Another Nice (Tough!) Bicycle Ride in the Mountains Around Kyoto
Good Times Meeting new friends before a joint ride into the mountains Sanjo Bridge Starbucks, Kyoto Japan -- Sanjo-Street Bridge over the Kamo River (三条大橋) -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/4000 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Good Times
Meeting new friends before a joint ride into the mountains
Sanjo Bridge Starbucks, Kyoto Japan

水曜日もサイクリングをしました。今回友達6人と一緒に60kmの山上下いっぱいのルートでした。

Two days ago I did a short easy bicycle ride into the mountains of western Kyoto, but yesterday I did something a bit more ambitious. As seems to be the habit since my first ride with folks from Cycling Kyoto!, we met in front of the Starbucks on Sanjo Street. This time there were seven people total...

Gorm Kipperberg positive fun attitude -- Sanjo-Street Bridge over the Kamo River (三条大橋) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/3200 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Gorm Kipperberg
positive fun attitude
Henry Foster fast -- Sanjo-Street Bridge over the Kamo River (三条大橋) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/2500 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Henry Foster
fast
Kumiko Mini and Manseki Kanemitsu Manseki would be today's ride leader -- Sanjo-Street Bridge over the Kamo River (三条大橋) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/320 sec, f/4.5, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Kumiko Mini and Manseki Kanemitsu
Manseki would be today's ride leader
Arthur Lauritsen dedication: he brought his bike up an hour on the train from Osaka -- Sanjo-Street Bridge over the Kamo River (三条大橋) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/2500 sec, f/2, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Arthur Lauritsen
dedication: he brought his bike up an hour on the train from Osaka
Jamie Anderson a photo from later in the trip -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/640 sec, f/2.8, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
Jamie Anderson
a photo from later in the trip

Today's route would be a repeat of one that Manseki had done two days prior, so he was group lead. We got moving at 9:20.

The First 45 Minutes 9:48am - taken while moving at 18 km/h -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/320 sec, f/5, ISO 125 — map & image datanearby photos
The First 45 Minutes
9:48am - taken while moving at 18 km/h

We spent the first 45 minutes heading east on Route 1. The route looks horrible in the photo, but the cycling was fairly smooth and easy, without the stop and go of city traffic. I was surprised at how not unfun it was.

That first 45 minutes involved 350m of vertical gain, but it was spread out over 15km, so it was a relaxed ride and we all stuck together. Then we turned south along a river and was greeted by a bit nicer scenery...

Resting with his Pooch while watching the scullers in the river 10:12am - taken while moving at 21 km/h -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/800 sec, f/5, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Resting with his Pooch
while watching the scullers in the river
10:12am - taken while moving at 21 km/h
it was fun to ride along with the scullers for a short while -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/1250 sec, f/5, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
it was fun to ride along with the scullers for a short while
Pit Stop at Sajo-Toson ( 茶丈藤村 ) -- Sajo-Toson (茶丈藤村) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/400 sec, f/4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Pit Stop
at Sajo-Toson (茶丈藤村)

An hour into the ride, we stopped by a cafe for a quick tea, but ended up eating and chatting for almost an hour.

Bicycle Parking most cyclists forego a kickstand to reduce weight -- Sajo-Toson (茶丈藤村) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/320 sec, f/8, ISO 360 — map & image datanearby photos
Bicycle Parking
most cyclists forego a kickstand to reduce weight

I thought the rack for kickstand-less bicycles was ingenious, and I never would have realized what it was for without seeing it in use.

First Group Shot of the Day me, Arthur, Gorm, Henry, Kumiko, Manseki, Jamie (taken by a waitress standing on a chair ) -- Sajo-Toson (茶丈藤村) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/320 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
First Group Shot of the Day
me, Arthur, Gorm, Henry, Kumiko, Manseki, Jamie
(taken by a waitress standing on a chair)

Perhaps because we were a big group, or perhaps because they're cyclist friendly or just nice, they gave us some sweets on the house...

“ Terabe Mochi ” 「 寺辺 もち 」めっちゃ 美味 しかった。 -- Sajo-Toson (茶丈藤村) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/1000 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Terabe Mochi
寺辺もち」めっちゃ美味しかった。

This stuff was great... it's mochi (like I made the other day), with brown sugar and cashews. Highly recommended. The cafe is next to the entrance to the splendid Ishiyama-dera Temple (which I've written about in the past), so if you make a visit to the temple, avail yourself of the chance for some of these tasty sweets.

I ended up buying a bunch to bring home, adding to the weight that I would have to pedal up the mountains when we left.

On the way out of the parking lot, I snapped a quick shot of the temple gate...

Ishiyama-dera Temple (石山寺) Otsu-city, Shiga, Japan as per my prior coverage , this will be spectacular with blossoms in a month -- Ishiyama-dera Temple (石山寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/400 sec, f/4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Ishiyama-dera Temple (石山寺)
Otsu-city, Shiga, Japan
as per my prior coverage, this will be spectacular with blossoms in a month

15 minutes later, we were finally heading into the mountains for the first (and biggest) of four major climbs...

Heading Toward Climb #1 11:18am - taken while moving at 15 km/h -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Heading Toward Climb #1
11:18am - taken while moving at 15 km/h

10 grueling minutes and 140m of elevation gain later, I had arrived at the spot Manseki had said is where the tough part starts. Crap, I was already ready for it to end! 🙂

Where we Had Been 10 minutes prior -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/320 sec, f/10, ISO 180 — map & image datanearby photos
Where we Had Been
10 minutes prior

I stopped for a rest, and to enjoy some of the 2.5kg of sports drink I'd bought at the convenience store just before starting the climb. I also removed my already-drenched-with-sweat jacket, sweater, and gloves, and shoved them into my pannier:

Lopsided the nice flat road heading ahead was to be the road not taken... the main route headed up -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/1000 sec, f/2.2, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Lopsided
the nice flat road heading ahead was to be the road not taken...
the main route headed up

I have no idea how I got in front of Manseki, but he likely either had stopped for something, or was just pacing himself smarter than I was, because he came riding past while I was resting....

Manseki Grinding it Out puts people ⅓ of his age to shame -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/2500 sec, f/2.2, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Manseki Grinding it Out
puts people ⅓ of his age to shame

After a three-minute rest, I headed back up. The slopes were as unrelenting as they were ridiculous, continuing without respite. I had to laugh (figuratively... I didn't have the energy to do so literally) at this scene:

I'll Try To Restrain Myself the vertical sign way up the hill says “ slow down ” 11:38am - taken while moving, barely, at 5 km/h -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/1000 sec, f/2.2, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
I'll Try To Restrain Myself
the vertical sign way up the hill says slow down
11:38am - taken while moving, barely, at 5 km/h

Seven minutes and 64m of elevation gain later, I finally joined the rest of the group at the top, interrupting their long rest... Henry (and others, I'm sure) had made it 10 minutes before me.

Chilling at the Top 11:44am - taken while moving at 7 km/h -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/1250 sec, f/2.2, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Chilling at the Top
11:44am - taken while moving at 7 km/h

The ride up involved 286m of elevation gain in 2.8km (an average slope of 10.3%). It took me 25 minutes, four of which were resting.

Going down was easier, but three more big ascents awaited.

I headed down a bit before everyone else and set up to take pictures of folks as they went past, but it was a mostly wasted effort because I screwed up focus. I seem to have zero ability to learn the focus modes of the camera beyond the basic S mode. I thought I had C mode down, but the results below are a clear indication that I don't. 🙁

私は先に降りて、途中で止まって、カメラを準備しょました。皆の写真撮ったが、ピンはかなり間違いました。 🙁

Jamie more in focus than most -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/200 sec, f/2.5, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Jamie
more in focus than most
Kumiko out of focus :-( -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/200 sec, f/2.5, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Kumiko
out of focus 🙁
Arthur so-so focus -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/200 sec, f/2.5, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Arthur
so-so focus
Henry my camera lacks focus, but he doesn't -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/250 sec, f/2.5, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Henry
my camera lacks focus, but he doesn't
Manseki -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/250 sec, f/2.5, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Manseki
Gorm The least in focus... sorry Gorm -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/200 sec, f/2.5, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Gorm
The least in focus... sorry Gorm
Heading Up Again 12:20pm - taken while moving at 5 km/h -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/640 sec, f/3.2, ISO 180 — map & image datanearby photos
Heading Up Again
12:20pm - taken while moving at 5 km/h
Pass #2 12:23pm - taken while moving at 7 km/h -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/640 sec, f/3.2, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Pass #2
12:23pm - taken while moving at 7 km/h

The second ascent was longer (3.1km) but less elevation gain (238m), but it was 23 minutes of pain for me.

Heading Down the sense of steepness seems to be easier to capture when aiming down -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/640 sec, f/3.2, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
Heading Down
the sense of steepness seems to be easier to capture when aiming down
Fun 12:26pm - taken while moving at 19 km/h -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/640 sec, f/3.2, ISO 2000 — map & image datanearby photos
Fun
12:26pm - taken while moving at 19 km/h

The third ascent was insane... 118m of elevation gain over just 880m of distance (an average slope of over 12%). It took me 7½ minutes.

Having followed the others the whole time, I had no idea where I was beyond mountains south-east of Kyoto, but just before the pass I was surprised to come across a scene I recognized immediately:

I've Seen This Place Before 12:35pm - taken while moving at 6 km/h Kiyotaki-gu Shrine (清瀧宮) -- Kiyotaki-gu Shrine (清瀧宮) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/640 sec, f/2.8, ISO 2000 — map & image datanearby photos
I've Seen This Place Before
12:35pm - taken while moving at 6 km/h
Kiyotaki-gu Shrine (清瀧宮)

アッ、この神社を見た事ある、4年前。

Apparently I hadn't posted any photos from that 2011 visit, but the photos from Slightly Mysterious Stairs Into Mountain Overgrowth came from a short distance away, just beyond the pass I would reach in 30 seconds..

That early-summer outing in 2011, with Paul Barr and Katsunori Shimada, produced a bunch of posts, including

Anyway, I soon arrived at the top:

Finishing Ascent #3 photo by Manseki Kanemitsu 私。撮影は万石さん -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
DMC-SZ9 at an effective 26mm — 1/250 sec, f/3.1, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Finishing Ascent #3
photo by Manseki Kanemitsu
私。撮影は万石さん

I probably looked worse than I felt, but I was pooped and appreciative of the guilt-free rest.

As comparison, here's a photo of a somewhat more portly me, four years ago at the shrine near the pass:

Almost Four Years Ago 私、4年前、同じ神社で not such great shape photo by Paul Barr -- Kiyotaki-gu Shrine (清瀧宮) -- Uji, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Paul Barr, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D3 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Almost Four Years Ago
私、4年前、同じ神社で
not such great shape
photo by Paul Barr

I was using the aforementioned Nikkor 300mm f/2 to take this photo:

Weathered I like it when the wood grain is exposed by years of weathering -- Kiyotaki-gu Shrine (清瀧宮) -- Uji, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2011 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 D700 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 2500 — map & image datanearby photos
Weathered
I like it when the wood grain is exposed by years of weathering

Anyway, back to yesterday's ride. On the ride down to the next valley, Manseki asked me to go ahead and set up to take a shot of him coming around the corner...

“ Action Shot ” (sort of) I really need more than a 35mm lens for these kinds of shots こんな 撮影 は、もっと 望遠 なレンズが有れば良い 。今度 は 持っ て行く! -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/640 sec, f/5, ISO 360 — map & image datanearby photos
Action Shot (sort of)
I really need more than a 35mm lens for these kinds of shots
こんな撮影は、もっと望遠なレンズが有れば良い。今度持って行く!

As my lens followed him around the corner and off into the distance, it came across an unexpected sight...

Ms. Yoshino popped up out of the blue -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/640 sec, f/5, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
Ms. Yoshino
popped up out of the blue

It turns out that she's an acquaintance of Manseki. As I'd been getting ready for Manseki to come around the corner, she'd ridden up from below, and greeted me with are you Manseki's friend?. She'd seen the others ride past, and perhaps had known about our plans(?), so just took a guess.

She decided to turn around and join us for a while.

Heading Down to Catch Up with the Others 12:48pm - taken while moving at 22 km/h -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/640 sec, f/5, ISO 360 — map & image datanearby photos
Heading Down to Catch Up with the Others
12:48pm - taken while moving at 22 km/h
And Now Up For the Final Ascent 12:53pm - taken while moving at 7 km/h -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/640 sec, f/3.5, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
And Now Up For the Final Ascent
12:53pm - taken while moving at 7 km/h

The final ascent was the easiest (if one could say that) of the four... 250m of elevation gain over 3.4km. Again I was the last one... it took me 21 minutes.

All Done sort of... still 440m of elevation gain before home, but spread out over 18km and mixed with 740m of elevation loss -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
All Done
sort of... still 440m of elevation gain before home, but
spread out over 18km and mixed with 740m of elevation loss

Ms. Yoshino turned around to continue her original route, and we headed down. There was one more mini ascent (112m gain over 1000m)...

Final Push 1:24pm - taken while moving at 17 km/h -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Final Push
1:24pm - taken while moving at 17 km/h

The final big downhill was fantastic, with wide sweeping curves that one could take almost wide open. I hit 62km/h (38mph) at one point. It was fun.

Another 13km of city riding and we were back where we started.

Bidding Adieu -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/640 sec, f/6.3, ISO 450 — map & image datanearby photos
Bidding Adieu

Overall the day's 58km route was tough for me, but still much easier than my 90km route three weeks ago, which had almost double the elevation gain, plus snow.

Still, I was surprised when I asked Henry how the route was compared to whatever he normally does. He said Today's ride was nice, though the pace was...... relaxed. Doh! But sure, he got to lounge around all day waiting for me at the top of each ascent, so who wouldn't be relaxed. 😉


All 4 comments so far, oldest first...

What sort of arrangement do you use to carry your D4 while cycling?

I use a Sun Sniper Pro slider strap to sling the camera to rest on my back when not shooting. It’s easy to grab for a shot, and to put back. You can see it at my side here and here and here and here, and in riding position here. —Jeffrey

— comment by Tom in SF on March 6th, 2015 at 1:09am JST (2 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

Again, what great looking roads and scenery. You are lucky to be riding those and meeting new people that share your interest. So jealous.

— comment by RBMann on March 6th, 2015 at 3:02am JST (2 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

It is my duty to inform you that Gorm and Manseki are taunting you since you don’t have a goatee… Its all over their faces. You have to grow a billy goat beard like them and then you will win! (LOL).

Also that Ms. Yoshino! Reminds me of one of the few English words that might be classified as 擬態語(gitaigo) Hubba! Hubba!

— comment by Ron Evans on March 11th, 2015 at 4:23am JST (2 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

Fabulous trip! Exciting shots! You must have had a great tour leader with Manseki. I’ll look him up next time I’m in Japan.

— comment by David Meth on May 12th, 2015 at 11:53am JST (2 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink
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