After a few months off, I managed to get a full day on the bike today. Actually this was a trip with a difference – I decided that instead of having a rough idea of what and where I’d be going, I set a destination plan and with an estimated return time. Dangerous stuff once I get out on the road. For this trip I set the tone as: Bike Tour Shimoda, with a return time of before dinner. A fairly ambitious schedule. That said, I didn’t want to rush.
As it happens, and not wanting to spoil the surprise, I hit both of the above, clocking up 304Km and doing some great roads in good time.
First I went up to the Toyo Tires Turnpike and had a drink. It’s always good to stop up there and see all the bike and car groups meeting up and looking at all the vehicles; it’s all very friendly, and the Dammtrax cafe is certainly geared to this audience – you can even buy a new helmet up there if you need it.
From there I did a bit on Route 20, before doing the length of the Izu Skyline, which was great, and the first time I’d done it top to toe. Not that I actually needed to, having hit the bottom I turned around and head up an exit to connect to route 59, which I was planning to take over to the 414 main road down to Shimoda. It’s a nice ride, except that half way along a local informed me the road was still shut for maintenance due to last month’s earthquakes, and indeed it was. I did manage to find a smaller access road though which took me a bit out of my way but turned out to be an excellent ride, albeit on very narrow, leaf and branch strewn roads. Great fun.
It’s the first time I’d been down the 414, and before turning off to the 14 to hit the coastline, I got to do a weird and yet oddly fun double circle part of the road in the middle of a rural valley. It seemed to be there for sheer engineering prowess, but was a bit of a amusement park reject.
I stopped down by the beach – literally a couple of metres from the sand and had a sit down, before heading back up the coast, doing many of the small toll roads and just thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful weather.
Long story short:I put the route on Google Maps here.