Yesterday with a day off , I departed Niigata city at 6.15am and rode the 1.5 hours out to Shibata Castle where the start of this years castle to castle brevet will be held. After a few photos of the castle I them headed up the popular Shibata cycle road which used to be the old railway line to Akadani. It was around that time when the wind started to come up forcing my nice riding pace of 20 km per hour down to 16km or so, but upon enter the upper section of the cycle road the wind had died down again which was nice. I also managed to get out the new link road in the village near the Araya river which riders should enjoy, I manged to ride it with a gearing of 33 - 16T fully loaded which was challenging but fun and I did not meet any cars which was nice. These small back roads that link villages are only really used by the locals that live nearby and not many others venture onto them. After joining back with the main road I headed down the hill to the Agano river and took a right at Mikawa. Below are a few photos from the morning part of my ride.
After a break at a roadside rest area I them headed across the Agano river and up in the mountains once again, the sky look dark and I thought it might have rained , but rain was not to be a problem on this ride. After a bit of walking I reached the summit for the ride down into Murumatsu , it was cold and windy on the top of the mountain but my long sleeve merino cycle jersey keep me warm. Upon getting down off the mountain into the valley the weather had become warmer but the wind was terrible. I was slowed down by a fierce head wind that cut my regular cycling pace in half which meant I arrived in Murumatsu much later than I expected. My energy was pretty low and as Murumastu has no train station I decided to go to the nearest train station and make use of my rinko bag. After a brief stop at 7/11 to refuel I discovered the nearest train station was in Gosen so I continued to battle the headwind into Gosen and managed to catch a train at 3.37 pm bound for Niigata. I was exhausted and there was no way I could have made it back to Niigata . I ended up going to bed at 7.30pm and slept for 11 hours - I hope next time I am blessed with a tail wind instead. Total distance for the day was around 100km .