Surveying Supertyphoon Jebi’s Damage North of Kyoto, Part 2

Today's post is a continuation of SUPER FUN!! Cycling in Supertyphoon Jebi and its followup, Surveying Supertyphoon Jebi’s Damage North of Kyoto, Part 1.

At the end of the previous post, we'd come across a fallen utility pole, as we had a few times earlier....

2:40pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
2:40pm
“ Caution ” the small sign at left is normally high up in the air, alerting to overhead wires -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Caution
the small sign at left is normally high up in the air, alerting to overhead wires

The photo above is looking back toward where we'd come from, and in it there's a farmer leaning against a truck in front of his house. He'd told me that the road was not passable even by foot, but I'd dismissed it as an exaggeration. I shouldn't have.

What follows are a bunch of photos in chronological order, documenting what we came across....

2:40pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 34mm — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
2:40pm
Can Barely See the Road 2:41pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 34mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.3, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Can Barely See the Road
2:41pm
Can Not See The Road 2:41pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Can Not See The Road
2:41pm
2:42pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.1, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
2:42pm
Still No Road 2:43pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.1, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Still No Road
2:43pm
2:44pm photo by Joshua Levine -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
2:44pm
photo by Joshua Levine
2:48pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
2:48pm
2:48pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 44mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.6, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
2:48pm
2:49pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 50mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.7, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
2:49pm
2:50pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
2:50pm
2:50pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
2:50pm
Lucky Car 2:51pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.1, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Lucky Car
2:51pm
2:52pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 41mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
2:52pm
2:54pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.1, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
2:54pm
This Section Was Difficult 2:57pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
This Section Was Difficult
2:57pm

This section that I had just come over was difficult, because not only was the road not visible, we were walking on branches that were well above the guardrail, itself not visible unless your foot fell through the web of branches and made a hole to look down and see it. The only path I could find was right over the guardrail at the edge of the cliff, so if you slipped in an unlucky way, you'd slice your foot on the top of the guardrail, or tumble down into the river.

At this point we met two workers walking from the other direction, and they helped John and Joshua with their bikes.

Helping Hand 2:57pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 25mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Helping Hand
2:57pm

They said that they had been walking for an hour, and that there were maybe six or seven more almost-impassable sections like the one we were on. It turns out that this was wildly underestimated.

Easy Section 2:58pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 25mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.8, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Easy Section
2:58pm
Actually Riding 2:59pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 25mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Actually Riding
2:59pm
2:59pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 25mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.8, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
2:59pm
3:00pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 25mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
3:00pm
3:01pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 25mm — 1/125 sec, f/2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
3:01pm
3:01pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 25mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
3:01pm
3:02pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 25mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
3:02pm
3:02pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 25mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
3:02pm
3:04pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 25mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
3:04pm
Smooth Sailing 3:05pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Smooth Sailing
3:05pm
Old and New 3:07pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Old and New
3:07pm

I'm guessing that the cut trees in the photo above are part of the massive damage from last year's Typhoon #21. The fallen utility pole and the slight landslide are from this year.

3:08pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
3:08pm
3:08pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7+ — 1/200 sec, f/1.8, ISO 20 — map & image datanearby photos
3:08pm
Stripped This tree had its bark stripped clean in parts 3:09pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Stripped
This tree had its bark stripped clean in parts
3:09pm
3:09pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 47mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
3:09pm
3:10pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
3:10pm

At times we faced such a daunting task to get past a section, we thought to turn back. But we knew how tough it would be to retrace our steps, and imagined that it couldn't be that bad going forward.

We were wrong.

3:13pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
3:13pm
3:14pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 30mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.2, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
3:14pm
3:16pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 30mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
3:16pm
3:18pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
3:18pm
3:18pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
3:18pm
3:19pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
3:19pm
Mountainside Raped by the Wind 3:21pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 50mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Mountainside Raped by the Wind
3:21pm
This is the Road 3:22pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7+ + iPhone 7 Plus back dual camera 3.99mm f/1.8 at an effective 28mm — 1/750 sec, f/1.8, ISO 20 — map & image datanearby photos
This is the Road
3:22pm
3:24pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 41mm — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
3:24pm
Passing Through in some sections we could get by only by passing the bikes separately 3:27pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Passing Through
in some sections we could get by only by passing the bikes separately
3:27pm
3:30pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
3:30pm
3:30pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
3:30pm
3:30pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
3:30pm
3:32pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
3:32pm
3:32pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
3:32pm
3:39pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
3:39pm
3:40pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
3:40pm
3:41pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
3:41pm
3:41pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 46mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
3:41pm
Oops 3:42pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Oops
3:42pm
3:42pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 25mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
3:42pm
Low Ceiling 3:42pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Low Ceiling
3:42pm
3:44pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
3:44pm
3:45pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
3:45pm
3:45pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 27mm — 1/125 sec, f/2, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
3:45pm
3:47pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
3:47pm
3:47pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
3:47pm
3:48pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
3:48pm
3:48pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
3:48pm
3:49pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
3:49pm
3:49pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 25mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
3:49pm
3:50pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 25mm — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
3:50pm
3:52pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 25mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
3:52pm
3:54pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 25mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
3:54pm
Peek-a-Boo traffic mirror now easily accessible 3:55pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 25mm — 1/125 sec, f/2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Peek-a-Boo
traffic mirror now easily accessible
3:55pm
3:55pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7+ + iPhone 7 Plus back camera 3.99mm f/1.8 at an effective 28mm — 1/30 sec, f/1.8, ISO 50 — map & image datanearby photos
3:55pm
3:56pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 56mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
3:56pm
3:56pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
3:56pm
3:57pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
3:57pm
4:00pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
4:00pm
Vexing Area 4:01pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Vexing Area
4:01pm

We were stumped on how to get past this section when out from it came two guys...

4:04pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
4:04pm

They had found a long, low tunnel through the debris on the inside edge of the road, and so we dragged our bikes through it.

We Came From There the tiny little space between the wall and the branches 4:11pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
We Came From There
the tiny little space between the wall and the branches
4:11pm
The Guys' Truck we imagined 4:13pm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
The Guys' Truck
we imagined
4:13pm

If that was their truck, the road was open from here on into the city. It had taken an hour and a half to travel about 4km (2.5mi), a stretch of road that normally takes just a few (~6 or 7) minutes.

We're lucky that there were no real landslides, as they can often take out a huge chunk of road, leaving absolutely no way to pass (such as seen here).

As it was we were lucky and could make it through. I was covered in scratched and bathed in sweat, and had lost the auto-retracting lens cap for my camera, a cleat cover, and ended up trashing my cleats. First world problems.

I imagine it'll be a long time before the road will be open.

On the way home, I swung by the Heian Shrine to see what had become of the tree that had fallen across the road the previous afternoon....

No Sign except two green cones doing nothing 4:42pm -- Heian Shrine (平安神宮) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
No Sign
except two green cones doing nothing
4:42pm

Here's the ride at Strava.


Surveying Supertyphoon Jebi’s Damage North of Kyoto, Part 1

In my previous post, SUPER FUN!! Cycling in Supertyphoon Jebi (2018 Typhoon #21), I wrote about cycling while the biggest typhoon in 25 years approached Kyoto. The next day, with fine summer weather, I set off with Joshua Levine and John Chen to see how some of the mountain roads had fared.

Our concern was well founded, as seen in the incredible devastation by a typhoon a year ago (2017’s Typhoon #21, Lan, was Quite the Doozy).

We headed out toward Kyomi Pass, on the same road that I'd been on the previous day as the typhoon approached....

Scattered Debris but not too bad -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Scattered Debris
but not too bad
Passable thanks to someone who had already come by with a chainsaw -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Passable
thanks to someone who had already come by with a chainsaw
Bigger Damage I'm glad I'd not stuck around longer than I did yesterday -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Bigger Damage
I'm glad I'd not stuck around longer than I did yesterday
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Concrete Telephone Pole Down -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Concrete Telephone Pole Down
Another Pole, More Trees -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Another Pole, More Trees
More Cleared Trees near the pass -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
More Cleared Trees
near the pass

This is near where I had turned around the previous day. The main storm came through perhaps an hour and a half later, I suppose.

Today, we continued on...

“ No Motor Vehicles ” unless you can lift them -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
No Motor Vehicles
unless you can lift them
Split in Half The trunks seen at the bottom and top of the frame were originally one and the same. (What a violent moment it must have been to produce this.) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Split in Half
The trunks seen at the bottom and top of the frame were originally one and the same.
(What a violent moment it must have been to produce this.)
Easy Walking as the utility lines held the trunks above ground -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Easy Walking
as the utility lines held the trunks above ground
Tree Trunk Exploded the outer trunk was perfectly stripped from the inner, leaving perfectly-smooth wood -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Tree Trunk Exploded
the outer trunk was perfectly stripped from the inner,
leaving perfectly-smooth wood
Slightly Harder to Pass -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Slightly Harder to Pass
More Trees Down -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 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 Trees Down
Finally Reaching The Spring -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Finally Reaching The Spring

This spring, where we often stop to fill our water bottles, is not far below the pass. The nearby photos link below the photo brings up previous blog posts where this spring was featured.

After filling up, we continued on our way deeper into the mountains...

Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Common Scene -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Common Scene
Yet Again -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 35mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Yet Again
And Again -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 35mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.3, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
And Again
And Still Again... -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 35mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
And Still Again...

We took the turn toward Mochikoshi Pass. In essence, we had started a clockwise Kyoto Heart Loop, and were working on the western half.

More of the Same -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
More of the Same
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.1, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
“ Turn the Fuck Around and Get Out ” guy in red gloves in the center was egregiously rude -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.1, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Turn the Fuck Around and Get Out
guy in red gloves in the center was egregiously rude

We finally came across a crew working to clear the road, and without prompting we were verbally attacked by one of the workers. His lashing out was entirely uncalled for; someone apparently higher up in the food chain of this group stepped in to allow us to pass.

Quickly Passing -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.1, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Quickly Passing
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 27mm — 1/125 sec, f/2, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos

As we moved away from the area, we passed all the parked cars of the workers, and as we continued toward Mochikoshi Pass, more cars came. This told us that the road ahead was open all the way to the city, as it was the only other way to reach this point. This was good news, and was opposite to what happened last year, as the destruction seen in the previously-mentioned post about last year's typhoon was all on that road that we were soon to return to the city on.

It hadn't been completely unscathed, as we came across one beefy tree that had been cleared:

Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

John had never been on this road, so I was pleased to tell him that it was all downhill from here... a lovely 10-minutes of coasting through pretty woods.....

But then we came to this:

Totally Impassable To Cars -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Totally Impassable To Cars

We were bewildered... where did all the cars we'd seen before come from? They could not possibly have passed here.

The farmer who lived here said that we shouldn't try to go forward, because it's totally impassable even on foot.

It slowly dawned on us that the workers had not come from the city, but from the sporadic houses and sparse villages between where we met the workers trying to clear the road, and here. They weren't the city crew dispatched to clear the road; they were residents trying to get out, trying to clear away for people and goods and medical service. Trying to reestablish a lifeline.

Now I could understand why the guy had snapped at us; I imagine it was an extremely stressful situation.

In any case, despite the farmer's warning, we went past the downed utility pole and headed toward town.

Nothing I'd seen today, or last year, or ever, prepared me for what we were to encounter.

Continued here...


SUPER FUN!! Cycling in Supertyphoon Jebi (2018 Typhoon #21)

Just a Bit of Rain
Supertyphoon Jebi (Typhoon #21) passes near Kyoto
(My area of Kyoto is the black dot to the lower right of center)
Ready to Head Out in the calm at 10am, four hours before the radar screenshot above -- Shirakawa River -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus— 1/120 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Ready to Head Out
in the calm at 10am, four hours before the radar screenshot above

Having grown up in Ohio with its summer thunderstorms, I like dynamic weather. I enjoy riding my bike in the rain, even if the rain is hard and the wind is blustery, so long as it's warm. If I know it's going to rain, I know I'll get wet and so I'll prepare accordingly, and I'll embrace the rain instead of try to avoid it.

This lack of fear of getting wet is apparently sufficiently rare that it makes me appear to be crazy in the eyes of many. Whatever. I enjoy it.

A supertyphoon was forecast to pass near Kyoto at about 2pm, so I thought I'd go out for a ride beforehand, to enjoy some of that dynamic weather before it got too bad. I set out at about 10am intending to do a loop that normally takes me about two hours. There was no rain yet, but the wind was a bit blustery.

Denied! the typhoon claims its first victim: my certain KOM on a favorite segment -- 3 -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus— 1/30 sec, f/1.8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Denied!
the typhoon claims its first victim: my certain KOM on a favorite segment

Half an hour into the ride, I came to Zenkoji Flyby Northbound, a short punchy segment, and I hit it hard. On my previous visit last week, I set a new personal record and came within 8 seconds of the KOM (King of the Mountain, the best-recorded time), despite having to go somewhat gingerly because the road was wet in some areas. Today the road was dry and I was feeling really good, putting out more than 1,000 watts at the start, until I came around a corner near the end to find the road was closed.

Someone saw me standing there in front of the gate, and told me "oh, it's fine for you to go... we just put that there because the typhoon is coming." Great. I was bummed, because I'd been I was 8 seconds ahead of the current KOM's pace, so I certainly would have gotten it. I asked whether I could move the gates aside temporarily so I could give it a try, and he said something along the lines of "I'd like to say yes, but the city asked me to put the gates there, so I can't". Oh well, I'll try again after the ground drys off.

At least it afforded me the chance to take in the view from the area, which was nice:

Calm Before the Storm Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture, Japan -- 3 -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus— 1/1800 sec, f/1.8, ISO 20 — map & image datanearby photos
Calm Before the Storm
Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture, Japan
Closed Today Mii-dera Temple (三井寺) closed in preparation for the typhoon -- 3 -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus— 1/120 sec, f/1.8, ISO 25 — map & image datanearby photos
Closed Today
Mii-dera Temple (三井寺) closed in preparation for the typhoon

It wasn't until an hour an a half into the ride, at 11:20am, that it started to rain.... just a mild, spritzy-drizzle. The wind continued to have stronger gusts at times, but it was still entirely fun and not even close to being any kind of danger. So, I decided that once I got back to Kyoto, instead of heading home I'd pop into the mountains a bit, and I invited a few friends to join.

Blown-Over Tobidashi-kun -- Hieidaira Nichome Bus Stop -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus— 1/200 sec, f/1.8, ISO 20 — map & image datanearby photos
Blown-Over Tobidashi-kun

I returned to Kyoto around noon, and met up with the one friend who could join, Maithilee, and we headed off to do the western half of Kyoto's Heart Loop, starting with the climb up to Kyomi Pass.

Starting to Get Soaked but the rain still wasn't very hard yet (yes, she should have a helmet ; she has one, couldn't find it, and decided to come anyway) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus— 1/120 sec, f/1.8, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Starting to Get Soaked
but the rain still wasn't very hard yet
(yes, she should have a helmet; she has one, couldn't find it, and decided to come anyway)
Some Small Debris Accumulating -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus— 1/60 sec, f/1.8, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Some Small Debris Accumulating

Here's a short video:

Not Toooooo Bad....
(the video makes it seem a lot worse than it was)

At this point the wind was definitely dynamic, but not dangerous. Still, I wouldn't want to stay out if it got much worse.

Bent Trees I'm starting to feel that it's getting worse -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus— 1/200 sec, f/1.8, ISO 20 — map & image datanearby photos
Bent Trees
I'm starting to feel that it's getting worse

It started to get stronger as we neared the top, and I thought we should abort the ride and head back soon.

Let me make it clear that I'm intimately familiar with the damage a typhoon can do. As seen in 2017’s Typhoon #21 (Lan) was Quite the Doozy for Kyoto, trees and utility poles were snapped like toothpicks. I want no part of that, and we were no where near that point. I wouldn't be near that point if it were near that point.

Still, the debris were also getting bigger, and especially with her not having a helmet, I worried about a branch or something bonking her on the head, so head back soon we would.

Okay, This is Now Officially Crazy
Relatively Calm at the Top but time to get back to town -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus— 1/35 sec, f/1.8, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Relatively Calm at the Top
but time to get back to town

Back in town it was much calmer.

On the way out of town, we'd noticed that a friend had left her windows open, so on the way back down, with the rain now getting stronger, we stopped in to close them for her.

We also took the opportunity to try a short segment nearby, that I've been wanting to get the KOM on. In the past I'd come close, but had trouble with bad GPS tracking (my pause after having completed the segment would somehow get added to my effort time), or with having to abort the attempt because of people or cars or something. Today I wasn't sure whether I should even bother, because the wind felt like it was blowing all directions at the same time, but I gave it a shot and did well and got my KOM. I'll want to go back on a less-blustery day to see just how much of that was from the weather and how much was from me.

Maithilee got the QOM (Queen of the Mountain) on it by virtue of her being the first female to do it. 🙂

By this point the wind was still much more calm than in the mountains, but the rain had started to pick up.

This is Super Fun For Me
I just love riding in this
Perhaps Not So Fun For Her she was getting soaked to the bone just like we were, but unlike us, she didn't do it on purpose -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus— 1/60 sec, f/2.8, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Perhaps Not So Fun For Her
she was getting soaked to the bone just like we were,
but unlike us, she didn't do it on purpose
Lots Of People Out and About
though the rain is now strong
Having So Much Fun -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus— 1/30 sec, f/1.8, ISO 25 — map & image datanearby photos
Having So Much Fun

We knew the main storm still hadn't arrived, but would, so we were winding down our ride. As I escorted her back to her place, stopped at a traffic light we noticed that the wind really had picked up, and was racing through the small alleyways...

Whipping Wind
River with Waves the waves were against the flow of the river -- Aoibashi -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus— 1/60 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
River with Waves
the waves were against the flow of the river

Just before we got to her place, a gust of wind came that was unlike anything I'd experienced since my rides up Mt. Fuji a couple of months ago. It was so strong, instinct brought us both to a halt and off our bikes, to steady ourselves. This was the real storm arriving.

We happened to have a good view of a river, which was flowing away from us, but it looked to be flowing toward us:

Backward-Flowing River

It was time to get inside, and we did.

The storm raged outside as I fought with Apple's Air Drop feature, trying to send the photos and videos I'd taken to her phone. It normally works so smoothly, but for some reason just didn't want to work well this time. I eventually gave up and headed back out. I hadn't been there long, but the worst of the storm had clearly passed.

I felt completely safe riding home, except for the occasional bit of flying sheet metal. I kept eagle eyes out for that, and otherwise enjoyed myself immensely.

Flipped-Over Bus Signs their base looked to be so heavy that I didn't even try to put them back -- Oike Bridge -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus— 1/30 sec, f/1.8, ISO 20 — map & image datanearby photos
Flipped-Over Bus Signs
their base looked to be so heavy that I didn't even try to put them back
Rust Gave Way -- Oike Bridge -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus— 1/60 sec, f/1.8, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Rust Gave Way
The Kind of Sheet Metal I Was Worried About as the metal shutters flapped in the gusts -- ディアクレスト京大熊野 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus— 1/30 sec, f/1.8, ISO 40 — map & image datanearby photos
The Kind of Sheet Metal I Was Worried About
as the metal shutters flapped in the gusts
Behind the Heian Shrine Its trees still looked full, but so does the street -- ディアクレスト京大熊野 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus— 1/60 sec, f/2.8, ISO 64 — map & image datanearby photos
Behind the Heian Shrine
Its trees still looked full, but so does the street
In Front of the Heian Shrine a tree fell across the road -- Heian Shrine (平安神宮) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus— 1/160 sec, f/1.8, ISO 20 — map & image datanearby photos
In Front of the Heian Shrine
a tree fell across the road
At the Heian Shrine
Proper Preparation That crane has been in use for a year, now tucked away safely for the storm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus— 1/120 sec, f/1.8, ISO 20 — map & image datanearby photos
Proper Preparation
That crane has been in use for a year, now tucked away safely for the storm
On Sanjo Street -- 堀池橋 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus— 1/240 sec, f/1.8, ISO 20 — map & image datanearby photos
On Sanjo Street
Kamo River Seems Fine no problems, unlike previous times like this and this -- Oike Bridge -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus— 1/120 sec, f/1.8, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Kamo River Seems Fine
no problems, unlike previous times like this and this
So Very Fun! -- Sanjo-Street Bridge over the Kamo River (三条大橋) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus— 1/120 sec, f/2.2, ISO 40 — map & image datanearby photos
So Very Fun!

The wild weather was winding down quickly, so I called it a day and headed home.

Here's the ride on Strava:

I'd seen some big damage, as shown above, and a lot of small things like fallen roof tiles and people's stuff being blown around. I knew it would take some cleanup. But nothing I'd experienced out on the ride prepared me for what I'd see online when I got back, mostly from Osaka. It was horrifying:

There are also now plenty of compilation videos showing more.

There's also this video of Kyoto Station, often accompanied by text claiming that the roof was falling in. My guess is that the big square metal thing we see fall was actually blown from somewhere else, and simply came crashing through one of the glass panes.

In any case, all these Osaka videos were quite a shock. Kyoto didn't get hit nearly so hard, thankfully.

The next day was calm and pleasant, and I took a ride to check out the mountains where I had been as the storm approached. That's a story for the next post, but let's just say that I'm very, very glad that I turned around and came back when I did.

Continued here...


Discovering and Cycling Japan’s Biggest Climb
Starting in the Ocean rear wheel in the Sea of Japan city of Toyama, Toyama Prefecture, Japan -- Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus — 1/40 sec, f/1.8, ISO 25 — map & image datanearby photos
Starting in the Ocean
rear wheel in the Sea of Japan
city of Toyama, Toyama Prefecture, Japan

I recently did a bicycle ride that I'd been planning for months: to do Japan's biggest road climb, a single climb going from sea level to Japan's highest paved road at Mt. Norikura, at an elevation of 2,717m (8,914'). As far as I know, it's the biggest possible elevation gain in a single paved-road climb in Japan, and as far as I know, it's never been done, or even known of, until now.

I've ridden that highest paved road in Japan road before, as blogged about here, but this time I would start 110km (68mi) away at the ocean (elevation: 0), in the city of Toyama.

I'd spent months researching the most direct route from the ocean, updating road data (as described in Updating Maps for Cycling, Including Japan’s Pseudo One-Way Roads), refining my elevation database, and scoping out places to get food and drink along the way.

Here's the route that I came up with:

... and here's the elevation profile:

It's almost completely flat at the start, rising ever-so-gently from the ocean towards the mountains. It's one solid climb all the way from pretty much anywhere you start in Toyama; I found a boat launch that's paved into the ocean, so that seems to be a great place to start.

5:30am Sea of Japan -- Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus — 1/40 sec, f/1.8, ISO 25 — map & image datanearby photos
5:30am
Sea of Japan

I'd gotten a hotel in Toyama, and was out the door by 5am to make the 20-minute ride up to the climb's starting spot in the ocean. I'd come the previous afternoon, after checking into the hotel, to make sure that it still existed (I'd done all my research with Google Maps and Google Earth).

Ready To Roll selfie just before starting out, with the rear tire in the ocean -- Sea of Japan -- Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus — 1/30 sec, f/2.2, ISO 64 — map & image datanearby photos
Ready To Roll
selfie just before starting out, with the rear tire in the ocean

I picked a simple path through the city, so as to make an easy-to-follow route in case others might want to do it.

I say it's one unbroken climb, but that's in the big-picture sense, and doesn't mean that every step forward actually goes up. (If that were the case, traversing a speed bump would break a climb into two.) There are times over the 110km that the roads dips down slightly, such as a short mild descent to meet a bridge that crosses a river, or to dip under train tracks:

Local Dip -- Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus — 1/60 sec, f/2.8, ISO 40 — map & image datanearby photos
Local Dip

For all practical purposes, though, it's one single climb, and so I was looking forward to have it under my belt.

Sun Peeks Out 6am -- Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus — 1/7400 sec, f/1.8, ISO 25 — map & image datanearby photos
Sun Peeks Out
6am

The sun rose at 5:35, but didn't make an appearance until 6am. I thought it was lovely at the time, but it heralded a strong wind that materialized out of nowhere. I'd been feeling good until then, but then became consumed with worry that I'd have to contend with the wind for the next five hours, until I got to the steep stuff (for which a wind doesn't matter as much).

First Sight of the Goal I think that's Mr. Norikura to the right of center, 65km (40 mi) away -- Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus — 1/120 sec, f/2.8, ISO 25 — map & image datanearby photos
First Sight of the Goal
I think that's Mr. Norikura to the right of center, 65km (40 mi) away
“ Steep ” Section Early On -- Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 20 — map & image datanearby photos
Steep Section Early On

The first 80km has only 800m of climb, so it averages a very mild 1%, though there are a few short sections at 5%. There's even one very short bit that goes down at 5%, but it's so short that it has no material impact on the overall climb.

Lots of Avalanche-Protection Half Tunnels -- Hida, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus — 1/60 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
Lots of Avalanche-Protection Half Tunnels

I felt good, other than the headwind and a slight bloating feeling. I was worried that I'd not have a lot of chances to refill on water during the ride into the mountains, so I was drinking a lot and refilling whenever I had the chance. I was also eating copious amounts, in addition to the big breakfast I'd had at the hotel, so as to avoid The Bonk (running out of energy) on the long ride. In this I was successful.

Much Cooler than I Expected 22°C (68°F) -- Hida, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus — 1/120 sec, f/2.8, ISO 20 — map & image datanearby photos
Much Cooler than I Expected
22°C (68°F)
Horrible Photo of a Gorgeous Scene I wish I had my real camera -- Hida, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus — 1/350 sec, f/2.8, ISO 20 — map & image datanearby photos
Horrible Photo of a Gorgeous Scene
I wish I had my real camera
One of Several long tunnels -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus — 1/60 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
One of Several
long tunnels
Beautiful Scenery -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus — 1/3400 sec, f/1.8, ISO 20 — map & image datanearby photos
Beautiful Scenery
Free, Drinkable Water I'm not sure why it was presented this way, but I was thankful for the water -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus — 1/610 sec, f/1.8, ISO 20 — map & image datanearby photos
Free, Drinkable Water
I'm not sure why it was presented this way, but I was thankful for the water
12% Grade next 6km -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus — 1/350 sec, f/2.8, ISO 20 — map & image datanearby photos
12% Grade next 6km

Despite what one might think at first, that sign doesn't mean 12% grade for the next 6km, but instead it means that there are sections that are up to 12% steepness at points during the next 6km. The average for the 6km is actually just 5%, so it's not that bad.

Norikura Disappearing into the Mist I thought it was pretty at the time. Little did I know. .. -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus — 1/280 sec, f/2.8, ISO 20 — map & image datanearby photos
Norikura Disappearing into the Mist
I thought it was pretty at the time. Little did I know...
First Mention of “ Norikura ” 100km into my ride -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus — 1/240 sec, f/1.8, ISO 20 — map & image datanearby photos
First Mention of Norikura
100km into my ride
First Street Sign with “ Norikura ” -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus — 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 20 — map & image datanearby photos
First Street Sign with Norikura
Absolutely-Ridiculous Signage -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus — 1/120 sec, f/2.8, ISO 20 — map & image datanearby photos
Absolutely-Ridiculous Signage

I've written about the ridiculous way some Japanese road-restriction signs present themselves, such as in No Motorcycles Allowed….. Sometimes… Sort of, but the one above takes the cake.

Here's a literal translation of the various parts:
(Note that in Japanese traffic law, a bicycle is a vehicle” just like a car or truck or bus.)

NO VEHICULAR TRAFFIC
May 15 through June 30
October 1 through October 31
6pm through the next day's 7am
July 1 through September 30
6pm through the next day's 3:30am
NO VEHICULAR TRAFFIC
(busses, taxies, bicycles, special permission excepted)
May 15 through June 30
October 1 through October 31
7am through 6pm
July 1 through September 30
3:30am through 6pm
Ahead is
Norikura Skyline

What this is saying, in the most-convoluted way, is:

From July 1 through October 31, only buses, taxies, bicycles, and those with special permission are allowed, and only during the day (well, from 3:30 am in the middle of the summer).

The sign doesn't mention anything about other times of the year (fall, winter, and spring), but I know that the road is physically closed off with a gate, due to snow.

The takeaway from this is that normal passenger cars are completely prohibited at all times.

I don't understand why they need to present it in such a convoluted way. Everything is a restriction (including the ... excepted part, which is a restriction on the restriction), which I suppose is fine, but why couldn't they say it simply?

I wonder how long it would take the average Japanese driver, when presented with these signs, to realize that they're telling him that he's not allowed to proceed?

Also odd is that the signs aren't about the road that they're on. For whatever reason, these signs were placed on the main road, but they talk about the road that turns off to the left. Very strange.

In any case, as a cyclist, I was allowed to take the road at that date and time, so I did. It was steep, but pretty.

Deep Nature very steep nature -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus — 1/120 sec, f/1.8, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Deep Nature
very steep nature
Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus — 1/380 sec, f/1.8, ISO 80 — map & image datanearby photos
Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus — 1/60 sec, f/2.8, ISO 64 — map & image datanearby photos

That section of road was about 4km, and averaged 9.3%.

It brought me, finally, to the Norikura Skyline, the last 14km (8.5 mi) stretch to the top. Despite being only 13% of the distance, its 1,020m (3,350') of climb comprised more than a third of the entire trip's. It averages a 7.3% grade overall, but that belies the fact that not all sections are the same: the 2nd and 8th kilometers average 10%, and the kilometer after each of those averages 9%. On the other end of the scale, the 13th kilometer averages only 3.6%, bless its heart.

This final push to the top would be the most physically-demanding section, but having completed the long, mentally-demanding runup to here, with the goal in sight, I was feeling good.

That didn't last long.

Denied turned away because of “ too much fog ” -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus — 1/160 sec, f/2.2, ISO 25 — map & image datanearby photos
Denied
turned away because of too much fog

As I approached the guard/toll gate, a worker had come out and stood waiting to meet me with wrists crossed in an X sign, the universal sign in Japan for no/closed/bad. I knew immediately that my attempt at Japan's Biggest Climb was over, because I knew that in Japan when these kinds of decisions were made, they were completely non-negotiable.

List of Road-Closure Conditions none of which were triggered, except for the vague “ snow/ice/fog ” at the bottom -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus — 1/1400 sec, f/1.8, ISO 20 — map & image datanearby photos
List of Road-Closure Conditions
none of which were triggered, except for the vague snow/ice/fog at the bottom

The too much fog reason is just so stupid. I can certainly take responsibility for myself, and as for others, the road is always closed to normal traffic, so the only vehicles allowed are the occasional taxi or bus driven by professionals. (As you can see in the photo above, the toll for a large bus is 10,200 yen, about US$100!) I had bright flashing lights both front and back, and the fog, however thick it was, would have been only at the very top anyway. It was just stupid.

It seems that I should have checked The Skyline's home page to see the current status, I learned from the guard. As of this writing, the road is open to cyclists, as evidenced by the marked circle:

When I was turned away, it was an , and had been so from the previous day.

Now I know.

Overall, I spent half an hour there, at first trying to talk my way in, and then in figuring out what I'd do going forward. The main guy I talked to (not the one in the photo above) was full of empathy and easy to talk to, so that made things better, but it was still so very disappointing. I turned around to return to the hotel.

I eventually headed down a different way than I'd come up, via a lovely descent. But after having ridden more than 100km up hill, any descent would have been lovely.

The road eventually flattened out, and in the flatter areas the headwind had returned. Since three hours had been cut from my trip by the Norikura Skyline guard, I had plenty of time and was in no rush, so I took it easy, as I had been all day.

50km (32mi) into my return, I had a momentary worry about another road closure:

“ Road Closed ” “ Route 360 toward such-and-such a Pass ” -- Hida, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus — 1/1000 sec, f/1.8, ISO 20 — map & image datanearby photos
Road Closed
Route 360 toward such-and-such a Pass

I'd had two routes worked out for my return, one that was easy and one that looked to be very, very hard. On the return I'd been toying with the idea to try the hard one, but on paper it seemed almost as hard as the Mt. Fuji climb I'd done two months prior, which was both mentally and physically very difficult for me, so I'd decided that I just wasn't up to trying it. But now with this huge Road Closed sign, I worried that I'd have to do it.

I came across some road workers and asked whether the easy road to Toyama was closed. No idea. A bit farther on, I came across some surveyors and asked the same, and was cheerily told that it was open and without hills all the way. That sounded good.

Bypassed by a Tunnel -- Hida, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus — 1/270 sec, f/1.8, ISO 20 — map & image datanearby photos
Bypassed by a Tunnel

This road, which was bypassed by a modern tunnel, looked much more appealing in Google Street View photos from four years ago:

As it was, I had to pick my way between the overgrowth, and among many fallen rocks and branches, but it was still nice.

The next 25km (17mi) were mostly downhill, and I seemed to have a tailwind because at times my speed was more than I could otherwise explain. It was nice.

Pretty View but again, the iPhone photos just don't do it justice -- Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus — 1/240 sec, f/2.8, ISO 20 — map & image datanearby photos
Pretty View
but again, the iPhone photos just don't do it justice
Rice Fields at the Edge of the City taken at 32 kph (20 mph) -- Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus — 1/32000 sec, f/1.8, ISO 25 — map & image datanearby photos
Rice Fields at the Edge of the City
taken at 32 kph (20 mph)

I arrived back at the hotel 10 minutes shy of a 12-hour ride. I'd ridden 215km (134mi) and climbed only 2,177m (7,150'). If I'd had done the complete climb, and the harder return, the climb would have been about double, and my biggest ride in that respect. As it was, the amount of climb was nothing special (it's ranked #39 in my rides by climb). By distance, it's my #6-longest ride.

I brought my scale along to weigh myself before and after. During the ride I had 9,075ml of drink (2.4 gallons) which in itself weighs 9kg (20lb), and in addition ate in abundance, but I still lost 3.8kg (8.4lb) during the 12-hour ride. This did involve one bathroom break, but the bulk of the loss was 28 pounds worth of sweat. Wow.

Here's the ride at Strava:

And here's the Relive video of it:

Relive 'My Super Disappointing Ride of Crushing Disappointment / がっかりばかりのライド'

My hotel was a nice business-budget hotel near the train station, and as such the restaurant was more cafeteria than restaurant, but I was happy for real food.

Dinner APA Hotel (アパホテル) -- APA Hotel (アパホテル) -- Toyama, Japan -- Copyright 2018 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 7 Plus — 1/30 sec, f/1.8, ISO 40 — map & image datanearby photos
Dinner
APA Hotel (アパホテル)

I had a couple of beers in my room fridge waiting for me, but I ended up just passing out, and sleeping well. I checked out early, and made the 4-hour drive home.


Josée Houle’s Milk Ninja
Milk Ninja composition copyright by Josée Houle shared here with permission -- Copyright 2018 Josée Houle, https://www.facebook.com/josee.houle.969
Nikon D800 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 48mm — 1/3200 sec, f/5, ISO 800 — image data
Milk Ninja
composition copyright by Josée Houle
shared here with permission

This composition, by Montreal photographer Josée Houle, combines my photo of a wall at Kyoto's Myouhouin Temple (妙法院), which I published on a post in 2012, with photos of a model being splashed with colored milk.

Josée described the process to me:

First, the model took the pose with all the pieces of the outfit that wasn’t liquid, to create the basis of the final photo. Once the perfect shot was taken, every accessory was taken off and then, the process of splashing milk on the model could start.

While the model taking and keeping the same pose as in the final photo, two assistants started splashing and pouring yellow coloured milk on each one part of her body at the time, repeating this process again and again, until many usable shots of the milk splashing were taken.

After, on the computer, a selection of the best shots of milk was done and then combined, one layer over the other, on the final photography, to create the entire kimono on the model.

A background was added to create a context and the whole picture was blended together to give the most realistic yet fantastic result possible.

It sounds really messy, but fun, and the result is certainly interesting and fun.

She posted the photo, along with information about it, on Facebook, and also some behind-the-scenes photos here.