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MTB Course at Makuhari Messe

Average Rating:    (2 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 1

I'm happy that there has been at least some effort to provide mountain bike courses in Japan. In this general area there are two of them--the groomed MTB Course at Makuhari Messe and another which is more like a well-maintained backroad along the Hanami-gawa (Hanami-river) due north at the end of the Hanami-gawa Cycling Course (which is paved for road cyclists). But these two courses are pathetically short. The "off-road" course along the Hanami-gawa is only 3.5 kilometers long--and that last 0.5 isn't really part of the official course. Even people on mamachari (literally "Mama bikes") get to the end of it and say "This is all there is?" but this is nothing to complain about compared to the area's premier "Mountain Bike Course at Makuhari Messe" which is 1 kilometer long--no that's not a typo, and yes that is a 1 (one). They have the "ABC Race" there a few times a year, which is good for small children and beginners to practice on, but too short to bother with for most of us. It is however a groomed trail with just about every standard sort of terrain obstacle in terms of shape that you are likely to see, minus obstructions--which is, again, great for beginners to get their skills together on and for small children it is a good place for them to go mountain biking while their parents watch from the side. As far as the ABC Race goes, I've thought of entering it because it's local. They have a one-hour Endurance Race where the riders just go around that one kilometer course for a full hour and see who can finish the most laps. Every race is won by some guy I think is from Spain--I might have met him--the only foreigner in the race (consistant at 20 laps, one more lap than everyone else), and it's very tempting to go out there cancel his podium reservation. I just can't see myself not falling asleep in the saddle as I ride around a one kilometer course over and over again for an hour. The competitors range from people on Wal-Mart bikes to people who spent a good $5000 on their first mountain bike and it's a triple-suspension, heavy downhiller which has no purpose in the Kanto Plain area. Many come decked out in anything from professional racing wear right down to their socks, glasses, and helmets--all color-coordinated and matching their bikes of course--to blue jeans and a t-shirt. It's a very gala, picnic atmosphere. In any case, the course is mostly single-track, hardpack sand, very hilly though with no hills of significance. It's kind of like riding Big Thunder Mountain at Tokyo Disneyland except that you have to pedal--though you don't have to wait on line and can ride as much as you like. The course has one drop and some small jumping hills, all of which can be avoided if their not your thing, as well as embankankments and such. Otherwise the course is not much of a challenge unless you sprint through it which will give you a good aerobic workout.
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Trail Directions
It's nearly on the beach of Tokyo Bay. If you ride, or drive, from Makuhari Beach or Inage Beach, or the "cycling course" along the Hanami-gawa (river) past Lotte Marine Baseball Stadium, it's just past the hospital on the other side of the stadium.
Trail Length
0.625 miles
Trail Level
Beginner
Trail Type
Singletrack
City/County
Makuhari, Chiba prefecture
   


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Reviews 1 - 1 (1 Reviews Total)

Review Date
February 26, 2003

Overall Rating
 2 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: Sprocketeer , from Narashino, Chiba, Japan (native New Yorker)

Summary:
Like I said, it's good training ground for beginners and little kids. You could stop at any point and only be a five minute walk from your car. If you have small children, this is a good place to take them out on those bikes you gave them for Christmas. If you really want to make a day of casual riding out of it, this is a nice area to go to. You could park at Makuhari Beach or Inage Beach, get on your bike(s), do this little mountain bike course, ride up the paved "Cycling Course" along the river--which is maybe 10 kilometers long--continue onto the off-road course--3.5 kilometers resembling a well maintained backroad which never has cars or horses, but plenty of hikers and bikers--and even continue on beyond that on really nice paved cycling paths along the rivers all the way to Imba-numa or the other river going all the way up to the Tone-gawa which is the border between Chiba and Ibaraki prefectures. In any case, this being a review just of the official MTB Course at Makuhari Messe, lets just say that its a good course to learn on, but not worth it for riders who are looking for any kind of endurance riding or getting in nature. If you want to make a day of doing a little riding, a little shopping, going to the beach, and finishing the day at a nice restaurant, the Makuhari Messe is an excellent place to go.

Recommended Route:
It's in the original trail review, though I should add that there's parking in the immediate area. When they have a race there, I believe everyone parks at Lotte Marine Baseball Stadium.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Get on the cycling path and just keep going north. When the river forks, stay on the left side of it. They just newly paved a good bit of this but it's very high quality running track type material followed by rough pavement, and finally when you cross the line into Shiro-i, Chiba--just below the border with Ibaraki, your off-roading big time. If you prefer to skip almost all that pavement, head straight to Keisei-Owada Station and head for the river, then follow it north.



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Reviews 1 - 1 (1 Reviews Total)