Training Report - Mt.Tokachidake (Mt.Tokachi) 16
Dr.K and K participated in this training. It was minus 16 degrees Celsius at the Mt.Tokachidake Hot Springs.
Travelled distance: 21km
The winter ended and we are now in spring. But it's still that of midwinter.
This day, it was snowing hard. But as we are already in spring, the road wasn't snowremoved as the winter. So the road was covered with fresh snow which make us difficult to ride bikes.
It's snowing strongly.
Gaining the altitude, the fresh snow on the road becomes thicker and thicker. After riding 3K at the altitude of 700m, Dr.K became unable to continue his course as the tyres are taken by snow. He had to walk pushing the bike in order to continue to climb. He renounced to climb further and made U-turn to turn back.
K who is still able to climb riding bike continues to climb alone. He can still ride with ease.
However, gaining the altitude, even for K, riding the bike becomes more and more difficult. At the altitude of 900m, there is steap part of which the gradient is 10 percent. He couldn't pass this section riding the bike that he walked pushing the bike instead.
He arrived to the bifurcation. So far, he saw only two cars after Dr.K had turned back. The road surface is now covered of fresh snow of more than 5cm.
Passing the bifurcation, as the gradient became a little milder that it's a little easier to ride. However, this not steap part ended soon. The steaper the road is, the more difficult to ride. He had to walk to pass the part where the gradient is 14 percent.
The road is now covered of fresh snow of more than 20cm. From time to time, he had to walk.
He tries to ride but...
At the altitude of 1110m, he renounced to climb further being convinced that he had to walk to climb further.
He commenced to descent. At first, he used inner gear as the fresh snow was deep.
But it's much easier to ride in comparison with the uphill. So he changed the gear to the middle.
From time to time the snow is so deep that the bike is stranded.
The snow is often deeper than the height of hubs. Therefore, the snow entred the interstices of disk brakes and the brakes become useless. However, using the deep fresh snow at the edges of the road as friction, he descends reducing the speed. Moreover, the snow under the deep fresh snow is often more stable than that on the parts where the snow isn't deep. He descends very slowly, at around 20-25km/h. It's the maximal speed at which he can control the bike in this condition.