We awoke this morning to the pitter-patter of raindrops on our tent fly. It was early. About 4:15am, and it was just starting to get light. Time to move on, since we were free-camping in a park just next to the Eniwa Flower Road parking area.
Stomachs grumbling from only a few snacks before we hit the road, we high-tailed it along the noisy main raods to Kitahiroshima JR Station, the beginning of the Shiroishi Cycling road. This magnificent cycling road is one we have cycled before. On the Kitahiroshima City side, the road is a full car-lane width, narrowing only slightly as it enters Sapporo City.
Once on the cycling road, it was pure bliss. A short 4km uphill was rewarded with almost 20km of gentle downhill into Sapporo.
We made it home at around 8:45am, just as the rain was starting again in earnest. A quick packing up of equipment and a warm shower later, we were happy to drop onto a familiar bed and doze for a few hours. That kind of deep dozing that feels so good after wrenching oneself out of bed early for exercise. Haidee was especially deserving of the nap; she had work today from 4pm!
All in all it was a really great ride. The circuit could easily be done in just two days, and the large swathes of cycle paths along the route could make it some of the most pleasurable cycling possibly of anywhere in Japan. Lake Shikotsu is a gem, as is the short section of closed road to the west of it. I think this circuit could even be done on a longboard…
Distance: 31.7km | Time cycling: 1h 55m
Average Speed: 16.5km/h | Max speed: 35.2km/h