3 Big Days Riding on Kyushu, one with no GPS

Kyushu is the southern-most island of the main archipelago. My cycling routes here were mostly on narrow roads through small villages and hilly farmlands (the operative word here being “hilly”).  The first day was from Beppu, a city famous for its many hot springs, and hot sand baths, to Aso which sits in the bottom of a huge caldera, with the active Aso volcano nearby (Japan’s largest active). 

Alison and I did this hot sand bath, but unfortunately I didn’t have my camera at the time

The ride from Beppu to Aso was 70 miles, with 8000′. Wasn’t supposed to be quite that much, but for some reason my GPS decided it wasn’t going to navigate the entire route. So, I had to improvise. 

When your GPS isn’t working, a sign like this brings no comfort

Fortunately, vending machines can be in the most remote of places, so finding water is never a problem

The ASO caldera is 17 km x 25 km, or 350 sq. miles… about the size of Denver. The floor is billiard-table flat, and is ringed by a range of mountains several thousand feet high. I cycled down onto the floor from the other side, then cycled up this side to one of the five peaks that make up Mount Aso. The volcano was spewing a huge cloud. 


The second day on Kyushu my GPS started working again. This ride was 80 miles with 6500′. Two monster days considering that, while my added weight is relatively low compared to a camping bike tourer, I’m still carrying an extra 23 lbs, which includes packs, rack, contents, and all the ancillerary items like lights, GPS, etc. 

I said small roads!  I’m assuming this pine tree debris was from the typhoon. It’s really soft, so riding on this for a few miles was not a problem

These arrows went on for miles…”yea, I get it, drive on the left!”

The third day, while not huge, added 55 miles and 4000′ to make the last three days 205 miles (that, in and of itself not a huge deal), but it had 18,500′ of climbing (with an added 23 lbs). No wonder the knees ache a bit. 





~ by Robert on October 18, 2014.

4 Responses to “3 Big Days Riding on Kyushu, one with no GPS”

  1. Glad you got some better weather to ride. Tailwinds!


  2. Whoo, you crossed Kyushu like the wind ! You must have passed very close to us in Izumi…


  3. 70 miles from Beppu to Aso? Must have taken a very long route!


  4. WOW, no GPS? You’re so brave


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