Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Camping with Gaijinriders.com
I met a bunch of foreign motorcycle riders online. People from www.gaijinriders.com set up a camping trip over the last weekend. It was... fast.
I rode out Firday night with Tony, aka Fastbike. We were planning on riding up Saturday early, meeting with the people already there, and doing some riding. But the minute I got off work Friday night he called me and said, "Let's go for a long night ride."
"Fuck it, let's go."
So we rode from around midnight until 10am. It was fast and dark. I got to ride where the Tokyo drift racer kids go at night. It defineately wasn't as cool as Fast and the Furious 3: Tokyo Drift, but I got to see some action none the less. Wait, did I just use cool and Fast and the Furious 3: Tokyo Drift in the same sentence? Guess so.
We got to the camp after getting a little lost. By a little lost, I mean we fucked up. We rode some random dirt road for about 10km to get to a campground... the wrong campground. When we finally found the right camp, everyone was up and ready to ride. So I got to take a 5 minute break before riding all day.
These guys all had much larger sport bikes than me, and a bit more skill on the twisty roads I think. But I got to push myself, so it was all good. Here's some pictures from the trip. If you want to know where I was... it's somewhere west of Tokyo.
Just a minor landslide up in Nagano prefecture...
Views from Route 299, the one that I planned to ride 3 months ago but it was closed. It's late May and there was still snow on the side of the road. It was damn cold. But the air was clean and clear.
Fixing a flat... 2 minutes into our day ride.
Just in case...
The view from the camp site. The site was very remote. It had an onsen (hot springs bath) where I could get naked with some new friends. Very nice but I think some of the other riders would have preferred somewhere close to a fast, main road.
The Ride Home....
We all got up early and were set up to ride about 14 people deep back to Tokyo. One guy hit a bump at high speed and low sided his bike... Off a 50 foot high cliff... Into a ravine. He was OK, since he didnt go down the hill with the bike. But his bike was off the side of a bridge. What to do? Sure enough, the next vehicle to come by was a crane. Completely random. 3 hours and some backyard mechanic work later, the bike and rider were good to go. Good times. Check out the video!
Me and a couple others helped tie up the bike.
The crane lifted with the power of craney goodness.
Rip off this, smash this with a rock, bend this with a big stick...
Its all daijobu!
50 feet down into a ravine... and rider and bike rode off back to Tokyo... that's just awesome.
I logged just under 1000km this weekend. It was intense. No expressways the whole time, just gorgeous mountain roads. And yes... I saw plenty of monkeys on the sides of the road!