Tour de Western Japan Presentation

Earlier this week, I did my first presentation of my 3000km cycling trip from earlier this year.

I prepared about 90 slides and presented to the Half Fast Cyling club on Wednesday and the Pink Cow near Shibuya.

Even though the entire presentation was in English, as it approached I got really nervous (and consequently had a beer right before the presentation) but it went really well. About 30 minutes of presentation from me and then about 30 minutes of presentation.

Day 5 : Koichi -> Shimanto River

Original Date : May 2nd, 2007
Distance Travelled : 140km

Starting at the camp site near Koichi City, I was forced to double back a few kilometers before heading south. The main goal of the day was to ride over the mountains and into the Shimanto River valley.

Throughout the first half of the day, there was the threat of rain, though it never actually did. The climb over the mountains and into the Shimanto River valley was quite a bit harder than I was expecting and took most of the day to cover.

On of the key points along the route was the rice-paddy terraces that were near the peak of the mountain. There are referred to as sen-mai-da which means “thousand sheet field”

However, along the way there was another unnamed patty terrace that looked equally beautiful.

After a long, long descent of about 50km. I reached the campsite along the Shimanto River which was close to a pretty little town tucked into the junction of two rivers. From there I enjoyed a lovely sunset.

Day 4 : Kannoura -> Muroto Cape -> Koichi

Original Date : May 1st, 2007
Distance : 147km

When I woke up in the morning the weather was, as the weather forecast had correctly predicted, quite rainy. I decided that I would try and wait it out so I started to pack up the tent and reorganize my bag. At about 8:30 the 88-temple walker left with full rain gear. As I didn’t have raingear I was a bit worried about heading out because of the temperature. Additionally, I didn’t know how waterproof the bicycle bags were. At about 10AM I decided to just give it a shot. It wasn’t too bad at first, but about a third of the way through the rain just got stronger and stronger, I could feel the rain pelting against my back in thuds. Luckily there were almost no cars on the road.

As I approached the southernmost point of Muroto Cape the rain started to let up. After a rest, I started to continue towards Koichi. Along the way the sun finally came out and everything dried up pretty quickly.

Since I started so late, getting to Koichi Castle before it closed was quite a challenge, I had to try pretty hard most of the day to get there in time. I only took one small break in front of a historic clock along the way.

Along the way I saw a nice little shrine that was tucked into the shoreline
Continue reading Day 4 : Kannoura -> Muroto Cape -> Koichi

Day 3 : Anan – Todoroki Falls – Toyo

Travel Day : April 30th, 2007
Distance Travelled : 140km

Waking up in the morning, I knew that I had a lot of climbing ahead of me. The peak of the road would be over 1000m over sea level which is quite a feat with a heavy bicycle. However I had expected that it would be a gradually slow up since it was next to a river, but it turned out to be a two-steps-up-one-step-down kind of experience and it was throughally exhausting.

Before I left, though, I watched the sun rise. It was very beautiful.

The scenery was really nice the entire way. I really like the narrow valley with a river at the bottom. The colour of the water was beautiful as well.

I passed over the top a little after noon.

The main checkpoint for the day was Todoroki Falls and visiting these falls was the reason for travellng through the mountains. I probably could have travelled the shoreline route from Anan to Toyo in just a couple of hours instead of the full exhausting day over the mountains.

When I eventually arrived at the camp site I found out that it was over 1000yen and additionally it looked like it was about to rain so I though that somewhere that provided some shelter would be better. Luckily, just down the shore from the camp site, there was a tsunami shelter (in the case of a tsunami, you go up top) so I camped underneath it. There was another guy there who was doing the 88-temple walk on foot for aobut the same length of time as my bicycle tour.

Day 2 : Kotohira to Tokushima

Original Date : 4/29

I didn’t get a very good nights sleep because it was really cold. As I got up in the moring I was really, really cold. I had a lot of trouble putting the tent together because my hands were shaking. After leaving there was a sign on the road indicating that the current temperature was 2C and all I had were a few shirts and a pair of shorts. I got under way as soon as possible. Just down the road there was one of the longest tunnels that I have ever ridden through at over 3000m. There were no other cars in it as I passed through.

The first stop of the day was Udatsuno old town where lots of old buildings still remained from the Meiji era. I always love just walking through these old towns. Additionally there was a special low height bridge.

Continue reading Day 2 : Kotohira to Tokushima