Nigel’s Birthday Craziness: Ascending Hanase Pass on a Mamachari
Crazy Birthday Boy Nigel Randell cycling up to Hanase Pass on a mamachari -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Crazy Birthday Boy
Nigel Randell cycling up to Hanase Pass on a mamachari

ナイジェルさんは誕生日に際して花背峠まで登った、ママチャリで。

Nigel Randell usually does something sort of crazy on his birthday, such as this ride two years ago that I joined in on for a short portion.

This year, Nigel rode his heavy rusty mamachari (built-like-a-tank city bike) up to Hanase Pass, the 600+ meters of climb (2,000') being a challenge on the best road bike.

Meeting Up In the City -- 出町柳駅 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 35mm — 1/800 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Meeting Up In the City
Family in Tow his wife and daughter and other friends follow -- Kyoto Concert Hall Zen Bus Stop -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Family in Tow
his wife and daughter and other friends follow
High Five for Uncle Joshua More friends arrive for the main event; Nigel's wife and daughter see us off -- Midorogaike Bus Stop -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 44mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
High Five for Uncle Joshua
More friends arrive for the main event; Nigel's wife and daughter see us off
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
The Holts Join the Group Nigel poses with Tomoko -- 二軒茶屋 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/1250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
The Holts Join the Group
Nigel poses with Tomoko
Ready To Attack Hanase Pass L→R: Neil, Geoffrey, Joshua, Nigel, Antti , Andy+Asa, Me , Lianca, Henry, Tomoko -- 二軒茶屋 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 31mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Ready To Attack Hanase Pass
L→R: Neil, Geoffrey, Joshua, Nigel, Antti, Andy+Asa, Me, Lianca, Henry, Tomoko
Not a Family -Friendly Gate Andy's kid-carying bike had a difficult time passing -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Not a Family-Friendly Gate
Andy's kid-carying bike had a difficult time passing
Neil and Tomoko -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Neil and Tomoko

Neil, whom we've seen on my blog here and here, among others, is an extremely strong rider, but today on the occasion of Nigel's mamachari ride, was creating a challenge for himself by riding an old used bike with the seat dropped all the way down, and instead of proper kit, wearing his wife's lab coat. With the big sun glasses, he had a bit of a Dr. Horrible vibe going on. (I posted about this amazing video short when it came out nine years ago.)

Wow this “ cyclist ” was puffing on a cigarette, and had his ears plugged with earphones -- Ichihara Lawsons (ローソン 静市市原) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 34mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Wow
this cyclist was puffing on a cigarette, and had his ears plugged with earphones
Through Kurama -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/1600 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Through Kurama
Epitome of Style though I'm sure Vincent would cringe at the ergonomics -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/1250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Epitome of Style
though I'm sure Vincent would cringe at the ergonomics
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 27mm — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Starting the Main Climb Just 500m of climb to go ( It'll be my 31st time up this climb ) -- Anba Hot Spring Bus Stop -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Starting the Main Climb
Just 500m of climb to go
( It'll be my 31st time up this climb )
Easy Rider Andy powers with the battery off -- Anba Hot Spring Bus Stop -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 37mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Easy Rider
Andy powers with the battery off

These modern mamachari electric-assist city family bikes are really great, so long as the battery lasts. They can be quite heavy otherwise, like riding through molasses. And that's on a nicely-paved, flat city street. Even with the battery it's quite a bit of work powering up this kind of steep road.

Our Smoking Friend From Earlier throwing up, or dunking his head in a river, or something -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 47mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Our Smoking Friend From Earlier
throwing up, or dunking his head in a river, or something

At some point he had made a big show of flying by our group (we're going slowly because Nigel is riding the cycling equivalent of a cast-iron anchor), but we soon caught up and passed him. We never saw him again.

Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Helping Hand -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
Helping Hand

Geoffrey gives Nigel a momentary boost. You can see in this short video from the ride (of him doing it another time) that it really does help him along:

Some things to explain: I was breathing quite heavily because I had rushed to catch up after having stopped to take photo of others earlier. I put out an average of 470 watts for a minute and a half (and 750 watts for 20 seconds), which is a lot for me.

At one point I yell car when it seems apparent that everyone already sees the car and it's too late anyway, but I was yelling it for the benefit of those coming up from farther back, behind the blind hairpin.

One can sometimes make the entire climb without seeing a car, or on a busy day, you might see half a dozen cars during the whole ascent. But today was crazy... dozens and dozens of cars. Maybe because it's Golden Week. The first time I tried to take a video, cars just kept coming, and my voice yelling car is horribly annoying. In this video upload, I lowered the audio level substantially, but it's still annoying...

“ Happy Birthday ” two cyclists wish Nigel a Happy Birthday on the way by -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Happy Birthday
two cyclists wish Nigel a Happy Birthday on the way by
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Arriving At Hanase Pass 花背峠への到着 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 35mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Arriving At Hanase Pass
花背峠への到着
More Arrivals Josh riding one of the mini folding bikes he uses for his tours -- Hanasetoge Bus Stop -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 38mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
More Arrivals
Josh riding one of the mini folding bikes he uses for his tours
Group Shot at Hanase Pass -- Hanasetoge Bus Stop -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Group Shot
at Hanase Pass

I'm at far right in the shot above, taken by a passing motorcyclist. I'm wearing a Yahoo! jersey that Mike Bennett sent me over the winter. I wore it for the first time today, it being warm enough to not need a jacket that would cover it. I worked at Yahoo! during the early days of the World Wide Web, when Yahoo! was relevant and was synonymous with Internet to the average person. The purple and yellow bring a tear of pride to my eye.

Bidding Adieu Andy and Asa would turn back from here -- Hanasetoge Bus Stop -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 60mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Bidding Adieu
Andy and Asa would turn back from here

We continued down the other side for a while...

Hanasetoge Bus Stop -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

... then came to an old gravel road that jutted back up into the mountain.

Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 30mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 58mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Very Steep -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 58mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Very Steep

I had never done this road (I thought it was just a mountain trail), and I probably won't do it again. It was quite steep (700m at an average of 13%, with some sections approaching 20%).

Hard Going -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 31mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.2, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Hard Going
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 31mm — 1/80 sec, f/2.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Old Hanase Pass 旧花背峠 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Old Hanase Pass
旧花背峠

We would continue on up the road in the background before descending down toward Seryo Pass.

Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Unexpected Encounter -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Unexpected Encounter

We couldn't believe a car was on this road and just assumed that they were lost, so it was quite surprising when they said that they knew where they were and where they were going. The car is a Mitsuoka Ryugi, which I'm sure you've never heard of.

Full Bloom shakily taken while descending on a gravel road -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Full Bloom
shakily taken while descending on a gravel road

The gravel road dumped us out in a tiny village below Seryo Pass. A cherry tree was blooming at the Seryo Lodge, and the owner kindly snapped a photo for us.

芹生 ロッジ -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
芹生ロッジ
Heading Up to Seryo Pass -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Heading Up to Seryo Pass
Small Detour -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Small Detour

The proprietor at the Seryo Lodge told us about a house that had pretty blooms at the moment, so I made a short detour to see it. It was much nicer than came out in this photo.

The descent from Seryo Pass down toward Kyoto is one of the worst around.... long and steep (3km at 11%), with a horrible bumpy road surface that shakes your teeth from your skull at anything faster than a walk. Nigel did this on his mamachari as well.

Smokin'! upon reaching civilization, his brakes were smoking -- Kibune Shrine Okumiya (貴船神社奥宮) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 50mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.7, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Smokin'!
upon reaching civilization, his brakes were smoking
Ready To Go Home at Kibune Shrine Okumiya (貴船神社奥宮) -- Kibune Shrine Okumiya (貴船神社奥宮) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 30mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Ready To Go Home
at Kibune Shrine Okumiya (貴船神社奥宮)
Parking-Lot Traffic Traffic was worse than I'd ever seen -- Kibune Shrine (貴船神社) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Parking-Lot Traffic
Traffic was worse than I'd ever seen
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Clear of the Crowds taken at 40 kph (25 mph) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Clear of the Crowds
taken at 40 kph (25 mph)
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 35mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
taken at 50 kph (31 mph) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 50mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
taken at 50 kph (31 mph)
Back on its Home Turf -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/800 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Back on its Home Turf
Getting Falafels for Lunch at Falafel Garden -- 出町柳駅 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Getting Falafels for Lunch
at Falafel Garden
Riverside-Picnic “ Cheers ” -- 出町柳駅 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Riverside-Picnic Cheers
Swarms of Kites there must have been three or four dozen of these hawk-like birds -- 出町柳駅 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Swarms of Kites
there must have been three or four dozen of these hawk-like birds
Reinforcements Arrive Nigel's daughter comes bearing beer for all (well, all except herself) -- 出町柳駅 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 49mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Reinforcements Arrive
Nigel's daughter comes bearing beer for all (well, all except herself)
出町柳駅 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 6+ — 1/640 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Easy Lunch the instant after the bird had grabbed a sandwich from the boy's hand -- 出町柳駅 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 46mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Easy Lunch
the instant after the bird had grabbed a sandwich from the boy's hand

In the moments before the bird swooped down to grab the sandwich, you could feel a few of them paying close attention, coming in for a better look, which is why I had my camera pointed that way in the first place, just in case. In retrospect it seems clear that I should have warned them, but there were plenty of times someone's food looked like it might be a target, but never was, so maybe my warning would have just bothered them. In any case, the three barely flinched, as if they were expecting it. It was decidedly odd.

Anyway, happy birthday Nigel. I'll have to make sure I'm out of town this time next year. 😉

Update: Henry made a great video that really captures the vibe of the day.


One comment so far...

Now I put “mama-chari” into the search but I didn’t find the post where a 60-year-old gentleman joined your group on a trip to Ôtsu/Biwako(?), IIRC, which actually inspired me for my own mama-chari ride up the Kyomi Pass to Sugisaka and back via Takao. I thought if this elderly man can do it, me too!

— comment by Anne on August 5th, 2017 at 9:58am JST (2 weeks, 4 days ago) comment permalink
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