Work has me in Japan for a few weeks so it was about time to get out and hit the trails. The fall weather here is pretty nice so I opted for a crack of dawn ride as my Saturday midday was already booked up. The previous day had been remarkably clear and tomorrow was supposed to be overcast so I was hoping to catch a window to see Mount Fuji at dawn on top of Ogusayama the tallest peak on the Muira Peninsula near Yokosuka. It was still pre-dawn when I rolled out of the hotel at 5AM but not by much. The ride along the city streets was really quite and almost surreal. It was pretty much just me and the cats along with couple of early risers like myself.
The street riding to the trails is mostly uphill the entire way. Before long I turned off the primary streets to smaller and smaller secondary streets as things became more rural and I started passing little family farms. I was nearly to the dirt trails when the rising sun joined me on the ride.
In 2004, I spent the better part of year living over here and I rode the Ogusuyama trail network numerous times so this place is kind of like home away from home dirt. Fall is just thinking about starting here so the colors are not happening yet but the leaves on some of the trees are starting to get a little sparse so views occur a little more often. This typically reveals just how steep some of the hillsides are that the trails cut across.
I made pretty descent time to the top of Ogusuyama, but there were some distant clouds so Fuji was in hiding. So while the planned far-view scenery was not to be had, the nearby stuff was pretty awesome as a clearing near the top of the mountain was flush with flowers.
After the stopping to smell the flowers break, I opted to continue heading west down the other side of the mountain to the Segami Bay side of the pennisula. The trail I took has a lot of fun flowing sections but it makes you work for them as thier are some really rooty sections that require all of your bike handling attention. If the roots alone were not interesting enough the soil in this area is mostly clay and with the rains a few days prior the bare clay sections had traction qualities that are best described as “I Can’t Believe Its Not Butter”. There were many times along this trail where I’m sure my facial expression would be best described as being that of a “terrified smile”.
Below is one of the sections that was just blissfully fun.
Eventually the trail came out on a tiny litte street about the size of the golf cart path that feed to a series of other streets each a little wider than the last until I came out onto the main two-lane street down by Segami Bay. I did a bit of flat-land street riding to connect up with a another street that would turn into a fireroad that would take me back up into the Ogsuyama area. Before getting back into the climbing gears, I had to grab a bit of morning coffee. The vending machines over have canned hot coffee which are simply awesome. I am big-time addict of these coffees and being able to grab a quick fix on a ride is pretty awesome. Coffee Crack in a can — Good Stuff!
After getting my coffee buzz on I was climbing back up the mountain. The grade was a bit steep in spots and it felt good to get some burn in the legs. Once back up near the top of Ogusuyama I took a different set of trails that would take me to southeast and down into the community of Kinugasa. As I rolled off the trail I was quitely in the town which was fully awake now with lots cars and people fluttering about getting their day taken care of. It was a little bit taken back by it at first due to the juxtaposition of the sleepiness of the streets a few hours ago. From there is was quite a bit of street riding back to the hotel and before long I too was fluttering about getting the rest of my day taken care. I think I am going to have to do another rising sun ride before I leave Japan.