Great Day in Kyoto’s Colorful Northern Mountains, and at Strava’s Kyoto Office
Autumn Colors Have Definitely Arrived in the cold mountains of northern Kyoto -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Autumn Colors Have Definitely Arrived
in the cold mountains of northern Kyoto

I had a nice ride the other day with Andy Clark and Michael Edwards.

While meeting up in the morning, Nigel Randell happened to stop by on his way to work...

Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

And we were approached by an American tourist passing by who saw our nice bikes and just wanted to say hi...

Carlin Eng in Kyoto -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Carlin Eng
in Kyoto

It turns out that he works for Strava, the running/riding community site where your activities can be mapped and compared to your prior efforts and to others. In the nine months since I started cycling, I've been absolutely shocked at how motivating Strava has been for me; upon returning from a ride, the satisfaction to see the PR (personal record) badge on a particular route is something that drives me, and I feel disappointed when I don't earn it.

Strava does have its issues, including the wild inflation of vertical-climb numbers for a ride, prompting my May blog post The Voodoo of Elevation Gain and Strava. Andy and Michael know of my data geekiness along these lines, so when Carlin said that he was a data engineer for Strava, Michael and Andy instinctively parted, lest they get caught in my let's talk about data tractor beam. 🙂

Actually, we just exchanged pleasantries and made sure Carlin was aware of the plethora of wonderful mountain rides in the area. He showed us (on the Strava App, of course) the ride he'd done the previous day up in the northern and western mountains, a great route, so we were satisfied that he'd at least had a good sampling. (Along the lines of voodoo elevation gain, Strava says his elevation gain on that ride was 3,890m, but it was actually 2,036m — 6,680' instead of 12,760'.)

Wishing him a good time on the temple tour he had planned for the day, Andy, Michael, and I took off north toward Kibune.

We stopped for a photo at the same bridge that appears in the first photo on my very first cycling-related blog post....

Group Shot on the way to Kibune (貴船) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/1.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Group Shot
on the way to Kibune (貴船)

Our route would take us over Seryo Pass (芹生峠), a climb I have done only once, with a non-cycling friend, on a folding city-commuter bike (see Conquering Kyoto’s Seryo Pass with Manu Mohan), stopping often. So, doing it today for real for the first time made me a bit apprehensive: it's long, steep, with lots of rocks, leaves/moss, broken pavement, etc.

I made it, more than an hour faster than that first time, but still slow going. My time of 37:06 was minute slower than Michael, and almost four minutes slower than Andy. I'm just happy that I was able to do it without stopping.

Halfway down the other side, Andy got a flat...

Impromptu Pause -- 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
Impromptu Pause
Roadside Mirror -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Roadside Mirror
Really Bright bright light and dark shadows were too much for the camera sensor -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Really Bright
bright light and dark shadows were too much for the camera sensor
Deep deep gorge, deep colors.... sadly, doesn't come across well in the photo -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/7.1, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Deep
deep gorge, deep colors.... sadly, doesn't come across well in the photo
Our Tax Yen at Work worker cleaning middle-of-nowhere street with leaf blower. — what a fantastic waste of resources — taken while riding at 21 kph (13 mph) -- 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
Our Tax Yen at Work
worker cleaning middle-of-nowhere street with leaf blower.
— what a fantastic waste of resources —
taken while riding at 21 kph (13 mph)
Cool As Always but deep in these northern mountains, it got downright cold. Glad I brought a light jacket. -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Cool As Always
but deep in these northern mountains, it got downright cold.
Glad I brought a light jacket.
Photo Op -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 41mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Photo Op
Posing to me it looks like they're just checking their six, but they were “ posing ” for the shot. taken while riding at 33 kph (21 mph) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 41mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Posing
to me it looks like they're just checking their six,
but they were posing for the shot.
taken while riding at 33 kph (21 mph)
Not Posing just normal countryside riding at or below the posted speed limit taken while riding at 34 kph (21 mph) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Not Posing
just normal countryside riding at or below the posted speed limit
taken while riding at 34 kph (21 mph)
Hamming It Up taken while riding at 34 kph (21 mph) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Hamming It Up
taken while riding at 34 kph (21 mph)
taken while riding at 35 kph (22 mph) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
taken while riding at 35 kph (22 mph)

As Andy was hamming it up for the camera, I commented to Michael that Andy was leaving him in the dust. Of course Michael can't have that, so takes off like a shot....

Overtake taken while riding at 36 kph (22 mph) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Overtake
taken while riding at 36 kph (22 mph)
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
He's Gone... -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
He's Gone...

Andy knows the area particularly well, and brought us on a side road through a hidden little village...

Secret Path taken while riding at 12 kph (7 mph) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 47mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Secret Path
taken while riding at 12 kph (7 mph)
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 47mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Incongruous Objet d'art taken while riding at 19 kph (12 mph) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 47mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.6, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Incongruous Objet d'art
taken while riding at 19 kph (12 mph)
Another Small Path by a river with absolutely pristine crystal-clear water -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 35mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Another Small Path
by a river with absolutely pristine crystal-clear water
Insanely Steep 35%? 40%? Andy rode up it like it was nothing; I didn't have the guts to try -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 49mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.7, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Insanely Steep
35%? 40%?
Andy rode up it like it was nothing; I didn't have the guts to try

UPDATE: as per Rick's comment, I went back and measured the slope with the compass app on my iPhone. It's a bit of a long story involving some confusion on my part, but in the end the slope turns out to be a 36.4% grade, which is about what I guessed, and more than I'm willing to try while clipped in.

Back on the Main Road taken while riding at 32 kph (20 mph) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Back on the Main Road
taken while riding at 32 kph (20 mph)
Typical Scene just another day in Kyoto taken while riding at 45 kph (28 mph) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Typical Scene
just another day in Kyoto
taken while riding at 45 kph (28 mph)
Discussing the Finer Points of art, literature, space exploration, and carbon wheels ( actually, I think they were discussing work-related research reports ) taken while riding at 34 kph (21 mph) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/2000 sec, f/1.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Discussing the Finer Points
of art, literature, space exploration, and carbon wheels
( actually, I think they were discussing work-related research reports )
taken while riding at 34 kph (21 mph)
Perfectly Pleasant Day taken while riding at 19 kph (12 mph) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/1600 sec, f/1.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Perfectly Pleasant Day
taken while riding at 19 kph (12 mph)
Entering a Small Village taken while riding at 13 kph (8 mph) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
Entering a Small Village
taken while riding at 13 kph (8 mph)
Sweeping Views from a now-closed road replaced by a tunnel far below us ( it was my second time on this road, the first having been here ) taken while riding at 14 kph (8 mph) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Sweeping Views
from a now-closed road replaced by a tunnel far below us
( it was my second time on this road, the first having been here )
taken while riding at 14 kph (8 mph)
Messy Road I guess our tax yen is not being spent enough taken while riding at 11 kph (7 mph) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 27mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Messy Road
I guess our tax yen is not being spent enough
taken while riding at 11 kph (7 mph)
Pathetically-Shaky Photo I'd mistakenly left the aperture stopped down too far taken while riding at 45 kph (28 mph) -- Kasa Tunnel (笠トンネル) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/13 sec, f/5.6, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Pathetically-Shaky Photo
I'd mistakenly left the aperture stopped down too far
taken while riding at 45 kph (28 mph)

The interior of this tunnel has appeared twice before, here and here.

Then we stopped by the Ochiba Shrine (the aptly-named Fallen Leaf Shrine)...

Group Photo at the Iwato Ochiba Shrine (岩戸落葉神社), Kyoto Japan -- Iwato Ochiba Shrine (岩戸落葉神社) -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Group Photo
at the Iwato Ochiba Shrine (岩戸落葉神社), Kyoto Japan

I've visited this shrine during the fall-foliage season many times, first having written about it on my blog five years ago in Carpet of Yellow at the Iwato Ochiba Shrine, Deep in the Mountains of North-West Kyoto, then again three years ago, and at about the same time, one of my first real wigglegrams was made there.

I learned about this shrine five years ago when a friend wrote on his blog about a bicycle trip here. Until this year I couldn't fathom ever coming this far by bicycle, so it means something to me to be able to come here to see the colors by bicycle. I actually came the day before as well, on a solo ride to take in the fall colors.

Quintessential Shot at this shrine during the foliage season -- Iwato Ochiba Shrine (岩戸落葉神社) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Quintessential Shot
at this shrine during the foliage season

On the way home I think I bonked a bitla petit bonk — and suddenly felt depleted about half way up the climb to Kyomi Pass. So back in the city after we all went our separate ways to return home, I stopped by a restaurant for some All American calories...

Big Burger at Speak Easy -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/1600 sec, f/1.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Big Burger at Speak Easy

In the evening I treated myself to a sports massage at Dou, the clinic run by my friend Kentaro Kataoka, who once appeared on my blog giving an impromptu massage to another friend.

Then to cap off a great day, I met Carlin Eng, the Strava engineer I'd met that morning, for dinner. As is my habit with folks new to Kyoto, I took him to Uroko...

Cheers Carlin Eng opens the Strava Kyoto office for a few hours at Uroko (鱗), Kyoto Japan -- Uroko (鱗) -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/40 sec, f/2.2, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
Cheers
Carlin Eng opens the Strava Kyoto office for a few hours
at Uroko (鱗), Kyoto Japan

I go to Uroko often, though I don't think I've mentioned it since Facebook Engineering Opens a Satellite Office in Kyoto. As with that event, I shamelessly used dinner to bribe my way into an opportunity to talk engineering and user experience directly with a member of the company. They're probably not the appropriate person to talk to about my various concerns, I know, but it's fun and enlightening.

I really like Strava, but there are many things I wish were different, and likely would be different if they had unlimited resources and didn't have to worry about business. I'm acquainted with at least five billionaires that I can think of... if one of you are reading this, please buy Strava and make me King. 😉 That'd be a nice achievement to have, in addition to the KOM (King of the Mountain) and QOM (Queen of the Mountain) achievements, KOS (King of Strava).

Strava aside, Carlin was a great guy to chat with, and I hope he looks us up next time he visits Kyoto so we can all go out riding together.


One comment so far...

Insanely Steep 35-40%? Pull up the Compass App on an iPhone then swipe to the level function. It will give a % reading to/from level. I hope I don’t send the data geek off on another Strava vs. reality expedition.

Great idea… I wish I would have thought of the Compass App at the time. Next time! —Jeffrey

— comment by Rick H. on November 14th, 2015 at 6:51am JST (1 year, 9 months ago) comment permalink
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