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.