Flat, Windless Trip to Osaka; Blustery, Hilly Trip Back

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 58mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Riding in the Big City
Gorm travels through Osaka City, last June
taken while moving at 31 kph (19 mph)

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/800 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Approaching Osaka Station
taken while moving at 25 kph (15 mph)

I've ridden my bike to Osaka three times so far. The first time was this ride in June; I'm using photos from that ride on today's post.

The second time was last month with a non-Cycling friend, and the third was yesterday, by myself.

A drunk man in the train knocked Anthony's phone to the ground, smashing its screen. Anthony being a kid, and the drunk man being a drunk man, Anthony felt he could do nothing but suck it up. Part of sucking it up means visiting the closest Apple Store to have the screen replaced, so I took the opportunity to make a ride of it.

There was little wind for most of the ride down, and few people were out on the path, so I could make good time. It took a bit over two hours (2:03) to make the 52km (32mi) trip, which seemed fast to me, so I expected that I would have made new PRs (personal records) on all the segments of the trip down.

I didn't. After returning home, checking the data for the ride on Strava revealed that I had been faster that first time in June, when I was weaker, had less experience, was stopping for photos, and had a heavier bike. This made no sense to me.

Then I thought about the wind. On that first trip, Manseki had mentioned that we had a nice tailwind that made the ride easier. I hadn't noticed it. One certainly notices a headwind or a crosswind, and they just sap the energy from you, but I didn't have the experience to realize how much of a benefit I got from the tailwind.

It turns out that I the benefit was huge... bigger than all the advances I've made in my riding (and my bike) since then.

I have ample experience with the pain of headwinds, which just suck the energy from you like a vacuum set to turbo mode. For example, last month's 200km speed trial around Lake Biwa had horrible gusty crosswinds for most of the trip. Every time a big truck passed me, I thanked it for the momentary respite from the wind, a respite that felt like the hand of God came by to give me a little shove. In the end I made the 180km (112mi) circumnavigation in 6:10, but if the wind had been calm I feel it would have been noticeably faster (or, at least, noticeably easier).

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/1600 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Umeda Sky Building (梅田スカイビル)
we stopped by during that June ride

While Apple worked on Anthony's iPhone, I tooled around Osaka city a bit, and amused myself with a short little hill that I was able to get 7th-best on. That I could get anything close to an overall top-10 told me that no serious riders had ever given it a serious go while using Strava, but it's still nice to rank.

I actually thought I would have gotten the #2 position based on my own software running on my phone, which displayed my time for the segment in real time; it said I'd done one of the attempts in 31 seconds. Oh well, nothing's ever exact with GPS anyway.

I eventually returned to Apple and waited until the appointed time for the repair to be done, and they apparently waited too because when the time came, they told me they couldn't repair it. (Why didn't they just tell me when they found out, instead of waiting two hours?) I had to end up paying for a new phone. )-:

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/250 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Leaving the City Center

I'm happy the ride down to Osaka yesterday didn't have a headwind, but the wind kicked up as I approached Osaka, and got very gusty for the rest of the day. Some screenshots from www.windyty.com:

Kyoto wind yesterday morning at the start of my ride.

Blustery Noon in Osaka


Unfortunately, my chosen route home through the mountains north of Osaka would first require an hour and a half of city riding directly into the wind.

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/1000 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
You Win Some, You Lose Some
I appreciated the space given to bicycles,
but the thick blue stripes made for a very bumpy, unpleasant ride

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 33mm — 1/250 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Finally Entering the Mountains
( again, all these photos are from more or less the same route I took with friends in June )

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/500 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Hazy Osaka
with all the wind yesterday, it was clearer

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/640 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Crossing Paths
a rider heading to Osaka passes us

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/640 sec, f/5, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Don't Feed the Monkeys
$100 fine

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 2000 — map & image datanearby photos
Short Tunnel

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Pretty Countryside
standard fare in the mountains all over Japan

The goal in heading north from Osaka was to do the climb to the top of Mt. Myoken (妙見山). We had to abandon that for lack of time before, and I worried that I'd have to do the same yesterday, with the iPhone repair having taken so long and the sun setting so much earlier, but I was able to make it. I didn't spend the time to walk up the steps to the lookout platform — I didn't have my camera with me anyway — and so I headed East to hightail it home.

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 40mm — 1/800 sec, f/5, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Not Following the Rules
taken while moving at 50 kph (31 mph)
( we could have been busted even if the limit was presenting miles per hour )

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/800 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
More Mountains, More Pretty Countryside

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/800 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Manseki Climbing

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/800 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Station of the Heart
weird train thing in the middle of nowhere
(I can't read most of the signs, but two say lookyloos prohibited)

Panasonic LX100 at an effective 46mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.6, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Descending Toward Kyoto

Having left the house at 7am and expecting to be home long before dark at 5pm, I didn't even think to bring my so-I-can-see light. I did have so others can see me lights on both the front and rear, but they aren't enough to take some of the steep descents on the way home in the dark.

Luckily, I made it down and into the city before dark, though it was well dark by the time I got home around 6pm.

I was a lot more tired last night than I thought I should be, but then I realized today that it was my longest ride that didn't go around Lake Biwa. Here it is on my cycling heatmap.

The ride bumped my Eddington Number up to 35.

One comment so far...

Jeffrey, I have submitted a request to Strava to include weather data in segment ride data. I live in Holland, which is mostly flat but can be very windy. This means that wind force and direction are a significant factor (probably more so than fitness or bike type). This also means that it is impossible to compare times on the same segment without having wind-data available. I can easily achieve a KOM on a segment if I wait for a storm with the desired wind direction.

Endomondo has this feature where it collects weather data at the start of your trip (temperature, wind direction, wind force, cloud coverage, rain percentage). Not ideal, but it certainly helps.


— comment by Chiel Broerse on November 26th, 2015 at 8:12pm JST (8 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink
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