Tuesday, 8 July 2014

This years Oct bikepacking Tour !

In 2013 I decided to start cycle touring again after a break of many years, my previous long tours have been a 3000 km loop of New Zealands South Island, another 3000 km loop of Northern Thailand , and several shorter week long tours here in Japan. Touring is something I really love - why ? , well after many years of MTB racing when I was younger back in NZ, going on my first bicycle tour around the South Island in 1995 was a big adventure as I could ride at my own pace and stop anytime I liked to take a photo , chat to the locals or even have a beer !. Even today at 44 years old every time I decide to go on a multi day tour I pick some where new that I have never been to before and look forward to a new adventure, what will happen along the way, will the weather be hot or will it rain, what interesting places will I see and who will I met along the route.  Last year I had a fantastic time touring into Fukushima and back alone and learnt a lot more about myself - I can now ride a single speed fully loaded with bikepacking gear for 156km in a day , something I never thought possible.

For this Octobers tour I have decided to attend the Single Speed MTB championships which will take place in neighboring Nagano  ken in the mountain resort village of Hakuba. Its the first time the race has been held on this side of Japan so I decided to give it a go and include it in the middle of my 6 day bikepacking tour. Below is a map of the course I will take 

In total the entire tour is bit less than 500 km which allows me two leisurely days to ride along the coast camping halfway before arriving in Hakuba village were there is camping available at the race venue , 2 days staying in Hakuba before heading over a large mountain range and down into Nagano city and on past Tokomachi  to the next half way point in Tsunan camping again before the final big push back over the mountain down into Tochio and back to Niigata city. I am really looking forward to the challenge of cycling somewhere new and taking part in the Single Speed MTB champs which looks a lot of fun. Below is a youtube video taken of one of the previous events 


llewellyn said...

Sounds like a great trip , love to be doing it with you. Only downer is one section of highway 8 with all those switchbacks and tunnel/snow shelters.The race it self looks like a day with the Monty Python fan club.Keep the posts coming.

Don Speden said...

Hi llewellyn

Yes really looking forward to this Octobers tour and most of the roads will be new to me. As for tunnels / snow shelters I am not a big fan of them either but I always use my lights in those sections to be safe. The single speed champs should be a lot of fun and not so serious.

Sagheer said...