Volunteering at the Tour of Japan Pro Cycling Race
Peloton Flying By Stage 2 (Kyoto) of the Tour of Japan -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 50mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Peloton Flying By
Stage 2 (Kyoto) of the Tour of Japan

The second stage of the eight-stage Tour of Japan was held yesterday in southern Kyoto Prefecture, a ways south of Kyoto City. I was a volunteer to help in crowd management, as part of an effort to supplement the various civic and government groups with cycling-specific knowledge (e.g. to be able to foresee what lines the cyclists would take, to predict where spectators would be especially dangerous, etc.)

I wasn't there to spectate or take photos, but I could do both when I wasn't otherwise occupied. It's my second cycling race to see live, the first having been amateur races in March. This time the racers were professional.

Preparation -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — image data
Preparation
Starting Area quiet, an hour and a half before the start -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- Kyotanabe, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Starting Area
quiet, an hour and a half before the start
Chance Meeting Noriko Okabe, whom we last saw on this post , rode by -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Chance Meeting
Noriko Okabe, whom we last saw on this post, rode by
Practicing Their Routine their shirts spell “ Allez! ” (cycling for “ Go! ” ) -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Practicing Their Routine
their shirts spell Allez! (cycling for Go!)

There's a preschool right next to the start line, and the kids were to perform for the racers just prior to the start.

“ Welcome to the TOJ Kyoto Stage ” -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/250 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Welcome to the TOJ Kyoto Stage

Among the various cars and motorcycles lining up for the start ahead of the athletes is this signboard motorcycle. If a cyclist or a small group breaks away ahead of the pack, she lets them know how far ahead they are (in seconds) via the signboard.

Celebrity this UCI staff with a German accent was popular -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Celebrity
this UCI staff with a German accent was popular
Photo Op -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 54mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Photo Op
Pre-Start Performance the cyclists are all lined up in front of the kids -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 70mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Pre-Start Performance
the cyclists are all lined up in front of the kids

The race was 6½ times around a 15km (9mi) loop, though actual racing didn't start until a few miles after they left the starting area. Prior to that, everyone just rolls along behind the race-commissioner's car, until he replaces a red flag with a green one and zooms ahead out of the way.

Eventually the cyclists completed the loop and raced by for the first of six times they would pass the general area where I was stationed.

Where I was stationed was at the end of a long, lovely descent during which they fly at impressive speeds, but that's petered out quite a bit by the time they get to where I was standing, just before a sharp 90° bend.

The first time they came by, I took a short video via Facebook Live, but it came out sideways because I held the camera properly and Facebook requires it to be held in the wrong orientation. Converting to YouTube, I could rotate the low-quality Facebook video:


low-quality video (30 seconds)

I'd expected to be blown away by their speed, but at this flat-ish area just before a 90-degree bend, they seemed positively pedestrian. The video above matches the lack of zoom feeling I had. Heck, I felt that I had gone just as fast when I test-rode the course last month. I suppose it makes sense, since safety dictates slowing considerably for the turn.

How silly of me. The data tells a different story.

These guys passed the camera at 50kph (31mph), while I had passed that spot at 30kph (19mph). The sense of speed is quite different on the bike vs. off, I guess, and my own sense of grandeur differs substantially from reality. 🙂

To be fair, they're riding in different conditions. The road was closed to traffic for the race, and the road surface had been cleaned the night before. It had been strewn with debris from recent storms when I rode it. I'm fast on descents, but both conditions (road open to traffic, and dangerous road surface) contributed to a fairly slow time for the long fun descent. It took me just shy of four minutes (3:58). Removing those restrictions, on my best day I imagine that I could do it in 3:30.

But on my best day, I'm not even in the same universe as these guys. During the race, one guy with a very appropriate Strava name did it in 3:00, a feat that, having ridden the road, I can't comprehend. And these guys are entry-level professionals; I imagine that world-class Tour-du-France level athletes would blow these guys away.

Second Lap -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 50mm — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Second Lap
Bike Change -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Bike Change
Could Have Been Lovely next year, I'll bring a real camera -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 70mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Could Have Been Lovely
next year, I'll bring a real camera
seems to be Cheating Yudai Arashiro (新城 雄大) -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos seems to beCheating
Yudai Arashiro (新城 雄大)
seems to be Cheating Tomoyuki Iino (飯野 智行) -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos seems to beCheating
Tomoyuki Iino (飯野 智行)

Drafting behind the team car is clearly cheating if done for more than a few moments, but there were no UCI race officials around, so they could apparently get away with it. The lack of integrity pisses me off.

Not Cheating Kenji Takubo (田窪 賢次) -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Not Cheating
Kenji Takubo (田窪 賢次)
Bloody Face no idea how Australian Jai Crawford ended up with a bloody face... maybe an unfortunate encounter with a low -hanging branch? -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Bloody Face
no idea how Australian Jai Crawford ended up with a bloody face...
maybe an unfortunate encounter with a low-hanging branch?

As can be seen in these photos, I've moved to the 90° bend for this lap. Here's a 30-second clip of the peloton coming through:

Another “ Could Have Been Lovely ” -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Another Could Have Been Lovely
Farther Upstream from the 90° bend -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 52mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Farther Upstream
from the 90° bend

For the last two laps I moved farther upstream to the curve at the end of the aforementioned long fun descent, just before they enter the areas I was at first. They've slowed down from the descent, but not quite so much, so it felt much more zippy here, just a few seconds upstream from the first place:

seems to be Another Cheater Dadi Suryadi , from Indonesia spectators just looked at each other and said “ I thought that was illegal ” -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos seems to beAnother Cheater
Dadi Suryadi, from Indonesia
spectators just looked at each other and said I thought that was illegal
Not Cheating -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Not Cheating

I tried some panning shots with a slow shutter, but I guess I don't know how to use the controls on my mini camera well, because setting the shutter-speed dial to 30 didn't actually change the shutter speed, so I didn't get much background blur...

Bloody Elbow Slovakian David Per probably had a minor crash -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Bloody Elbow
Slovakian David Per probably had a minor crash
大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Marco Canola the Italian was the eventual winner of the stage -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 62mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Marco Canola
the Italian was the eventual winner of the stage
大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 35mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
seems to be Too. Much. Cheating Maral-Erdene Batmunkh from Mongolia -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 56mm — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos seems to be Too. Much. Cheating
Maral-Erdene Batmunkh from Mongolia
All Muscle Nur Amirull Fakhruddin Mazuki , from Malaysia -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- 東倉治5丁目, Kinki Region, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
All Muscle
Nur Amirull Fakhruddin Mazuki, from Malaysia
Spokes? If they're spokes, it's difficult to imagine how they came to be scattered around the course. -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- Kyotanabe, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/800 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Spokes?
If they're spokes, it's difficult to imagine how they came to be scattered around the course.
Tools of the Trade -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- Kyotanabe, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Tools of the Trade
Volunteer Group with our leader, Koshi Hosokawa, standing rear center -- 大阪府道・京都府道71号枚方山城線 -- Kyotanabe, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 35mm — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Volunteer Group
with our leader, Koshi Hosokawa, standing rear center

Century of Wazuka Climbs, Part 2

This post picks up on last month's Century of Wazuka Climbs, Part 1, about what was for me an epic day of beauty and climbing, and some trials and tribulations. Part 1 ended with a delicious lunch, so this part picks up from just after.

So, after lunch, I made my way south to the deeper, even-less populated mountains of the Wazuka region of southern Kyoto Prefecture.


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Last Sign of Civilization for a While

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 29mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Selfie
at the top of a small climb

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Defenders of the Traffic Rules!

I thought that I had posted these guys before, but it seems that I didn't. It's the same intersection as this photo from Tea Tour with Manseki and Gorm last year.


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 60mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Lovely, Little-Used Road

This mild climb was really pleasant, but it seems to be little used, as only 30 Strava users have ever ridden it in the direction I went (300 have used it in the other direction, which still seems like a small number for such a lovely road).

Perhaps so few folks use this road because a nearby alternate route goes near a scenic spot.


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Just Lovely

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Road Narrows

The nice wide road just stops, with a narrow road that looks like an afterthought trailing away to the right. This kind of thing is seen every so often, when modern repair work is done to a very old, narrow road. The thought, I'm assuming, is that if they're going to redo the road for whatever reason, they may as well put in a modern two-lane road while they're at it. Over the decades, after enough of the road needs attention of some sort or another, they'll have gotten around to making the full length nice and wide. Until then, it comes in little spurts.


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 43mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Bicycles
Let's be Careful!!

It's not clear to me whether Bicycles is the subject or a direct object (that is, it's not clear whether this is admonishing cyclists to take general care, or cautioning drivers to watch out for bicycles). Actually, the way it's written is clearly directed at children, so perhaps it's warning children to watch out for bicycles, or maybe a clever way to get (Japanese-native) cyclists to subconsciously worry that children might be present. I dunno.


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Skirting the Top
of a green-tea field

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 29mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Roundish

Green-tea bushes are always this roundish shape. I don't know why, but I suspect it's to increase the surface area, and hence the yield. Some years ago I made my first visit to a great-tea field while working with Lake Biwa Tours as they considered a tea-themed tour. During that visit, the bushes were being trimmed...


Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/640 sec, f/2.5, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Trimming

Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/320 sec, f/2.5, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Curved Blade

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 29mm — 1/400 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Lots to Do

Back to my ride, after a lot of undulation the road finally pitches down down down at roughly 8%, in two thrilling parts of three and two kilometers, respectively. The first part, the Dosenbo Descent, breaks out of the forest and into sweeping vistas of gorgeous tea fields. Unfortunately, the camera on my bike is lower to the road, so it doesn't catch the lovely vistas, but for what it's worth, here's the descent:

After a short break with a little climb, the road again plummets down toward sea level via the Kiya Descent. It's a more-standard twisty mountain descent:

I had fun with both, not pushing too hard but hoping to do well. Ended up getting the KOM on both. 🙂


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 25mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Pretty Wisteria
near the start of the Yaruki Jizo climb

After 15 minutes of riding into the wind, I came here, to the start of the full Yaruki Jizo climb.

I've been meaning to blog about it since first visiting it in March, but like so many things, have not gotten around to it. In short, it's really brutal.

It starts off fairly flat:


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 44mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Approaching The Mountain
The koinobori flying at the house show the strength of the wind

Thankfully, the wind didn't bother in the mountain, but I had other things to worry about. My only goal was to be able to complete it.


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 41mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Representative Hairpin
only 19% at this point

The road surface is not nearly as bad as the 32%-max climb at Kyoto’s Ushio Kannon Temple, but it's got its issues, especially toward the top where it's deeply-cross-rutted cement.


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 67mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
Moss Growing
in the ruts

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
For Scale

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
At the Top
The Yaruki Jizo (やる気地蔵) is in the background
at the Kaijusenji Temple (海住山寺)

I'll write about it more later, but I like this climb in particular because of its namesake Yaruki Jizo, which very roughly translates to guardian of motivation or deity of fighting-spirit. You need what it offers in order to get there.

And if that's not enough motivation, you also have a big eggplant:


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 49mm — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Big Eggplant

It's grindingly slow, but here's a video of the climb:

Happy to complete that, I made my way to the last big climb, which slowly ramps up over eight kilometers, to end with three kilometers at 9%. I took it slowly, stopping for photos and to rest.


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 52mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Early, Mild Part of the Climb

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 46mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.6, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
Getting Steeper

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 35mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.3, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
Watch Out

Once you reach the top there are two false descents leading to two small climbs, then finally a long, lovely descent to the river path that leads to Kyoto.

The last 34km (21mi) were flat, but into a strong headwind, so that wasn't fun, but I was just happy to have survived.


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Heading Home

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 47mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Sunset

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 37mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Lovely

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 50mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.7, ISO 2000 — map & image datanearby photos
Back in Kyoto

Despite the cramping issues discussed in the first blog post, I was very happy to have completed the entire route I had planned. 100+ miles with 3,500m (11,500') of climb. I was satisfied.

There's also a relive.cc video of the ride.


Fall-Foliage Wigglegram from Kyoto’s Flower Temple
Animatable Wigglegram (16 frames) — slowly sweep mouse from side to side to view 3D effect
写真の上をマウスで左右にゆっくり動かすと「3D」な感じが出ます。
Fall Colors at the Flower Temple
花の寺

My, how time flies. I took this wigglegram in 2014, which surprises me because it doesn't feel like I've been doing them nearly that long. Last year I posted another wigglegram from the same outing, in A Couple of Autumn Wigglegrams for My Niece Jena.

I had briefly touched on the outing in A Quick Peek at Kyoto’s Hanadera Temple, which itself has a wigglegram, so I guess I was in the mood that day.

This temple is wonderful to visit, but it's difficult to get to by public transport. I'm more likely to bicycle by, as it's near the base of this brutal climb in southern Kyoto.

Anyway, I'm posting this on the occasion of Paul Barr's impending return to Kyoto. He's the focal point of the wigglegram above.


A FIT-to-GPX Converter that Understands FIT Version 2

Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/200 sec, f/2.5, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
That Face
when you realize that Garmin has screwed you yet again
( statue at the Ushio Kannon Temple — 牛尾観音described here )

I've complained for more than a decade about what a horrible company Garmin is (such as here in 2006, here in 2013, and here last year, among others). The only thing worse than their hardware design is their software design, but it's a strong competition to the bottom, backed by an apparent company-wide disdain for their customers.

The latest evidence of this disdain is new firmware for some of their cycling computers that renders them utterly incompatible with Garmin's own desktop software, and, for good measure, almost all other track-processing software in existence. Of course, this feature is not even hinted at in the release notes. In my case, they got me via a firmware update for the Garmin Edge 820 that I cycle with.

The problem is manifest in the FIT file that the unit produces after an activity, containing info about the activity (the route you took, the status of the sensors such as your heart rate along the course, etc.). Since the FIT file format was created by Garmin more than half a decade ago, it's been at Version 1, but this new firmware update bumped the FIT file format to Version 2. And that's the problem, because Garmin's own software can't handle Version 2 FIT files. If your workflow with Garmin's product relied on Garmin's products, you are screwed.

(If you relied on other, non-Garmin software, you're almost certainly screwed there as well, because almost nothing handles FIT Version 2. The only saving grace here is that Strava can handle a Version 2 FIT file, so a riot has been averted.)


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Garmin
( taken during this ride )

My after-ride processing requires a GPX file, which I used to convert to via the most-excellent GPS Babel, but like most other software, GPS Babel doesn't work with the new FIT files. So, I came up with a cheap substitute fit2gpx script that invokes the ANT+ consortium's FIT to CVS java utility under the hood. That utility does handle both Versions 1 and 2 FIT files, and perhaps will be kept up-to-date going forward, so even if Garmin decides to screw everyone again with a surprise-and-unsupported move to Version 3, perhaps we'll be covered.

Here's the script at GitHub:

FIT to GPX at GitHub

It's my first project to try GitHub with.


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Calm Thoughts
( from this ride )

As I mentioned, the script is cheap and kludgy; it does exactly what I need, but not much more. The GPX file it produces is not even standards compliant, because it uses simple Strava extensions not published as a DTD. This is why I'm trying GitHub, to allow others to make these changes if they like.


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.1, ISO 2500 — map & image datanearby photos
Life With Garmin
down a black hole
( from this ride )

Lovely Century Ride Into Hyogo

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 60mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Nice View of the Day
number 772

I went out the other day for a ride with Salvo, that turned out to be a nice Century (100+ mile) ride. Here is the ride at Strava:

There was nothing particularly epic or any special goal of the ride. It was just an all-around pleasant day. Salvo had ridden the route in strong wind the previous week, and thought it'd be nice to do again.


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/1250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Making Our Way
out of Kyoto

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Meeting Up with Joshua
who fist-pumps his victory at not being late

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Chillin'

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Typical Mountain Scene

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
All Lanes Closed

We took a road that I had passed by many times. I had heard that it was gravel, yet ridable, so I'd been wanting to try, and today was that day.


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Paved at First

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Still Paved
but with some debris, as is common on many small mountain roads

I was surprised to find that so much of the road (all so far) was paved. I was also surprised to find that it had such a steep climb (830m @ 10%).


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 2500 — map & image datanearby photos
Summit

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Nice Descent

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Cars!?
the road is officially closed, but locals still apparently use it

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Criss-Crossing Rail Lines
a line along the far bank is crossed by one emerging from the mountain

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
End of the Paved Section

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Sort of Rough Gravel

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Nice Hardpacked Gravel

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Lovely Wisteria

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Boat on the River

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Back to Civilization

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Still Fairly Remote

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Open Farmland

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Salvo's Road

We returned up the mountain via a different road that Salvo had shown me last year, and that I also taken on the ride blogged about in Cycling Through Bamboo Groves and Up Steep Mountain Slopes. Joshua hadn't known about, so was pleased to learn of a new lovely climb.


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos

Once we reached the top, Joshua went his own way to return home, as Salvo and I stopped for coffee and bread.


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Mini Market
at a cafe that I first stopped at nine years ago with the family

This cafe is at the top of a very fast descent, so I enjoyed that to get moving after the break. I just had fun, ending up with only my third-fastest time, though it would have been a KOM (King of the Mountain — the fastest registered time) had the KOM not already been mine. 😉


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/2000 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Passers By

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/1600 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Detour

I'd made a route that diverged from Salvo's original ride so that we could stop by a restaurant that I'd found online that had good reviews.


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/1600 sec, f/7.1, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Shiro Gohan (白ごはん)

iPhone 6+ — 1/15 sec, f/2.2, ISO 40 — map & image datanearby photos
My Food Arrives

Salvo's food didn't come, and didn't come, and didn't come, so much so that we started joking that perhaps they forgot. Then we started thinking that it wasn't a joke, and sure enough, they had forgotten. To make it worse, the dish in the upper left of my tray was supposed to have been a main flavoring for his meal, but now they were out of it. (By this time, I had completely finished my lunch.)

It was sort of comical, and they said sorry without really apologizing. The saving grace was that Salvo's lunch was very, very good. Mine was fine, but nothing special.


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Back on the Road

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Hand Made Tobidashikun

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Farmer's House
in the middle of nowhere

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Entering
Hyogo Prefecture, via a Really Nice Descent

The descent that started here was lovely, and Salvo had been telling me about it for the whole trip, that I would really enjoy it, and it did not disappoint. Gentle curves under a canopy of lush green with a relatively-well-surfaced road. Super photogenic the whole way, but sorry, no photos, because I was enjoying it too much. I leisurely crested the pass after taking the photo above, then followed leisurely behind Salvo for half a minute before deciding to enjoy it in my style, putting a bit of zip into it. It was lovely. Salvo and I took 2nd-overall and KOM, respectively.

Here's the video from my front camera, to perhaps give a sense of the loveliness...


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Huge Line of Koinobori

I wrote about Koinobori almost exactly 10 years ago, in Koinobori in Biei, Hokkaido, but this was the biggest display I'd ever seen by at least an order of magnitude. Each one was perhaps two to three meters long, and there must have been a hundred of them.


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/1600 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Start
of another big climb

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Last I Saw of Salvo for a While
he finished more than three minutes before me

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Some Kind of Adventure Place
with tree-top walks and ziplines

At the top of the climb was an adventure place, with ziplines and tree-top walks. Chatting with a staff member as we rested, this conversation took place:

Staff member:What country are you from?
Me:I'm from America and he's from Italy.
Staff member:(turning to Salvo) I speak some Spanish.
Salvo:(clearly being sarcastic) I speak some Chinese, so we can communicate.

Then followed a nice descent that I had been looking forward to, but I ended up registering the slowest recorded time because I got a flat...


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
First Flat in Ages

I used to get flats all the time, until I changed to Continental Gatorskin tires. This was the first flat in about 11,000 wheel kilometers (11,000 wheel miles). In all those miles I'd replaced the tires as they wore out, but kept the same tubes. In any case, this flat looked like a pinch flat, which seemed odd because I hadn't just hit a rough edge or anything (the road was not bad), but I changed it and moved on.

I got another flat on a ride today, and in inspecting the tire more carefully, realized that the sidewall had been broken down in one area, so that was the problem. I'd gone more than 5,600km (3,500mi) on that tire, so I guess it was due for a change anyway.


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Rice Planting
'tis the season

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Trays of Seedlings
lined up at the edge of a paddy

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Planted Paddy

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.5, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Little Climb
on a road now disused in preference to a tunnel

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Messy Descent

iPhone 6+ — 1/4000 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Cheers

I was quite tired by the end. It was my 18th century (ride of 100 miles or more), with 97km (60mi) of roads that were new to me. Was a good day.