Bicycle Ride Around Japan’s Largest Lake, Part 2
Choppy Day on Northern Lake Biwa 11:38 AM (+6h 11m) - 105 km (65.5 miles) taken while cycling at 28 kph (17 mph) -- Nagahama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/800 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Choppy Day on Northern Lake Biwa
11:38 AM (+6h 11m) - 105 km (65.5 miles)
taken while cycling at 28 kph (17 mph)

一ヶ月前琵琶湖一周物語を続きます。第一幕こちら

I'm finally getting around to continue the story from Bicycle Ride Around Japan’s Largest Lake, Part 1, a 230km (143 mile) ride I did with a few friends a month ago. I've done a bunch of long rides since (115km, 143km, 147km, 145km, 50km, and 140km), but this remains my longest ride so far.

Here I'll repeat the map that leads the first post:


230km (143 miles) by bicycle

In the upper-rightish is the city of Nagahama, and that's about where the first post ended, so that's where this one picks up. We're moving around the lake in a counter-clockwise direction, so we're still not half way.

For a while north of Nagahama there's no road along the shore, so we have to head inland a bit...

Amber Waves of Grain 11:44 AM (+6h 17m) - 107 km (66.6 miles) taken while cycling at 21 kph (13 mph) -- Nagahama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 25mm — 1/1000 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Amber Waves of Grain
11:44 AM (+6h 17m) - 107 km (66.6 miles)
taken while cycling at 21 kph (13 mph)
11:44 AM (+6h 17m) - 107 km (66.7 miles) taken while cycling at 20 kph (13 mph) -- Nagahama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 52mm — 1/1000 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
11:44 AM (+6h 17m) - 107 km (66.7 miles)
taken while cycling at 20 kph (13 mph)
11:44 AM (+6h 18m) - 107 km (66.7 miles) taken while cycling at 20 kph (12 mph) -- Nagahama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/1600 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
11:44 AM (+6h 18m) - 107 km (66.7 miles)
taken while cycling at 20 kph (12 mph)
Stardestroyer 11:48 AM (+6h 21m) - 109 km (67.6 miles) taken while cycling at 22 kph (14 mph) -- Nagahama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/800 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Stardestroyer
11:48 AM (+6h 21m) - 109 km (67.6 miles)
taken while cycling at 22 kph (14 mph)

There wasn't much traffic this far north in the boonies, but at one point a huge crane slowly passed us, making me feel like Princess Leia consular vessel being slowly overtaken and consumed by Darth Vader's Imperial Stardestroyer.

At about our half-way point, the main road goes through a long modern tunnel under some mountains. We'd rather go over the mountains, so we got onto the old original road and climbed the 50 vertical meters to an old tunnel...

12:03 PM (+6h 36m) - 113 km (70.5 miles) -- Nagahama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/60 sec, f/9, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
12:03 PM (+6h 36m) - 113 km (70.5 miles)

The name, written above the entrance (backwards) is 「賤ヶ嶽隧道」, using the old word (suido) that's since been replaced by the Japanification of the English word tunnel. According to a plaque just inside the entrance, it took a bit more than a year of digging to break through the 1,260 shaku of length (382m / 418yd), and another two and a half years to actually finish the tunnel in 1927 at a cost of 279,642 yen. I don't know what the exchange rate was 88 years ago, but today that's about $2,250.

Nagahama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 30mm — 1/20 sec, f/13, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos

Inside the tunnel it was pitch black except for a splash of light in the center. Even in the day where you can easily see both openings, I wouldn't want to do it without a light, for fear of monsters and creepy things. Ugh.

But a slow shutter can see in the dark, so after I got home I got to actually see what the inside of the tunnel looked like:

Better Off Not Knowing 12:07 PM (+6h 40m) - 114 km (70.6 miles) taken while cycling at 11 kph (7 mph) -- Nagahama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/8 sec, f/1.7, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
Better Off Not Knowing
12:07 PM (+6h 40m) - 114 km (70.6 miles)
taken while cycling at 11 kph (7 mph)

Through to the other side, we were treated to a nice view of the lake....

60m Above Lake Biwa 12:09 PM (+6h 43m) - 114 km (70.8 miles) -- Nagahama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/1250 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
60m Above Lake Biwa
12:09 PM (+6h 43m) - 114 km (70.8 miles)

This is pretty much at the exact spot where the green arrow in the map above touches at the top.

Heading Back Down 12:16 PM (+6h 49m) - 115 km (71.1 miles) -- Nagahama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 65mm — 1/200 sec, f/7.1, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Heading Back Down
12:16 PM (+6h 49m) - 115 km (71.1 miles)

The most direct path around the lake cuts off a peninsula of mountains that pierces the lake at its top, but of course we wanted to hug the lake as much as possible, and climb the mountains as much as possible...

Heading Into the Mountains 12:40 PM (+7h 14m) - 120 km (74.4 miles) taken while cycling at 19 kph (12 mph) -- Nagahama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Heading Into the Mountains
12:40 PM (+7h 14m) - 120 km (74.4 miles)
taken while cycling at 19 kph (12 mph)

Half an hour of hard climbing later...

View Of Lake Biwa from 280m above the surface 1:13 PM (+7h 46m) - 126 km (78.0 miles) -- Nagahama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/250 sec, f/10, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
View Of Lake Biwa
from 280m above the surface
1:13 PM (+7h 46m) - 126 km (78.0 miles)
Well-Earned Rest 1:15 PM (+7h 48m) - 126 km (78.0 miles) -- Nagahama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 54mm — 1/100 sec, f/10, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
Well-Earned Rest
1:15 PM (+7h 48m) - 126 km (78.0 miles)
Another Pause Lower Down 240m above 1:36 PM (+8h 9m) - 130 km (80.6 miles) -- Nagahama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 50mm — 1/160 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Another Pause Lower Down
240m above
1:36 PM (+8h 9m) - 130 km (80.6 miles)
Plummeting Down 1:43 PM (+8h 17m) - 131 km (81.4 miles) -- Nagahama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 32mm — 1/250 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Plummeting Down
1:43 PM (+8h 17m) - 131 km (81.4 miles)

I went ahead and tried to set up for a panning action shot of Gorm flying by, hoping I'd get everything blurry except him....

1:47 PM (+8h 21m) - 134 km (83.0 miles) -- Nagahama, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/60 sec, f/6.3, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
1:47 PM (+8h 21m) - 134 km (83.0 miles)

He's sort of blurry too, but I'll claim partial success.

Once we alighted from the mountain, we had a pretty simple/flat 60-or-so kilometers (~40mi) shot down along the shore to complete our loop.

Annoying Japanese Habit 2:32 PM (+9h 6m) - 147 km (91.4 miles) taken while cycling at 25 kph (15 mph) -- Takashima, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 35mm — 1/160 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Annoying Japanese Habit
2:32 PM (+9h 6m) - 147 km (91.4 miles)
taken while cycling at 25 kph (15 mph)

Japanese people seem to love to smolder plant clippings, spreading smoke everywhere. One farmer deciding to get rid of some cuttings can ruin a whole town's futons and other fabrics hug out to dry. It boggles my mind, but people just seem to think it's natural.

Two hours after descending the mountain, we catch our first sight of the gate for the Shirohige Shrine, which we'd visited from the other (closer to Kyoto) direction a month prior on my first ride that exceeded 100km. That was the subject of Pleasant 105km Bike Ride Takashima’s Shirohige Shrine...

First Sight of the Shrine Gate (I think ... it'd be pretty tiny in this photo) 3:51 PM (+10h 24m) - 170 km (105.6 miles) taken while cycling at 15 kph (9 mph) -- Takashima, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
First Sight of the Shrine Gate
(I think ... it'd be pretty tiny in this photo)
3:51 PM (+10h 24m) - 170 km (105.6 miles)
taken while cycling at 15 kph (9 mph)

20 minutes and 8km later, we're much closer...

4:12 PM (+10h 45m) - 178 km (110.8 miles) taken while cycling at 26 kph (16 mph) -- Takashima, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 25mm — 1/320 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
4:12 PM (+10h 45m) - 178 km (110.8 miles)
taken while cycling at 26 kph (16 mph)
Arrival 4:15 PM (+10h 48m) - 179 km (111.1 miles) Shirahige Shrine (白鬚神社) -- Shirahige Shrine (白鬚神社) -- Takashima, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/1000 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Arrival
4:15 PM (+10h 48m) - 179 km (111.1 miles)
Shirahige Shrine (白鬚神社)

This was the first thing around the whole lake that was familiar, and at least to me signaled the end of the challenge. Now we just had to get home, but that was still a few hours off.

Labor-Intensive Farming 5:11 PM (+11h 44m) - 198 km (123.0 miles) taken while cycling at 29 kph (18 mph) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 29mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Labor-Intensive Farming
5:11 PM (+11h 44m) - 198 km (123.0 miles)
taken while cycling at 29 kph (18 mph)

Finally at 6:00 in the evening we overlapped our morning path, completing our trip around the lake.

Objective Achieved 6:00 PM (+12h 33m) - 216 km (134.0 miles) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/1000 sec, f/2.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Objective Achieved
6:00 PM (+12h 33m) - 216 km (134.0 miles)

This was taken near the site of this photo from the morning, almost 12 hours earlier.

Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/800 sec, f/2.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

Now that we had completed the loop, we had to pop back over to Kyoto, which first involved a 105m climb over a small mountain...

Cresting the Pass 6:35 PM (+13h 9m) - 219 km (135.8 miles) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
Cresting the Pass
6:35 PM (+13h 9m) - 219 km (135.8 miles)

I'm happy with the amount of blur I get in the wheels and spokes at this shutter speed.

Kumiko was happy because she could do the hill (and indeed the entire day) in her clip-in shoes. It gave her a lot of confidence with them.

Gorm was happy because he got to have a nice rest while waiting for us; he flew up that mountain.

Part of the descent down the other side is really steep, but the effect is enhanced by being right next to a highway....

Landing Approach 6:37 PM (+13h 10m) - 219 km (136.2 miles) taken while cycling at 20 kph (12 mph) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/160 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Landing Approach
6:37 PM (+13h 10m) - 219 km (136.2 miles)
taken while cycling at 20 kph (12 mph)

After that, just before arriving home, there was one final 50m hill. The other side of the hill was the first little climb of the day, and I was happy to find out when looking at the data later that I made a personal-best fast time on both the climb leaving Kyoto that morning, and the climb returning home that evening. Both little climbs were ones that I had given my all on before, so it was all the more gratifying to make PRs on them as bookmarks to my longest ride (in time and distance).

I returned home after almost 14 hours on the bike, and felt great. I guess distance doesn't tire me out, just vertical climb, and this one had only about 1,500m (4,800 ft). The rides I've done since are shorter, but usually have much more mountain climbing.


All 5 comments so far, oldest first...

Beautiful ride.

— comment by RBMann on July 7th, 2015 at 1:41am JST (2 years ago) comment permalink

The red in Kumiko’s cycling kit is the perfect foil to the cool blues and greens in shot ‘View of Lake Biwa’.

— comment by Ron Evans on July 7th, 2015 at 11:25am JST (2 years ago) comment permalink

Insane. Congratulations !

— comment by Alain on July 7th, 2015 at 8:54pm JST (2 years ago) comment permalink

Here are my “mama-chari” distances in comparison:
Last week on Tuesday from my place (at Kuramaguchi-Oomiya) to Katsura stn. 40min.
Katsura Stn. – Saga, half an hour. Saga back to my place: 35min. (I was proud of that, haha!)
Today from my place to Tambabashi Stn: 1h. Back about 50min. Feels good!
Last summer I continued to Mukaijima, two years ago to Kuzuha and back.
Some years ago from my place to Yamashina, Rokujizo Stn, Momoyama and back.
Without mountains my bike is ok!
Happy cycling!
Anne

That’s pretty good! I hope you’re taking advantage of the paths along the rivers, such as the one heading toward Osaka seen in the route on this page. —Jeffrey

— comment by Anne on July 9th, 2015 at 7:38pm JST (2 years ago) comment permalink

Yes, I’ve already used the path along the Katsura river when I cycled to Takeda.
And when I went to Kuzuha it was a big part along a river, too. It’s really nice!
35°C this afternoon and I cycled to the French Institute for the French national holiday (July 14).
Ok, that’s only a quarter of an hour from my place but with this heat, phew!
In the evening I cycled to the Nishijin culture center at Sembon Nakadachiuri for a wadaiko lesson.

— comment by Anne on July 14th, 2015 at 9:45pm JST (2 years ago) comment permalink
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