An important milestone was reached last week – 100 days to go before the start of the Haute Route Alps.

At this stage the preparation changes from purely doing the kilometers on the bike to getting some climbing into the training regime.

Recently I have been traveling again with work with business trips to Japan, Korea, Australia and France and my bike travelled with me yet again.   In these trips I looked for routes to provide good climbing experience.

Mt Fuji.

Two days of climbing around Mt Fuji.  I caught the train out from Shinjuki station in the west of Tokyo (not far from Rapha Tokyo), that each day handles over 2 million passengers out to the local town of Sagamiko about 45mins by train west of Tokyo. Bicycles are allowed on the trains in Japan but must be carried in a bike bag and so it is possible to purchase lightweight roll up bags that can then be packed small enough to attach to your frame or stick in the jersey back pocket.

So before heading out from the station I grabbed a bike bag from a local sport shop and packed my bike by removing the wheels, strapping them to the frame and attaching the carry straps.

Day 1 – Sagamiko – Lake Yamanakako – Takao – 137km, 1934m

This route started with a long and steady climb of 45km from 200m elevation up to 1,110m along the Doshi valley to Lake Yamanakako at the foot of Mt Fuji.  The top of Fuji was covered in cloud and with it being already late in the day I decided to just ride along the lake to the beginning of the climb and then follow the main route back past Sagamiko to Takao to catch the train back to Tokyo.  Whilst the valley road in via Doshi was fabulous the route back along the main road was fairly uninspiring so gave me ideas for the next day’s ride.

Day 2 – Shimoyoshida – Mt Fuji Suburu 5th Line Station – Doshi – Sagamiko. 122km, 2214m

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Having recc’ed the route the day before I decided to travel a little further on the train from Tokyo to Shimoyoshida to start a little closer to the foot of Mt Fuji climb.

As soon as I left the station the road kicked up through the town of Fujiyoshida to the toll booth at the beginning of Fuji Suburu 5th Line station road.  The climb is 23.7km, averaging 6% at times ramping to 12% up to 2300m elevation where the road finishes at the ski station/resort.  The road itself is quite wide and fairly uninspiring until you get to view point at 2000m where the expanse of the area opens up.   After reaching the top station, there was time enough to grab a few pictures (with Tori a local rider who I rode up with) and then turn around and head down as the cold wind starting bitting.

I then turned along the valley to Lake Yamanakako and retraced the route in from yesterdays ride along the Doshi valley descending to Sagamiko, a fabulous route back.


North Sydney Bushlands. 3 Gorges & Wisemans Ferry 177Km, 2930m

Having spent some time in the area in January I had a good idea of where I wanted to head out to get some climbing experience in.  Combining two popular routes of the Three Gorges and Wisemans Ferry Loop, I headed north.

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The temperature was a much more reasonable 24 degrees Celcius  rather than 40degs the last time I was in Sydney in January.  Apart from the 5km on the pacific highway this was a great route through varied terrain around the  bushlands north of Sydney, including a bit of gravel section and 19% climbing out from Wisemans ferry.

Nice, France , Loop via Menton to Col de Turini. 123km, 3466m 

IMG_3514After a brief few days back in the UK after my trip to Asia and Australia, (which included a spin around London with former world champion and Tour De France winner, Cadel Evans),  I was scheduled to speak at a conference in Nice, so again the bike came along so the training could continue.

Thanks to a recommendation from Matt, I picked a route out via Menton to the Col de Turini, at 1600m. The great thing about this ride being that that climb takes place from sea level and then the ride back to the coast is spectacular.

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and to prove I am actually working as well on these trips…..

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