My Better-than-Standard Cycling-Toward-Osaka Route out of Kyoto
Yuck Part of the bicycle path leaving Kyoto toward Osaka 嫌だ!京都市内の大阪へのサイクリングロード -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/2016-05-14/2694 -- 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 32mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Yuck
Part of the bicycle path leaving Kyoto toward Osaka
嫌だ!京都市内の大阪へのサイクリングロード

My Bump-Free Mud-Free Detour Path
僕が作った迂回ルート。泥も凸凹もない。

English follows this short Japanese version of the post...

京都から大阪へのサイクリングコースはほとんど良いですが、京都市内では嫌な部分も有ります。 泥、水、砂、凸凹。この範囲は楽しくないので、別のルートを作りました。 ルートは難しくないが、説明はちょっと複雑ですので、上の地図を見て下さい。 それとルートのGPXファイルを準備しました。 帰り道は行く道とちょっと違うし、来年の4月までの工事の為に迂回もあり、4つのダウンロードを作りました。

2017年3月31日まで2017年4月1日から

京都から大阪

京都から大阪
大阪からの帰り道 大阪からの帰り道

In my first blog post about cycling to Osaka from Kyoto, one can see photos of the lovely bicycle route that spans much of the 40~50 kilometers (~30 miles). My other posts that include the trip also show scenes of the lovely, flat, smooth, bicycle path.

What I haven't shown much, besides the photo above that appeared last week, is a horrible ~4km (~2.5mi) section of the path that exits eastern Kyoto. It's full of teeth-rattling bone-jarring bumps, in addition to sections of mud, water, sand, and gravel. I deeply dislike riding it.

So, I sought to find a replacement standard route that avoided what made that route so nasty, without introducing anything worse, and I think I've found one.

I'll go full-on geektard for this post to help me get back into blogging after the recent break, but for those interested in just the route, here it is in the form of a downloadable GPX file (actually four of them, to account for a slight difference in the return route, and for a detour due to construction scheduled to finish next spring):

valid through March 2017valid from April 2017

route leaving Kyoto

route leaving Kyoto
route returning to Kyoto route returning to Kyoto

For completeness I've shown the route from the common starting point of the Sanjo Street bridge, but my route doesn't differ from the standard route until about Kyujo Street.

Let's follow along....

We Start at the Sanjo Ohashi Bridge 今日のルートは三条大橋で始まりま〜す。 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
We Start at the Sanjo Ohashi Bridge
今日のルートは三条大橋で始まりま〜す。
South on the Sidewalk for half a kilometer; this is the most bumpy part of the route 歩道で450m南へ -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
South on the Sidewalk
for half a kilometer; this is the most bumpy part of the route
歩道で450m南へ
Cut Down to the Riverside Path 川沿い遊歩道へ下る -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Cut Down to the Riverside Path
川沿い遊歩道へ下る
Merge In (watch out for other traffic) 合流する -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Merge In
(watch out for other traffic)
合流する
Two Kilometers of Pleasant Path 二キロ続く -- Автобусная станция Gion Shijyo sta. -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/800 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Two Kilometers of Pleasant Path
二キロ続く

Still part of the standard route, after about two kilometers, we'll need to cross over to the other side of the river. We'll come up to a long slope coming down on our left... we'll do a U-Turn and head back up that slope to street level, do another U-Turn and continue south along the sidewalk for a bit until we get to a bridge, cross the bridge, go down a slope and do one more U-Turn....

We'll want to cut a 180 up this slope 七条のすぐ後で上がる -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/800 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
We'll want to cut a 180 up this slope
七条のすぐ後で上がる
You've Gone Too Far ... if you see this. It warns that there are only stairs from here on. これ見ると行き過ぎです。 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/1250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
You've Gone Too Far
... if you see this. It warns that there are only stairs from here on.
これ見ると行き過ぎです。
Looking Back from the Bridge on the right is the slope we'd come up from; on the left is the slope we'll soon go down 渡る -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Looking Back from the Bridge
on the right is the slope we'd come up from; on the left is the slope we'll soon go down
渡る
Go Down This Slope then do a U-Turn to continue south 下って、Uターン -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Go Down This Slope
then do a U-Turn to continue south
下って、Uターン
Sax Practice under the railroad bridge is a common place for folks to practice music JRの鉄道の下 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Sax Practice
under the railroad bridge is a common place for folks to practice music
JRの鉄道の下

The route normally continues for three kilometers on this side of the river, but due to some construction not scheduled to be finished until March 31 next year, we have to take an ugly little detour...

Detour Up To the Street 道への迂回、来年の4月まで -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Detour Up To the Street
道への迂回、来年の4月まで
Hang a Right at the Construction 工事で右 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Hang a Right at the Construction
工事で右
Then Continue Left Under the Bridge そうして直ぐ左 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Then Continue Left Under the Bridge
そうして直ぐ左
Rejoin The Riverside Path after about 400m. Hopefully your vision isn't as blurry as this photo. ここでもう一回下る -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Rejoin The Riverside Path
after about 400m. Hopefully your vision isn't as blurry as this photo.
ここでもう一回下る
Back on the Riverside Path やっと迂回は終わりました。 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Back on the Riverside Path
やっと迂回は終わりました。
New Path 最近出来たサイクリングロード -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
New Path
最近出来たサイクリングロード

The Google Earth view of this path shows a quagmire of construction mud, but the path is not complete. It's not quite as smooth as the photo might make it appear, but it's plenty fine and one can go quite fast on it.

The Path Finally Ends with a U-Turn cut back up to the street 終点で道へ上がる -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 33mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
The Path Finally Ends
with a U-Turn cut back up to the street
終点で道へ上がる
At Street Level, Continue South 南へ続く -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 33mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
At Street Level, Continue South
南へ続く
Possible Alternate Route 踏切で止まりたくない場合にはここで下がって、鉄道の下へ -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 33mm — 1/800 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Possible Alternate Route
踏切で止まりたくない場合にはここで下がって、鉄道の下へ

This little section of the route crosses a JR track. If you're in a rush and don't want to take the chance of getting stopped at the signal, you can cut down this path to a small street that goes under the tracks.

Path, Train, and Under-Track Road but what's with my focus problems?! まっすぐ行くと、踏切で止まる必要はあるかもしれない -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 33mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Path, Train, and Under-Track Road
but what's with my focus problems?!
まっすぐ行くと、踏切で止まる必要はあるかもしれない
Turn Left Over The Footbridge Here where the under-the-tracks road meets back up with the path どっちら通ってもここで左へ -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 33mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Turn Left Over The Footbridge Here
where the under-the-tracks road meets back up with the path
どっちら通ってもここで左へ
Motor Vehicles Not Allowed 渡る -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Motor Vehicles Not Allowed
渡る
After the Bridge, Turn Right and Continue South 渡って後右へ -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
After the Bridge, Turn Right and Continue South
渡って後右へ
Go Through These Two Tunnels 短いトーネル二つを通る -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Go Through These Two Tunnels
短いトーネル二つを通る
And Then This One... そうして三つ目のトーネルを通る... -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
And Then This One...
そうして三つ目のトーネルを通る...
... But Turn Left Immediately After do not take the bike path that leads up and to the right 三つ目のトーネルの直ぐ 後左 へ。ここではサイクリングロードに戻らない。 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
... But Turn Left Immediately After
do not take the bike path that leads up and to the right
三つ目のトーネルの直ぐ後左へ。ここではサイクリングロードに戻らない。
Beautiful Kyoto concrete, a concrete plant, and graffiti 大きい道へ上がる -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Beautiful Kyoto
concrete, a concrete plant, and graffiti
大きい道へ上がる
Get Onto The Sidewalk when joining the main road ここから60mは歩道で。そうして右へ。 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Get Onto The Sidewalk
when joining the main road
ここから60mは歩道で。そうして右へ。

After having turned left just after the short tunnel, you have come up an exit from a main road. When you get to the main road, continue on the sidewalk (because you're against traffic) for a short 60m to the first right. That'll put you on a road that wraps around the ugly concrete plant...

Not The Most Scenic Section -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/800 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Not The Most Scenic Section

A few moments later you'll need to go under the expressway through a small tunnel. Take care, as traffic comes flying out of the tunnel without regard to little safety-related things like maintaining one's lane...

TAKE CARE! as you approach and enter the tunnel on the left 左側 にトーネルの 出入 り口 。十分注意 して下さい。車はぶっと出ます。 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
TAKE CARE!
as you approach and enter the tunnel on the left
左側にトーネルの出入り口。十分注意して下さい。車はぶっと出ます。
At Least Its Short 狭いですが短い -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
At Least Its Short
狭いですが短い
Upon Exit, Turn Right the street is big, but has little traffic 出ってから右へ -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Upon Exit, Turn Right
the street is big, but has little traffic
出ってから右へ
A Bit Tricky Here ここから横断歩道で向こうの右方向へ -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
A Bit Tricky Here
ここから横断歩道で向こうの右方向へ

After about half a kilometer, the nice road ends near a huge intersection that we need to get to the complete other side of using crosswalks. This'll get us facing west, waiting to cross National Route 1...

A Long Light my detour has the same number of traffic lights as what it replaces but this light is long 1号線を渡る -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
A Long Light
my detour has the same number of traffic lights as what it replaces
but this light is long
1号線を渡る
Take the Second Left after crossing Route 1 渡った後二つ目の左へ -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Take the Second Left
after crossing Route 1
渡った後二つ目の左へ
This One ここは左 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
This One
ここは左
Parallel The Main Road for a moment, then turn left when it ends その後すぐ左へ -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Parallel The Main Road
for a moment, then turn left when it ends
その後すぐ左へ

This is the one area that has a different route during the return. On the return, instead of retracing your steps back up this short branch road, cross under the main road and take the branch on the other side, joining the main road just in time to cross Route 1. Then you're back on the same route as before.

Straight Through This Intersection but take care, side traffic approaches blindly この交差点は直進ですが、十分に注意してください -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 49mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Straight Through This Intersection
but take care, side traffic approaches blindly
この交差点は直進ですが、十分に注意してください
Continue Straight... this is now Senbon Street 交差点の後千本通になります -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 37mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Continue Straight... this is now Senbon Street
交差点の後千本通になります
Through This Intersection the second and final traffic light of the detour この交差点でも直接です。 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Through This Intersection
the second and final traffic light of the detour
この交差点でも直接です。
Approaching The End after about half a kilometer past the intersection そろそろ -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Approaching The End
after about half a kilometer past the intersection
そろそろ
Enter This Short Alley この路地に入る -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Enter This Short Alley
この路地に入る
View To Open Nature! 短い -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
View To Open Nature!
短い
Finally At The Nice Bicycle Path やっとサイクリングロードです! -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Finally At The Nice Bicycle Path
やっとサイクリングロードです!
Reverse View on the way back from Osaka, turn off the path here and retrace the detour 大阪から帰る場合はこのシーンで降りてルートを引き返す -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 72mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Reverse View
on the way back from Osaka, turn off the path here and retrace the detour
大阪から帰る場合はこのシーンで降りてルートを引き返す

Another option at the end, instead of cutting down the little alley, is to continue south on Senbon for another 1.2km. For much of the way it parallels the cycling path...

Continuing South, Below the Cycling Path -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Continuing South, Below the Cycling Path
You Can Join The Path Here -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 60mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
You Can Join The Path Here

If you read this far, it almost certainly took you longer to get here than it would to actually ride the path. It probably took me longer to write this post up than it took the city to pave the whole thing. It probably wasn't worth it, but this is how I get my geek on, I guess.

At least I know that for me, having a route like this available makes heading to Osaka much more appealing. I just can't stand the bone-jarring bumps of the standard route; the lack of mud and water on this route is just icing on the top.


Getting Back in the Saddle with a Challenging Ride
Yesterday, at Onyu Pass after 66km or riding, 1,650m of climb, and one flat tire おにゅう峠。そこまではパンク一つ 、距離 66km 、獲得高度 1,650m -- Obama, Fukui, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 6+ back camera — 1/490 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Yesterday, at Onyu Pass
after 66km or riding, 1,650m of climb, and one flat tire
おにゅう峠。そこまではパンク一つ、距離66km、獲得高度1,650m

Having been back in Kyoto for two weeks after having been away for three months, I finally started to ease back into real cycling with my first challenging ride since January (probably since doing Sugino Pass three times in a row on Jan 11).

I'd built up slowly with some simple rides, but nothing with a lot of climbing. I was surprised to find during those simple rides that I was doing much better on short/intense climbs than I did before the three-month break, and I wondered whether this unexplained fitness would transition to longer climbs.

The answer turned out to be no.

For yesterday's route, I more or less retraced the loop seen in last October's The New Bike Is Fast; I’m Just Going Along For The Ride, but with a different tactic.

First, here's yesterday's ride:

Still too wimpy to try to give full effort on a long climb, I decided to try a steady pace between Ichihara (the last built-up area before diving into the northern mountains) and Onyu Pass way up north 20km short of the ocean. The route starts at an elevation of about 150m and goes over two passes (Hanase at 760m and Nomi at 657m) before ending up at Onyu Pass's 839m. In between the passes is lots of downhill and/or gently-sloping rises.

It's not a route that folks generally try to do in one shot — there are a lot of inviting places to stop and relax along the way — so I knew that if I stopped only occasionally to get drinks, I'd rank near the top on the long 58km segment. I was slow and lethargic up the climbs, but quite fast down the descents, adopting a super aero position on the downhills (my top speed of the day was 75kph / 46mph). But overall, simply choosing not to dally gave me the top spot by a wide margin.

Even losing 16 minutes to a puncture near the end (and to having to scramble down a ravine to fetch the water bottle that rolled away while fixing the flat), I made the top spot by half an hour (3h17m vs. 3h49m).

I sort of hope some of my friends see this as a challenge and show me what a real effort might produce. I expect some of them could easily beat 2h45m.

Anyway, the puncture on the way up Onyu took the wind out of my sails, but I was already tired to begin with. I took a half-hour nap at the summit, and ate a lot of carbs. To avoid The Bonk (running out of energy) I tried using energy gels every hour. I think they worked, because my fatigue was more basic than just an empty gas tank... I was just at the edge of my fitness level.

But at $2+ each, and one per hour, those energy gels become pricey! Between those and the carbo cookies and all the drinks I bought, I probably spent a good $25 on keeping myself going. That's a lot for each ride!

The scenery of Kyoto's mountains was, as usual, just stunning. I didn't bring the camera, but snapped a few photos with my iPhone, but they just don't do anything justice, even after trying to bring out some oomph in Lightroom.

Case in point: this scene, from a bridge near the start of this lovely secret 8% climb, was in real life just wonderful...

Blah Photo of a Wow Scene -- Takashima, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
iPhone 6+ back camera — 1/350 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Blah Photo of a Wow Scene

Although the photos shows none of it, the trees near the center of the frame ware just bursting with joyous pink blossoms. It's what the photographer at the bottom of the frame was pointing at. (Didn't notice the photographer? That's okay; he didn't notice me, either 😉 )

By the time I got to any kind of major road, I was pretty tired and ready for home, but to get there I still had another 43km of distance and 500m of elevation to take care of.

Rice-Planting Season -- Takashima, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
iPhone 6+ back camera — 1/1150 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Rice-Planting Season
Takashima, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
iPhone 6+ back camera — 1/620 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos

In the end, just as I re-enter Kyoto, is a short downhill sprint I like to try, but alas was again thwarted near the end by a bus lumbering in the way. Even then I averaged 55kph for the whole 600m distance, but the bus ensured that no PR would be set. My PR (51s) is just three seconds shy of the record (48s), and I think I've got it in me to actually beat it. I'll have to give it a shot sometime when my legs are fresh, and there's no traffic.

But not today. I'm still pretty sore and tired from yesterday.


Back In Japan After Three Months Away

After three months away, I'm now back in Japan.

I'd left suddenly at the start of February because my mom had a stroke, but she'd recovered enough by the start of May that I could return.

My return was on United Airlines, which over the decades I've flown more than any other. They used to be a good airline, but have gone stunningly downhill in the last decade (yielding occasional rants from me, such as this and this), so it was with trepidation that I tried again. The saving grace was paying the extra $250 to bump myself up to the Economy Plus seats, which are the same as normal cattle class except for an extra four inches of leg room.

I appreciated the leg room for the Cleveland → San Francisco leg, though I perhaps would have appreciated it more if the chubby guy next to me didn't act as if he owned the shared armrest. But the short flight was made an hour shorter due to good winds, so it ended up being less than five hours.

Better still was the flight to Osaka, Japan, for which I had a row of three seats to myself.

All Mine San Francisco International Airport -- San Francisco, California, United States -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 6+ back camera — 1/15 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
All Mine
San Francisco International Airport

The non-Economy Plus economy section looked to be pretty full, but the Economy Plus section had rows of empty seats. What a difference it makes.

My father-in-law kindly picked me up at the airport and brought me home. It was nice to see Fumie and Anthony again. This was Wednesday night last week.

Thursday was spent in a level stupor from jetlag. Normally jetlag comes and goes in crushing waves, but I was worthless all day on Thursday. And that, most surprisingly and thankfully, was the full extent of my jetlag this time... it was the least I think it's ever been, ever.

Friday I felt just great, though wasted most of the day renewing my driver's license, which otherwise would have soon expired. It was another reason that I had to get back to Japan sooner than later.

Saturday saw nice weather, so I took the opportunity to try cycling again. I hadn't been on a bicycle since the end of January, so I was fairly nervous about remembering basic stuff like riding clipped in.

I was also nervous about being in shape, not having done much exercise for three months beyond a 100 Push Up Time Trial challenge I did several times a week while in The States. (I was happy to see real progress during the three months, watching my time reduce from 7m 25s the first time I tried it, to 3m 13s the last time. Of course, several years ago, I wouldn't have even been able to do 10 pushups, until this humbling event spurred me to get in shape.)

Meeting Friends for a Lazy Ride in front of Sanjo Starbucks, Kyoto Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 6+ front camera — 1/500 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Meeting Friends for a Lazy Ride
in front of Sanjo Starbucks, Kyoto Japan

The plan was for a fairly light ride at a slow pace, so it sounded good for a first ride. We ended up doing about 105km (65mi) of mostly-flat lakeside road.

Getting the Hang of It taken while moving at 24 kph (15 mph) photo by Manseki Kanemitsu -- Moriyama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Manseki Kanemitsu
SC-04E at an effective 31mm — 1/200 sec, f/2.2, ISO 50 — map & image datanearby photos
Getting the Hang of It
taken while moving at 24 kph (15 mph)
photo by Manseki Kanemitsu

I quickly got the hang of things and felt good. I knew my body was tired from the trip so I didn't want to push, so I was happy to with the slow group pace.

The ostensible goal of the ride was to visit a particular middle-of-nowhere cafe...

at Cafe Chalet Mizu-ga-Oka 喫茶シャーレ水ケ浜 photo by Manseki Kanemitsu -- Cafe Chalet Mizu-ga-Oka (喫茶シャーレ水ケ浜) -- Omihachiman, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Manseki Kanemitsu
SC-04E at an effective 31mm — 1/310 sec, f/2.2, ISO 50 — map & image datanearby photos
at Cafe Chalet Mizu-ga-Oka
喫茶シャーレ水ケ浜
photo by Manseki Kanemitsu

I'm wearing a cycling jersey that Eric and Gigi had sent out of the blue while I was away. It looks and fits great... thanks E&G!

Reward for the Trip -- Cafe Chalet Mizu-ga-Oka (喫茶シャーレ水ケ浜) -- Omihachiman, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 6+ back camera — 1/60 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Reward for the Trip
Hamming it Up with Manseki -- Cafe Chalet Mizu-ga-Oka (喫茶シャーレ水ケ浜) -- Omihachiman, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 6+ back camera— 1/1000 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Hamming it Up with Manseki

On the way back we did a fun little climb — 1.3km at 11% — though the stats at Strava are not very useful because Strava doesn't deal well with super tight switchbacks near the start/end of a segment. In these situations it often thinks you finish well before you actually do. I understand why their activity-matching algorithm doesn't work well here, and frankly would be hard pressed to come up with a general suggestion to fix it. It's a tough problem.

I felt just great for the first three or so hours of the ride, but ran out of gas for the last hour. Just dead tired. I don't think it was the dreaded didn't-get-enough-to-eat bonk, but just that I didn't have the physical capacity yet for that long a ride. My final climbs on the way home were very slow.

On Monday I collected and submitted most of the paperwork needed to renew my visa to live in Japan, which also expires soon. I needed one paper from the town where Fumie grew up, so on the first non-rainy day this week (Wednesday), I cycled down to Hirakata to pick it up.

Not My Favorite Path -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 32mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Not My Favorite Path

Much of the distance between Kyoto and Osaka can be ridden on a wonderful bicycle path seen in Cycling Along the River from Kyoto To Osaka Castle, but the first several kilometers of egress from Kyoto are horrid sections alternating between mud/puddles, and incessant teeth-jarring bumps. I really dislike it, so I spent some time finding an alternate route (written about here).

Sort of Gloomy -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 50mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Sort of Gloomy
Heavy Overcast with rain threatening -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 50mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Heavy Overcast
with rain threatening
My Destination city office in Hirakata City 枚方市北部支所 -- Hirakata, Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
iPhone 6+ back camera — 1/170 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
My Destination
city office in Hirakata City
枚方市北部支所

It took a few minutes to lock up the bike and make myself presentable enough to go in, and another few minutes to fill out the proper form, but once that was done it took but just a few seconds to actually get the paper. There was no line, and the guy quickly checked my ID to make sure I was allowed to have what I was asking. He then pressed a button, it printed, I paid a few bucks, and I was done.

(To keep my paperwork clean and dry during the ride, I carried it all in a Loksak, which I learned about in this comment on my blog five years ago, in a rear-jersey pocket.)

I was in a good mood, having made it down there without trouble, and more than that, having filled out the complex (to me) government requisition form properly and completely the first time.

Good-Mood Selfie as I prepare to return, with Loksak filled with my passport and other important paperwork -- 枚方市北部支所 -- Hirakata, Osaka, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 6+ back camera — 1/60 sec, f/2.2, ISO 40 — map & image datanearby photos
Good-Mood Selfie
as I prepare to return, with Loksak filled with my passport and other important paperwork
Streisand-Effect House utterly pedestrian, nothing-special house -- Yawata, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Streisand-Effect House
utterly pedestrian, nothing-special house

On the way back I added a little 100m climb to make things interesting. Prior to making the trip, I checked out the route on Google Maps, and was surprised to find one house was completely blurred from every angle. Of course, since I was riding by, I had to check it out to see what the big deal was.

If there was anything interesting about the house, I couldn't spot it, but it's a great example of The Streisand Effect, without which I could have ridden by a thousand times without ever noticing the utterly-unremarkable house existed.

Anyway, the short route up a short mountain eventually plunged into bamboo groves, which were much more pretty...

Yawata, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Yawata, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Yawata, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/80 sec, f/1.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

The road ended at a shrine...

Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine 石清水八幡宮 -- Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine (石清水八幡宮) -- Yawata, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 41mm — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine
石清水八幡宮

With that final piece of paperwork in hand, later that afternoon I completed the application for my visa extension.

The next day I finally got my US taxes done.

These big items (driver's license, visa, taxes) were weighing on me, so having gotten them done, on Thursday afternoon I treated myself to a ride for no other reason but to just see whether I could give it some oomph and not kill myself.

The first little segment that I challenged myself on is a short up-and-back road climb that I like, and the result totally shocked me. Out of the six time I'd done it previously, I'd beat two minutes only once (1:47), but this time, trying somewhat but certainly not giving it my all, I did it in 1:24, totally shattering my previous best. I have no way to explain how this could happen.

I also did a counter-clockwise Heart Loop (the 37km opposite-direction version of this ride) in half an hour better than my previous best (1h34m vs. 2h05m), though this didn't surprise me as much because it's the first time I'd ever done it alone. Normally I've done it in a social stop-and-chat-often setting. But what does surprise me is that even though I wasn't really trying, I ended up within 12 minutes of the best time recorded on Strava. Most of my friends are much, much faster, so maybe their efforts are not getting matched properly to the complex route.

Anyway, it's good to be back. While I was away I didn't have time to write much for my blog, and having fallen out of that habit, I don't know whether I'll be able to get back into it. I hope I can. We'll see.


Yahoo! Requires a Dancing Pony to Open a New Account, but I Don’t Have a Dancing Pony
Isolated and Doomed this famous tree was cut down in February ( I photographed it in 2007 from the public road) From the same outing that produced “ More Biei Countryside ” among others. -- Biei, Hokkaido, Japan -- Copyright 2007 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 at an effective 51mm — 1/1600 sec, f/4.5, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Isolated and Doomed
this famous tree was cut down in February
(I photographed it in 2007 from the public road)
From the same outing that produced More Biei Countryside among others.

I've so many things that I want to write about lately, but just no time as I help my mom recover from a stroke. But I ran into something so frustrating that I just have to rant a bit....

I worked for Yahoo! from 1997 to 2004, and as such it has a special place in my heart despite how it's deteriorated over the years. Knowing how it's deteriorated, though, didn't prepare me for what I ran into recently when trying to create a Yahoo! account for my mom.

Entrance This Way where is everybody? (from “ Not a Petroleum Refinery, Silly, it’s an Aquarium ” in 2011) -- Floating Island Aqua Life Park (マリンパーク境ガ浜) -- Fukuyama, Hiroshima, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/6400 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Entrance This Way
where is everybody?
(from Not a Petroleum Refinery, Silly, it’s an Aquarium in 2011)

I recently set my folks up with a new TV, a TCL smart TV with Roku streaming service. The latter allows you to install apps on the TV, including ones that allow you to access photo-sharing sites like Yahoo's Flikr. I thought I'd set it up so that their kids (me and my siblings) can add photos of their grandkids to the Flickr account, and my folks would then automatically see them when they put the TV into Flickr Slideshow mode.

So, I went to create a Yahoo! account for my mom to use as the Flickr repository for these photos, but I couldn't. Yahoo! requires a mobile phone to create an account. If you don't have a phone that can receive a text message, you can't create an account. It's apparently been this way for some time.

Welcome (NOT!) (from “ Kyoto’s Haunted Hua Huan Museum ” in 2008) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 32mm — 1/200 sec, f/5, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Welcome (NOT!)
(from Kyoto’s Haunted Hua Huan Museum in 2008)

Now, before you say that's absolutely asinine!, let me make a few observations. One is that it's a free service; beggars can't be choosers. Another is that though we can only speculate on the reason, they must certainly have a specific reason for having implemented such a draconian hurdle to participation.

What could the reason be? Well, it could be a way to choose their demographic. Maybe they simply don't want users like my mom; maybe they're looking to skew their audience to the young and technologically hip, or to exclude folks to don't have the discretionary income to afford a mobile phone (because inability to afford it is the only possible reason one wouldn't have a mobile phone, you know).

Lots of Storage that apparently people like my mom can't have (from “ Kyoto’s Haunted Hua Huan Museum ” in 2008) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/500 sec, f/7.1, ISO 4500 — map & image datanearby photos
Lots of Storage
that apparently people like my mom can't have
(from Kyoto’s Haunted Hua Huan Museum in 2008)

It could also be a way to avoid account-creation abuse; if you want to create multiple accounts, you need multiple phones, and that's a hurdle that spam-bots, for example, can't easily overcome. If you don't have specific experience in the industry, you simply can not imagine the depths that some people go through to abuse online systems. Really, you're simply not evil enough to even imagine it. So take my word that abuse curtailment is a very big deal.

Or it could be something else. Who knows? Someone at Yahoo!, probably, but not me.

Nobody's Home (from “ Furano in Hokkaido, Japan ” in 2007) -- Hidaka, Hokkaido, Japan -- Copyright 2007 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 at an effective 51mm — 1/160 sec, f/8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Nobody's Home
(from Furano in Hokkaido, Japan in 2007)

So, given all that it's not reasonable to complain, but as a former Yahoo! I'm compelled to exclaim:

This is absolutely asinine!

Many folks with mobile phones have no problem with this, obviously, as Yahoo! (at the moment) still seems to exist. But a lot of folks don't have mobile phones, and a lot of folks who do don't want to reveal that private information to big corporations like Yahoo!. Yahoo! is proactively excluding these folks, which is perhaps their exact intent, but I don't see how this can bode well in the long term.

It's All Downhill From Here (from “ Kyoto’s Nasty 21 % City-Bike Hill Climb ” in 2015) photo by Gorm Kipperberg -- Copyright 2015 Gorm Kipperberg
302HW @ 3mm — 1/180 sec, f/2, ISO 50 — map & image datanearby photos
It's All Downhill From Here
(from Kyoto’s Nasty 21% City-Bike Hill Climb in 2015)
photo by Gorm Kipperberg

I spent considerable time trying to find a way around it, not initially believing that Yahoo! could be so stupid. I eventually abandoned the idea.

Abandoned (from “ Snowy Round Trip to the Heian Shrine ” in 2008) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 at an effective 82mm — 1/320 sec, f/2.8, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Abandoned
(from Snowy Round Trip to the Heian Shrine in 2008)

I moved on to try my idea with SmugMug, a non-free photo-sharing site that I've worked with for many years because I made a plugin for Adobe Lightroom for it. SmugMug has always kindly provided me with a free account for plugin development, so I used that to test with. Normal users would have to pay a nominal fee each year, but at least they don't require something that may well not exist.

In Lightroom, I created a Publish Service using my plugin to upload photos to a SmugMug gallery, adding to the pipeline my Crop for iPad plugin to crop photos on the fly to best fit the 1,920×1,080-pixel screen of the TV. (I should probably rename the plugin to remove iPad from the title, since there's nothing iPad specific about it and I actually use it for more other devices than iPads.)

I then installed the SmugMug Roku app onto the TV, and soon had a gorgeous slideshow of my test photos. It was wonderful.

As wonderful as it was, the free SmugMug Roku app didn't work quite the way I wanted... my folks would have to drill down a few menu items each time they wanted to see a slideshow, and I wanted an even easier solution, so I bit the bullet and returned to try Yahoo! again. I had two US phone numbers available on my own cell phone via my attempts to get a reasonable American number for my Japanese cell phone, so I thought to use one of them to create my mom's Yahoo! account.

No go: it simply wouldn't accept them, telling me that's not a valid phone number.

So I give up on trying to create a Yahoo! account for my mom, and on Yahoo! in general. I divested myself of what little YHOO stock I still had. It's been a long, slow decline into mediocrity and irrelevance, Yahoo!, but I've been with you every step of the way, but from now you'll have to continue down to the end without me. Bye.

Always Stay Connected (from “ Kyoto’s Haunted Hua Huan Museum ” in 2008) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 120mm — 1/500 sec, f/6.3, ISO 5000 — map & image datanearby photos
Always Stay Connected
(from Kyoto’s Haunted Hua Huan Museum in 2008)

Reports of My Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

My server is back.

I was down for the better part of the week due to a bit of stupidity on my part. Much thanks to Peak Hosting for extracting me from my mistakes!