After the success of our Arakawa River Ride, both Jason and I were chomping at the bit to get out and cycle-camp some more. Jason was keen to hit up the Arakawa again, whereas I wanted to try something new: the Tama river.
The Tama river has been a steady and recurrent part of my life for as long as I’ve been here. I’ve been playing ultimate frisbee alongside its banks at Futako-Tamagawa for over 5 years, I once walked its length from my old apartment out in Minami-Osawa 20km into the city, I BBQ-ed by its side with all my old GEOS students in Fuchu for my leaving party back in 2004, nearly got swept away while crossing it in the rapids when heading to Canadian Mike’s birthday party last year, first flew my Power Kite on its wide-open flood-plain at Keio-Tamagawa, I’ve gone on dates with girls walking alongside it, I’ve partied, camped, and watched generator-powered movies beside it, and it was always there for me like a steadfast and loyal friend.
Riding it to its source in the mountains has seemed like a grand idea ever since I got a bike.
We set off early on Saturday and blitzkrieged our way through Shibuya, down to Futako-Tamagawa, and onto the river. From there we grinded about 40km, left the river, and headed for Mitake mountain.
At Mitake we decided to climb up to the cable car. At the cable car we decided to get in, with our bikes, and ride to the top. At the top we decided to portage our bikes to another mountaintop 2km away- Hinode, the mountain of the leaving of the sun, or Sunset Mountain.
It was grueling. I was exhausted. We had little water and only the food we’d brought with us, but we had the mountain top to ourselves. We watched the ethereal mist roll in to cocoon us in a fuzzy white shell of moon-light and fog, and we didn’t have to share it with anyone.
The next day we rolled down, separated at Fuchu so I could ride Koshu-Kaido Street, which also has meaning for me, and arrived home in the afternoon after a total of 9 hours in the saddle and 158km covered.
Here’s the video:
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