Archive for the 'Cycling' Category

Insanity!? Shopping Trip to Costco by Bicycle

On a recent bicycle ride I was surprised to find myself passing the nearest Costco to Kyoto, about 25km (15mi) away. I was a member years ago, and mentally, it was a long way away, taking 45 minutes to drive there through traffic, with $15 of tolls along the way. Unfun. My driving geographic knowledge often never connects to my cycling geographic knowledge, so I'm surprised in this way often.

Anyway, I made a ride to Costco yesterday, explicitly to sign up for a membership and do some shopping. Manseki was going to be heading in the general direction, so [...]


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Snowy Cycleversary Mountain-Ride Challenge, Part 2

This post picks up from part one on my two-year-cycleversary ride though the snowy mountains north of Kyoto. I'd suffered a spell of frozen fingers, but was now mostly warm again and in good spirits.

The area is fantastically beautiful in the snow.

As I mentioned in Part One, riding through the semi-compact snow with thin (28mm) road-bike tires often felt like my tires had to work like ice breakers, shoving through a semi-frozen slushiness of evil-Goldilocks consistency (it's not strong enough to support the weight of the bike, nor weak enough to be easily shoved out of the way).

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Snowy Cycleversary Mountain-Ride Challenge, Part 1

I started cycling two years ago when I naïvely went on this ride, joining only because I had no clue about what was intended. We ended up doing 55km (34 miles), which was probably 10× what I had ever ridden before. I was invigorated to have done so easily what I would have imagined would be impossible, so I decided to set out on a "real" ride, a longer, hillier one done with intention.

So a week later, on Feb 7 2015, I did another ride -- what I now consider my first "real" bicycle ride -- a 91km (57mi) [...]


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Snowy Ride With Lots of New-Expressway Construction

Two weeks ago we had a fair bit of snow in Kyoto (a rarity, since many years we have none), so that probably meant that the mountains in the north (which get lots of snow) were impassable, so I took a bicycle ride south-west towards Kobe. I still found snow.

Here's the 100km ride:

The first climb was the eastern Yanagidani climb, which I had descended before but never ridden up. I took my time, stopping for photos like the above when I ascended above the snow line, and at one point to help a group of elderly hikers find [...]


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Discovering a New Cycling Route from Kyoto to Osaka

The first time I rode a bicycle from Kyoto to Osaka, a year and a half ago ("Cycling Along the River from Kyoto To Osaka Castle"), the 55-kilometer (34-mile) route we were lead on followed roads and paths that traced the eastern bank of the Katsura River and then the southern bank of the Yodo River. For the most part it's a fine route, on nice paths closed to motor vehicles.

The initial paths out of Kyoto are the least developed part of the trip, so I came up with a less muddy, less bumpy exit from Kyoto, but otherwise [...]


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