Pleasant Boat Ride on a Pleasant Arashiyama Evening
Boatride at Dusk Arashiyama area of Kyoto, Japan -- Arashiyama Station -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/640 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Boatride at Dusk
Arashiyama area of Kyoto, Japan

I had a pleasant evening yesterday, with a relaxing boat ride on the Katsura River, in the Arashiyama area of Kyoto. An elementary-school friend of Manseki was in town and invited Manseki, who in turn invited some friends, which included me.

I took the subway and tram across town. At the final station, there's a Kimono Forest, a small but well-done art installation...

“ Kimono Forest ” Randen Arashiyama Station -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/320 sec, f/4, ISO 140 — map & image datanearby photos
Kimono Forest
Randen Arashiyama Station
Arashiyama Station -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 38mm — 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Arashiyama Station -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 45mm — 1/400 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos

I then met up with others at the boat dock for the two-hour ride...

Piling In -- Arashiyama Station -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Piling In
Our Gondolier for lack of a better name (the real name is sendo , 船頭, “ boatman ” ) -- Arashiyama Station -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/160 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Our Gondolier
for lack of a better name
(the real name is sendo, 船頭, boatman)
“ Cheers ” -- Arashiyama Station -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Cheers
Togetsukyo -- Arashiyama Station -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/320 sec, f/2.8, ISO 180 — map & image datanearby photos
Togetsukyo

Arashiyama's famous Togetsukyo bridge has been seen on my blog many times, including here here and here, but never quite from this angle. It's sort of out of focus in the background, with the haphazard posts in focus in the foreground lying in front of a small waterfall, to stop the errant boat from going over. Luckily, this was as close as we got.

A few years ago, this river flooded so high that the posts were submerged... five times over. The water crested the bridge. I blogged about it, and you can see a news video at the bottom of A Bit More Rain in Kyoto Than Normal

Another Boat among the very few still out this evening -- Arashiyama -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/250 sec, f/4, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Another Boat
among the very few still out this evening
Misty it had been raining on and off much of the afternoon -- Arashiyama -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 38mm — 1/160 sec, f/2.8, ISO 2200 — map & image datanearby photos
Misty
it had been raining on and off much of the afternoon
Me photo by Manseki Kanemitsu -- Arashiyama -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Manseki Kanemitsu
SC-02H at an effective 26mm — 1/10 sec, f/1.7, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Me
photo by Manseki Kanemitsu
Relaxing Time -- Arashiyama -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Relaxing Time
Arashiyama -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 2800 — map & image datanearby photos
Friends for 50+ Years -- Arashiyama -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/60 sec, f/2.8, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Friends for 50+ Years
Manseki's Mock “ Displeased ” Face I'd just exclaimed how beautiful the small building in the background was (it's public toilets) -- Arashiyama -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/50 sec, f/2.8, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Manseki's Mock Displeased Face
I'd just exclaimed how beautiful the small building in the background was
(it's public toilets)
Duskier -- Arashiyama -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Duskier
Duskiest -- Arashiyama -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/30 sec, f/2.8, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Duskiest
Not Bad for 1/10th of a second hand-held on a moving boat (it's no Atta Terrace , but still not bad) -- Arashiyama -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 35mm — 1/10 sec, f/2.8, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Not Bad
for 1/10th of a second hand-held on a moving boat
(it's no Atta Terrace, but still not bad)
Me around about the same time photo by Manseki Kanemitsu -- Arashiyama -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Manseki Kanemitsu
SC-02H at an effective 26mm — 1/4 sec, f/1.7, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
Me
around about the same time
photo by Manseki Kanemitsu
Heading Back -- Arashiyama -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/6 sec, f/2.8, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Heading Back
Disemboating photo by Manseki Kanemitsu -- Arashiyama -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Manseki Kanemitsu
SC-02H at an effective 26mm — 1/10 sec, f/1.7, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
Disemboating
photo by Manseki Kanemitsu
Back at the Kimono Forest -- Arashiyama Station -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/320 sec, f/2.8, ISO 2800 — map & image datanearby photos
Back at the Kimono Forest
Lion Dog This man had a vibe that implied he took this path with the express intent of spoiling others' photos, so I made him and his little rat dog my photo. -- Arashiyama Station -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 52mm — 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 2000 — map & image datanearby photos
Lion Dog
This man had a vibe that implied he took this path
with the express intent of spoiling others' photos,
so I made him and his little rat dog my photo.
desktop background image of the Kyoto, Arashiyama Kimono Forest art instillation -- Arashiyama Station -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/1000 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Desktop-Background Versions
1280×800  ·  1680×1050  ·  1920×1200  ·  2560×1600  ·  2880×1800

For the shot above I took a hand-held high-speed exposure-bracketed burst so that I could feed it to Lightroom's automatic HDR processing (via Library's Photo > Photo Merge > HDR command). It never ceases to amazing me what it can do with low-quality ingredients like this. I then took a heavy hand at some further processing, correcting the perspective distortion, removing the utility wires and such in the background, and removing a few manhole-cover like things that had been placed incongruously in the path.

For the most part I'm not a fan of HDR, because it's usually used too heavily, creating an unnatural result. It's effective here, though, to show the richness of the various kimono fabrics. It seems that I've used this technique for only one other blog post, on some shots in Discovering Kyoto’s Wonderful Toji-in Temple on a Tour with NORU a couple of years ago. (On the other hand, I sort of did some poor-man's HDR in Exposing for Single-Shot HDR.)

Wife of Manseki's Friend -- Arashiyama Station -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/320 sec, f/2.8, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Wife of Manseki's Friend
Odd Fabric for a Kimono perhaps for Obon ? -- Arashiyama Station -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 36mm — 1/160 sec, f/2.8, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Odd Fabric for a Kimono
perhaps for Obon?
Meeting Minnie this man was much nicer, and his dog more beautiful -- Arashiyama Station -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 34mm — 1/160 sec, f/2.8, ISO 5000 — map & image datanearby photos
Meeting Minnie
this man was much nicer, and his dog more beautiful
Minnie and Yifen -- Arashiyama Station -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 48mm — 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Minnie and Yifen
Back Toward Home -- Arashiyama Station -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 2800 — map & image datanearby photos
Back Toward Home
A Car To Ourselves because everyone else was at the Gion Matsuri festival -- Arashiyama Station -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1100 — map & image datanearby photos
A Car To Ourselves
because everyone else was at the Gion Matsuri festival

The Sagan/Cavendish Crash Aftermath: Irresponsible Journalism

Yesterday there was a big crash at the end of Stage Four of the Tour de France, involving Peter Sagan and Mark Cavendish. Sagan was blamed, and then ejected from the rest of the three-week race.

My gripe is that half of the news articles I've seen today are just wildly inflammatory, using phrases that make for excellent click bait, but are devoid of fact.

First, let's look at what happened. Here's a view from the front. Peter Sagan has a green helmet and a white jersey with rainbow stripes on the sleeves. Mark Cavendish has the green bike and is the first to crash:

The video includes views from the front and from above.

What I saw when I watched it live is the same thing I see when I download it and carefully inspect it frame by frame: there was contact between the two (likely Sagan's hips and Cavendish's handlebars), upon which Cavendish started to go down. Sagan's elbow then made a seemingly-instinctual reaction, jutting out as if to dislodge a fly that had landed on it. Anyone actually looking at the video carefully can't possibly refute that the crash was already underway and a foregone conclusion before there was any movement from Sagan's elbow.

Furthermore, it seems clear to me that the arm/elbow didn't even touch Cavendish.

Despite the elbow having nothing to do with it, I do think it was Sagan's fault. I believe him when he says that he didn't know Mark was there, but it's his responsibility to know the space is clear before taking it. As much as I like Peter Sagan (he's my favorite pro cyclist by far), I think he was negligent in this case.

Anyway, major news outlets are reporting that Sagan elbowed Cavendish, which besides being factually incorrect, makes it sound intentional and malicious. For example, CBS Sports:

Cavendish, booted from Tour De France
"Sagan's elbow set off a nasty crash that left Cavendish bloody and Sagan disqualified"

How can one trust anything in the article when the headline and the lead are factually incorrect? There are a lot of articles like this.

There's misinformation on both sides. The 2nd video embedded just above purports to illustrate that Sagan wasn't at fault, totally ignoring the very-relevant seconds before the video starts. Cavendish was at least partially parallel with Sagan for a couple of seconds prior to contact, so he had a right to be there. He was holing a steady line as he accelerated and was in the process of passing Sagan when Sagan's drift with the bulk of the group brought him into the space that Cavendish already occupied.

It seems factual that nobody elbowed anyone, and reasonably clear that Sagan was negligent. What's not clear to me is what the punishment should be.

I would assume that punishment for this kind of infraction would be spelled out in the rules, applied within the context of what has traditionally been allowed and what has traditionally been considered over the line. Personally, I have little experience with this stuff so I'm not in a position to say what the punishment should be, but as much as I like Peter Sagan, I can't find myself too upset at his being ejected for a crash that ended the season of one of the sport's top talents.


Quick Test Photoshoot at Kyoto Tea Ceremony Camellia GARDEN

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/200 sec, f/1.4, ISO 2200 — map & image datanearby photos
Your Tea

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 @ 16mm — 1/30 sec, f/2.8, ISO 360 — map & image datanearby photos
Welcome

A friend in Kyoto that I've known for years has recently opened a second location for her shop, Tea Ceremony Camellia, which offers tea-ceremony experiences in English. Her new location, Camellia GARDEN, is quite picturesque, and after many missed tries to get our schedules to converge, I was able to stop by for an hour the other day to try for some photos.


Nikon D4 + Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 @ 14mm — 1/30 sec, f/6.3, ISO 1100 — map & image datanearby photos
First Photo of the Day

We didn't have any plan for any specific photos, and didn't have much time, so I just went for some of the low-hanging fruit, to help build ideas for a real photoshoot some day.


Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/200 sec, f/2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Test Shot
with owner Atsuko Mori

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 1/100 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/50 sec, f/4, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/200 sec, f/1.4, ISO 220 — map & image datanearby photos
Tools of the Trade
spoon and whisk

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/200 sec, f/1.4, ISO 180 — map & image datanearby photos
Whisk
made from a single piece of bamboo

Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/80 sec, f/1.4, ISO 110 — map & image datanearby photos
Sweets

Here's a hastily-made wigglegram of the room:

Animatable Wigglegram (13 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。

I've become rusty with the camera so it was good to put it to use. With a bit more time and preparation I should be able to do much better than these, but that'll have to be another day...


Disgusted with Apple’s Deceptive Marketing for Their “Beats” Headphones

This is just disgusting... Beats, Apple's ultra-pricey line of headphones, uses marketing that's so deceitful that one can only imagine it's done to purposefully trick and deceive.

Some of their headphone models are not wireless, which means like headphones of yesteryear, when in use they must be physically tethered to your audio device by a cable. That's fine, but their marketing photos don't show the headphones with a cable, only without.

As an example, here's a search at Amazon for beats studio wireless:

On the page for the NOT wireless product, we have these product images:

Nary a cable in sight. Remember, this is for a product that requires a cable.

To be clear, the cable can be removed for storage, or to let you swap out a different cable or whatnot, so it's reasonable to illustrate that by including a photo of the headphones without the cable. But nevertheless, the product is totally useless without a cable, so to show only photos of it without a cable seems deceptive.

These photos are almost exactly the same as those for their wireless models (models that can be used without a cable); they have the same six views of the ever-so-slightly-different look of the different model.

Furthermore, there's nothing in the product description that indicates a cable is required. There's not even a hint. If you didn't already know to be wary of this company's marketing and to look for the absence of an explicit wireless mention, you'd be forgiven for thinking these were, as shown, wireless headphones.

Now, you might think that one shouldn't need to mention every feature a product doesn't have; the headphones are not glow-in-the-dark, and I don't feel it's a problem that they don't say not glow in the dark... unless they showed a photo of them glowing in the dark. Then I'd expect clarification.

It's not just Amazon.... the product page at Apple.com is equally deceptive, with nothing at all to indicate that a cable is required. Even worse, their product page for the wireless model does show an image of a cable, even though the cable is not required for their use.

So, they show a cable where it's not required, but don't show one where it is. Super sleazy.

At least on Amazon, the reviews can clue you in, with review titles like 有線なので注意 (These require a cable, so take care).

I've been an Apple shareholder for a long time, and by looking at the stock price one knows they're doing a lot of things right, but it's still so disappointing to see them so clearly lose their way in some areas, such as the now-moronic design of iTunes, the lack of family-oriented iPhone features, or this kind of trick-you marketing. Sigh.


Looking for Cycling Wear With a Little Protection Built In
My Cycling Style as of Late me plodding along at 46 kph (28 mph) during a race last month photo by FABtroni+camera; used with permission -- Copyright 2017 FABtroni+camera, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV + EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM @ 73mm — 1/200 sec, f/6.3, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
My Cycling Style as of Late
me plodding along at 46 kph (28 mph) during a race last month
photo by FABtroni+camera; used with permission

The photo above was kindly provided on Flickr by someone going by the name FABtroni+camera. I appreciate it.

The sport of racquetball involves a high-speed ball in a confined space, so when I started playing in college, I stopped by a sporting-goods store for a pair of racquetball safety goggles. The clerk commented that I was the first person he'd sold a pair to who didn't already have a black eye.

Long-term readers of my blog will know that I've gone through phases in my choice of cycling wear, from jeans on my first ride to hiking/gym wear that I already had, then to visually outlandish (but visually safe) gym wear, eventually morphing to the more-traditional cycling style seen above. That photo is from my first race last month (where I performed pathetically, but that's a story for another time).

(The mask that my apparently-sensitive tonsils forces me to wear is definitely not traditional; the UnderArmour long-sleeve base layer that I wore to avoid sunburn on the 100+km round trip to/from the race is also not traditional.)

Anyway, I'm ready to move to the next step, if I can find it. I'm looking for apparel that provides some semblance of protection in case of a crash. The most common issues with a minor crash are road rash and/or a broken collarbone, so clothes that provide some passive protection in these areas would be good to wear as a matter of habit.

Unlike with the racquetball story, I'm not quite shutting the barn doors before the horses have escaped. I had a wake-up-call crash a few weeks ago that was apparently horrific to wittiness, but caused relatively little damage. I'd like to tilt the odds next time in the same direction by incorporating a bit of extra protection in my clothes.

With all the middle-aged men like me with disposable income and a newly-found sense of mortality, you'd think that the market would be an attractive one to enter, but it seems there's very little out there. I'll describe the best I've found so far, but I'd love to hear more ideas...


Dainese Trailknit Pro Armor Tee

For the upper body, I'm thinking of an abrasion-resistant jersey, such as a Scott RC ProTec or a Pegasus Wear Manifesto, over a baselayer Dainese Trailknit Pro Armor Tee. The latter provides some light (and removable) impact protection, while the abrasion-resistant jersey would help reduce road rash.

They're quite pricey, but less so than new skin.

Things are a bit more difficult for the lower body, because I don't like the padding in standard cycling wear. It makes people look like they're wearing a diaper embroidered with HEY, DON'T NOTICE MY CROTCH! THIS CROTCH RIGHT HERE... DON'T LOOK AT IT.

Apparently my butt is sufficiently strong that I don't need the padding, so normally I just wear Speedo trunks. Even seasoned cyclists I ride with all the time don't notice I'm not wearing cycling-specific shorts until it happens to come up in conversation, and then they're shocked. They're shocked both because I can ride long distances without any padding (for example, this 290km ride), and shocked that I would make such an affront to the Cycling Style Gods. They're like little kids who skin their knee but don't start crying until you point out that they're bleeding.

I'm wearing Speedo trunks in the photo above.

Anyway, I don't need padding between me and the bicycle seat, but I do want padding where cyclists are often injured in a crash: over the tailbone, over the outside edges of the butt/hip, and over the sides of the thighs.

The three companies mentioned above do make lower-body versions of their products (Dainese TrailKnit Shorts, Scott ProTec Bibshorts, and Pegasus Wear Manifesto Bib Shorts), so I could try the same kind of combination, but here I'm more worried about the bulk.

The Dainese TrailKnit padded shorts seem to provide really minimal padding, so instead I could try something with a bit more protection, such as Shock Doctor Shockskin 5-Pad Impact Shorts or Fox Racing Titan Race Liner Short. They provide more coverage with the padding, but the padding just foam pads, so still protection is still minimal.

I'd much rather see padding made from one of the amazing force-distribution materials developed in the last decade, such as ArmourGel and SofShell. They look like they'd be perfect when sewn into an abrasion-resistant set of shorts, but sadly, as best as I can tell, neither product has actually made it to market yet. 🙁


As for the helmet, I've upgraded from my Costco helmet to one with MIPS Technology, which adds quite a bit to the price, but is said to help greatly in off-axis impacts that would normally twist the head like a boxer getting plastered by a left hook. The rotational shock is apparently a big causes of knock-outs in boxers and concussions in cyclists.

Here's a video that explains MIPS well, and another one that shows the extra testing for MIPS helmets. I'll also be sure to get MIPS when I upgrade my motorcycle helmet.

A friend here in Kyoto crashed at high speed a couple of days ago, and the shattered state of his helmet showed that it most certainly saved his life. He did end up with a concussion, though, and I wonder whether a MIPS helmet would have prevented that. The problem is that high-end helmets are extremely expensive in Japan (the MIPS version of my friend's helmet is on the order of $700 in Japan, which is a lot cheaper than death, but this kind of comparison feels real only in hindsight).


Update: I've also found the Fox Ascent Pro line (jersey, bib shorts), which uses craspace abrasion-resistant fabric.