Over the last month that I have been working over here there has been about four individual days that it has not rained for some portion of the day. The soil composition in this area is typically clay based which holds up to the rain well but becomes treacherously slick. The cantilever rim brakes coupled with the 1.75 tires on my rent-a-wreck hard-tail makes riding of this stuff with an moisture on them at all downright sporty.
It rained early Saturday and had been sunny ever since so I decided to test the waters on one of the prominent mountains in the area, Akasaki. The trail has seen some maintenance earlier in the year so the tread was in good condition and the trail was well brushed. I could tell during the climb that traction could be a problem on the descent as plenty of finesse was required on the climb to keep from breaking the rear wheel loose. The views from top were exceptional.
The descent of this trail was however still pretty slick and made for a squirrely descent, particularly in the turns. Notice in the photo above there is some four fingered braking going on. If I would have known my work project was going to be extended by nearly a month, I would have brought my bike over. On the plus side this rental is completely unforgiving so it forces you to handle the bike precisely.
After way too much fun on the “easy” descent, I passed on this trail under the guise of discretion is the better part of valor. I opted to spend the rest of the ride scoping out trailheads and crossings off the back roads of the area for future exploration when the trails are drier.
This sign unfortunately does not say “Hiro-San’s Texas Style BBQ 100 meters ahead”. There are lots of wild boar in this area and I believe the signs either says beware of boars or indicates a typical boar crossing. Ummmm Bacon!
Shirahama Beach was the apex point of this ride. A snack and a little bit of chilling was in order before it was time to start a good bit of climbing on the return leg.
I have come across about half a dozen of these land crabs here in Japan. I was a good half a mile from the ocean and at least 100 feet plus in elevation. These are the basically the same kinds of crabs you see around the rocks in most stateside beaches but these guys have adapted to thrive away from the shorelines here. Mr. Crabs here was pissed.
A view of Kujyukushima from Tenkaiho Park. I have ridden on all of these peaks at one time or another with the exception of the volcano looking peak to the left, Mt Atago. It is still on the list.
This is literally the lawn mowing crew at this park. The grounds keepers stake out the goats and once they eat down their circle they move the stakes. Pretty cool.
Got Grass Will Mow! (Will through in fertilizing your lawn for free)
By the time I made my way “home” I had covered 22 miles and 3,000 feet of climbing. A yummy Nippon microbrew was definitely earned.