Archive for the 'Cycling' Category

Wild Cherry Blossoms and Fun Fast Descents

Cherry-blossom season in Kyoto is always hectic for someone like me who likes photography, made all the more busy because I now like to cycle and these are some of the first warm days of the season. I've been out with the camera and the bike a lot lately, but sort of punted on blogging about it because schedule already left me overwhelmed.

So, I'm getting back into the swing of things with a writeup on my most recent ride.

First I popped over the mountains from Kyoto to Lake Biwa...

I got 4th overall on this straight, steep climb; [...]

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ROTOR Valiantly Succeeds in Avoiding my Money

Chainrings -- the big gears at the pedals of a bicycle -- are normally round, but there is the idea that slightly oval ones can be more efficient because they can take advantage of the naturally-strong part of the pedal stroke by placing more leverage there, and less where the stroke is weakest.

I was thinking to get some to try, but the company that makes them, ROTOR, is apparently willfully, egregiously not interested in selling them. They make a dizzying number of different models of oval chainrings, with scant information on their site about the difference among the various [...]

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Cycling From Kyoto to Amanohashidate and Back

The other day I made an impromptu decision to ride to Amanohashidate (see at Wikipedia) the next morning. It's pretty far away, and in the end the big loop turned out to be 293km (182mi), putting it well past my 260km (160mi) "Cycling to Nagoya for Coffee" ride as my longest.

The evening before I made a clockwise route, but that morning decided to do it the other direction, thinking to put the easier leg on the return trip, so I made a new counterclockwise route (or, I should say, I whipped up a program to reverse route waypoints and [...]

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Putzing Around Kyoto on a Fine Spring Day

It took a casual spin around Kyoto last weekend, as the cherry blossoms were starting to come in.

Looking down the street from next to the construction, toward the right, it was a mad house:

So, instead I went up the steep road that goes under the shrine arch seen two photos above.

Not long past the shrine gate, I noticed a huge statue off to the side, and wondered how long it had been there and how I had never noticed it before:

It turns out that it's been there since 1955, and is 24m (80') tall. I guess [...]

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Moriyama Criterium: The Category-4 Races

This is the final installment about the races introduced earlier in "Watching My First Cycling Road Race", cycling races held on closed streets in Moriyama, Shiga, Japan, about an hour's drive northeast from Kyoto.

After the "youth races" were some "C4" races, races for inexperienced riders (or riders who are experienced but slow). If I were to ever try a race, I'd start in "C4".

This event broke C4 into three different races: "C4H" for men above a certain age (40?), "C4L" for men below the certain age, and "C4W" for women.

As before, I situated myself at a pinch [...]

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