Riding Kyoto’s “Heart Loop” With Friends

Kyoto's Heart Loop Cycling Route
From my house it's 55km with 800m of vertical climb (34mi / 2,600')

Yesterday I finally did the Heart Loop route that seems to be a local favorite. It goes over three not-very-big passes, which in the counter-clockwise order that I did it yesterday are Ebumi (江文峠), Mochikoshi (持越峠), and Kyomi (京見峠). Total elevation gain is only 800m (2,600'), so it's not very challenging unless you choose to make it so by really pushing.

昨日、やっと「ハートルップ」と言うサイクリングコースをやってみました。 名前意味は「♡形の一周」です。距離は55キロ、獲得高度は800メートルです。


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 35mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Foggy Gathering
この間雨中のサイクリングをしましたのでカメラのレンズは曇ってた。掃除のを忘れた!

My previous few rides have been in the rain, and so my camera lens got a layer of something on it that I neglected to clean off, and so the photos are all hazy and indistinct. 🙁

The lens aside, it was a nice ride with nice folks: Manseki (Japan), Ross (Canada), Michael (USA), and meeting for the first time, Iago (Spain).

We met near Sanjo Starbucks as usual, and got moving at 7:42am.


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Duckies in a Row
7:50am - taken while cycling at 42 kph (26 mph)

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 29mm — 1/640 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Iago
this guy is really fast
( but I hope his lack of a helmet never comes back to bite him )
7:56am - taken while cycling at 28 kph (17 mph)

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 29mm — 1/1600 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Ross
with his trademarked passive expression
7:56am - taken while cycling at 19 kph (12 mph)

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 29mm — 1/800 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Stoplight Group Selfie

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 44mm — 1/250 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Michael
His excellent posture makes his arms look extra long
8:18am - taken while cycling at 27 kph (17 mph)

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 25mm — 1/640 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Brake-Adjust Break

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/400 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Selfish Jerk
我儘な危ない運転
8:54am - taken while cycling at 47 kph (29 mph)

I snapped the photo above to record the license plate of the car in case trouble arose from his dangerous driving. Our speed was limited by the mini pickup truck in front of us, so we had no trouble keeping pace with traffic and were not slowing him down in the least, but I sensed that he took it as an affront that bicycles were in front of him, so he tailgated for a long while before just deciding to push forward despite there being nowhere to go. He endangered all of us for precisely zero gain.

Half a minute later, he turned toward the city and we turned onto a small road farther into the mountains as we started up the left-side lobe of the heart.

This part of the course leads 6.8km (4.2mi) to the start of the next climb. The route is mostly rising, but overall there's only 190m (620') of elevation gain, so it's not challenging if you don't push. Ross and Iago were idly chatting as they lazily road together most of the way, but their lazily pretty much perfectly matched my pushing fairly hard, so they were in sight most of the time.


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 62mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Posing
9:12am - taken while cycling at 21 kph (13 mph)

When I took these photos of Iago acting silly for the camera, it was on a fairly steep uphill section, but he just kept pumping away.


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
'cause I didn't have the camera ready the first time

The next climb, to Mochikoshi Pass, is a bit intense. It's just 1.05km (0.65mi) long, but it rises 108m (354'), making for an average slope of 10.3%. I'd descended it before, but this was my first time to climb it.

It took me 6:27. Iago took only 4:54. Ross has done it faster, but took his sweet time today with a relaxing 5:18. Michael and Manseki apparently chatted the whole time, so took it much easier.


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Cresting the Pass
持越峠
in a photo-recreation moments after the actual event

I'm still trying to get used to the Panasonic LX100 that I bought for cycling. The lag between pressing the shutter button and the photo actually being taken bites me sometimes. I think that has something to do with why the photo above is not panned well (I think I stopped panning once I thought the picture was taken). I was going for something like this.

I did better a few moments later when Iago was playing around...


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 46mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Silly

On the way back we crested Kyomi Pass from the north. I was happy to make a PR (personal record), besting the PR I'd set last Wednesday, shaving 11 seconds off to 12:18.


Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Pitstop at NORU
for coffee or, er, etc

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 37mm — 1/50 sec, f/2.4, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
Admiring the Fine Bouquet
as Ross and Josh test grinds on the new espresso machine
( they were really testing grinds, but this photo is totally staged )

The route home brought me across the bottom of the Kyoto Imperial Palace Park, and I was booking it with an average speed of 40kph (25mph). It turns out that this puts me as the sixth faster person to register this segment with Strava. I've held the sixth-place ranking on a segment before, but this is the first time it's been for a segment with more than six registered riders. In this case I'm sixth out of 1,390 attempts by 265 people.

I think I've got it in me to shave a few more seconds off. We'll see.

All in all it was a very nice little ride. I got to meet Iago, and of course I always enjoy riding with good folks like Ross, Manseki, and Michael. I was back home by noon to get started on work for the day.


One comment so far...

Thank you for the ride and the pictures. Gracias. Hasta pronto!

— comment by iago on July 12th, 2015 at 12:29am JST (2 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink
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