Making Shimano SPD-SL Cleat Covers Not Suck

When cycling, I use Shimano SPD-SL cleats and pedals. They're great on the bike, but when walking around, if one doesn't use cleat covers, they quickly get torn up and end up looking like this.

So, I use cleat covers whenever a stop involves more than a little walking around...

Shimano SPD-SL Cleat Covers Shimano SM-SH45 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 560 — image data
Shimano SPD-SL Cleat Covers
Shimano SM-SH45
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/200 sec, f/8, ISO 4500 — image data
Pop Right On -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/200 sec, f/8, ISO 3200 — image data
Pop Right On

They're easy to pop on, but once on, to pull them off you have to grab a thin tiny little tab of very hard rubber and pull out and away...

Pull Here -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/200 sec, f/8, ISO 2000 — image data
Pull Here

Under the best of circumstances, they come right off. But with the weird angle you have to reach to pull something from the bottom of your shoe, especially when you're tired and using your non-dominant hand (or when it's cold, or you're wearing gloves, or just having a bad day), trying to pull them off can be an exercise in frustration. The little tab is such a stupid design.

But it's easy to fix.

Drill a Hole at an Angle -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 1000 — image data
Drill a Hole at an Angle
Hole -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 1100 — image data
Hole
Insert a Zip Tie note the orientation of the head... it's (sort of) important -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 800 — image data
Insert a Zip Tie
note the orientation of the head... it's (sort of) important
Trim -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 1000 — image data
Trim
Voilà -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 1250 — image data
Voilà

Now it's easy-peasy to pull them off, even when you can't feel your fingers through heavy gloves.... just grab the loop and yank.

There are four possible ways to install the zip tie... inserting from one side of the cover or the other, each combined with facing the opening on the head one way or the other. I've found that the best is the way shown above, because that causes the loop to want to press up into the shoe, flattening itself out of the way. Otherwise, it can drag on the ground as you walk.

Even if you trim the zip tie well, I've found that over time the tie can work its way farther through the head, making the loop increasingly small, and also creating a poky bit sticking out. To stop that, you can just add a bit of tape inside the loop before trimming...

This'll Stay Put -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 450 — image data
This'll Stay Put

Normal zip ties one might have on hand are not generally very robust, especially in the cold, and I've had them crack and break often. So, I'm now using special outdoor cold-weather ties:

Good Down to 40 Below -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 280 — image data
Good Down to 40 Below

I paid $7.99 for the pack of 100 at Amazon.


Grueling “Rooftop of Kyoto” Ridge Road Gravel Grind
Ancient Pre-Ride Ritual part of the Cycling Kyoto! narrative for hundreds of years ( It wasn't explained to me, and I didn't ask. ) -- Funai-gun -- Funai-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 30mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Ancient Pre-Ride Ritual
part of the Cycling Kyoto! narrative for hundreds of years
( It wasn't explained to me, and I didn't ask. )

Yesterday's cycling was a bit different from what I normally do of late. I was honored to be invited on Vincent Flanagan's annual Kyoto Rooftop birthday ride, on an often-gravel forestry road that follows the undulating ridgeline across 65km of mountains north of Kyoto. (You might remember Vincent from my bike fitting at Pedalforth.)

First we ride about 60km (37mi) northwest of Kyoto to get to the far end of the forestry road. Then snake around on the ridgeline road for about 65km (40mi) east. Then return home over Hanase Pass.

I added a little extra at the end, the easier half of a Kyoto Heart Loop, and ended up for the day riding 163km with 3,880m of climb (101mi with 12,700' of climb). It was by far the most climb I've done in a day.

Because there are sections of heavy, rough gravel, I didn't want to use my road bike, so I dusted off my original Trek bike for the first real ride since this epic adventure last September.

Morning Meetup Vincent and Neil look too chipper for 6:30am -- Demachiyanagi Station -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Morning Meetup
Vincent and Neil look too chipper for 6:30am
Heading Across Town to meet up with another group -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 60mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Heading Across Town
to meet up with another group
The Gang's All Here L~R: Neil, Christoph, Tomas, Nigel, Vincent, Ryota, Antti, Joshua -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
The Gang's All Here
L~R: Neil, Christoph, Tomas, Nigel, Vincent, Ryota, Antti, Joshua

Until looking at the photo above, I'd never noticed the 25% Slope sign. The location is near the top of Kyoto’s Nasty 21% city-bike hill climb, and at the start of the descent there's an appropriate 21% slope sign. This one is a bit premature, and a bit incorrect.

Getting Started after the first little climb to Kyomi Pass (京見峠) -- Kyomi Pass (京見峠) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 25mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.8, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Getting Started
after the first little climb to Kyomi Pass (京見峠)
Water Stop -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 25mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Water Stop
Little Descent -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Little Descent
Through Japanese Countryside -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Through Japanese Countryside
Through a Little Tunnel -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/80 sec, f/1.7, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Through a Little Tunnel
More Gorgeous Countryside -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 31mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
More Gorgeous Countryside
More Fun Little Descents near Hiyoshi Dam (日吉ダム) -- Hiyoshi Dam (日吉ダム) -- Nantan, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
More Fun Little Descents
near Hiyoshi Dam (日吉ダム)
Last Refueling Stop for the day -- Funai-gun -- Funai-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 33mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Last Refueling Stop
for the day

After about 2½ hours of riding, we got to the last store before we would enter the forestry road. There are no services whatsoever along the entire 65km-length of the road, so we'd not be able to buy drinks until exiting it toward the end of the day, nor get food until returning to Kyoto. So we stocked up here.

Just before entering the forestry road, we stopped by a little temple for a photo op...

Funai-gun -- Funai-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Funai-gun -- Funai-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

And then finally we started the day's ride proper.

Western Entrance to the Tanba Forestry Road 丹波広域基幹林道の西入口 -- Funai-gun -- Funai-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Western Entrance
to the Tanba Forestry Road

丹波広域基幹林道の西入口

The road is closed to unofficial motor vehicles, but it's fine for bicycles and hikers.

Coincidentally, this road appeared on my previous post because the road I took that day crossed this one, though quite far from this morning's entrance point: it would be 4½ hours of rough riding before we'd get even that far.

Most folks walked their bikes around the gate, but some rode around...

Funai-gun -- Funai-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

And so at 10am, we were off on the ride proper.

It starts out fairly steep, but I've given up trying to show steepness in photos... I just can't do it.

Take My Word For It this is steep -- Funai-gun -- Funai-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Take My Word For It
this is steep

At least the pavement at the start is wonderful. Later, both the steepness and the road surface become worse. Much, much worse.

Road Slicing Through Rock the beauty of the construction often complimented the beauty of the nature it passed through -- Funai-gun -- Funai-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Road Slicing Through Rock
the beauty of the construction often complimented
the beauty of the nature it passed through
King of the Mountain Vincent rode straight up the embankment -- Funai-gun -- Funai-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/2000 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
King of the Mountain
Vincent rode straight up the embankment

Here the road is rough gravel, and probably by this point has alternated numerous times among pavement, rough gravel, and compact gravel. The areas of rough gravel were quite tough for me when steep, either steeply descending or ascending. I'd ridden on parts of this road two other times, but something about today was much worse than I remember. The rough gravel seemed to be laid over a bed of quicksand that just grabbed the tires.

I've never walked through a pool of oatmeal up to my hips, but that's the mental image that came to me while riding some sections of this road.

Returning for a moment to my inability to capture steepness in a photo...

Doesn't Look So High -- Funai-gun -- Funai-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/1600 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Doesn't Look So High
But Here it Looks Very High -- Funai-gun -- Funai-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/2000 sec, f/7.1, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
But Here it Looks Very High

I just snapped these as I rode by. I suppose I should be able to learn something from this sequence about perspective and a sense of slope.

This Also Looks Very High 40 minutes into the climb -- Funai District -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 35mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
This Also Looks Very High
40 minutes into the climb

It's not uncommon to have beautiful vistas like the one above spoiled by power lines, but in these cases it's the presence of the power lines themselves that create the vistas. The only reason the view so steeply down wasn't obscured by vegetation is because it's kept clear for the power lines. You see the same effect here.

View Over the Edge -- Funai District -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
View Over the Edge

There was some discussion about the bridge we could see from that spot, with folks offering different ideas about what area we were looking at. I though it was hilarious when Christoph muttered That's Sanjo Bridge, you fools to no one in particular. (Sanjo Bridge is a location in Kyoto City where we often meet up for rides).

In reality, the bridge is the Nagase Bridge (長瀬大橋). Here's the view from the bridge up to where we took the photo, via Google Streetview:


View From Google Streetview
we were in the little clearing at the top center
New Rockfall the green indicates how new it is -- Nantan, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
New Rockfall
the green indicates how new it is
Waiting joking around while waiting for others fixing a flat -- Nantan, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Waiting
joking around while waiting for others fixing a flat
On The Move Again -- Nantan, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
On The Move Again
Road of Questionable Safety even with pristine tarmac, you couldn't be too careful -- Nantan, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Road of Questionable Safety
even with pristine tarmac, you couldn't be too careful
Road of Questionable Quality these sections were really unfun when going downhill, and worse still when going up -- Nantan, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Road of Questionable Quality
these sections were really unfun when going downhill, and worse still when going up
Theme for the Day -- Nantan, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Theme for the Day

Of the nine folks on the ride, four got punctures, though the two lucky folks above (Ryuta and Neil) got three punctures each.

Not long after I took this photo, the three of us were racing to catch up to the main group, who were likely 15~20 minutes ahead by the time we got moving. After a long set of wonderful downhills, I paused when I came across Vincent fixing a grate in the road, and waited for Neil and Ryuta. Neil arrived momentarily, but Ryuta never showed, even though he had just been right behind us. He must have gotten another flat, so I turned around to head back, and Vincent tossed me a spare innertube of an appropriate size for Ryuta's tire. 70m of vertical climb later, I came across him, and he appreciated Vincent's tube (and the new pump I'd bought after my day of many flats).

He didn't have another flat for the rest of the day, but he was certainly nervous about it for the rest of the day.

There was some correlation between type of bike (and hence type of tire) and the number of punctures. Particularly after my day of many flats, I didn't want to try this kind of gravel with a road bike, which is why I brought my Trek and its relatively new 32mm wide Scwalbe Marathon Plus tires.

But there's some matter of luck (or the lack thereof) as well. One experienced rider with 40mm-wide tires got a flat for no apparent reason.

Common Sight one reason, I'm sure, these roads are not open to public cars -- Nantan, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Common Sight
one reason, I'm sure, these roads are not open to public cars
Finally Caught up to the Group Hara Pass (原峠) -- Hara Pass (原峠) -- Nantan, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Finally Caught up to the Group
Hara Pass (原峠)

This was three hours into the forestry road, and the first of the few places where the forestry road crosses a public road. This particular location is close to the photogenic scene that's appeared on my blog a couple of times.

An hour and a half of ups and downs later, we were finally at the place I mentioned before, where Gorm and I had crossed the forestry road in my previous post. This time we had no Gorm, but we did have antlers...

Ryuta Horsing Around (so to speak) with some antlers found along the way -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Ryuta Horsing Around (so to speak)
with some antlers found along the way
Pristine Views wide, expansive views with no evidence whatsoever of human presence -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Pristine Views
wide, expansive views with no evidence whatsoever of human presence
Ugly -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Ugly

Some of the ugliest sections of road awaited us, with 11~12% gradients both up and down, with loose sandy rubble as the road surface. It's been a long while since I had any worry about falling over while riding clipped in, but on some of these steep uphill gravely sections I grew quite worried about losing traction, seeing my forward motion suddenly stop, and falling over before I could unclip my foot. I felt immature as a cyclist to have this worry, until I found out that two very experienced riders in the group had actually fallen over for exactly that reason. It brought to mind the Japanese proverb Even Monkeys Fall from Trees.

In any case, these sections were not fun at all. I'd done them twice before without such a strongly-negative feeling, so maybe it was the condition of the road this day, or of me.

I brought 3½ liters of drink with me (almost a full gallon!) for the forestry-road section of the ride, but it was running low, so when I came across a mini road-side waterfall created by recent rains, I took the opportunity to fill up my bottle....

Filling From Nature's Tap -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Filling From Nature's Tap

I also had an empty 2L bottle that I filled up, for the less-prepared folks waiting at the summit of the ride.

Summit of the Ride Nabetani Pass (鍋谷峠) 818m Elevation -- Nabetani Pass (鍋谷峠) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 33mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Summit of the Ride
Nabetani Pass (鍋谷峠) 818m Elevation

The road undulates wildly up and down, but this particular up is the highest of the entire 65km length of road. There's a little marker indicating so:

High Point (photo from a ride a year earlier.) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 40mm — 1/320 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
High Point
(photo from a ride a year earlier.)
Vincent on his Birthday Throne -- Nabetani Pass (鍋谷峠) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 50mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Vincent on his Birthday Throne
More “ Road Through Rock ” Scenery this is more common in the eastern areas ( I would not want to be here during an earthquake or heavy rain ) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
More Road Through Rock Scenery
this is more common in the eastern areas
( I would not want to be here during an earthquake or heavy rain )
Little Village -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/400 sec, f/8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Little Village

This is another photo from a year ago, one of the rare places you could see clearly down into a valley (without power lines, that is). This village is on the road leading to Sasari Pass, which I'd taken with Gorm the other day.

I finally exited the forestry road at about 4:15pm, more than six hours after entering. A few folks had exited much earlier, and others would still take a while due to flats, but once we were all out and had restocked our drinks at a vending machine, we headed home over Hanase Pass. The non-gravel road surface gave me renewed energy, and I gave the 30-minute climb some effort, but I missed my PR by 23 seconds. Drat.

I really did not like the heavy gravel sections — it's just not my cup of tea — but otherwise it was a great day with great folks.


Unintended Gravel Adventure with Gorm
Wet Gorm is Wet -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic DMC-TS3 — 1/60 sec, f/3.3, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Wet Gorm is Wet

It's the rainy season in Japan, which means that when it's not hot and humid, it's hot and humid and wet. Earlier in the week Gorm and I had a wet ride in the mountains north of Kyoto that turned into a bit of an adventure.

We started off by cycling up to Hanase Pass, which is a litmus test of a climb that always strikes fear into my heart. It was my 21st time up, the first having been my crazy first ride a year ago February.

For Gorm, who is just visiting from Norway, it was his 5th.

I was happy to make a PR on the benchmark segment by almost a minute and a half, down to 30:40. I've still got a ways to go to break 30 minutes, or to beat Gorm's PR (30:19) for that matter.

Due to the light rain and feeling quite chilly, I was fairly miserable on the descent down the other side, but it was really beautiful. You'll have to take my word for it because I only had a crappy waterproof camera with me.

Misty from both the rain, and fog on the camera lens -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic DMC-TS3 — 1/125 sec, f/4.3, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Misty
from both the rain, and fog on the camera lens

The descent saw the sun come out occasionally, which along with my drying off did wonders for my mood. After a hot-coffee stop, I was feeling good.

Misty Selfie 10:18am - taken while moving at 9 kph (6 mph) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic DMC-TS3 — 1/60 sec, f/3.3, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Misty Selfie
10:18am - taken while moving at 9 kph (6 mph)

We weren't in any particular rush, so we took the time to try a little road I've wanted to check out for some while, which leads to The Bujoji Temple (峰定寺). The short two-kilometer road is lovely, but the apparently-pretty temple is not visible from the paved road, and we weren't dedicated enough to make the hike from the road.

Beware of Bears “ bring a bell or other noise-making device ” -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic DMC-TS3 — 1/250 sec, f/3.3, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Beware of Bears
bring a bell or other noise-making device
Beautifully-Stacked Wood is a common sight in the mountain communities -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic DMC-TS3 — 1/250 sec, f/3.3, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Beautifully-Stacked Wood
is a common sight in the mountain communities
Sad that the photo does nothing to convey how wonderfully splendid an area it is 10:24am - taken while moving at 27 kph (17 mph) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic DMC-TS3 — 1/100 sec, f/3.3, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Sad
that the photo does nothing to convey how wonderfully splendid an area it is
10:24am - taken while moving at 27 kph (17 mph)
Cafe That We'll Keep In Mind but it was a Tuesday and they're closed on Tuesdays 山菜料理桂雅堂 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic DMC-TS3 — 1/60 sec, f/3.3, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Cafe That We'll Keep In Mind
but it was a Tuesday and they're closed on Tuesdays
山菜料理桂雅堂
Big Hunks of Granite in front of a dilapidated barn -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic DMC-TS3 — 1/60 sec, f/3.3, ISO 160 — map & image datanearby photos
Big Hunks of Granite
in front of a dilapidated barn
Dilapidated Barn behind big hunks of granite -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic DMC-TS3 — 1/125 sec, f/3.3, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Dilapidated Barn
behind big hunks of granite
June 1981 inspection sticker -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic DMC-TS3 — 1/60 sec, f/3.3, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
June 1981
inspection sticker
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic DMC-TS3 — 1/60 sec, f/3.3, ISO 125 — map & image datanearby photos

We then rode over Sasari Pass (佐々里峠). The climb is shorter than Hanase Pass, but it does have its steep sections. I'd done it only two other times, and not for a long while. Especially since this was my first time to climb it since getting a real road bike, I expected to make a PR, and I did by over two minutes, down to 23:39.

It was Gorm's first time, and he clocked in thirty seconds faster than I.

Pretty Side Road that we opted to avoid, as it was all gravel and we were on road bikes with road tires -- Nantan, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic DMC-TS3 — 1/50 sec, f/3.3, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Pretty Side Road
that we opted to avoid, as it was all gravel and we were on road bikes with road tires

After the lovely descent down the other side, we took a gamble on a route we hadn't taken before. I'd heard that it was fully paved, so it was worth a shot, but we'd have to backtrack if the road condition was too bad.

The photo above isn't the road we were considering... just a side road we took a peek at. Yet still....

Moments Later first flat since this day of many flats . after about 800km (500mi) on the new Michelin Pro4 Endurance photo by Gorm Kipperberg -- Nantan, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic DMC-TS3 — 1/200 sec, f/3.3, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Moments Later
first flat since this day of many flats.
after about 800km (500mi) on the new Michelin Pro4 Endurance
photo by Gorm Kipperberg

I don't know what caused the flat, but I don't think it was a rock. The hole was very small.

In the photo I'm wearing ThinOPTICS tiny clip-on reading glasses that I keep in the seat bag. They're very tiny and light, and also very useful so that I can actually see what I'm doing. I'd think that any cyclist of a certain age would find them quite handy when needed.

On Our Way up a road that I thought I was told was fully paved -- Nantan, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic DMC-TS3 — 1/50 sec, f/3.3, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
On Our Way
up a road that I thought I was told was fully paved
Nantan, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic DMC-TS3 — 1/30 sec, f/3.3, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Effects of a low-quality camera at 14 kph (9 mph) -- Nantan, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic DMC-TS3 — 1/10 sec, f/3.3, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Effects
of a low-quality camera at 14 kph (9 mph)
Technically Still “ Paved ” though so full of wickedly-sharp rocks that we walked this section -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic DMC-TS3 — 1/10 sec, f/3.3, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Technically Still Paved
though so full of wickedly-sharp rocks that we walked this section
Of Questionable Quality but otherwise a lovely, beautiful ride -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic DMC-TS3 — 1/60 sec, f/3.5, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Of Questionable Quality
but otherwise a lovely, beautiful ride
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic DMC-TS3 — 1/40 sec, f/5.4, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Burning the Candle on Both Ends huge tree trunk floating above an eroding mountainside -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic DMC-TS3 — 1/320 sec, f/3.9, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Burning the Candle on Both Ends
huge tree trunk floating above an eroding mountainside
Gorgeous Views that these photos just don't do justice :-( -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic DMC-TS3 — 1/125 sec, f/3.3, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Gorgeous Views
that these photos just don't do justice 🙁
At The Pass where the public road crosses a pseudo -private forestry road -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic DMC-TS3 — 1/250 sec, f/3.3, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
At The Pass
where the public road crosses a pseudo-private forestry road

I've ridden on this forestry road a couple of times with my Trek cross bike, which is more appropriate for gravel than my Rose road bike. The forestry road alternates between gravel and pristine pavement, but the gravel makes it off limits for today's bikes. The road up was pretty spotty, but I knew that the road down the other side had some areas that were much worse.

Road Down The Other Side pretty, but starts out with gravel -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic DMC-TS3 — 1/60 sec, f/3.3, ISO 160 — map & image datanearby photos
Road Down The Other Side
pretty, but starts out with gravel
Same Area Last Year 去年 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 — 1/125 sec, f/8, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
Same Area Last Year
去年

Last year the entrance to the road had signs saying Road Closed and due to landslide All Lanes Closed. By the time I'd gotten to this place along the long forestry road with absolutely no services, I was tired and thirsty, so I took my chance going down the closed road in the hopes of reaching civilization, or at least something to drink. After all, it's often easy for bicycles to get by obstacles that cars can't, like this or this.

On that trip last year, the road was in really bad shape...

The Road Last Year 去年の両面状況 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 — 1/125 sec, f/6.3, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
The Road Last Year
去年の両面状況
Why The Road Was Closed Last Year 去年の通行止めの理由 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 — 1/160 sec, f/8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Why The Road Was Closed Last Year
去年の通行止めの理由

That road was well and truly impassable, at least without rappelling gear. I had to re-climb more than 200m (660') of vertical ascent just to get back to the main forestry road, and continue another 10km until the next chance to exit.

This year I thought would be better, since I knew others had ridden it recently and told me, I thought, that it was all paved.

It's not all paved.

All Gravel -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic DMC-TS3 — 1/80 sec, f/3.3, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
All Gravel
Still Pretty -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic DMC-TS3 — 1/250 sec, f/3.3, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Still Pretty
Still Gravel rare photo of Gorm riding on gravel -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic DMC-TS3 — 1/320 sec, f/3.3, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Still Gravel
rare photo of Gorm riding on gravel

The sections of bad pavement I'd seen last year were replaced by gravel, so it was all gravel for 15 minutes until we finally got to some pavement, which was then very nice.

Finally Nice Pavement -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic DMC-TS3 — 1/50 sec, f/3.3, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Finally Nice Pavement
New Not-Washed-Out Road where the road was impassable last year -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic DMC-TS3 — 1/200 sec, f/3.3, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
New Not-Washed-Out Road
where the road was impassable last year
Really Pretty Areas -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic DMC-TS3 — 1/60 sec, f/3.3, ISO 125 — map & image datanearby photos
Really Pretty Areas

On the way home, we stopped by a cafe I first wrote about six years ago, Yama no Ie Hasegawa, for sustenance.

Good Food Yama no Ie Hasegawa (山の家はせがわ) -- Yama no Ie Hasegawa (山の家はせがわ) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic DMC-TS3 — 1/50 sec, f/3.3, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Good Food
Yama no Ie Hasegawa (山の家はせがわ)

Gorm had deep-fried shrimp and fish; I had bacon-wrapped hamburger. Both were tasty, and washed down with Cokes.

The ride ended up being 114km (71mi) with about 2,000m (6,500') of elevation gain.

This was the second ride in a row that I'd ridden in the rain (the first having been a short ride to search, unsuccessfully it turns out, for an old iPhone I'd lost on a ride the day prior) so the bike was full of grime splashed up from the road.

So I spent the next day washing it, and after cleaning the relatively-new tires was horrified to find plenty of bits of gravel and such wedged into the rubber. I dug them out, but don't feel they'll last all that much longer, so I've already ordered another pair of different tires. We'll see.

The sheer amount of grime on every surface of the bike was stunning, and depressing, so even though I don't mind riding in the rain, I've avoided it since. It looks like I'll be able to get out on Sunday... I'm thinking to ride to Himeji, a ride of comparable distance to last week's ride to Nagoya, but one where the route looks much more appealing. We'll see.


Cycling to Nagoya for Coffee

I recently did a 260km (160 mile) bike ride from my home in Kyoto over to the city of Nagoya, and back (view at Strava). It took all day.

この間のサイクリングは京都から名古屋までの往復しました、距離は260キロでした。長い一日でした。

A line of mountains separates the two areas, so I had to go over them each way, but other than that bit of mountain riding, the rest of the ride — the majority of the whole ride — was just slogging through city or suburbia that might have provided interesting diversions if I had the time to stop and enjoy them, but as a point A to point B ride, it was mostly boring and uninteresting.

I left home at 5:30am, and spent 2½ hours getting to the other side of Lake Biwa where the climb up to the mountains started.

Heading Over Those Mountains 7:49am 2:20 into the ride -- Higashiomi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
iPhone 6+ — 1/5700 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Heading Over Those Mountains
7:49am
2:20 into the ride

(I brought only my iPhone with me, so the photos are certainly lacking, sorry.)

Heading Up 8:07am 2:40 into the ride -- Higashiomi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
iPhone 6+ — 1/320 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Heading Up
8:07am
2:40 into the ride
Dam Lake -- Higashiomi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
iPhone 6+ — 1/1400 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Dam Lake
Where I Just Came From -- Higashiomi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
iPhone 6+ — 1/640 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Where I Just Came From
Unused Road on the opposite side of the lake 8:25am 2:55 into the ride -- Higashiomi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
iPhone 6+ — 1/60 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Unused Road
on the opposite side of the lake
8:25am
2:55 into the ride
Pretty but the mossy road surface can be dangerous -- Higashiomi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
iPhone 6+ — 1/15 sec, f/2.2, ISO 50 — map & image datanearby photos
Pretty
but the mossy road surface can be dangerous

The unused behind-the-dam road eventually connected with the main road and snaked up, in my case slowly, toward a very long (2+ mile) tunnel.

“ Slower Traffic End ” 9:03am 3:30 into the ride -- Higashiomi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
iPhone 6+ — 1/2500 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Slower Traffic End
9:03am
3:30 into the ride

Rather than enter the long narrow tunnel, I did what any sane cyclist would do and went over instead. The pleasant road up to the pass over the tunnel had convenient markers every 200m giving the length to the prefectural line, which in this case was also the high point of the mountain pass.

4.8km To Go 9:33am 3:45 into the ride -- Higashiomi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
iPhone 6+ — 1/40 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
4.8km To Go
9:33am
3:45 into the ride

The tunnel-bypass road started up steeply at first, but then seemed to level out for most of the way. I enjoyed the flat respite with some trepidation, as I kept wondering when the climb would come, and how steep it would be when it did. But it never did. It was errie. The segment has over 200m of elevation gain, but I didn't seem to notice most of it. I'd like to think it's just because I'm strong, but who knows.

Prefectural Line between Shiga and Mie Prefectures 9:30am 4:00 into the ride -- Higashiomi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
iPhone 6+ — 1/2200 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Prefectural Line
between Shiga and Mie Prefectures
9:30am
4:00 into the ride
Wide Expanse of the Nagoya Floodplain -- Higashiomi, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
iPhone 6+ — 1/5700 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Wide Expanse of the Nagoya Floodplain

The road on the Mie Prefecture side of the pass was horrible for a while, and the descent took longer than it would have taken to ascend. But eventually it connected with the main road where the tunnel ends, and that descent was heavenly. Even riding safely and conservatively as I do, I reached 82kph (51mph), a new record for me. I like my descents.

Snaking My Way Via Minor Roads 10:32am 5:00 into the ride -- Kuwana, Mie, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
iPhone 6+ — 1/3000 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Snaking My Way Via Minor Roads
10:32am
5:00 into the ride

One benefit of letting the computer create your route is that it can make use of minor roads more effectively than manual routing. For a while I was snaking through little streets like the one seen above.

Soon, though, I entered the Nagoya floodplane. For more than the next hour, I was riding toward downtown at essentially sea level.

Lots of Flat 10:36am 5:06 into the ride -- Kuwana, Mie, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
iPhone 6+ — 1/2500 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Lots of Flat
10:36am
5:06 into the ride
Many Rivers -- Kuwana, Mie, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
iPhone 6+ — 1/3200 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Many Rivers

What must have been one huge 40km-wide river eons ago is now fertile ground punctuated by many rivers.

Kite Surfing or paragliding, or whatever. Looks fun. -- Aisai, Aichi, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
iPhone 6+ — 1/5700 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Kite Surfing
or paragliding, or whatever. Looks fun.

The occasional river crossing was pretty, but for many kilometers it was just boring flat suburbia morphing into boring flat urban drudgery. But 6¼ hours and 127km (79 miles) after setting out, I arrived at Nagoya Station.

Arrival Nagoya Station (午前 11:43 、名古屋駅到着!) by bullet train this is 45 minutes from Kyoto Station 11:43am 6:15 into the ride -- Nagoya Station (名古屋駅) -- Nagoya, Aichi, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
iPhone 6+ — 1/1100 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Arrival
Nagoya Station (午前11:43、名古屋駅到着!)
by bullet train this is 45 minutes from Kyoto Station
11:43am
6:15 into the ride
Nagoya-Station Selfie -- Nagoya Station (名古屋駅) -- Nagoya, Aichi, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 6+ + front camera — 1/800 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Nagoya-Station Selfie

I didn't stay long; I sent a hi there! note to my brother in law who lives in Nagoya, and headed back toward Kyoto.

This whole trip was a challenge that I'd set for myself, and I wasn't sure that I could do it. I chose a route that gave me an out if I wanted it.... if I decided to take the train home from Nagoya, I'd still have an impressive (for me) ride logged for the day. I prepared two separate routes, and took the easier one for the to direction. If I decided to make the return trip by bike, I could retrace my steps on the easier of the two, or take on the additional challenge of the harder route.

I felt pretty good, so I chose the harder route for the return. At least it was harder on paper (quite a bit more climbing), but mentally it was easier because I didn't really know what to expect. If I had retraced my steps, I'd know exactly what was waiting and that somehow made it worse.

Anyway, like before, the hour or so in Nagoya's flood plane was not fun.

Leaving Nagoya Noon 6:30 into the ride -- Nagoya, Aichi, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
iPhone 6+ — 1/850 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Leaving Nagoya
Noon
6:30 into the ride

Somewhere along the line I had decided that Cycling to Nagoya for Coffee would make an understatedly cool title for the trip, so I thought I had better actually stop for coffee. I didn't want to take the time for a real sit-down cafe, so I just stopped by a convenience store to stock up on food, and grabbed a pre-packaged Starbucks coffee just for the photo op.

My “ Nagoya Coffee ” 12:32pm 7:00 into the ride -- Nagoya, Aichi, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
iPhone 6+ — 1/350 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
My Nagoya Coffee
12:32pm
7:00 into the ride

I was feeling good but worried about the time. I thought I'd be able to return home by 5:30pm, making it a 12-hour round trip, but that was proving to be an optimistic view of my abilities. I had to be home for something at 7pm, and that deadline was looking iffy, so I tried to reduce how much I stopped.

Traffic Jam 1:22pm 7:50 into the ride -- Yatomi, Aichi, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
iPhone 6+ — 1/3200 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Traffic Jam
1:22pm
7:50 into the ride
Mountain Sighting these lie between me and home 2:00pm 8:30 into the ride -- Kuwana, Mie, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
iPhone 6+ — 1/5000 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Mountain Sighting
these lie between me and home
2:00pm
8:30 into the ride
Lovely Minor Road 2:16pm 8:45 into the ride -- Inabe-gun -- Inabe-gun, Mie, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
iPhone 6+ — 1/3200 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Lovely Minor Road
2:16pm
8:45 into the ride
Just Lovely -- Inabe-gun -- Inabe-gun, Mie, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
iPhone 6+ — 1/2800 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Just Lovely
Looming Closer 2:29pm 9:00 into the ride -- Yokkaichi, Mie, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
iPhone 6+ — 1/2300 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Looming Closer
2:29pm
9:00 into the ride
Closer Still 3:02pm 9:30 into the ride -- Mie-gun -- Mie-gun, Mie, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
iPhone 6+ — 1/1500 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Closer Still
3:02pm
9:30 into the ride

The route from the city toward the mountains undulated much more than the route I took into the city, so I was never sure when the real climb up the mountains would start, but when I saw the steepness of this road, I knew something major was starting...

Getting Serious 鈴鹿スカイラインの手前 3:08pm 9:38 into the ride -- Mie-gun -- Mie-gun, Mie, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
iPhone 6+ — 1/6400 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Getting Serious
鈴鹿スカイラインの手前
3:08pm
9:38 into the ride

The top item on the signs points the way to the Suzuka Skyline, a road that goes up and over the mountains. The fact that the road has a name like this tells me both that it's likely to be well maintained, and that it'll be steep.

The road leading away in that photo is not actually part of the Suzuka Skyline. I didn't really know what to expect, but this lead-in introduction had me bracing for the worst. I suppose one can't sense from the photo, but that road is steep... this lead-up to the Suzuka Skyline, I realize now, is more than 2km averaging almost 9%, with a maximum grade of 15%.

I hadn't researched the road grades, but I did research where I could fill up on drinks, so I stopped by the last vending machine until far on the other side of the mountain. They apparently knew that they were the last, as they price gouged by 50%:

Most Expensive Vending Machine that I've seen in Japan 3:26pm 10 hours into the ride -- Mie-gun -- Mie-gun, Mie, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
iPhone 6+ — 1/480 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Most Expensive Vending Machine
that I've seen in Japan
3:26pm
10 hours into the ride

The Suzuka Skyline itself is almost 6km at an average of 8.5%. It's pretty consistent... it just keeps going up and up and up. As I expected, the road surface was excellent.

I took it slow and easy, leaving myself enough energy for the 100km that remained after it.

Reverse-Angle View back to the Nagoya floodplane 2:42pm 10:10 into the ride -- Mie-gun -- Mie-gun, Mie, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
iPhone 6+ — 1/1700 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Reverse-Angle View
back to the Nagoya floodplane
2:42pm
10:10 into the ride

The construction in the foreground is at a resort that lies on a road that eventually joins up with the road I was on. That it was so far below me, yet would join up with me, told me that it was really steep, and indeed that's what I found out later. That road is almost 2km long with an average of 11%, but it's much steeper in some areas.

I'll have to try it next time I'm in the area, though I can't imagine when that might ever be.

Another Reverse-Angle View 20 minutes after the prior one -- Mie-gun -- Mie-gun, Mie, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
iPhone 6+ — 1/1700 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Another Reverse-Angle View
20 minutes after the prior one
Finally at the Pass 4:12pm 10:40 into the ride -- Mie-gun -- Mie-gun, Mie, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
iPhone 6+ — 1/300 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Finally at the Pass
4:12pm
10:40 into the ride

The descent down the other side was lovely, but offered no views, and had quite of bit of undulation. I suspect it would be the easier of the two climbs.

Pretty Lake from one of the many dams I came across 4:46pm 11:15 into the ride -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
iPhone 6+ — 1/5000 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Pretty Lake
from one of the many dams I came across
4:46pm
11:15 into the ride
10% Grade just what I needed at this point in the trip 4:58pm 11:30 into the ride -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
iPhone 6+ — 1/6400 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
10% Grade
just what I needed at this point in the trip
4:58pm
11:30 into the ride
Tea Fields -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
iPhone 6+ — 1/800 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Tea Fields
Lots of This it's pretty, but it gets boring after a while 5:05pm - taken while moving at 26 kph (16 mph) -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
iPhone 6+ — 1/6400 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Lots of This
it's pretty, but it gets boring after a while
5:05pm - taken while moving at 26 kph (16 mph)
Then Lots of This the last hour and a half was just ugly city riding on National Route 1 5:45pm - taken while moving at 28 kph (18 mph) -- Konan, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
iPhone 6+ — 1/4400 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Then Lots of This
the last hour and a half was just ugly city riding on National Route 1
5:45pm - taken while moving at 28 kph (18 mph)

I could have taken a more scenic route home, but at this point fast was more important. Fumie had already taken over what I needed to be back by 7pm for, so I didn't have to worry about jumping on a train to make it in time. But I still just wanted to be home, so I put on the gas and rode with traffic (often faster than traffic in the evening rush hour).

I was happy to make a PR by a wide margin on the little climb on Route 1 that separates Otsu from Kyoto. Just as I did on my previously-longest ride, I was happy to PR some segments at the end, to punctuate the long distance with some speed.

In the end I made it home at 7:05pm, 13½ hours after I departed.

I would strongly recommend this round trip to Nagoya for anyone really wanting to say I've done a round trip to Nagoya, but otherwise it has little to recommend it. Parts here and there were wonderful, but would be better visited on rides with better filling in between. I don't think I'll do this ride again.

(About the same distance the other way is Himeji, and the routes to and fro look much more pleasant, so I guess that's on my list next. Himeji Cappuccino awaits!)


A Visit to Kyoto’s Northern Mountains, This Time By Car
Honest Life's Work farmer deep in the mountains of northern Kyoto, Japan -- Shikobuchi Shrine (思子淵神社) -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/320 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Honest Life's Work
farmer deep in the mountains of northern Kyoto, Japan

I went out on a leisurely photo-expedition drive the other day with Paul Barr and Anastasiya Bulkavets, whom Paul and I met a couple of years ago in a story I've been meaning to tell, during this outing when she happen to recognize Damien and his red hat from having seen them on my blog. We all occasionally get together since.

Anastasiya out of focus, sorry, 'cause I was focusing on what was inside the rusty wheel -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/2.5, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Anastasiya
out of focus, sorry, 'cause I was focusing on what was inside the rusty wheel
Inside the Rusty Wheel -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Inside the Rusty Wheel
Hungry Babies -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Hungry Babies
Mommy Returns with a Tasty Snack -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Mommy Returns with a Tasty Snack

I've lived in this area for more than a decade and have driven in the mountains many times over the years, but until I started cycling through them last year, I didn't really have a sense for locations and connecting roads... all the places in the mountains were just in the mountains, and I relied on my having geoencoded photos to be able to recall where something was or how to get there.

But now that I cycle through these mountains all the time, I'm intimate with the roads and what they connect, and the world is a much smaller place.

It was interesting to see some of these roads from the car.

To get to this first stop, we drove up through Ohara and onto the small mountain road that goes to Momoi Pass, a heinously-steep route that I first cycled in July. At least it's steep for me... toward the end of its 7km length it has a 1.2km section at an average of 12%.

It was much easier in the car.

We stopped at a small village with no services of any kind, except for one hidden drink vending machine, and a very old phone booth:

“ Phone · Telegraph ” -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/200 sec, f/2.5, ISO 180 — map & image datanearby photos
Phone · Telegraph

There's also a nice field of irises that I hoped would be in bloom, but they weren't. Rather, here's a photo from this trip to the same place nine years ago...

Irises In Bloom 9 years ago -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2007 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 at an effective 25mm — 1/180 sec, f/5.6, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Irises In Bloom
9 years ago

Not far away was a small shrine...

Shikobuchi Shrine 思子淵神社 -- Shikobuchi Shrine (思子淵神社) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 160 — map & image datanearby photos
Shikobuchi Shrine
思子淵神社

I go by all the time (this Entering a Small Village picture snapped on the fly during one cycle trip was taken just as we passed the shrine) but I had never stopped to check it out.

Difficult to Read “ 思子淵神社 ” even if the paint were fresh, I couldn't read that name -- Shikobuchi Shrine (思子淵神社) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 58mm — 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 2800 — map & image datanearby photos
Difficult to Read
思子淵神社
even if the paint were fresh, I couldn't read that name
Modern Construction beautiful light -- Shikobuchi Shrine (思子淵神社) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Modern Construction
beautiful light
Shikobuchi Shrine (思子淵神社) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/4, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos

This kind of place can be a mixed bag... it is of relatively recent construction, so it lacks the old feeling that provides a certain appeal, yet because it's built simply to serve the local community, its has a level of honesty and purity that the big ostentatious temples and shrines have long abandoned.

Old Tree In Front -- Shikobuchi Shrine (思子淵神社) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Old Tree In Front

Across the way were active small-plot farms, which certainly have an appeal to me.

Working the Fields -- Shikobuchi Shrine (思子淵神社) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 48mm — 1/500 sec, f/3.2, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Working the Fields

We continued on up past Momoi Pass, then over Hanase Pass and down into the small village at its northern slope.

Little Roadside Temple -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/320 sec, f/2.5, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Little Roadside Temple
Private Footbridge -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/200 sec, f/2.5, ISO 110 — map & image datanearby photos
Private Footbridge
Some Building that I normally pass at a breakneck pace -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/200 sec, f/2.5, ISO 140 — map & image datanearby photos
Some Building
that I normally pass at a breakneck pace
Another Shrine Entrance this one I had seen before -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/320 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Another Shrine Entrance
this one I had seen before

The shrine back in the mountains behind this gate made an appearance in Visiting the Back-Mountain Hiyoshi Shrine with Jon Van Dalen six and a half years ago.

Someone's House -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Someone's House

I'm guessing that this is one homestead, with the original house in the center, the storage kura at left, and a (relatively) modern 2nd-generation house for the now-adult oldest son at right.

Cowbell's New Sign -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 35mm — 1/400 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Cowbell's New Sign

The letters are made of Styrofoam, so it gets broken easily. Compare with the same sign a year ago. Sometimes I'll stop by Cowbell for coffee while cycling, such as on this trip last year. Yet, I'd never noticed the cycle rack they have for road bikes:

Road-Bike Rack -- Cowbell -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 32mm — 1/400 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Road-Bike Rack

Road bikes don't have kickstands, so one parks using a rack like this by hooking the seat over the pole, as seen here.

Then the drive brought us deeper into the mountains, where we stopped by a tunnel that I cycle through every so often...

Well, Now that You Mention It yes, this does look a bit familiar -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/7.1, ISO 560 — map & image datanearby photos
Well, Now that You Mention It
yes, this does look a bit familiar

I was shocked recently when I realized that this bridge/tunnel/bridge combo, which I'd been cycling through without a second thought, is the Kyoto’s Road to Nowhere that I posted about nine years ago (and then re-connected with four years ago).

Nine Years Ago 9 年前 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2007 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 17mm — 1/80 sec, f/4.5, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Nine Years Ago
9年前

During both of those visits, the location in my mind was merely in the mountains somewhere, so when I started cycling through it on this ride last May, I never made the connection.

The 600m (⅓ mile) bit of road that it bypasses is still as pleasant as it was the first time I took it, so I still have no idea why what must have been such a large amount of money was spent.

Always Lovely entrance gate to the Joshokoji Temple (常照皇寺) -- Joshokoji Temple (常照皇寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Always Lovely
entrance gate to the Joshokoji Temple (常照皇寺)

We then made our way over to the Joshokoji Temple (常照皇寺), which I first visited four years ago for photography. I've stopped by a few times while cycling, including during Bridget and Sarah’s Tour de Kyoto last fall.

Joshokoji Temple (常照皇寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 3600 — map & image datanearby photos
Joshokoji Temple (常照皇寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1400 — map & image datanearby photos
Joshokoji Temple (常照皇寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/4.5, ISO 2800 — map & image datanearby photos
Joshokoji Temple (常照皇寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos

After while we started back to home, stopping by a shrine that has been on my blog many times...

Uncharacteristically Green Iwato Ochiba Shrine (岩戸落葉神社) -- Iwato Ochiba Shrine (岩戸落葉神社) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 450 — map & image datanearby photos
Uncharacteristically Green
Iwato Ochiba Shrine (岩戸落葉神社)

The property is dominated with towering ginkgo trees, which are richly yellow in the fall. Here's a photo from early during last fall's season, from Cycling to Kyoto’s Ochiba Shrine Amid the Fall Colors...

Early Last Fall 去年の秋 -- Iwato Ochiba Shrine (岩戸落葉神社) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/2015-11-26/2646 -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Early Last Fall
去年の秋

My first visit to the shrine had been five years prior to that, with Paul, as chronicled in Carpet of Yellow at the Iwato Ochiba Shrine, Deep in the Mountains of North-West Kyoto. As with all the photos on my blog, the nearby photos link under each pictures brings you to other visits to the same place.

Closer back to Kyoto, I showed Paul and Anastasiya a little natural spring that cyclists often fill their water bottles at (as seen here)...

Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 27mm — 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos

When I cycle by, I'll often find folks filling up big jugs in the back of their car, to bring home. I guess the water is supposed to be very good, or blessed, or something. It is tasty, I know.

Tasty -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 52mm — 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1400 — map & image datanearby photos
Tasty

This is near the Kyoto Mountain Restaurant “Yama no Ie Hasegawa” that has also appeared many times on my blog. We would have liked to have stopped in, but time had run short. (I made up the visit by stopping in a couple of days ago on the end of this 127km ride with Gorm and Manseki.)

All in all, a relaxing, enjoyable day.