On my third ride out to Takao City, after visiting the top of Mikoromo tower, I decided that I'd try heading a little farther into the hills in the hopes of being able to prove whether I could ride up to the top of Mount Takao. Unfortunately, the only route up that I know about is a small service road behind the ropeway station across the street from the trick art museum, and I didn't remember exactly where that service road came out through the maze of alleys to the main street.
So, after passing the trick art museum, I rode up the main street into the hills. There's no shoulder along this stretch of 20, and at a couple of places I had to pull over to let the cars and trucks pass me. Fortunately, there's major construction going on at one point where a new train tunnel is being bored into the hills, and traffic is blocked off for 5 minutes at a time because the street is one-lane wide there. Means that for 5 minutes, I've got the road to myself, then there's five minutes worth of traffic that's built up behind me that I have to stop and let by. Then again, by this time I've been on the road for 2.5 hours and I really need the rest periods. The hill's so steep that I'm on the lowest gear on the bike.
Finally, I crest yet another hill and it looks like I've reached the far side of the ridge. I'm ready to turn around and go back home, but I cruise down the hill a bit to see where it goes. Rounding a curve, I get a full view of Fuji. This makes the ride all worthwhile.
I don't know how long it's taken to get up here, but it's at least 20 minutes. The maps indicate that I've only gone 4 miles. A nearby hiking map shows a number of trails running through the hills here. A later look at Google maps indicates that I'm maybe only 2 miles short from reaching a lake that may be a dammed part of the river, so I'll try getting out here one more time to see f I can get to the lake.
I turn around and this time I'm hitting speeds that scare me. I use the brakes a lot. In 5 minutes I'm back at the bottom and not once was there a car behind me. That was cool, and I want to see if I can go down it again without using the brakes next time.
When I finally get back home to Noborito, it's been 6 hours since I'd left, and I'm completely spent. With only 2 miles left to go, I have to stop at a convenience store to buy cold water mixed in with a little grape juice because I'm really overheating. I need to start carrying more ice with me on these kinds of rides...