Glorious weather almost a complete turnaround from the previous day was the hallmark of the penultimate day of the 2019 Kagoshima to Kyoto cycling tour.
Sunny skies greeted the riders as they roused from their sleep in a chilly Koyasan temple.
Riding remained cold and rugging up was the order of the day with the first 20 kilometers of the ride a rousing descent from Koyasan onto the plains of Wakayama Prefecture.
Riders maintained a steady pace following the outstanding bicycle tracks along the Kinokawa River joining Wakayama and Nara prefectures.
Riders passed through some wonderfully quaint mountain villages, rustic farming neighborhoods and winding roads, many barely traversed by other traffic.
Lunch matched the high quality of the ride, with the dishes made earning the highest regard among cyclists of probably any meals served on the tour.
The afternoon was a continuation of the river riding.
Cyclists cranked their bikes along the rivers as they gradually moved toward central Nara.
Finally, after some hiccups in an industrial area and battling train tracks, they wound their way through a delightful series of backstreets in the ancient capital before reaching their lodgings, many completing century treks on the tour’s longest ride.
Perhaps the best news of the day in some regard was the re-emergence of Brommie. The finicky fold-up had virtually no need to climb and would thus not hold up any other riders, so he was given his chance to ride again. And he took it with both wheels open.
Unfortunately, he bumped a few times too many and opened a gash in the welding on his rear rack. Not a major problem, but one that will cost several tens of thousands of yen to repair.
Arriving in Nara, all went their separate ways. Our remaining time together is now less than 24 hours, but we have formed what will hopefully be some lifelong bonds.