automatically translate the site from Japanese. And here is their Facebook page so you can find out about more events.
I live about 12-15km from the road depending on the entry point. There are a few teachers now living in my area so we made a village trip. Two of the attendees were children and most of us had not ridden much recently. That made for a slow ride. As you can see from the stats at the end of this blog our average speed was 12km an hour. To be honest that is not bad considering two children and two mamachari bikes with no gears.
Anyway, it took us a while to get there as it was a hot day. By the time we did arrive we were thirsty and hungry. The pears were delicious. After some of us headed to the mall for icecream, then we all headed home for a nap.
I haven’t been riding as much as I would like recently. Mainly due to weather, health and new hobbies. But despite a sore throat that later turned into tonsillitis I got in my rental car and drove to one end of the Rinrin.
Why? well look at the photos and see. The road is lined with cherry and plum trees so there are blossoms galore.
At some points it was like riding through snow and unlike Tokyo it is not so busy.
As it was a little windy going out I only went as far as the castle ruins then turned back. You can see by my speeds that the wind made it an easier return. There were a few people taking advantage of the recent, rare blue sky. I even saw a film crew shooting an advertisement..or TV Show, not sure.
I cycled the other half of the Rinrin today. Please see my previous post for maps etc.
Oh apart from this map, which is a fascinating little street with a great shrine at the top of it.
All the houses down this parallel street seem to very old and traditionally Japanese, and the shrine is very moonish.
There was also this cool tower with fire hoses strapped all around it….cause the house are so old and delicate.
This area is on the bus route to Mount Tsukuba and I saw this cool bus with a cycle rack. I have never seen that before, how do you go about using one of those?
And back on the Rinrin. This way heads towards Tsuchiura. I actually like this section the most, there seems to be more quaint areas.
And of course the abandoned stations
And a ninja castle. Well the ruins of Oda castle, which was attacked in 16th century and was never rebuilt. You can read a little about the Oda Clan here.
There are also lotus field and when I went a few had gorgeous flowers.
That’s about it for the Rinrin and here is the end or start depending on where you start or end.
I had a bit of cycle around Tsuchiura, but not much as I had to get home which was a tiny trek. Plus there is a great cycle route around this area which I will write about on another day.
I was so happy today that I even wore my SKY shirt, which made me very speedy. I even got lots of nods and waves from other cyclist. I am beginning to look the part!
Today I cycled to one end of the Rin-Rin in Tsukuba then cycled half the route. I will cycle the rest on another day as this trip was 75km for me. The whole Rin-Rin is about 42km.
I have cycled it before a couple of times so I was not too bothered by not finishing it today.
Here is a map of the start of the Rin Rin from Iwase.
And here is a link to a map of the whole RinRin route.
My cycle to the starting point took me 40km, I used my gps to avoid going uphill. It was a perfect day for a ride. A porridge day, not too hot, not too cold.
The vegetables were out and so was I.
The butterflies were out too.
I had planned on going to Mcdonalds for breakfast, but when I arrived at the RinRin I was so happy that I just kept cycling. I didn’t go out last weekend and felt a bit hard done by, what with my nice clean bike and all. Then I realised how lucky I am, not going out one weekend and I feel sad. It means I go out a lot and have loads of places to go.
This is the map at the start of the route, the real route. Just to prove I was actually there. The rinrin is an old railway route that was turned into a cycle path. It is also lined with cherry trees so is stunning to ride along in the spring. It is a great route at any time of the year though. With rest stations (bathrooms) along the route, a 7/11, cafes and places to hire bicycles, plus it is flat…what more could you want?
There are abandoned stations along the way which are perfect for a rest or a picnic. And handy mile markers so you know how far you have come or gone.
Of course there are great views of Mount Tsukuba all the way along the route.
This is one of the places where you can hire bicycles. There is a shop around the corner where you can get a key to a lock. This place also has car parks and is on the bus route if you don’t want to cycle there.
This time I got to mile/km marker 19ish and stopped for a coffee at the place I usually stop. At that point I checked my map and if I finished it and went home it would be a 90+km day and I wasn’t up for that. So I decided to quit and go back another day from that point to finish it and then cycle home.
Each time I go on this route I stop at
Which you can find here:
I recommend this place for a number of reasons…
- It has a car park and they don’t mind you leaving your car while you cycle
- The coffee is great and only 300yen with a biscuit
- The lady who works there speaks English and is very friendly.
- She remembered me from a year ago and could chat to me about my summer holiday, bit spooky but nice
- I think they have bikes to rent and equipment to fix bikes
- There is a clean toilet
- You can get food at certain times of the day, but just ask the kind lady
- It has the best cherry trees nearby
- And best of all it is almost half way between the two ends if you don’t want to cycle up and down the whole thing twice.
I enjoyed today, when I first cycled this route I could not make 25km, so I am pleased with today’s efforts.