As scheduled on Sunday morning 8 October, I will lead a cycling tour northeast to the Koise River cycling path and back past the fruit stands in the Chiyoda area. The total distance will be approximately 52 km. We will ride mainly on small rural roads, but there will be some short stretches on roads with traffic. There will be some small hills but most of the route is pretty flat. There might be some short unpaved sections. I usually see some wildlife, like weasels and peregrine falcons, along this route. We’ll ride at whatever pace is comfortable for the slowest participant and won’t leave anyone behind.
Meet at the Tsukuba Center bus station at 9:00 am for a 9:10 departure. If persistent or moderate to heavy rain seems very likely, the tour will be postponed by email sent Saturday evening, 7 October. Be sure that your bicycle is in good working order and your tires have appropriate air pressure. Because brains are soft and helmets are hard, helmets are strongly recommended. There will be one or two convenience store break along the way, but bring at least water. We should be back by early afternoon.
Masks are optional while riding, but bring one at least for convenience store stops. To sign up, email to email@example.com with your name and keitai number.
TWMC charges a 300 yen fee from adult participants (children are free) for day trips, which I will collect. Cycling entails some risk of accidents and injuries for which TWMC and I bear no responsibility.
As predicted, the weather on Sunday 8 October was perfect for cycling. Byron and Peter drove up from Tokyo to join us and Richard was visiting from Singapore. We met Matt and François at Tsukuba Station to bring the group to 6 riders for our departure shortly after 9 am. We set out on mainly small farm roads to the northeast and enjoyed seeing late season rice harvests underway. About a third of the way along I noticed a fruit stand flag and we left the planned route to ride about 200 m to a large fruit stand, チヨダ園芸 (https://orchard-531.business.site/), with a large parking lot. Many guests were picking fruit with an all you can eat offer paid for by the hour. We were welcomed with free nashi (slightly bruised), chesnuts, and yakiimo. Some of us bought some nashi and persimmons to bring home. This was the best local fruit stand I have found in our area. From there, we descended to the Koisegawa and made our way to the cycling path on the far bank. We then began our return to Tsukuba with a short, steep climb (12% grade). At about the 2/3 mark, we had a convenience store break for refreshments. There were no flat tires, but a couple of our chains jumped off the gears, which was easily repaired. All of us enjoyed the roughly 53 km course, which we finished in early afternoon. Our average moving speed was 15.5 km/h. I can share a gpx file of the tour if any of the participants want to receive it by email.