Single Tracking in Zushi, Japan

I arrived in Japan last Saturday for a handfull of weeks worth of work in Yokosuka.   The travel schedule to get here is a tough one as your internal clock is totally thrown out of wack.   I spent most of the week just stuggling through the day and having a tough time sleeping at night.   It took until Thursday for my “body clock” to get adjusted.   Finally getting some rest was a good thing as I was looking forward to getting onto some single track this weekend.  I shipped my 6.6 here vice putting it on the plane so I would not have lug the cumbersome box on the trains to get to Yokosuka from the Tokyo airport.  

     

 My bike had not arrived on Friday so I rented a hardtail.  One of my friends and his wife had just purchased a new home and invited me over to check it out.  I declined on having them pick me up at my hotel.  Instead I opted to have a nice cruise along the streets which I had nearly forgotten what a cultural experience you can have along the streets of a foreign country.  I had a nice time visiting and catching up on things with my friends.   Afterwards, I had a really cool late night cruise back to the hotel. 

The following morning it was time to get onto some dirt.   I had not been on the trails between Zushi and Kamakura since 2004 and I was looking forward to it.  It takes a quite a bit of riding along the streets from Yokosuka to get to the trailhead, but like last night riding along the streets is an experience all to it’s own.   I had barely started on my way when there was a bunch of of activity going on over the roses at Verny Park.

It had been a long enough since I was last here that there were spots where I was unsure if I was going the right way or not.  Every time I would start to get concerned about my route I would see something that would jog my memory.   I love riding when you are route finding or someplace new as your senses seem to elevate just a little.  While this route was more about rediscovery, it was extremely fun just getting to the trailhead.

Once I got to the trailhead, it was time to get some hike-a-bike on.  Like many of the trails in this area, there are some steepness to be dealt with.   The opening trail up onto the ridgelines was every bit as steep as I had remembered.  I did not count them but I’m guessing there are at least 100 wood log steps that got the calves burning in no time flat.

Once up onto the ridge the trails flowed and swooped gracefully through the trees.  Most times there were fairly buff in nature but there were numerous section of roots and rocks to test your skills.  I rode here many times in 2004 and this ride was like catching up with an old friend.  

I forget the Japanese name for this section of trail but I believe it loosely translates to “Roots of Death”

I like the way this signs bridges the language barrier. 🙂

Visually this is one of my favorite sections of trail out here as it passes by one of the numerous temples in the area.   Nearby Kamakura is steeped in deep history and many of the trails are centuries old.  I played on the trails here until I late in the afternoon and then enjoyed the street cruising back to Yokosuka.  I finished the evening off with a tasty plate of curry from a tiny mom-and-pop resturant that I was turned onto during my last visit here.   It was not a bad day to have a bike 🙂

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