Monday, 20 October 2014

Oct 5 day tour - part 2

Because of the lightening and rain throughout the night I did not get a lot of sleep and woke up well before my alarm went off so decided to pack up my tent before it decided to rain again. Not long after me Wataru had also packed up then we rode down to the main road to the nearest convenience store which happened to be a Lawson with an indoor seating area , perfect for breakfast and a hot coffee before venturing out into the rain for another long day.

After breakfast we parted ways as Wataru headed back to Niigata city while I pressed on towards Hakuba in Nagano the halfway destination and were the single speed MTB champs were being held. I batted cold wind and rain from 6am till 11am which was not a lot of fun then getting towards Itiogawa  the rain stopped but the wind became worse, luckily for me I managed to find a nice 35km long bicycle path next to the main narrow coast road which helped a lot as otherwise I would have had to ride a rather dangerous section of road.

I stopped in Itiogawa grabbed some more water and snickers bars ( one of my favorite things to eat whilst cycling ) and pressed on up the narrow valley and river gorge to Hakuba in Nagano. I knew this road had a few tunnels, but did not realize how long they were or how crazy the bus and truck drivers were along this section of road. I am a big fan of the lord of the rings movies and really felt like a troll trapped deep within the mountain for over 3 hours, some tunnels were about 6km long , it was very scary and I lost count of the near misses with trucks & buses travelling at 100km per hour inside the tunnels. when I finally got out of the last of the tunnels and arrived at Hakuba 7/11, I almost cried with relief at having survived such a terrible section of road . 

After buying a couple of cans of beer I headed up to Iwatake Ski field were the single speed MTB champs were to be held and was happy to find out I had free indoor accommodation for the Friday & Sat night as I had registered as a volunteer to help out with course marking on Sat . That night all the staff jumped into a couple of vans and headed downtown to a 7/11 to buy food and drinks for dinner, everybody was rather surprised that I had cycled all the way from Niigata to attend the event as nobody had ever done that before.  

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