Last Month’s Particularly Epic Cycling Adventure, Part 2

This post picks up from Last Month’s Particularly Epic Cycling Adventure, Part 1, about a ride that I took with Nigel Randell and Andy Clark a month ago. Part 1 ended with us having reached Minetoko Pass (elevation 888m / 2,900') on a long gravel road.

Heading Down -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 32mm — 1/200 sec, f/2.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Heading Down

The descent down the other side was often very rough, and the rain continued, but it was worth it because the views and general scenery were often gorgeous.

Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/500 sec, f/1.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/2015-09-16/2619 -- 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 30mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 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 38mm — 1/80 sec, f/13, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
“ Soft Shoulder ” with a speed limit (12mph) that I'm sure we exceeded -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 41mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Soft Shoulder
with a speed limit (12mph) that I'm sure we exceeded
photo by Nigel Randell -- Copyright 2015 Nigel Randell
SC-04E at an effective 31mm — 1/310 sec, f/2.2, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
photo by Nigel Randell

One thing that set this descent apart is that the forest it traversed seemed to be mostly original virgin wood, and not farmed ceder seen almost everywhere else. The ample deciduous trees should make this path spectacular next month.

A Nigel in the Wild can blend into the natural surroundings to the point of near invisibility -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 40mm — 1/80 sec, f/2.5, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
A Nigel in the Wild
can blend into the natural surroundings to the point of near invisibility
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Construction in the Middle of Nowhere flood-control stuff -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Construction in the Middle of Nowhere
flood-control stuff
I Got a Flat photo by Nigel Randell -- Copyright 2015 Nigel Randell
SC-04E at an effective 31mm — 1/25 sec, f/2.2, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
I Got a Flat
photo by Nigel Randell

There was a sharp edge across the road where the pavement restarted, and I hit it too quickly and got a pinch flat, only the second flat I've gotten since starting to ride earlier this year. Like the first time, it was raining as I changed the tire.

Eventually the road returned to civilization, only to be blocked by a padlocked gate.

Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

I don't understand how a public road can be suddenly gated like this... there was nothing to stop us getting here, so why not let us continue?? We certainly weren't going to spend the hours required to retrace our steps, so we went over the gate.

Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

This let us out just east of Nomi Pass. It's an area I knew well, having done it on my first big ride last February, and three other times since.

When doing a climb, even if it's cold and rainy, the effort you put into it generates a lot of heat. But then on the descent, you can get very cold quickly, and with this long descent and my flat tire, by now we were pretty cold and miserable. Unfortunately, the area is devoid of stores or other commerce for many miles, except, fortunately, one restaurant in the middle of nowhere, the Iroha Cafe (いろはカフェ). Were very lucky to find the lady that runs the cafe outside accepting a delivery when we rolled past. She wasn't open yet, but kindly opened up for us.

Most Grateful For Her Hospitality wet, miserable, and six hours into the trip -- Iroha Cafe (いろはカフェ) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/60 sec, f/1.7, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
Most Grateful For Her Hospitality
wet, miserable, and six hours into the trip
Warm Tea so very appreciated -- Iroha Cafe (いろはカフェ) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/60 sec, f/1.7, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
Warm Tea
so very appreciated
!!FREE JUNK FOOD!! -- Iroha Cafe (いろはカフェ) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 2000 — map & image datanearby photos
!!FREE JUNK FOOD!!

She has big baskets filled with various cookies and crackers and treats, all free for the taking. When faced with such bounty, in the condition we normally arrive (cold and miserable), we always clean them out. I try to pay a bit extra to make me feel better about having been such a pig.

She was open for business by the time we left, and parked outside on the road was the logging truck of a customer:

Dangerous Load the pointy bits extend way past the end of the truck, without so much as a red ribbon of warning -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/500 sec, f/1.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Dangerous Load
the pointy bits extend way past the end of the truck, without so much as a red ribbon of warning

With the clock ticking down and the rain still coming down, we decided to take the most expeditious route home, so headed east to Route 367.

Another Scenic Area taken while moving at 18 kph (11 mph) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 47mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Another Scenic Area
taken while moving at 18 kph (11 mph)

Route 367 has the benefit of being a fairly fast and direct route back to Kyoto, but it's got a lot of traffic and something like six or seven tunnels, which can be quite dangerous especially since they're on uphill segments, so you're going much slower than traffic. (Taking the road from Kyoto makes it much less dangerous, because you're going downhill and so can travel with traffic.)

Most of the tunnels can be bypassed by taking the old, steep, twisty sections of road they replace, but the bypass around three tunnels in succession was closed off. We decided to give it a try anyway... roads that are closed to cars are often easily passable by bicycle (like this and this).

I mean, really, just how bad can it be?

So Far So Good Route 367 in the background dives into one of the tunnels we're bypassing taken while moving at 20 kph (12 mph) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
So Far So Good
Route 367 in the background dives into one of the tunnels we're bypassing
taken while moving at 20 kph (12 mph)
Well, Okay, This is a Bit Messy but still entirely passable taken while moving at 8 kph (5 mph) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
Well, Okay, This is a Bit Messy
but still entirely passable
taken while moving at 8 kph (5 mph)
Ummm... taken while moving at 17 kph (11 mph) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/80 sec, f/1.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Ummm...
taken while moving at 17 kph (11 mph)
I Can See How Cars Might Have Trouble Here -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/80 sec, f/1.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
I Can See How Cars Might Have Trouble Here

I was thinking to just forge ahead into the river, when Nigel beat me to it...

“ Come On Lads, Let's Get it Done ” -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 54mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Come On Lads, Let's Get it Done
Reluctantly Follows -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 27mm — 1/125 sec, f/2, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Reluctantly Follows
A Bit More Dodgy Here The road surface used to be about where Andy's pant cuffs are -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 44mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.6, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
A Bit More Dodgy Here
The road surface used to be about where Andy's pant cuffs are
Nigel Sinking in the Gutter at the side of the “ road ” -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Nigel Sinking in the Gutter
at the side of the road
Ah, Back on the Road -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Ah, Back on the Road

Nigel took a short video of me slogging through the water, until I stopped at a big sandbar because I was worried about falling off while clipped in. I didn't want to fall, but particularly didn't want to fall on video. 🙂


Video by Nigel Randel
Safely Through To Dry Land -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Safely Through To Dry Land

With all our fun adventures, time was really running short, so we decide to skip the next bypass and go through the tunnel. This bypass (seen here) involves a 100m climb that we didn't have the time for.

Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

I don't feel that tunnels are particularly dangerous if you have good lights, but I seem to be in the minority. In any case, at least on Route 367, traffic seems to come in bunches, so we waited until a bunch passed then dove into the tunnel.

On the preview post last month I included this photo:

taken while moving at 26 kph (16 mph) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/25 sec, f/1.7, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
taken while moving at 26 kph (16 mph)

... but that's been post-processed to bring up the light level. This photo is closer to reality:

Closer to Reality taken while moving at 26 kph (16 mph) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 2500 — map & image datanearby photos
Closer to Reality
taken while moving at 26 kph (16 mph)

It depends on the tunnel; some are very well lit. (On a separate ride yesterday, I ended up taking all the tunnels on this route.)

The tunnel above ends at the top of a long descent, with both twisty parts and fast straightaways...

Andy Leads Us Into the Turn taken while moving at 38 kph (24 mph) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/1.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Andy Leads Us Into the Turn
taken while moving at 38 kph (24 mph)
Nigel Brings Up the Rear (sorry about the missed focus on this one; my emphasis was on not crashing) taken while moving at 47 kph (29 mph) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/160 sec, f/1.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Nigel Brings Up the Rear
(sorry about the missed focus on this one; my emphasis was on not crashing)
taken while moving at 47 kph (29 mph)
Fast Straightaway taken while moving at 61 kph (38 mph) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/250 sec, f/1.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Fast Straightaway
taken while moving at 61 kph (38 mph)

That was the last photo I took... the rest was just vanilla get home riding.

All in all the ride was way more fun than its 99.8km would suggest. Fun folks, new routes, forging a river... what more could one ask for? Epic day.


One comment so far...

Amazing ride! I hope to do some serious riding when I get to Kyoto next, but I’m not sure I want to tackle that route. It would be nice to see the scenery though.

Stop on by, Jim, and we’ll do it by car! —Jeffrey

— comment by Jim Breen on October 19th, 2015 at 8:07pm JST (2 years, 1 month ago) comment permalink
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