Feeling Good: Leg Healing Well, and Good Deeds Done

I posted the other day about ripping a calf muscle while playing livingroom soccer with my son, and lamented that I'd be out of action for a while, because after a certain age, the body just doesn't heal as well as it used to.

I took a careful approach, resting the leg as much as possible and having Kentaro Kataoka look after it daily.

Surprisingly, I found that I could hobble after a few days, and that it was good enough to make a ginger test bicycle ride after only a week. It was still uncomfortable at times when walking, but there was no pain when I rode, so whatever muscle was ripped was not involved in cycling, at least so long as things went smoothly.

So the next day I went on a long (but still easy) ride with Kyoto friend Ionut. It was a wonderful ride, much of it in the pouring rain that made me feel like this.

I still feel pain in the leg, but not at all when cycling, so that's great.

At the end of that first test ride last Wednesday, on the way home I was riding along the Kamo River, which had flooded the previous day due to a typhoon near miss. It had apparently been a mild version of this flooding. Anyway, the riverside path was littered with sticks and mud left from the flood waters, with the occasional bit of garbage as well, and at one point I had to do a double-take as I passed some garbage... the name of a local bicycle shop (Silbest Cycle) was clearly visible. I had to go back and look.

It turned out to be a full shop-original cycling kit (jersey and bib shorts), soaked in mud and leaves and bugs. Aside from the mud and leaves and bugs, it's an expensive bit of kit.

My first thought was what is this doing here, and I couldn't come up with a plausible explanation, but it was obvious that it wasn't just forgotten there and that someone might show up any moment to pick it up. So I picked up the sopping mess and brought it home and washed it. It came out nice and clean.

So after the next ride, I stopped by the cycle shop and explained the odd story, and asked whether they might be able to send a note out to their club members. I figure that someone who would buy a shop's original cycle wear would be a member of the shop's club, and it turns out I was right. I got a call from the shop today... they found the person.

It turns out that the owner had a some stuff stolen, and the thief apparently had no interest in cycling wear so dumped it by the river.

So, on today's little ride, I dropped it off at the cycle shop for the owner to pick up. Good deed done. Feels nice.


Looking Ahead To Fall with a few Shots from Last Season
desktop background image of a fall-foliage scene in Kyoto, Japan -- Hidden Treasure photo from last fall 去年の秋 -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 37mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Hidden Treasure
photo from last fall
去年の秋
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It's still six weeks before the fall colors arrive in Kyoto, so here's a look forward with a few shots from various outings last year.

My cycling buddies would be surprised to know that they likely pass this garden fairly often. (Those curious about the location can follow the map link under the photo).

今回更新去年の秋のいろいろ。

desktop background image of a fall-foliage scene in Kyoto, Japan -- at the Enkoji Temple (円光寺) -- Enkoji Temple (円光寺) -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/400 sec, f/1.4, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
at the Enkoji Temple (円光寺)
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Enkoji Temple (円光寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/400 sec, f/1.4, ISO 450 — map & image datanearby photos
at the Iwato Ochiba Shrine (岩戸落葉神社) -- Iwato Ochiba Shrine (岩戸落葉神社) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
at the Iwato Ochiba Shrine (岩戸落葉神社)
desktop background image of a fall-foliage scene in Kyoto, Japan -- Iwato Ochiba Shrine (岩戸落葉神社) -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
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desktop background image of a fall-foliage scene in Kyoto, Japan -- Iwato Ochiba Shrine (岩戸落葉神社) -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
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Roadside-Mirror Selfie taken while on this ride -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Roadside-Mirror Selfie
taken while on this ride
desktop background image of a fall-foliage scene in Kyoto, Japan -- Random House's Yard near the “ Hidden Treasure ” garden from the first photo -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Random House's Yard
near the Hidden Treasure garden from the first photo
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desktop background image of a fall-foliage scene in Kyoto, Japan -- Back Here Again with Michael and Andy -- Iwato Ochiba Shrine (岩戸落葉神社) -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Back Here Again
with Michael and Andy
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desktop background image of a fall-foliage scene in Kyoto, Japan -- Tenjuan Temple (天授庵) on a washed-out bright day -- Tenjuan Temple (天授庵) -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/400 sec, f/3.5, ISO 110 — map & image datanearby photos
Tenjuan Temple (天授庵)
on a washed-out bright day
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desktop background image of a fall-foliage scene in Kyoto, Japan -- Tenjuan Temple (天授庵) -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/2.5, ISO 360 — map & image datanearby photos
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Garden Viewing at the Enkoji Temple (円光寺) -- Enkoji Temple (円光寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/400 sec, f/1.4, ISO 2200 — map & image datanearby photos
Garden Viewing
at the Enkoji Temple (円光寺)
Photographing a Cute Little Statue -- Enkoji Temple (円光寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/2.5, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
Photographing a Cute Little Statue
desktop background image of a fall-foliage scene in Kyoto, Japan -- My Turn -- Enkoji Temple (円光寺) -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 60mm — 1/400 sec, f/2.8, ISO 4000 — map & image datanearby photos
My Turn
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Chimping -- Enkoji Temple (円光寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/2.5, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
Chimping

Other posts from the outings that these photos came from include:


Last January’s Chilly Ride To the Middle-of-Nowhere Sokushoji Temple
Manseki and his New Friend at the Ishiyama-dera Temple (石山寺) Otsu, Japan this past January / 今年の一月 -- Ishiyamadera (石山寺) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/400 sec, f/1.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Manseki and his New Friend
at the Ishiyama-dera Temple (石山寺)
Otsu, Japan
this past January / 今年の一月

今年一月(八ヶ月前)、万石さんと万石さんの知り合い樋口さんとサイクリングをしました。 やっと記事をアップします。遠いの山田舎息障寺まで行きました。

I'm finally getting around to post about a great day of cycling last January (8 months ago), with Manseki and an acquaintance of his, Higuchi-san, to a far-flung temple I knew of in the middle of nowhere.

We met up in front of the Ishiyama Temple in Otsu.

Front Gate of the Ishiyama-dera Temple 石山寺の正門 -- Ishiyamadera (石山寺) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Front Gate of the Ishiyama-dera Temple
石山寺の正門

It's a lovely, photogenic temple that I first visited four years ago, and now ride by fairly often.

It's perhaps difficult to see in the photo above, but just flanking either side of the entrance are huge bamboo New Year displays, the one on the right in the process of being dismantled. The main part of each display are three thick sections of bamboo, cut at a sharp angle...

Ishiyamadera (石山寺) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Ishiyamadera (石山寺) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Ishiyamadera (石山寺) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/250 sec, f/1.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

The mascot was there to meet a bus load of tourists who pulled up soon after this shot.

This front gate is next to the cafe we stopped by on one of my first long cycle rides the previous year. The owner is an avid cyclist, and through the owner, one of the waitresses got into cycling and today was our riding partner:

Mrs. Higuchi -- Ishiyamadera (石山寺) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 38mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Mrs. Higuchi

I've come across Higuchi-san in the mountains while cycling a couple of times, the first time noted here. This would be my first ride with her.

Ready to Head Out -- Ishiyamadera (石山寺) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Ready to Head Out
Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/1600 sec, f/2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Typical “ Manseki Attack ” Shot similar to this shot taken while cycling at 26 kph (16 mph) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/500 sec, f/2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Typical Manseki Attack Shot
similar to this shot
taken while cycling at 26 kph (16 mph)
taken while cycling at 28 kph (17 mph) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/500 sec, f/2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
taken while cycling at 28 kph (17 mph)
Cresting a Hill -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 33mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Cresting a Hill
Impromptu Race taken while cycling at 27 kph (17 mph) -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Impromptu Race
taken while cycling at 27 kph (17 mph)
Impromptu Photo Op -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 33mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Impromptu Photo Op
Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 65mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

The pause above was 45km into the ride, just before the first big climb, the lovely but unpopular (because it's so far from populated areas, I suppose) Iwaosan Western Climb.

Black Ice 岩尾山へ登りはブラックアイスでした -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Black Ice
岩尾山へ登りはブラックアイスでした

It was cold enough in the mountains for ice to form on the roads, so any patch that looked wet was suspect. Occasionally the ice was obvious, where it formed on large puddles and broke as we rode through...

Easily-Visible Ice -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Easily-Visible Ice
Side Road to Explore Some Day closed to motor vehicles, but fine by foot or bike -- Iga, Mie, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Side Road to Explore Some Day
closed to motor vehicles, but fine by foot or bike
After the Climb feeling in better shape than that old sign -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
After the Climb
feeling in better shape than that old sign
Scary (but Beautiful) Descent taken while cycling at 16 kph (10 mph) -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 35mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Scary (but Beautiful) Descent
taken while cycling at 16 kph (10 mph)
Looks Icy taken while cycling at 31 kph (19 mph) -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 35mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 2000 — map & image datanearby photos
Looks Icy
taken while cycling at 31 kph (19 mph)
taken while cycling at 45 kph (28 mph) -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 2500 — map & image datanearby photos
taken while cycling at 45 kph (28 mph)
Photo Op taken by Manseki while I rode by -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Photo Op
taken by Manseki while I rode by
Arrived at the Temple we arrived to the turn off to the temple, at least Sokushoji Temple (息障寺) -- Sokushoji (息障寺) -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 35mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Arrived at the Temple
we arrived to the turn off to the temple, at least
Sokushoji Temple (息障寺)

From the main road (if it can be called that), the temple is a further 820m @ 9.2%.

Powering Up -- Sokushoji (息障寺) -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 50mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Powering Up

Few folks have done this by bicycle; Mrs. Higuchi and I got the QOM/KOM.

Arrival at the Parking Lot -- Sokushoji (息障寺) -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Arrival at the Parking Lot

This is the temple that appeared on my blog five years previous (has it been that long?!), in Short Family Visit to the Middle-of-Nowhere Sokushouji Temple, whose opening shot is taken from this parking log.

There's much to explore at this small temple, and one climb a huge flight of stairs to a wonderful viewpoint, but on this trip we just looked around at the base.

Sokushoji (息障寺) -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Buddies photo by Yoshino Higuchi -- Sokushoji (息障寺) -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Buddies
photo by Yoshino Higuchi
Heading Back Down -- Sokushoji (息障寺) -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Heading Back Down

We thought we'd try to take some action shots on the way down, but I'm still pretty bad at this kind of photography. I had Mrs. Higuchi ride up past me on the steepest hairpin, but you get no sense of the steepness nor the effort in the result....

Super Steep take my word for it -- Sokushoji (息障寺) -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Super Steep
take my word for it

We also tried some downhill shots. Manseki has a good sense for action shots, having done his share of photo shoots as a professional skier.

photo by Manseki Kanemitsu -- Sokushoji (息障寺) -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
photo by Manseki Kanemitsu

I tried to mimic his technique.

Sokushoji (息障寺) -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 35mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Bland but somehow still lovely -- Iga, Mie, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/8, ISO 2500 — map & image datanearby photos
Bland
but somehow still lovely
Heading Home only about 65km (40mi) to go -- Iga, Mie, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 35mm — 1/250 sec, f/8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Heading Home
only about 65km (40mi) to go

We came across a road that looked quite inviting on the satellite view, but it turns out to be a private road up to an equestrian farm. (Manseki is apparently an accomplished rider, and knew of the property, but had never been there.)

In Front of a Lovely -Looking Road that we couldn't take -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 35mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
In Front of a Lovely-Looking Road
that we couldn't take

We also came across a cafe that he had been to before, one in the middle of nowhere that routinely has hours-long lines form to get in, apparently. Luckily, we happened across it when almost no one was there.

Mori Cafe (森のCafe) -- Mori Cafe (森のCafe) -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Mori Cafe (森のCafe)
Pleasant at least if you don't have to wait an hour -- Mori Cafe (森のCafe) -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Pleasant
at least if you don't have to wait an hour
Why You Can't Always Trust Maps short section of no-longer-maintained old road -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 46mm — 1/160 sec, f/8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Why You Can't Always Trust Maps
short section of no-longer-maintained old road
Downhill taken while cycling at 39 kph (24 mph) -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 27mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Downhill
taken while cycling at 39 kph (24 mph)
taken while cycling at 35 kph (22 mph) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
taken while cycling at 35 kph (22 mph)

All in all, it was a great time. I'd like to try the first half of the route again when it's warmer. Maybe I'll put that at the top of my list once my injured calf heals.


More Exploring Uji by Bicycle, and Exploring my Cycling Psychology
Muddy River the morning after typhoon-effect torrential rains -- Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Muddy River
the morning after typhoon-effect torrential rains

Now that I'm out of action for a while, I'll try to make some headway in my blogging. This post is sort of a followup to last month's Lovely Bicycle Ride Revisiting Uji Countryside Photographed Five Years Ago, because I returned to the area on my next ride to continue exploring.

The ride ended up being lovely, appearing on Strava as Uji #3 - Wet & Slimy Satisfaction 宇治市満足:

I hit as many mountain climbs as I could fit in, so the ride ended up with over 3000m (10,000') of climb, but I was just enjoying to explore, so taking it slow and easy made it not a challenge. Just fun. I truly enjoyed myself.

Small-Plot Rice Ready for Harvest I doubt anyone actually lives in the house, though -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 41mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Small-Plot Rice Ready for Harvest
I doubt anyone actually lives in the house, though
Across the Street harvest likely just finished -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Across the Street
harvest likely just finished

One thing that helps me enjoy a ride is purposefully sandbagging climbs that are new for me. I've never been competitive by nature, but in cycling I find that I'm extremely competitive with myself, never wanting to go slower than last time. Taking a new climb slow on purpose has two physiological benefits: it gives me an excuse to go slow and just enjoy the ride, and it ensures that I'll get a PR the next time I try it.

I am fully aware of how utterly pathetic this is. It's so obvious that even I can see it for what it is, which I also find to be quite interesting.

Base of the Omine East Climb a lovely mild climb -- Tsuzuki-gun -- Tsuzuki-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 37mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Base of the Omine East Climb
a lovely mild climb

My cycling heatmap tells me that I did this climb last year, but I didn't remember much about it other than being a nice ride. The climb to the top is a bit rolling, averaging 5.2% over 6km. (Strava says the climb averages 4.1%, but that's only because as we've seen, Strava has a difficult time with numbers.)

Lovely Road Surface though areas of wet moss would raise caution on a descent -- Tsuzuki-gun -- Tsuzuki-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
Lovely Road Surface
though areas of wet moss would raise caution on a descent

All that stuff I said above about sandbagging a new climb does not apply to descents, which I'm happy to hit hard and fast the first time and every time, so long as it's safe. It surprises many people to find that I don't see much advantage in knowing a descent... having done it once or 100 times before doesn't (for the most part) help me do it faster. People's reaction is a good litmus test for telling me about them: if they're surprised, it tells me that they don't know how to descend safely.

But today would not be a day for fast descents, with the torrential rains the evening before and all.

Effects of the Storm apparently I'm the first to use this road since last night -- Tsuzuki-gun -- Tsuzuki-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Effects of the Storm
apparently I'm the first to use this road since last night

The tree limb laying across the road was a lot bigger than it looks in this snap, and it took some effort to cajole it over the cliff off the side of the road.

The photo was taken on the way up. I didn't use the camera on the way down the other side because I was concentrating on not crashing. (Did I mention that the roads were slimy, wet, slippery, and filled with crap?)

At The Base On The Other Side -- Tsuzuki-gun -- Tsuzuki-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
At The Base On The Other Side

Another psychological issue to talk about is my approach to big climbs. I tend to at the same time want to try them, but also am terrified of them, especially if it's a road I've never ridden up, but have ridden down, seeing all the vertical climb fly by at high speed.

I'd recently decided to take a stab at overcoming this phobia in last month's doing of the Big Buddha climb immediately after having descended it for the first time. As I descended, I could only see pain and suffering in any attempt to climb it, so it was a great psychological victory to just turn around and do the climb right away. It's here that I realized that taking it easy makes it easy and removes the phobia fear.

So I did that again today, turning around and doing Omine West right away. Part of taking it easy the first time meant that I could stop for photos...

Osaka Skyline from early in the climb -- Tsuzuki-gun -- Tsuzuki-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Osaka Skyline
from early in the climb

By the time I got to the top this second time the roads were drier, so I could be a bit less ginger (but still ginger) on the second Omine West Descent for the day. It's started to not surprise me when I take a descent slowly and carefully yet still register the KOM, but it still amazes me. That didn't happen this time, though, as my descent time of 8:43 was seven seconds slower than the KOM. Next time I'll actually try, at least, if it's safe to do so.

Bonus Climb -- Uji, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 43mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Bonus Climb

One thing I like to do, which apparently almost no one else does, are side climbs just for the sake of the climb. Before heading off on a new route, I scour Google Earth looking for roads that are steep, paved, and accessible, and give them a try. The road above is one such little detour, 1.1km of perfect tarmac at 7%, that leads exactly nowhere. (There's some kind of landfill at the top.)

I made a segment for this lovely little climb, but it turns out that there's only one other registered ride. That's too bad, because even though the road doesn't lead anywhere, it does have a nice view:

Reward for the Short 1km Climb -- Kuse-gun -- Kuse-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Reward for the Short 1km Climb

An even better reward is the descent on the wide, pristine, deserted road.

After that I took a little shortcut, then explored another leads nowhere climb. This short climb is the same length as the one above, but this time it averages 11% and the road quality is much worse.

Tunnel Vision -- Uji, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Tunnel Vision

Only five people have done this climb. I guess most folks just don't like climbs for the sake of it, or to explore new locations, but it doesn't make sense to me. If your goal is just to get from Point A to Point B, why not take a cab?

My route then was supposed to take me down a super-twisty steep little road, but it turns out to be closed for the next few years for some big construction:

Not as Fast and Fun as I had Hoped -- Uji, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 30mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Not as Fast and Fun as I had Hoped
Amagase Dam 天ヶ瀬ダム and an old building -- Uji, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Amagase Dam
天ヶ瀬ダム
and an old building

The next goal was to climb the long Mt. Kisen descent I had done on the previous ride (and posted a video of that descent).

Long and Winding Road π km @ 8% -- Uji, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 49mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Long and Winding Road
π km @ 8%

Of course since it was my first attempt, I took my time and stopped for photos.

Pretty Moss kindly keeping to the side, off the road -- Uji, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 27mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Pretty Moss
kindly keeping to the side, off the road
Wish I Had a Good Camera with a nice macro lens for this rich moss -- Uji, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 35mm — 1/2000 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Wish I Had a Good Camera
with a nice macro lens for this rich moss

The roughly 10 gazillion moss-related articles I've posed in the past with better photos include this, this, and this.

After this climb I found myself at the top of the lovely Sumiyama East Descent, which is 2.7km at 7% of mostly twisty mountain roads, but with a long wide section in the middle where you can really let loose. The pavement is very nice, at least for the first half.

I'd done this for the first time earlier in the ride, when the roads were quite scary... steep , wet, slimy, littered. By now there were nicer, so I had more fun. I reached 75kph (46mph) on the fast middle part. But you've still got to be defensive any time you're on the road, and I (figuratively) ran into cars coming around a blind corner in my lane, sections of wet and slimy road, etc. As I do on all descents, I choose to ride a way that allows for these kinds of issues. Still got the KOM. 😉

As I continued, I came across the site of the abandoned thatched-roof restaurant that I posed about the other day.

I made my way to Otsu and the brutal Iwanoma Temple Climb. The road was so steep and slippery in parts that I put my weight toward the back, to give the rear tire more grip, but because the road was so steep the front wheel came off the road and I came that close to falling over. Scary.

Still, it was easier than the first time I did this climb (on my second long ride ever) and so I was happy to make a PR.

I made a PR on the descent as well, but I don't think there will ever be a KOM for me on this descent; the current KOM (3:35) just doesn't seem safe at any skill level.

Finally, I headed back over to Kyoto via the climb up Mt. Hiei that took an hour earlier in the month on my first ride after returning from America. I was so wiped out by heat and fatigue that I had to stop continuously.

This time it was a bit cooler, and I was in much better shape, so I made a PR with 15:46, so I was very satisfied. (To put things into context, though, while I often do well relative to others on descents and on short, intense climbs, I'm quite weak on climbs that are not ultra short; among all the male friends and acquaintances that I follow on Strava, my PR time on this climb is ranked #16 of 19. Optimistically, I'll call that room for improvement 🙂 )


Adding Your Own Custom Photo-Metadata Fields to Lightroom

Lightroom allows for a variety of metadata for each photo or video... capture date, caption, keywords, etc., and plugins can add further, custom fields, but sometimes what's offered by Lightroom or existing plugins just doesn't fulfill one's own specific needs. Luckily, it's actually fairly easy to make your very own Lightroom plugin to add your own metadata fields. In this post, I'll show you how.

It's fairly quick and simple. It will take far longer to read this post about how to do it than it takes to actually do it.

The kind of fields we can add this way are simple text fields, where you can enter whatever text you like. The example we'll use throughout this article is adding these three fields to track co-artists of a modeling shoot:

three data fields we will add via
our example Modeling Info plugin

Your plugin can have more or fewer fields, and of course you can make different plugins for different sets of data.

As I said, it's fairly simple to set up, but since it does involve editing program files, some things must be done exactly as described, so take care to follow instructions.

The outline of the process:

  1. Create a folder (with a special name, as I'll describe) for the plugin.
  2. Add two starter files into the folder.
  3. Personalize the first file.
  4. Personalize the second file.
  5. Point Lightroom at your new plugin and start using it.
  6. (Optional) Create a metadata-view template to ease access your new data fields.

Again, the process is pretty quick once you're used to it, but we'll go over the steps in detail below.

Steps three and four involves editing program files, and in doing so you must not use a document editor (e.g. Microsoft Word). Rather, you must use a simple text editor that adds no formatting or rich text.

Under OSX you can use TextEdit, so long as you remain in Plain Text mode.

Under Windows you can use Notepad.

Step 1: Create the Plugin Folder

You can take care of both this step and the next by downloading the starter sample plugin this article describes, modeling-info.lrplugin.zip. After unzipping, you'll be left with a folder named modeling-info.lrplugin. Move it to wherever on your system you want your plugin to reside.

(Don't make the mistake to double-click on the folder, as it'll invoke some copy of Lightroom — on my system, it inexplicably brings up Lightroom 3! — after which it brings up the Import Dialog to try to bring non-existent photos from the plugin into Lightroom.)

Or, manually create a folder somewhere on your system where you want your plugin files to reside, naming the folder so that it ends with .lrplugin. The example plugin uses the name modeling-info.lrplugin, but other example names might include My Archive Data.lrplugin or Extra Fields.lrplugin.

Choose a name that means something to you and your use of the data; the name doesn't matter too much to Lightroom, so long as it ends with .lrplugin.

We'll refer to this as your plugin folder; as mentioned above, our example plugin folder is modeling-info.lrplugin.

Mac-Only Note:

OSX treats a folder with this kind of name specially, as a single package rather than a collection of files, but for the next couple of steps we'll want to get inside so we can edit individual files. To do this, in Finder we invoke the Show Package Contents menu item...

This puts us inside our plugin folder. It'll have two files in it already if this is the sample downloaded from my site, but if you created it manually you'll be presented with the empty folder:

Step 2: Copy In Starter Files

If you're not using the sample download, then you'll need to create two text files within your plugin folder, one named Info.lua, and the other named CustomMetadata.lua. You can copy them from the sample download or just copy/paste their contents from below.

Step 3: Personalize the Info.lua File

The starter Info.lua file looks something like this:

return {
   LrPluginName        = "Modeling Info",
   LrToolkitIdentifier = "jeff.friedl.modeling",
   LrSdkVersion        = 2,
   LrMetadataProvider  = 'CustomMetadata.lua',
}

The parts shown in red should be edited to your taste using a raw-text editor (like Notepad or TextEdit). Don't change anything else... these are program files, so every little bit of punctuation matters.

The first bit of text to change (Modeling Info) is the name Lightroom should display when referencing this plugin in its UI. It's primarly used in the plugin manager. Put something here that's meaningful for you. It's best if it's short enough to display without being truncated, so Modeling Info is better than, for example, Extra metadata fields to help me track modeling sessions.

Regardless of what name you choose now, you can always return to this file to update this name later, if you like. It's used only as a display label.

The second item that must be changed, the plugin identifier (shown above as my.custom.modeling), is extremly important: it's the key identifier used by Lightroom behind the scenes to tie your plugin to your catalog, and each photo to its extra data.

You must pick something that's unique to this plugin (that is, something not used by any other plugin that you might ever use), and once you pick it and start using the plugin, it can not be changed.

It's standard practice to combine something with your name (of yourself or your business) and something about this particular plugin. It's standard practice to use a period instead of spaces.

For example, if you're Bob's Photo Studio and you make one plugin to handle modeling data, and another plugin to handle archive data, you might use bobs.photo.studio.modeling for one plugin's identifier, and bobs.photo.studio.archive.data for the other's.

Remember that all editing must be done as plain, bland, un-rich raw text. In particular, make sure not to use smart quotes...

Modeling Info this will fail
"Modeling Info" this is correct

Take a careful look at the punctuation above. See the difference?

Once you've picked the plugin label and internal identifier, save the file and move on to the other.

Step 4: Personalize the CustomMetadata.lua File

The other file contains your list of extra metadata fields that the plugin makes avaialble to each photo.

The starter file is the example defining our three modeling fields:

return {
 schemaVersion = 1, -- increment this value any time you make a change to the field definitions below

 metadataFieldsForPhotos = {
  -- You can have as many fields as you like (the example below shows three)... just make sure each 'id' and 'title' are unique.
  -- Set "searchable" to true to allow as a search criteria in smart collections.
  -- If both "searchable" and "browsable" are true, the field shows up under "Metadata" in Library's grid filter.
  { dataType="string", searchable=false, browsable=false, id="field1", title="Makeup Artist" },
  { dataType="string", searchable=false, browsable=false, id="field2", title="Wardrobe"      },
  { dataType="string", searchable=false, browsable=false, id="field3", title="Hair Stylist"  },
 }
}

This sample defines three data fields, so the first thing you'll want to do is update it to define the number of fields you actually want. If you need less than three, delete the extra { dataType... lines. If you need more than three, replicate one of the lines until you have as many such lines as fields you want.

The title for each metadata field is the label that Lightroom uses when displaying the metadata field to the user. You can use most any descriptive text you like, though shorter values have a better chance of fitting within Lightroom's cramped UI.

The id is the internal key used by Lightroom to tie a photo to its data for this field. The id value must be unique for each field within this plugin (so take extra care if you replicated lines to fill out the number of fields you needed; in doing so you also replicated the title and id, and while you probably want to update the title, the id must be changed).

For the ids, you can simply use field1, field2, etc., as is shown above, or pick short descriptive words such as makeup, wardrobe, hair. It doesn't matter too much to Lightroom so long as there are no repeats, but as illustrated here, there's a benefit to using descriptive ids over a simple field1 enumeration.

(Note: the plugin identifier in the Info.lua file that we edited first must be unique across all plugins, but the field ids in this file need be unique only within this particular plugin.)

You can turn on some options for how the fields work in Lightroom by updating the text shown in yellow above...

If you want a particular data field to be usable within smart-collection criteria, change the false after searchable= to true.

If you want the field to appear in the Library Grid Filter, change both false on the field's line to true.

If, after you've started to use the plugin, you need to return to this file to add or remove fields, or make any other change (e.g. toggling a true to false or vice-versa), increment (add one to) the schemaVersion value.

Step 5: Point Lightroom to your Plugin

Now you install the plugin just like any other: visit the plugin manager, use the Add button, and navigate to the .lrplugin folder you created in Step 1.

Now back in the Library Module, your new fields should appear in the Metatdata panel when you choose the All Plugin Metadata viewing preset:

1) click here to select a new view
2) select All Plugin Metadata

And voilà, the three fields show up, empty and waiting to be filled in as appropriate for each photo:

Step 6: (Opgtional) Metadata Viewer Preset

The need to switch to the All Plugin Metadata view preset, as we did in the last step, can be inconvenient when you want access to both your new fields and other traditional metadata fields like capture date and photo title.

However, using my Metadata-Viewer Preset Editor plugin, you can create your own view of photo data, so that you see whatever fields you like (including the new ones you just added), in whatever order you like.

When using that plugin to create your own custom view, look for the import fields from plugin button at the bottom. That'll make your custom fields available in that plugin.

Accessing Your Custom Fields

The data you add to each photo in your custom fields is kept in your Lightroom catalog, and nowhere else. It's not saved in XMP sidecars, nor is it added to exported copies of photos.

However, you can have your custom data stuffed into certain standard metadata fields of exported copies, using my Metadata Wrangler plugin. It may seem a bit cryptic, especially if you're not used to the template tokens that many of my plugins understand, but here's an example showing the wardrobe-artist data being inserted into the caption of an exported image copy:


screenshot of the Metadata Wrangler as part of an export

Both the plugin id (from the Info.lua file) and the field id (from CustomMetadata.lua) are needed to reference the specific metadata field, tied together with an extra dot (period) character. Here's a breakdown on constructing a reference to a custom plugin field:

{PluginProperty= jeff.friedl.modeling
plugin id
.
field2
field id
}

Notice the extra period (marked with a green arrow) tying together the plugin id and the field id? Don't forget that, and don't let any extra spaces creep in. Also don't forget to wrap the whole reference in curly brackets.

References from afar like this are one reason to choose a descriptive plugin id, and descriptive field ids. The field2 field id seen in this example is a lot less enlightening than the wardrobe alternate suggestion.

You can also shuffle data around within the catalog with the Write Data Field feature of my Bag of Goodies plugin. Here's a screenshot showing Lightroom's Caption field about to be filled with text that includes data from a custom plugin field:

This might be useful in special cases, but I don't think it's all that useful for most workflows because the data movement happens only when you ask for it, as opposed to the Metadata-Wrangler example above that you can set up once (in a Publish Service or in an Export preset) to have happen automatically from then on.

Cleaning Custom Data from your Catalog

If you've been using a custom plugin to add custom fields that you no longer need, and you want to reclaim the space in your catalog database file, you can't just delete the plugin to have the plugin's data removed. This is a good thing, because you certainly don't want to lose valuable plugin data just because you accidentally deleted a plugin file.

The only way I know to actually delete all the data from the catalog is to select all photos in Grid mode, then clear out the data by selecting and deleting the < mixed > value shown in the data field.

A few caveats:

After selecting All Photographs (as seen at right) while in Library Grid mode, merely selecting all images (Command/Control-A) isn't necessarily sufficient.

First of all, you have to make sure that the Grid Filters are turned off... tap Command/Control-L to toggle them off. (If they had been off, you'll see a brief Library Filters On message, in which case you'll want to re-tap Command/Control-L to turn them back off.)

You'll want to re-select all after turning off the filters, then to make sure that nothing is hidden within a closed stack, invoke Photo > Stacking > Expand All Stacks. Then again select all one last time.

Now, before selecting one of the fields to update, make sure that the spinning metadata busy icon is not present. It looks like this:

This is an area of Lightroom's UI that I think is horrible, so you've got to be careful. When that icon is spinning, Lightroom might ignore anything you type into a text-input field, or it might treat it as keyboard shortcuts instead of text to be entered. It's all too easy to destroy lots about your images when working with many of them and typing the wrong thing at what for parts of Lightroom is the wrong time.

So, wait until the spinning icon goes away. Then select the first data field and delete the < mixed > placeholder value. Then wait again until the spinning icon is no more. Repeat for all your fields.

Then you can remove the plugin from Lightroom.