Monday’s Norikura Big Loop Ride
Theme for the Day amazing roads, amazing vistas, wonderful weather, no cars -- Mt. Norikura (乗鞍岳) -- Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan -- Copyright 2016 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 — 1/800 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Theme for the Day
amazing roads, amazing vistas, wonderful weather, no cars

この記事はこの間の月曜日のサイクリングの物語です。友達一緒乗鞍登っ、距離165キロのローングライドをしあした。 進んだ峠は乗鞍、美女峠、寺坂峠、野麦峠、白樺峠。獲得高度は3,907m。疲れたけれども、めっちゃ楽しかった。リーダー達吉川さんと栗田さん、参加させてくれた有り難う御座います!

In yesterday's post I outlined a three-day trip where I cycled up Japan's highest paved road three times. The main event was the middle day, with a group of folks from Kyoto that comes every year. The day's ride started with that highest-road climb up Mt. Norikura, then continued on to four other major climbs in a big up-and-down loop covering 165km (103mi) with 3,900m (12,800') of elevation gain.

Here's the ride at Strava, and a surprisingly-interesting 2-minute Relive video version.

It ended up being the fifth longest ride I've ever done, though the most elevation gain in one day.

Some of us started out at about 6:15am, and met up with the others...

Meeting Up 6:50am -- Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 — 1/800 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Meeting Up
6:50am

I didn't know most of the people in the group, so I'll introduce some of them as we go along.

Yoshiyuki Takenami 6:55am - taken while cycling at 19 kph (12 mph) -- Mt. Norikura (乗鞍岳) -- Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Yoshiyuki Takenami
6:55am - taken while cycling at 19 kph (12 mph)
Entering the Woods 6:56am - taken while cycling at 16 kph (10 mph) -- Mt. Norikura (乗鞍岳) -- Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Entering the Woods
6:56am - taken while cycling at 16 kph (10 mph)
Leaders and Friends 6:57am - taken while cycling at 13 kph (8 mph) -- Mt. Norikura (乗鞍岳) -- Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Leaders and Friends
6:57am - taken while cycling at 13 kph (8 mph)

The two leaders of the group are Mr. Yasukawa (front left) and Mr. Kurita (rear left). They invited Manseki (rear right) whom I ride with often, and so via Manseki I, and some others such as fellow American Yifen (front right), joined in.

Still With a Bit of Snow -- Mt. Norikura (乗鞍岳) -- Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Still With a Bit of Snow
Me, Taking The Photo Above I'd taken my D4 and lenses yesterday, but for this ride just the small LX100 photo by Manseki Kanemitsu -- Mt. Norikura (乗鞍岳) -- Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Manseki Kanemitsu
DMC-SZ9 — 1/320 sec, f/3.1, ISO 160 — map & image datanearby photos
Me, Taking The Photo Above
I'd taken my D4 and lenses yesterday, but for this ride just the small LX100
photo by Manseki Kanemitsu
Most-Veteran Member in his 70s -- Mt. Norikura (乗鞍岳) -- Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Most-Veteran Member
in his 70s
Newest Rider Yoriko is doing a 1,235m (4,000') climb after only four months of riding (the red scarf is to avoid the sun) -- Mt. Norikura (乗鞍岳) -- Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 — 1/1000 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Newest Rider
Yoriko is doing a 1,235m (4,000') climb after only four months of riding
(the red scarf is to avoid the sun)
Mrs. Yasukawa the leader's wife -- Mt. Norikura (乗鞍岳) -- Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Mrs. Yasukawa
the leader's wife
desktop background image of a mountain landscape taken from Mt. Norikura in Japan (乗鞍の景色) -- Glorious Weather 7:11am -- Mt. Norikura (乗鞍岳) -- Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan -- Copyright 2016 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 24mm — 1/3200 sec, f/9, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Glorious Weather
7:11am
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We all started together, but the members would split into three groups after the summit, with one group heading right back down to the hotel, one group doing the long ride I'll be showing in this post, and finally another group of intermediate riders doing a shorter loop.

It says something about the level of this group of folks, though, that the intermediate shorter loop is essentially the 100km ride I'd done the previous day that had so wiped me out.

Mt. Norikura (乗鞍岳) -- Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Mt. Norikura (乗鞍岳) -- Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 — 1/125 sec, f/2.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Now On the Norikura Climb Proper looking back to the ski area that marks the start (Mrs. Yoshikawa is on the foreground road, center left) 7:41am - taken while cycling at 9 kph (6 mph) -- Mt. Norikura (乗鞍岳) -- Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan -- Copyright 2016 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 — 1/1600 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Now On the Norikura Climb Proper
looking back to the ski area that marks the start
(Mrs. Yoshikawa is on the foreground road, center left)
7:41am - taken while cycling at 9 kph (6 mph)
Me Again 7:46am - the same photo from yesterday's post, just to have it here too photo by Manseki Kanemitsu -- Mt. Norikura (乗鞍岳) -- Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Manseki Kanemitsu
DMC-SZ9 — 1/400 sec, f/3.1, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Me Again
7:46am - the same photo from yesterday's post, just to have it here too
photo by Manseki Kanemitsu
Mr. Yoshikawa 8:17am - taken while cycling at 9 kph (6 mph) -- Mt. Norikura (乗鞍岳) -- Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Mr. Yoshikawa
8:17am - taken while cycling at 9 kph (6 mph)
desktop background image of a mountain landscape taken from Mt. Norikura in Japan (乗鞍の景色) -- Looking Back to where we started -- Mt. Norikura (乗鞍岳) -- Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan -- Copyright 2016 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 24mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Looking Back
to where we started
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7 Minutes Later -- Mt. Norikura (乗鞍岳) -- Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan -- Copyright 2016 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 — 1/800 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
7 Minutes Later

The building at left in the photo above is a small lodge that sort of marks the halfway point from the ski area, though it's actually closer to 60% of the way up. The photo just prior to that was taken from near the lodge.

Enjoying the View 8:25am -- Mt. Norikura (乗鞍岳) -- Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 — 1/1000 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Enjoying the View
8:25am
Attempt at a Selfie I'm not as good as Gorm at it 8:34am - taken while cycling at 10 kph (6 mph) -- Mt. Norikura (乗鞍岳) -- Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 — 1/400 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Attempt at a Selfie
I'm not as good as Gorm at it
8:34am - taken while cycling at 10 kph (6 mph)
Now Above the Forest 8:42am — with Mr. Yoshikawa in view -- Mt. Norikura (乗鞍岳) -- Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan -- Copyright 2016 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 — 1/1250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Now Above the Forest
8:42am — with Mr. Yoshikawa in view
Water Stop water water everywhere, and it's pretty much all okay to drink -- Mt. Norikura (乗鞍岳) -- Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan -- Copyright 2016 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 — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Water Stop
water water everywhere, and it's pretty much all okay to drink
End in Sight sort of 8:44am - taken while cycling at 12 kph (8 mph) -- Mt. Norikura (乗鞍岳) -- Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan -- Copyright 2016 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 — 1/1250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
End in Sight
sort of
8:44am - taken while cycling at 12 kph (8 mph)

The observatory seen in the photo above is actually a 150m (500') climb above the road pass, and the peak of the mountain (not visible in this photo) is that much farther up yet again. Access to either is only by foot, so I didn't visit.

When you get this view you might feel you're almost there, but it's actually still another 2km (1.2mi) of twisty, steep road to go.

Just to give you a sense of scale that the photo above totally lacks, notice the little section of snow in the middle, just above where it looks like the road ends. Here's a photo of that same little section of snow that I took yesterday, from closer in:

Small Spot of Snow with one person climbing it (the spot in the back has four people on it) -- Mt. Norikura (乗鞍岳) -- Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan -- Copyright 2016 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)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/200 sec, f/11, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Small Spot of Snow
with one person climbing it
(the spot in the back has four people on it)
desktop background image of a mountain landscape taken from Mt. Norikura in Japan (乗鞍の景色) -- Find the Leader Mr. Yoshikawa is in this shot somewhere 8:46am - taken while cycling at 11 kph (7 mph) -- Mt. Norikura (乗鞍岳) -- Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan -- Copyright 2016 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 24mm — 1/1000 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Find the Leader
Mr. Yoshikawa is in this shot somewhere
8:46am - taken while cycling at 11 kph (7 mph)
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Iago Returns 8:47am - taken while cycling at 12 kph (8 mph) -- Mt. Norikura (乗鞍岳) -- Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 — 1/1000 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Iago Returns
8:47am - taken while cycling at 12 kph (8 mph)

Spanish friend Iago, whom I first rode with on my first Kyoto Heart Loop, had finished the climb well before me, and returned back to help me finish it.

Excess of Power 8:48am - taken while cycling at 11 kph (7 mph) -- Mt. Norikura (乗鞍岳) -- Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 — 1/1000 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Excess of Power
8:48am - taken while cycling at 11 kph (7 mph)

(Yes, he's not wearing a helmet. Yes, we all think he's an idiot for it. Yes, he's an adult who can make choices for himself.)

What Passes for a Pass -- Mt. Norikura (乗鞍岳) -- Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70mm — 1/200 sec, f/11, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
What Passes for a Pass

The highest point in the road is not special except, well, for being the highest point in the road, and I guess also being on the border between Gifu and Nagano prefectures. There's no elevation marker, but it's about 2,715m (8,908'). The only photo I have of it is the meager one seen above that I took the previous day; you can get a better sense of the bleakness with the Google Streetview view.

Just over the pass is an area called Tatamidaira (畳平), where there's a visitor's center from which hiking paths lead to various points on the mountain. There's also a pretty little lake.

desktop background image of a mountain landscape taken from Mt. Norikura in Japan (乗鞍の景色) -- Volcanic Lake 8:54am - taken while moving at 22 kph (13 mph) -- Mt. Norikura (乗鞍岳) -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Volcanic Lake
8:54am - taken while moving at 22 kph (13 mph)
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Entrance to the Visitor's Center 8:54am - taken while cycling at 23 kph (14 mph) -- Mt. Norikura (乗鞍岳) -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2016 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 — 1/800 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Entrance to the Visitor's Center
8:54am - taken while cycling at 23 kph (14 mph)
Taking a Well -Earned Break 9:25am — the “ long ride ” group we still have 140km (87mi) left to ride -- Mt. Norikura (乗鞍岳) -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 — 1/1250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Taking a Well-Earned Break
9:25am — the long ride group
we still have 140km (87mi) left to ride
Getting Ready to Head Down 9:51am - taken while cycling at 30 kph (19 mph) -- Mt. Norikura (乗鞍岳) -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2016 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 — 1/1250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Getting Ready to Head Down
9:51am - taken while cycling at 30 kph (19 mph)
Do Not Overcook These Turns unless you can sprout wings 9:51am - taken while cycling at 47 kph (29 mph) -- Mt. Norikura (乗鞍岳) -- Japan -- Copyright 2016 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 — 1/1250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Do Not Overcook These Turns
unless you can sprout wings
9:51am - taken while cycling at 47 kph (29 mph)
Lots of This 9:53am - taken while cycling at 26 kph (16 mph) -- Mt. Norikura (乗鞍岳) -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2016 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 — 1/1000 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Lots of This
9:53am - taken while cycling at 26 kph (16 mph)
And This these curves are not at all the same as the ones seen above -- Mt. Norikura (乗鞍岳) -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2016 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 — 1/800 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
And This
these curves are not at all the same as the ones seen above

There were also some very long beautiful straightaways that at first seemed to be born to break speed records, but considering that they invariably ended with very sharp hairpins that allowed no margin for error, I kept my speed under 80kph (50mph) the whole way. I like going fast, but I'm not into taking stupid risks.

In this next shot you can see where we're heading next....

Mt. Norikura (乗鞍岳) -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2016 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 — 1/1000 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

Toward the background frame left are little blotches of civilization among the rolling forest. That's where we're going, but to get there we have to ride 40km (25mi) and drop 2,000m (6,550') of elevation.

Racing the Bus my last shot of Manseki flying by before I put the camera away to beat the bus -- Mt. Norikura (乗鞍岳) -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2016 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 — 1/1000 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Racing the Bus
my last shot of Manseki flying by before I put the camera away to beat the bus

The roads up and down Mt. Norikura are closed to private motor vehicles, so they're empty except for the occasional bus, taxi, or official vehicle (and of course cyclists and hikers). A car or bus in front of you on the descent would destroy the fun of it, and you can see one approaching in the shot above, so I put the camera away and joined the group.

There can be a lot of cyclists, though this day there weren't so many. When I entered the closed-to-traffic part the previous day, a Sunday, the guard said that I was the 94th cyclist of the day. This day I entered much earlier, and was the 9th. (The next day I entered at about the same time as the first, and was the 30th).

Back On the Open Road 10:16am — the “ long ride ” group, after the main descent -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 — 1/1000 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Back On the Open Road
10:16am — the long ride group, after the main descent

The long ride group consisted of, left to right in the photo above, Mr. Kurita (Japan), Iago (Spain), Yoshiyuki (Japan), Antti (Finland), Yifen (USA), Mr. Yasukawa (Japan), Manseki (Japan), and me (USA).

We don't see Antti much in this post because he's Antti Gravity and rides so fast that he outruns photons. We did see him a bit in last month's Grueling Rooftop-of-Kyoto Ridge Road Gravel Grind, last year's Obama Hosts My First Bicycle Visit to the Sea, and many in between.

Rugged Beauty 10:38am -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2016 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 — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Rugged Beauty
10:38am
Least-Fun Part of the Ride 10:50am - taken while cycling at 44 kph (27 mph) -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2016 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 — 1/2000 sec, f/8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Least-Fun Part of the Ride
10:50am - taken while cycling at 44 kph (27 mph)

Sometimes my chain pops off when hitting a rough patch of road at high speed, but often I can restore it quickly, at times without stopping or even slowing down, but it happened along the way today in such a way that the chain got fouled in the derailleur, so it took a minute to fix.

Normally in a social group ride we make sure that the last rider is never alone, but I'd waved the others on thinking it'd be just a few seconds to fix. Even though I averaged 40kph (25mph) for the next 40 minutes (40 minutes), I wasn't able to catch up until they stopped for a break.

We Meet Again 11:06am -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
We Meet Again
11:06am
Manseki Cools Down 11:28am -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 — 1/800 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Manseki Cools Down
11:28am
Climbing Again after almost three hours of descent 11:38am - taken while cycling at 18 kph (11 mph) -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 — 1/800 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Climbing Again
after almost three hours of descent
11:38am - taken while cycling at 18 kph (11 mph)
Heading Into The Next Big Climb 11:55am - taken while cycling at 19 kph (12 mph) -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2016 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 — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Heading Into The Next Big Climb
11:55am - taken while cycling at 19 kph (12 mph)

After a few minor ups and downs, it was time for ascent #2 of 5, though the smallest of the bunch (just 250m/820', which is about what some of us climbed from the hotel to the starting place).

Happy to Be in the Shade it was a hot day 11:59am - taken while cycling at 13 kph (8 mph) -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2016 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 — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Happy to Be in the Shade
it was a hot day
11:59am - taken while cycling at 13 kph (8 mph)
Mt. Norikura Comes Back into View 12:33pm - taken while cycling at 18 kph (11 mph) -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 — 1/1000 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Mt. Norikura Comes Back into View
12:33pm - taken while cycling at 18 kph (11 mph)

For the last few hours we'd been traveling down away from the mountain then looped to the south, and now turned back toward the mountain to finally see it from the other side. It was actually a bit dejecting to realize that we still had to ride all the way over to and beyond the mountain, over three major climbs, to get home.

In looking at the trip data now, I realize that this photo was taken at the halfway point of the trip, distance wise, almost down to the foot. (Time wise, we still had a while to go before hitting halfway.)

Lunch Stop -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Lunch Stop

The next two hours after the lunch stop would be spent plodding up at a steady pace, just looking to get to the start of the next major climb.

Entertaining Myself on the plodding ride by trying new camera angles 1:30pm - taken while cycling at 12 kph (8 mph) -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 — 1/3200 sec, f/9, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Entertaining Myself
on the plodding ride by trying new camera angles
1:30pm - taken while cycling at 12 kph (8 mph)
Respite from the Heat lots of tunnels today, but all devoid of traffic 1:36pm - taken while cycling at 12 kph (7 mph) -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2016 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 — 1/125 sec, f/2.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Respite from the Heat
lots of tunnels today, but all devoid of traffic
1:36pm - taken while cycling at 12 kph (7 mph)
30°C / 86°F thankfully, another tunnel awaits 1:41pm - taken while cycling at 6 kph (4 mph) -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 — 1/4000 sec, f/8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
30°C / 86°F
thankfully, another tunnel awaits
1:41pm - taken while cycling at 6 kph (4 mph)
Totally Pretty but frankly it gets boring after two hours 2:12pm - taken while cycling at 27 kph (17 mph) -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2016 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 — 1/1600 sec, f/8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Totally Pretty
but frankly it gets boring after two hours
2:12pm - taken while cycling at 27 kph (17 mph)
A Much -Older Tunnel 2:31pm - taken while cycling at 15 kph (10 mph) -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2016 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 — 1/40 sec, f/1.7, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
A Much-Older Tunnel
2:31pm - taken while cycling at 15 kph (10 mph)
Finally ready to start the next climb 2:37pm -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 — 1/800 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Finally
ready to start the next climb
2:37pm
Not So Fast Yoshiyuki works on Manseki's bike -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Not So Fast
Yoshiyuki works on Manseki's bike

As we were about to leave, Manseki's rear shift cable broke at the control lever. This left the rear derailleur at its most difficult gear, which unless fixed would make the rest of the ride impossible.

Manseki happened to have a zip tie — the bicycle equivalent of duct tape? — in his supplies, so after a few other repair avenues failed to pan out, I suggested that they try to use it to hold the derailleur at the easiest gear. Mr. Yoshikawa was able to fix it that way, so we were able to continue.

Good Enough To Get Home we fervently hoped -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Good Enough To Get Home
we fervently hoped
Flying in Support 3:00pm - taken while cycling at 9 kph (6 mph) -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Flying in Support
3:00pm - taken while cycling at 9 kph (6 mph)

Some folks had set off on the next climb before the problem was discovered, but those of us who remained kept together with Manseki, lest the fix break and need fixing again.

Unending Climb with Mt. Norikura hovering above 3:06pm - taken while cycling at 7 kph (4 mph) -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2016 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 — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Unending Climb
with Mt. Norikura hovering above
3:06pm - taken while cycling at 7 kph (4 mph)

The next climb includes a section of straight road that goes up at more than 8% for more than a mile. The straightness of it makes it much more tough for me than the equivalent grade with turns, because you can see the whole thing splayed out in front of you and until you actually get near the end you don't feel you're making any progress.

When this road did start to curve the grade only got steeper, but thankfully at that point there was also a mini roadside waterfall that we could fill our water bottles in...

Drink Stop 3:14pm -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Drink Stop
3:14pm
...and Cool Down in the freezing water -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
...and Cool Down
in the freezing water

We eventually got to one pass and rode down the other side, then on the climb to the next big pass came across Iago and Yifen, who had stopped for a break. Antti, we were sure, was taking a nap somewhere ahead.

Another Drink Stop 4:05pm -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Another Drink Stop
4:05pm

One of my biggest concerns for the trip was hydration. I have two 750ml bottles, and even then sometimes put an extra drink bottle in my rear jersey pocket, and was still worried about running out of drink in the remote areas we were riding through.

Iago, on the other hand, brought only a small little refillable packet he could put in a pocket (the blue thing in his hand above... maybe 200ml, the amount of about 2/3rd of a can of Coke). Normally he brings nothing (no bottle at all). I would die if I tried it, but it seems to work for him. He's much faster than I am.

Playing Pro on the Descent 5:07pm - taken while cycling at 47 kph (29 mph) just being silly, but getting aero does let you go noticeably faster -- Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Playing Pro on the Descent
5:07pm - taken while cycling at 47 kph (29 mph)
just being silly, but getting aero does let you go noticeably faster

In a post last year we saw Andy do something similar, though apart from the lack of a helmet, Iago's attempt looks more effective.

On the Final Climb 5:53pm -- Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan -- Copyright 2016 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 — 1/125 sec, f/1.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
On the Final Climb
5:53pm

The final climb was 610m (2,000') over 11km (6½mi) for an average of 5.7%, which is not that bad but after 12 hours of riding (and what I did yesterday), it wears on you. The American contingent took it slow at the back.

Somewhere along the line I got a message from Antti saying that he was already back at the hotel because he had seen a bear and didn't feel like waiting around at the pass to be eaten. One doesn't want to startle a bear, so as we saw the other day, if you're traveling through bear country, the recommendation is to have something that makes noise as move. Unfortunately our chains were well oiled, so we made do by calling out Beaaaaaaars, don't eaaaaaaaat uuuuuuus at times.

It seems to have worked.

Failure as Predicted in real life it was a breathtaking view -- Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan -- Copyright 2016 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 — 1/125 sec, f/2.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Failure as Predicted
in real life it was a breathtaking view

At one point we caught a wonderful view through a break in the trees of the deep valley and the little village in which we'd started the climb. It was sufficiently breathtaking that I turned around to return to take a picture.

The moment I actually tried to take the photo, I realized that it was a waste of time. I knew that the photo (seen above) would be totally uninteresting, but I couldn't explain why. And I can't explain why I can't explain why, except to guess that I have enough experiential knowledge to feel my way without actually understanding. Or something like that.

Anyway, I suppose it all has to do with how the brain can focus on something very specific in the scene, while the camera in this case treats everything more or less the same. Perhaps if I had very wide glass such that I could throw the foreground into bokeh I would have had better luck. As it is, I have to tell you that if you look carefully at the center, you can see a little village down there.

Close to Home, Close to Dusk 7:08pm - taken while cycling at 22 kph (14 mph) -- Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan -- Copyright 2016 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 — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Close to Home, Close to Dusk
7:08pm - taken while cycling at 22 kph (14 mph)

Descending the final pass down toward the hotel, we came through a flat area that offered a wonderful view of Mt. Norikura amid vegetation that seemed totally out of place. It somehow felt vary Savanna-esque. I wanted to come back the next day to see it in daylight, and to bring my nice camera, but the next few photos give a hint as to why that didn't happen.

After a shower and a soak in the hotel's natural-hot-spring bath, it was time for dinner...

Ready For a Well -Earned Meal Pension Norikura (ペンソンのりくら) -- Pension Norikura (ペンソンのりくら) -- Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Ready For a Well-Earned Meal
Pension Norikura (ペンソンのりくら)

We all stayed at Pension Norikura, a bed-and-breakfast-(and-dinner) place run by a couple where the husband is an accomplished cyclist, so the place is very bicycle friendly. If you visit the area, it's highly recommended, though take care to understand that pension in Japanese means fairly budget accommodations. It's well above hostel, but below what most folks would imagine with hotel. Here the value is not in having 12 fluffy pillows and a chocolate square, but in the warmth with which you're received. And the food. The food was very good.

The First of Too Many -- Pension Norikura (ペンソンのりくら) -- Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/60 sec, f/3.2, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
The First of Too Many
Checking Their Data at Strava -- Pension Norikura (ペンソンのりくら) -- Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/80 sec, f/3.2, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Checking Their Data
at Strava
Winding Down while video from my bike front camera plays -- Pension Norikura (ペンソンのりくら) -- Matsumoto, Nagano, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/80 sec, f/3.2, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Winding Down
while video from my bike front camera plays

All in all I felt much better after this ride than after the previous day's ride, which turned out to be my downfall. Instead of going to bed at 9pm as I did the previous night, I stayed up until midnight chatting and drinking.

The others were out for another climb of Mt. Norikura the next morning, but I didn't get out until 11:30, where I did a slow painful ride to the top and back, in a cold rain. The painful part came more from the previous two days' rides than the previous night's drink, but the latter didn't help.

By the time I got back the rain had stopped and I felt good. After another bath in the hot spring, I packed up and made the 4½-hour drive back home in four hours.


One comment so far...

I’m seriously worried for Iago: he looks like “asking for trouble”. I mean I really can understand him that he doesn’t like a helmet, I don’t wear any either because I hate it but then again I don’t cycle downhill at 47km/h!!! My cousin did on a mountain bike (but not on a paved road) and spent a year at the hospital. He’s lucky he stayed alive!
By the way tomorrow I’m going to cycle with Nao to the KoKoKa as from 10-12am there is a free Soroban lesson we went to the last two years, too, so it’ll be nice to see Kinoshita-sensei again. And a bit up the hill across Keage Stn, there is the Kujoyama Villa for French artists – I’m sure you know it? We will go there before the Soroban lesson if it doesn’t rain.
I often like your funny subtitles. Now always if I cycle behind a slow obaachan (or ojiichan for that matter) whom I can’t overtake for lack of space, I automatically think of the “traffic jam” on that Bridge of your Nagoya trip. 🙂 When I told Nao about that trip he said that you’re crazy (I’m sure it’s not the first time you hear that), but we agreed that many people are crazy one way or the other and this is a rather nice way to be crazy. And at least it’s sports, as Nao said!

— comment by Anne on July 16th, 2016 at 11:09pm JST (8 months, 14 days ago) comment permalink
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