Reflections on my 2016 Cycling Year
Fake “ Action Shot ” at Hiyoshi Dam (日吉ダム), Hiyoshi Japan from this ride in June with Gorm and Manseki photo by Manseki Kanemitsu -- Hiyoshi Dam (日吉ダム) -- Nantan, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Manseki Kanemitsu
SC-04E at an effective 31mm — 1/450 sec, f/2.2, ISO 50 — map & image datanearby photos
Fake Action Shot
at Hiyoshi Dam (日吉ダム), Hiyoshi Japan
from this ride in June with Gorm and Manseki
photo by Manseki Kanemitsu
More-Realistic Representation of my normal cycling -- Nantan, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 6+ — 1/1900 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
More-Realistic Representation
of my normal cycling

So 2016 is over, making it my first full year of cycling, having been bitten by the cycling bug in the spring of 2015. Like last year's summary of my 2015 cycling, this post looks back on my 2016 cycling with my geeky-data eyes.

I titled the post with the word Reflections so that I can sprinkle these kinds of photos throughout:

Low-Slung Roadside Mirror -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 6+ — 1/680 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Low-Slung Roadside Mirror

So, in 2016 my cycling year was eight months long, and during those eight months, I rode to some extent or another on 102 days, totaling 8,459km (5,256mi). On average that's about 83km (52mi) each time, twice a week.

My longest ride was the 260km (162mi) Coffee in Nagoya round trip, followed by the 225km (140mi) loop of this silly ride. Overall, I did four rides of at least 200km, and nine century rides... rides of at least 100 miles (161km).

My Eddington Number for 2016 is 50. (My lifetime Eddington Numbrer currently stands at 58.)

Determined -- Nantan, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 6+ — 1/1800 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Determined

Four of the year's twelve months were spent away from cycling, helping out my folks in America after my mom had a stroke. The lessons I learned during that time came in handy on this October ride when, in a tiny village in the middle of nowhere, I came across the lady above just outside her house, struggling to move from a walker to a wheelchair. In the momentary glimps I saw as I rode by, I recognized the signs in her movement of someone who had survived a stroke and wouldn't take no for an answer from her own body.

I returned and offered assistance, which she accepted. The stroke had robbed her of speech and impaired her movement, so communication was difficult, but she could respond to yes/no questions, and combined with some gestures, I understood that she wanted to get into the wheelchair and head off. Once we were underway, she took over, not wanting further assistance. I watched her head down the road toward rice fields, where I suppose family or friends were working. I was scared to death that she'd lose control on the slight slope of the road and find herself upside down in the ditch, but it seems this was something she had plenty of experience with. I took the photo and continued on my own way.

Group Ride (I don't have many group-ride shots that I'm actually in) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 6+ + front camera — 1/470 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Group Ride
(I don't have many group-ride shots that I'm actually in)

I had a lot of fun social group rides, including (among many others) this cold January ride in Shiga, October visits to Miyama and Onyu Pass, a large NORU ride, and epic Rooftop of Kyoto gravel ride and this even-more-epic Mt. Norikura loop.

Those last two rides deserve the epic label in my world. Both were about 164km (102mi), each with just under 4,000m (13,000') of elevation gain. Each was the most climbing I've ever done in a single day.

Overall in 2016, I climbed 140,965m (462,484') of vertical ascent. (These values are real, and not Strava's voodoo elevation gain.)

(from “ Grueling “Rooftop of Kyoto” Ridge Road Gravel Grind ” ) -- Funai-gun -- Funai-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 33mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
(from Grueling “Rooftop of Kyoto” Ridge Road Gravel Grind)

But most of my rides were solo exploration rides. I like exploring new areas, going at my own (usually slow) pace, usually straying too far for too long. (Then I have to rush back at a breakneck pace to make it home in time, which is not so fun.).

“ Curve #23 ” on Mt. Rokko, Kobe Japan -- Kobe, Hyogo, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
Curve #23
on Mt. Rokko, Kobe Japan

All my rides start/end at home, except for visits to Mt. Norikura and Mt. Rokko.

The visit to Mt. Rokko in Kobe was a lovely ride with Manseki, though it's close enough to Kyoto that I should be able to make the round trip in a day. A goal for 2017.

Kobe from early in one of the roads up Mt. Rokko -- Kobe, Hyogo, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 58mm — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Kobe
from early in one of the roads up Mt. Rokko

Mt. Norikura, which hosts Japan's highest paved road at over 2,700m (8,900') elevation, is a five-hour drive from Kyoto, but was quite worth it for three days of spectacular cycling.

Mt. Norikura (乗鞍岳) -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/250 sec, f/6.3, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Mt. Norikura (乗鞍岳) -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 45mm — 1/200 sec, f/9, ISO 560 — map & image datanearby photos
Mt. Norikura (乗鞍岳) -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/9, ISO 140 — map & image datanearby photos

I got plenty of flat tires early in the year...

Changing a Flat on this cursed ride photo by Manseki Kanemitsu -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Changing a Flat
on this cursed ride
photo by Manseki Kanemitsu

But things got much better when I switched to Continental Gatorskins...

Dependable Tire -- Park House Kyoto Okazaki Yuurakusou -- Kyoto, 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 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 4500 — image data
Dependable Tire

Since switching in July, I've gotten only one flat in the 5,341km (3,300mi) ridden with them. I did swap one tire out after 3,000km as a preventative measure, since I had apparently done too much sliding on a locked-up rear wheel, burning off a layer of rubber...

Oops but it's not as bad as it looks -- Park House Kyoto Okazaki Yuurakusou -- Kyoto, 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 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/50 sec, f/11, ISO 6400 — image data
Oops
but it's not as bad as it looks
Inside is Fine -- Park House Kyoto Okazaki Yuurakusou -- Kyoto, 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 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 4500 — image data
Inside is Fine

The protective mesh under that hole is perfectly fine, so the tire is probably fine, but I swapped it out just in case, moving the front tire to the rear to replace this one, then putting on a fresh tire on the front.

Reflecting In Gorm's Glasses -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Reflecting In Gorm's Glasses
from this ride
Reflecting in Manseki's Glasses -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Reflecting in Manseki's Glasses
Reflecting on the Go -- Takayama, Gifu, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/800 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Reflecting on the Go
Reflecting at the Fallen-Leaf Shrine at the Iwato Ochiba Shrine (岩戸落葉神社) -- Iwato Ochiba Shrine (岩戸落葉神社) -- Kyoto, 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 75mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Reflecting at the Fallen-Leaf Shrine
at the Iwato Ochiba Shrine (岩戸落葉神社)
Reflecting Among Tea Fields -- Sōraku-gun -- Soraku-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.1, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Reflecting Among Tea Fields

Okay, these reflecting photos get old quickly. I'll stop.

Cornered Not the kind of party this young stag was hoping for -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 6+ — 1/30 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Cornered
Not the kind of party this young stag was hoping for

On this ride in December I was happy to make some significant PRs (personal records) for myself, but what was most noteworthy was this stag, which I first saw when it bolted from the forest above me onto the road just in front of me, skittering with two vaulting steps across the road, then launched itself down into the boulder-strewn river below.

It definitely got my attention.

As I watched it leap to the boulders far below, I thought he was a goner, but this is what wild deer do. He was fine. He climbed up the other side and stopped, looking back at me. Or so I thought. It turns out that he was looking for the dog that was stalking him, which I noticed a few minutes later wandering in the very small village (half a dozen houses) I was checking out.

Eventually the dog found the stag, which had gotten himself into an enclosed area he couldn't figure out how to get out of, and the dog (two dogs by now) kept harassing the poor thing. I tried talking to the dog in English and Japanese (and by barking at it), but it never gave any indication that it even sensed my existence, so I went back to try to track down its owner.

It turns out that the owner was a hunter, and the dogs were trained to track prey. As someone who enjoys a good steak, I felt an obligation to watch as the hunter felled the stag, but he would wait for his partner before doing it, and I didn't have the time. I continued on my ride with an appreciation of life and death and the part it plays in my diet.

My Favorite Tobidashi-kun of the Year a concept explained here -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 6+ — 1/160 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
My Favorite Tobidashi-kun of the Year
a concept explained here
Amazing View on my last 100+km ride of the year -- 万灯呂山展望台 -- Tsuzuki-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 6+ — 1/1000 sec, f/2.2, ISO 50 — map & image datanearby photos
Amazing View
on my last 100+km ride of the year
Rusty Start to the new year -- ブティックジョイミズエ -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 6+ — 1/120 sec, f/2.2, ISO 40 — map & image datanearby photos
Rusty Start
to the new year

I had planned on riding early in the morning of Jan 1, 2017, to a mountain about an hour away, to see the first sunrise of the new year. It's a Japanese thing. But I came down with a cold just before that, derailing my plans for both New Year's day and New Year's eve.

Apparently I have very sensitive tonsils, which seem to pick up bacteria easily. Even just too much cold air on them can give me mild cold-like symptoms the next day, which is why during the winter I can't really put in heavy cycling efforts... I can't risk heavy breathing when the air's cold.

If it's really cold, I can wear a mask that keeps some warm air around...

Ready for the Cold a year ago, with a mask to warm the air before I breathe it in -- Shirakawa River -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2016 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 6+ — 1/15 sec, f/2.2, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Ready for the Cold
a year ago, with a mask to warm the air before I breathe it in

Despite the ill-timed illness, 2016 did end on a very high cycling note for me. While sick at home on Dec 31, the post office dropped off a package from Mike Bennett, the guy who hired me into Yahoo! almost 20 years ago.

Those who weren't around at the time might not know how huge a force Yahoo! was... it was the Internet for many folks. It was relevant and innovative. As a software engineer, it was the place to be; it was an amazing eight years of my personal and professional life. Among employees from that time, I'd guess all feel as I do... we still bleed purple and yellow (Yahoo!'s colors).

Anyway, Mike had Yahoo! cycling jerseys made up for an annual charity bike ride he and others took part in. Back then I had no interest in cycling whatsoever ("What kind of idiot rides a bike when they can drive? Or, even better, just stay at work and get stuff done!"), but now that I have interest, I asked whether he might have an extra one lying around. He did, and that's what arrived.

I was really looking forward to it, but wasn't prepared for the emotions as I opened it to see the Yahoo! logo and colors. I was swept back to those heady years of exhilarating innovation and camaraderie, and tears welled up in my eyes.

It's a summer jersey, so I won't wear it until I can wear it without a jacket covering it up. I can't wait.


One comment so far...

Another fabulous post. Thank you! Janet from Seattle

— comment by Janet Heineck on January 4th, 2017 at 12:14pm JST (1 month, 18 days ago) comment permalink
Leave a comment...


All comments are invisible to others until Jeffrey approves them.

Please mention what part of the world you're writing from, if you don't mind. It's always interesting to see where people are visiting from.


You can use basic HTML; be sure to close tags properly.

Subscribe without commenting