Friday, 16 May 2014

Adventure By Bike - part 2

As mentioned in the last post, it was already cold and wet and after a short break at the convenience store in Mikawa I turned on my lights and headed off into the pouring rain. I had ridden this section of road many years ago but had forgotten the way but soon found route 17 on which the Mikawa campsite was located and made it to the camp just after 4.30pm much to the surprise of the office staff as it was certainly not a day for a long bicycle ride. I explained that I had a tent and they said I could stay for free, I have no idea if that was the rule - bring your own tent and stay for free ! or they just took pity on a wet  & tired Kiwi . The first thing I wanted was a hot shower so one of the staff walked me across the campground to a fancy looking 2 story log house where some paid showers were located on the 1st floor. 100 yen for 2 mins so I changed a note at the main office and took the bike over to the log house. Whilst on the way to the log house I looked at my options for a dry campsite, there were none as it was now raining hard and everywhere was wet. Then I found the perfect spot under the log house , it was fine gravel which was perfect for pitching my tent and as the camp staff said I could camp anywhere I set about pitching my tent and getting all my gear out of the rain.

I was so happy to have found a dry spot in which to pitch the tent, my new tent is a Stash 1 from Serria Designs and this would be my first night testing it out - at least I would not have a wet tent to dry in the morning. This spot also provided me with a nice dry area for cooking dinner which was two packets of instant pasta followed by a couple of cans of beer.

I was rather tired and after a bit of reading and checking the map for the following day I soon feel asleep, that night it rained hard and the wind was strong as well so I was lucky to be under cover. The next morning I got up at 5am to a perfect sunny day in the mountains , took my time over breakfast which was some porridge and a coffee and packed up and headed out of the campsite at 7am. The view from the entrance to the campsite overlooking the village of Mikawa was fantastic in the morning sunlight. 

The remainder of the ride followed the steep accent on route 17 and an awesome downhill to the outskirts of Murumatsu which was all completed in fine weather. The last 30km or so over the plains into Niigata city was a nightmare because of a strong head winds, it took every last bit of energy  I had left to make it back into the city which included 2 stops for food. Nearer the outskirts of the city I was able to take a side road with a tail wind - it was a joy to be pushed along at 25 km per hour without pedaling on a flat road . I arrived back at my partners cafe just after 12.30pm totally exhausted but happy to have had a real Adventure By Bike - total distance for the 2 days was only 156km 


llewellyn said...

156 k's not bad for an old fart in bad weather and the best laid plans of mice and men, well you know what I mean. Now with another 2 gears you would have flown up that hill.

Don Speden said...

Thanks IIewellyn

Yeah not bad for an old fart in shitty weather, I thought of you as I passed the village of Mikawa , but there is no way I am adding any gears to my bike - single speed is all I need !

thescooterdewd said...

amazing pics as usual...thanks for sharing.


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