Archive for the 'General' Category

General posts

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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Winning the Kyoto Marathon 2017 (Papa Division)

Today was the 2017 Kyoto Marathon. As in some years past (2012, 2014, 2015) I went out for a few photos of the 16,000 runners.

This little scene unfolded before me at a corner 500m (⅓ mile) before the finish...

According to his bib-number stats, this guy (木村剛 / Goh Kimura) finished in 3:55:21, which includes the unusually-long 9:44 it took him to get to the starting line (and, of course, includes the time needed for the event above).

I was able to find in the shots I took earlier, as well... can you find him in this shot from [...]


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Enjoying Delicious Nankotsu at Torikizoku

I've recently been taking a fancy to yakitori (grilled skewered chicken), and especially the crunchy nankotsu variety.

"Torikizoku" is a chain of yakitori restaurants whose thing is that everything on the menu is 280 yen (plus tax, making each item currently about US$2.60), so the menu is just a list of items.

Any drink is "one item", and this includes a normal serving of Suntory Premium Malts beer (seen on my blog in "A Visit to Suntory’s Kyoto Beer Brewery"), making the price comparable to the cost of a can in a convenience store, instead of the about-double price a [...]


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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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