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.


Century of Wazuka Climbs, Part 1
Working The Tea Fields high up in Wazuka, Japan (和束) -- Sōraku-gun -- Soraku-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 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 62mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Working The Tea Fields
high up in Wazuka, Japan (和束)

I had a nice ride through the mountains of Uji and Wazuka (Japan, near Kyoto/Nara) the other day. Both Uji (宇治) and Wazuka (和 束) have been famous for their tea for centuries, and have tea fields tucked away in the most seemingly-unlikely nooks and crannies of their mountains.

Here's the ride at Strava:

I had a number of specific goals when embarking on this ride:

  • Goal: ride at least a century of distance (100 miles, 161km).
    Actual: 167km / 105 miles.

  • Goal: vertical climb of at least 3,000m (9,850').
    Actual: 3,506m / 11,503'

  • Goal: get a PR (personal record) on the Omine East climb.
    Actual: beat my former PR of 22 minutes by almost a minute and a half.

  • Goal: hit three particular descents with gusto, perhaps earning the KOM (King of the Mountain — fastest recorded time) for them.
    Actual: KOM'd all three.

  • Goal: do the heinous Yaruki Jizo climb again, preferably without killing myself.
    Actual: survived

All goals acheived, so yay for me. 🙂

Sad Tobidashikun he seems to have lost face somehow -- Uji, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 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 27mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Sad Tobidashikun
he seems to have lost face somehow
Behind the Facade lies a happy little boy about to run out into traffic -- Uji, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 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 24mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Behind the Facade
lies a happy little boy about to run out into traffic
View from the Sotuka Ohashi Bridge 曽束大橋からの景色 -- Sotuka Oohashi Bridge (曽束大橋) -- Japan -- Copyright 2017 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 24mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
View from the Sotuka Ohashi Bridge
曽束大橋からの景色

We saw this same view last fall, in More Exploring Uji by Bicycle, and Exploring my Cycling Psychology. It's a pretty view but hard for me to capture.

It's also pretty the other way, but even harder to capture due to the sun and the scope of the view...

Sotuka Oohashi Bridge (曽束大橋) -- Japan -- Copyright 2017 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 24mm — 1/1250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Caution still passable, on the 3rd climb of the ride -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 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 24mm — 1/60 sec, f/1.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Caution
still passable, on the 3rd climb of the ride
Tee Time -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 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 70mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Tee Time
Start of the “ Omine East ” climb I wanted to PR -- Tsuzuki-gun -- Tsuzuki-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 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 — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Start
of the Omine East climb I wanted to PR

I've complained for decades that Garmin is a horrible company, and ran into yet another illustration of it with their Virtual Partner cycling-computer feature. The idea is sound, that you compare your progress against some particular target pace that you'd like to meet. The target pace is presented as the virtual partner that you're riding with (or trying to catch up to or stay ahead of).

As sound as the idea is, the feature seems to have been implemented by someone with no real-world experience as a human, much less a cyclist. The feature comes with various alerts that pop up on the screen, which is great when you want them, but the feature can not be turned off. It is always on, always running, always in your way. It literally can not be opted out of.

If you're following a pre-programmed course, it's an all or nothing situation (except that there is no nothing option), with the Virtual Partner starting at the pre-programmed pace at the start of the course and going from there at a steady pace until the end. I might find that useful if I wanted to push myself on the full 100-mile course I was doing this day, but it's much more likely someone will pick and choose which sections of the ride they want to attack, and for this you're out of luck unless...

... you make a separate course for each section you want to push yourself on, and switch to that course just before the section, and switch back to your overall course as each completes. I wanted to push myself on the pleasant rolling Omine East climb, so I made a separate course for it and loaded it on my Garmin, and set the Virtual Partner to a speed of 16.4 kph, which, if I could keep pace, would give me a time for the segment of about 21:50, beating my PR by 10 seconds. Hopefully I'd go faster still, but I at least didn't want to fall behind.

Which brings us to another failing of Garmin's Virtual Partner feature: it always progresses at a fixed pace, something that doesn't happen often in the real, hilly world. Strava's stats for the segment of 5.9km at an average of 4% belies the fact that it's fairly undulating, with almost a fifth of the distance being downhill sections where one obviously goes much faster. The average grade for the 4.8km (3mi) of actual climb is 6.2%, which is not tough, but it's not 4% either. In any case, no one's going to keep a steady pace, and it's nowhere more apparent than at the start where the slope is the most steep. Within a few minutes of the start, the Virtual Partner feature informed me that I was already two minutes behind the pace. I know that I'm slow, but this seemed unlikely to be factually correct, and rather than being a feature to drive me harder, Garmin's Virtual Partner made me want to not bother anymore, in the face of such dispiriting news.

On some of the downhill sections I caught up quite a bit, more than would seem mathematically possible, but I was still well behind pace when I knew that all the downhill sections were done, so it seemed that a PR was not even close to possible. Why suffer for no reason? I slacked off.

In the end, Garmin couldn't even get this simple job correct. When I finished the segment it said that I was two and a half minutes behind pace, but it turns out that I beat my PR by 1:22.

Anyway, the subsequent trip down the mountain has some lovely views that I normally don't dwell on because I'm enjoying the zippy, thrilling descent (the descent is my reward for having done the climb, and the KOM is my reward for the descent 🙂 ), but the road was wet from rains the previous day, so I took it easy and stopped for photos.

Looking South to the Osaka Skyline hazy this time ( it was less hazy on this trip last September ) -- Tsuzuki-gun -- Tsuzuki-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 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 — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Looking South to the Osaka Skyline
hazy this time
( it was less hazy on this trip last September )
Facing Northwest across Uji, Fushimi, southern Kyoto, to Arashiyama and Mt. Atago -- Tsuzuki-gun -- Tsuzuki-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 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
Facing Northwest
across Uji, Fushimi, southern Kyoto, to Arashiyama and Mt. Atago
Just a Tad Windy -- Tsuzuki-gun -- Tsuzuki-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 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 26mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Just a Tad Windy

Thankfully the wind wasn't a factor in the mountains this time, but was ever present on the road between climbs (and usually as a headwind, naturally).

Planting Rice Seedlings -- Tsuzuki-gun -- Tsuzuki-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 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 — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Planting Rice Seedlings
Neatly Planted Rows -- Tsuzuki-gun -- Tsuzuki-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 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 — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Neatly Planted Rows
Trays of Seedlings -- Tsuzuki-gun -- Tsuzuki-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 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 — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Trays of Seedlings
Lovely Road -- Tsuzuki-gun -- Tsuzuki-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 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 44mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.6, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Lovely Road

The next climb was up Mt. Jubu (鷲峰山). I thought it had three different routes up to the top (I rode them here), so I was surprised in March when some friends rode up a fourth route I hadn't known was a paved road. It turns out to have been a lovely road, as seen above. Just a joy to ride on.

After a climb of 250m (820'), I was surprised to find that it had a substantial, lovely descent that bled off almost half the climb. It was gorgeous.

Tsuzuki-gun -- Tsuzuki-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 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 54mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

As I enjoyed a lazy descent, it dawned on me that I still had to get to the top of the mountain and that now there was even less distance in which to do it, so I expected I would soon encounter some seriously steep sections. At least the road surface was good.

The road surface was good right to the end of the descent, then turned to horrible broken cement for a brutal 1.7km at 12%. The road surface was absolutely horrid. You had to carefully pick your line to avoid getting lost in a crevasse.

This is “ Pavement ” -- Tsuzuki-gun -- Tsuzuki-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 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 65mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
This is Pavement

I would have liked to do the whole thing nonstop, and I'm sure I would have but, er, I needed to take photos for the blog. Yeah, that's it. Here's a photo:

Relatively-Nicer Section -- Tsuzuki-gun -- Tsuzuki-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 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 34mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Relatively-Nicer Section
End of The Worst of It the road quality improved at this hairpin -- Tsuzuki-gun -- Tsuzuki-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 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 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
End of The Worst of It
the road quality improved at this hairpin

After I finished the whole climb in a pathetic hour and twenty minutes, I came upon the first of the big descents that I wanted to hit hard, the Jubuzan Northeast Descent via Rt. 283.

The first half of the long descent was fine, and despite a few wet spots I missed the KOM on that five-minute half by 1 second (to Geoffrey Grant, who earned that KOM on the aforementioned ride in March that alerted me to the fourth climb).

Upon entering the second half of the descent, I immediately gave up because the road surface was ridiculously dangerous, covered in a soggy thick layer of rotting evergreen fronds.

Wet, Soggy Death taken with white knuckles at 20 kph (12 mph) -- Sōraku-gun -- Soraku-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 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 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Wet, Soggy Death
taken with white knuckles at 20 kph (12 mph)

So, I took it carefully.... very, very carefully. It was not fun, but it got much worse near the end when a little muscle at the bottom of my hamstring (back of my leg just above the knee) that I didn't even know existed made itself vividly apparent by cramping in the most exquisitely-painful way. Stifling a scream I straightened my leg and fervently hoped it would go away very quickly. I normally don't cramp at all when I ride, so this was certainly a surprise.

Even more surprising (the fun just never stops), the exact same little muscle in the other leg fluttered its own cramp. It went away as quickly as it came, but it left behind some serious dread, because the first one was still making me want to cut my leg off. Weird muscles that have never cramped before cramping at the same time in both legs? That makes me wonder whether the cause is mental more than physical, but in either case, the physical pain was very real.

It eventually subsided as I rolled into a tiny village (just a few houses) at the end of the descent, and I stood there astride the bike in the middle of the street and wondered what to do. I was worried that the mere act of lifting my leg over the bike to get off would bring on the cramp again, causing me to fall over in the middle of the street. I needn't have worried because it came of its own accord as I wondered what to do. I hope my scream didn't scare anyone in the little village.

After maybe 15 seconds it stopped and I got off and sat down for a while. The cramp never came back, which I'm thankful for, but of course I had no idea at the time that it would never come back. As I said before, the dread of it remained.

I still have no idea why it suddenly happened, or how to avoid it going forward. Scary stuff.

And in the end, despite the ginger descent and the cramping delays, I still ended up with the KOM on the whole big descent, and by a wide margin. I guess no one really tries to do that whole descent quickly, or maybe the road is always in such bad shape? Still, I'll take it.

For the next hour or so I made my way through open countryside, half fighting the wind and half just enjoying the lack of a cramp.

Roadside Diversion -- Sōraku-gun -- Soraku-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 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 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Roadside Diversion
Farmstead -- Sōraku-gun -- Soraku-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 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 46mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Farmstead
More Field Preparation -- Sōraku-gun -- Soraku-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 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 24mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
More Field Preparation
Kubota NSU55 -- Sōraku-gun -- Soraku-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 46mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Kubota NSU55
Park of Some Kind that was completely closed off -- Sōraku-gun -- Soraku-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 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 50mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Park of Some Kind
that was completely closed off
Lunch Stop Restaurant SOLA (ポークレストラン空) -- Restaurant SOLA (ポークレストラン空) -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 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 24mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Lunch Stop
Restaurant SOLA (ポークレストラン空)
Mmmmmm..... -- Restaurant SOLA (ポークレストラン空) -- Koka, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 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 27mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Mmmmmm.....

While I was staring out the window, waiting for my order, I saw Yoshino Higuchi ride by. I rarely come across riders I know by happenstance, but this is the third time it's happened with her. The first was noted here, and I did a real ride with her here. Perhaps she's just recognizable. This time, she was wearing the same kit that she wore at the races last month.

At this point I wasn't quite yet halfway into the ride, distance wise.

Continued here...


Wild Cherry Blossoms and Fun Fast Descents
Full Bloom in front of the Joshokoji Temple (常照皇寺) in the mountains north of Kyoto, Japan -- Joshokoji Temple (常照皇寺) -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Full Bloom
in front of the Joshokoji Temple (常照皇寺)
in the mountains north of Kyoto, Japan

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...

Straight Shot Down to the Lake 1.4km / 0.9mi away -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 40mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Straight Shot Down to the Lake
1.4km / 0.9mi away
At Lake Biwa moments before my bike fell in it -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
At Lake Biwa
moments before my bike fell in it
Fishermen -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 65mm — 1/500 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Fishermen
Short, Intense Climb looking back from the top, 300 straight meters @ 13.3% -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 49mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Short, Intense Climb
looking back from the top,
300 straight meters @ 13.3%

I got 4th overall on this straight, steep climb; I should have gotten 2nd, but my Garmin's Edge 820's GPS track had drifted and part of my rest after finishing it was counted in my climb. I'll do better next time, and hope my Garmin will as well.

Another Short Straight Climb 400m at 7.8% it's neither long nor steep, but the straightness makes it mentally tougher for me -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Another Short Straight Climb
400m at 7.8%
it's neither long nor steep, but the straightness makes it mentally tougher for me
Rural Farming -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 52mm — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Rural Farming
Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

My first destination on this ride was a temple in the middle of nowhere in the mountains. I had ridden by it numerous times, but had never stopped in to check it out.

Me and my Kongorikishi Friend at the Imurudani Fudodo Temple (飯室谷不動堂) -- Imurudani Fudodo Temple (飯室谷不動堂) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 6+ + front camera — 1/700 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Me and my Kongorikishi Friend
at the Imurudani Fudodo Temple (飯室谷不動堂)
Imurudani Fudodo Temple (飯室谷不動堂) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 44mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Imurudani Fudodo Temple (飯室谷不動堂) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Still a Few Blossoms -- Imurudani Fudodo Temple (飯室谷不動堂) -- Otsu, Shiga, 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
Still a Few Blossoms
Imurudani Fudodo Temple (飯室谷不動堂) -- Otsu, Shiga, 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
Not Sure but they remind me of this place -- Imurudani Fudodo Temple (飯室谷不動堂) -- Otsu, Shiga, 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
Not Sure
but they remind me of this place
Imurudani Fudodo Temple (飯室谷不動堂) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 44mm — 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Back Where it Belongs one of the lanterns had fallen; I returned it to its spot -- Imurudani Fudodo Temple (飯室谷不動堂) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Back Where it Belongs
one of the lanterns had fallen; I returned it to its spot
Serpent -- Imurudani Fudodo Temple (飯室谷不動堂) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Serpent
More Lanterns -- Imurudani Fudodo Temple (飯室谷不動堂) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
More Lanterns

From there I continued along undulating mountain roads away from Kyoto...

Getting Gray -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Getting Gray
Preparing for Planting -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/125 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Preparing for Planting
Wild Cherry -- Otsu, Shiga, 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
Wild Cherry

There were blossoming trees here and there in the mountains, providing a lovely touch of softness wherever they were. This batch was on a long mountain climb on a road that seems to have no reason to exist... it doesn't lead to anything, nor connect anything not already connected by less rustic roads. Makes for a pleasant ride, though.

The long twisty descent has some very rough, very steep patches of pavement (a bit you can see in this photo) and the ever-present potential for oncoming traffic, so one must be particularly careful. It could be quite fun if I were in the mood to push a fast descent, but I wasn't, so I took it easy, and as so often seems to happen, I surprised myself by beating my former KOM time to set a new KOM (fastest registered time). It tickles me to no end when this happens.

Proper Lunch -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/60 sec, f/1.7, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Proper Lunch
Happy-go-Lucky Fellow -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 32mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Happy-go-Lucky Fellow
About to Momoi -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/800 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
About to Momoi

Still not halfway into my plan, it was time for the heinous Momoi East climb, which I wrote about here the first time I did it. Today's was the fourth, and I noticed as I did it that I had no worries about falling over on the steep sections, illustrating to myself how far I've come.

I did the full Momoi climb, followed by the subsequent even-worse western descent (I think the worst section of road in Kyoto), then continued up through Hanase Pass to Sugino Pass. I went at a plodding pace and the whole trip (distance of 12km / 7.2mi, with a vertical climb of 715m / 2,350') took almost an hour. I was surprised to find that I got the KOM on this segment as well, not something I ever get on long climbs, but here it was because I was apparently the first and only to have ever done it, at least among those using Strava. I didn't expect it to be super popular, but no one else? That surprised me.

Oddly enough, after all these years of no one having ever done that route, someone else did do it two days after I did, a few seconds slower than I had, so I keep my cheap KOM for the moment. 🙂

I got 3rd-overall on the long descent from Hanase, out of 682 folk that have ridden it. I don't think I have what it takes to eke out the half minute I'd need to be the fastest on this one.

Random Road-side Temple Jizoin Temple (地蔵院) -- Jizoin Temple (地蔵院) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 46mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Random Road-side Temple
Jizoin Temple (地蔵院)
Abandoned House -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 38mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Abandoned House
“ Fixer-Up Special ” -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 40mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Fixer-Up Special
Roadside Blossoms -- 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
Roadside Blossoms
Ugly Setting that the pretty blossoms bring life to -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 50mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Ugly Setting
that the pretty blossoms bring life to
More Road-side Blossoms taken at 28 kph (17 mph) -- 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
More Road-side Blossoms
taken at 28 kph (17 mph)
Private House? -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 29mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Private House?
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Track Road and blossoms of some sort -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 52mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Track Road
and blossoms of some sort

Some of these last few pictures serve to illustrate the haphazard nature of, well, nature, with various blossoming tress here and there often randomly. It's a lovely aspect of the season.

But this part of my trip was to see a specific tree...

At the “ Kuroda Century Cherry ” 黒田の百年桜 -- Century Cherry (黒田の百年桜) -- 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
At the Kuroda Century Cherry
黒田の百年桜

I had remembered that some time ago I had seen some 100-year Cherry tree during a drive up north, so looked it up on my blog. Found it here. Turns out that it was 10 years ago, and that I had since cycled by it many times without realizing it.

The guy who took the photo for me said that the tree was 300 years old, according to a sign board that I couldn't read because it was too faded. This Kyoto City web site says that the name was given in 1967 when it was assumed that the tree was about 100 years old, making it now 150 years old.

Century Cherry (黒田の百年桜) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Century Cherry (黒田の百年桜) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 41mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Century Cherry (黒田の百年桜) -- 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
Nearby Temple with a mix of new and fading blossoms -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 58mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Nearby Temple
with a mix of new and fading blossoms
Cute -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 25mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Cute
At the Joshokouji Temple 常照皇寺 -- Joshokoji Temple (常照皇寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 35mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
At the Joshokouji Temple
常照皇寺
Joshokoji Temple (常照皇寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 40mm — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Bell Tower -- Joshokoji Temple (常照皇寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Bell Tower
Just Wow -- Joshokoji Temple (常照皇寺) -- 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
Just Wow
Original -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 33mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Original
Uninspired -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 44mm — 1/100 sec, f/9, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
Uninspired
Old -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Old
Oh Come On did you just give up? -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 33mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Oh Come On
did you just give up?

Overall it was a great ride with a lot of nice blossoms, and a bunch of lovely descents for me to enjoy myself on.


ROTOR Valiantly Succeeds in Avoiding my Money
Michael Powers Up to Mochikoshi Pass with his ROTOR chainrings of some sort -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 40mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Michael Powers Up to Mochikoshi Pass
with his ROTOR chainrings of some sort

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 lines.

Every first-time buyer will have the same set of questions.... which ones fit my bike, and among those, which are right for me, and in what sizes? They leave most of this for you to somehow figure out on your own (or, failing to have confidence, just abandon the idea of buying them).

Their willfully-stupid site makes me wonder whether their products are also willfully stupid, and it should have been a sign to walk away, but I thought I'd at least ask, so I sent them this request:

Hi, I'd like to buy some chainrings, but I'm not sure of compatibility.

I currently have Shimano Ultegra 6800 with a semicompact 36/52 up front and 11-34 in the back. It seems that for replacement chainrings I can choose from among Q-Rings Aero Shimano 110x4, QXL Shimano 110x4, and Q-Rings Shimano 110x4, though after reading everything I could find at your site, I'm still at a loss as to the difference among them.

I often spin out at high speed, so I'd like a bigger big chain ring. Would a 36/54 combo (Q-Rings Aero Shimano 110x4 or QXL Shimano 110x4) work, or would it hit some limit with the Ultegra front derailleur? What about a 34/54 combo?

In any case, whether I can go with a bigger range or I must stick with a 36/52 combo, what's the difference among the three product lines?

Thanks much,
Jeffrey

It's so frustrating when a company seems to care so little about what they sell that they don't bother describing the product sufficient for even the most basic purchase decisions. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when the reply didn't even try to answer any of my questions:

ROTOR Customer Service <no-reply@rotorbike.com>

Hi Jeffrey,

Thank you for get in contact with Rotor. Based on your information, you will need to purcharse the Rotor oval Q-rings BCD110x4 specific for Shimano crankset which we recommend at the first time with oval chainrings. You will notice the advantage with your pedal stoke using our Q-rings.

Best regards,
Enzo.

Ticket status has been changed to Closed

That last line was the end of it... the ticked was closed and there was no avenue to reply. Notice their customer-service email address? no-reply@rotorbike.com. At least it's not fuckoff@rotorbike.com.

Wow. Just wow. Of all the companies in the world trying to avoid accepting my money, these guys really go the extra mile. That's too bad, because my friends that have them like them, though it's a mystery to me how they knew what to buy.

Andy Photographs his ROTOR Chainrings along with the rest of his fine steed -- Iwato Ochiba Shrine (岩戸落葉神社) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 28mm — 1/125 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Andy Photographs his ROTOR Chainrings
along with the rest of his fine steed

Cycling From Kyoto to Amanohashidate and Back
Overlooking Amanohashidate (天橋立) 155km (96mi) into a 293km (182mi) ride in the furthest corner of Kyoto Prefecture, Japan -- Amanohashidate (天橋立) -- Miyazu, 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
Overlooking Amanohashidate (天橋立)
155km (96mi) into a 293km (182mi) ride
in the furthest corner of Kyoto Prefecture, Japan

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 re-map the route on GraphHopper.com).

I finally got out of the house at 8am.

About Ready To Start 7:59am -- Okazaki Koen [ Bijutsukan Bus Stop -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 35mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
About Ready To Start
7:59am
Last Tobidashi-kun for a While passing through Ohara 8:32 AM (from start: 33 min / 13 km / 8.3 miles) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Last Tobidashi-kun for a While
passing through Ohara
8:32 AM (from start: 33 min / 13 km / 8.3 miles)

I see Tobidashi-kun all over the villages around here, but saw very few on this trip.

I made reasonable time north, but a headwind started developing after Hanaore Pass, and it grew stronger the farther north I got. It wasn't all that bad, though, and I eventually made my way north enough to find snow on the road, just north of Kutsuki...

A Not -so- Chilly 15 °C (59F) 10:12 AM (from start: 2h 13m / 48 km / 29.7 miles) -- Takashima, Shiga, 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
A Not-so-Chilly 15°C (59F)
10:12 AM (from start: 2h 13m / 48 km / 29.7 miles)
Oops motorcycle hemorrhages coolant after a crash -- Takashima, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Oops
motorcycle hemorrhages coolant after a crash

I came across a group of motorcyclists moments after someone had crashed, just as they were righting the bike. They had passed me not long before, driving carefully and conservatively, so I'm at a loss to guess how someone dropped his bike. I'm sure that they all had phones, but I stopped to ask whether they needed assistance anyway, to which they thanked me but said no. No one seemed injured, except I suppose the pride of whoever had dropped the now disabled bike.

Leaving Them to Themselves with my best wishes for a speedy resolution -- Takashima, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/160 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Leaving Them to Themselves
with my best wishes for a speedy resolution
Selfie at Misaka Pass (水坂峠) 10:32 AM (from start: 2h 33m / 54 km / 33.9 miles) -- Misaka Pass (水坂峠) -- Takashima, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 6+ + front camera — 1/550 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Selfie at Misaka Pass (水坂峠)
10:32 AM (from start: 2h 33m / 54 km / 33.9 miles)

From here it was 22 downhill kilometers to the city of Obama. The first little bit was a twisty mountain road, to reach the main national road, which was then a long fast downhill where speed so far has been limited by traffic having the audacity to go the speed limit (50kph).

This time was no exception, and I found myself drafting a dump truck lumbering downhill at 50kph. I love drafting big trucks and buses... it's as close to one can get to a magic carpet ride. But the road was pristine and otherwise empty, so on a long clear straightaway I blew past him. I kept on the same road for another 10 minutes before turning off, but I never saw him again.

Eventually I got out of the mountains and moved to a much smaller road that cuts through flat farmland. I thought I'd had the magic carpet ride drafting the truck on the downhill, but suddenly it was another plain altogether, with what was certainly the strongest tailwind I'd ever experienced. I was flying without even trying.

Rocket-Propelled Missile a mild effort assisted by God's own tailwind 10:49 AM (from start: 2h 50m / 65 km / 40.4 miles) taken at 52 kph (32 mph) -- Mikatakaminaka-gun -- Mikatakaminaka-gun, Fukui, 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
Rocket-Propelled Missile
a mild effort assisted by God's own tailwind
10:49 AM (from start: 2h 50m / 65 km / 40.4 miles)
taken at 52 kph (32 mph)

I was shocked to be hitting 60kph (37mph) on a flat without even trying. Normally on a flat without wind, I can hold 50kph (31mph) for a minute if I kill myself (Exhibit A), but here it was surreal. I was sitting up holding the camera with two hands, turning around to photograph the mountains behind me, and still easily exceeding 50kph. It was wonderful.

(As wonderful as it was, let's keep things in perspective. At yesterday's Paris-Roubaix race, the winner kept up an average of 45kph for almost six hours, and that includes the time spent crashing and waiting for his team to bring a new bike.)

Anyway, I made a Strava segment to cover the straight 1.9km (1.2mi) magic-carpet section, and easily got the KOM (King of the Mountain — the fastest registered time). I named it Tailwind Sprint. Oh how I wish I could go back and put away the camera and really give it a good effort.

Last week, on this ride beset by string headwinds, I did have one section with a zippy tail wind, and I ended up with the 2nd-fastet time out of more than 20,000 recorded. Again, if I had only known, I would have really tried to take advantage of the situation.

At one point I had to jig 90° to a parallel road, and so for that little bit I was broadside to the winds. Even though I was holding on tightly with two hands and expecting the gusts, it was a challenge to stay upright. The wind was very strong.

Little-Used Road 10:51 AM (from start: 2h 52m / 66 km / 41.2 miles) taken at 43 kph (27 mph) -- Mikatakaminaka-gun -- Mikatakaminaka-gun, Fukui, 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
Little-Used Road
10:51 AM (from start: 2h 52m / 66 km / 41.2 miles)
taken at 43 kph (27 mph)

The lovely road seen above didn't exist on the maps that Strava uses, which is perhaps one reason that so few people have ridden it (I made a segment, but it shows only three people have ridden it). I've since added that road to the map data. It took about 10 seconds to add the road, but about three hours before I could make myself stop fixing things. The data in this rural area was horrible.

Made it to Obama 11:20 AM (from start: 3h 21m / 77 km / 47.7 miles) Mermaid Beach (人魚の浜海水浴場) -- Mermaid Beach (人魚の浜海水浴場) -- Obama, Fukui, 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
Made it to Obama
11:20 AM (from start: 3h 21m / 77 km / 47.7 miles)
Mermaid Beach (人魚の浜海水浴場)
The Obama Mermaid -- Mermaid Beach (人魚の浜海水浴場) -- Obama, Fukui, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 6+ + front camera — 1/1500 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
The Obama Mermaid

This was my fifth time to ride to Obama (previous visits covered here, here, here, and here), but on this ride I was only halfway to the halfway spot. If those tailwinds were to continue, though, I'd make short work of the rest.

I Need Some Genky Noon (from start: 4h 1m / 94 km / 58.6 miles) -- Ōi-gun -- Oi-gun, Fukui, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 32mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
I Need Some Genky
Noon (from start: 4h 1m / 94 km / 58.6 miles)

Unfortunately, the same wind what provided the boost into Obama became a cross/headwind as I rode along the coast, and the next 75km were hellatious. I needed some of the Genky seen above. 元気 (genki) is the Japanese word for health and vitality... someone who is not ill is genki; someone very old who still gets around is genki; young children can be too genki for their weary parents; someone fighting feirce headwinds for 75km sees the genki seep out of them.

You Shall Not Pass unexpected &#8220; no bicycles / no pedestrians &#8221; section on my route 12:42 PM (from start: 4h 43m / 109 km / 67.8 miles) -- Maizuru, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
You Shall Not Pass
unexpected no bicycles / no pedestrians section on my route
12:42 PM (from start: 4h 43m / 109 km / 67.8 miles)

The circular road sign at left indicates that bicycles and rickshaws and the like are not allowed on the bridge, so I had to make an unexpected detour. I've since updated the map data so that this mistake won't happen to others.

Refilling the Tank 1:02 PM (from start: 5h 3m / 111 km / 69.1 miles) 穂のか食堂 -- Maizuru, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 6+ — 1/15 sec, f/2.2, ISO 50 — map & image datanearby photos
Refilling the Tank
1:02 PM (from start: 5h 3m / 111 km / 69.1 miles)
穂のか食堂

Especially after the horrendous fatigue that struck me on this long ride the other day, I built restaurant stops into my plan. I was in good shape, but weary from the wind, so I was happy to stop for a while.

A Headwind is a relatively small problem to have 1:44 PM (from start: 5h 45m / 114 km / 70.9 miles) -- Maizuru, 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
A Headwind
is a relatively small problem to have
1:44 PM (from start: 5h 45m / 114 km / 70.9 miles)
Bicycle Corridor &#8220; 52 kiloparsecs &#8221; ? 2:01 PM (from start: 6h 2m / 122 km / 75.9 miles) -- Maizuru, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Bicycle Corridor
52 kiloparsecs?
2:01 PM (from start: 6h 2m / 122 km / 75.9 miles)

The first thing I thought of when seeing kp was kilo-pascals, but that makes no sense (52 kilopascals is about half atmospheric pressure, and would normally be written as 52kPa, not 52kp). Then I thought kilo-parsec, but 52 kilo-parsec is sort of a long way to ride a bike (it's about 1,600,000,000,000,000,000,000 meters), so it's probably not that. I did some digging and found that it means kilo-post (キロポスト), and marks the distance in kilometers from some starting location.

Boat don't see many military-looking boats in Kyoto 2:20 PM (from start: 6h 21m / 131 km / 81.6 miles) -- Miyazu, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Boat
don't see many military-looking boats in Kyoto
2:20 PM (from start: 6h 21m / 131 km / 81.6 miles)
Another &#8220; No Bicycles &#8221; Section 2:29 PM (from start: 6h 30m / 136 km / 84.3 miles) taken at 33 kph (20 mph) -- Miyazu, 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
Another No Bicycles Section
2:29 PM (from start: 6h 30m / 136 km / 84.3 miles)
taken at 33 kph (20 mph)
Arrived! 2:51 PM (from start: 6h 52m / 145 km / 90.3 miles) Amanohashidate (天橋立) -- Amanohashidate (天橋立) -- Miyazu, 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
Arrived!
2:51 PM (from start: 6h 52m / 145 km / 90.3 miles)
Amanohashidate (天橋立)

This is the same rotating bridge seen on my blog nine years ago.

This is It 3:04 PM (from start: 7h 5m / 147 km / 91.6 miles) -- Amanohashidate (天橋立) -- Miyazu, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
This is It
3:04 PM (from start: 7h 5m / 147 km / 91.6 miles)

Amanohashidate is a strand of land a mile or two long bisecting a bay, comparable to San Diego's Silver Strand, but much smaller. From the ground, there's really nothing interesting to see about it.

Coffee Photo Op 3:08 PM (from start: 7h 9m / 148 km / 92.0 miles) -- Amanohashidate (天橋立) -- Miyazu, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 6+ + front camera — 1/120 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32 — map & image datanearby photos
Coffee Photo Op
3:08 PM (from start: 7h 9m / 148 km / 92.0 miles)

I wanted to share a photo on my Facebook page to show that I had reached the place, but the typical scene from the ground wouldn't have indicated much about where I was, so took a photo in front of a sign board with the name. I continued the silly long ride for a cop of coffee thing I started in Cycling to Nagoya for Coffee by using a can of coffee from a vending machine as a prop.

Next Stop up there 3:19 PM (from start: 7h 20m / 149 km / 92.3 miles) -- Amanohashidate (天橋立) -- Miyazu, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 60mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Next Stop
up there
3:19 PM (from start: 7h 20m / 149 km / 92.3 miles)

It wasn't on my original plan, but I was feeling good and I didn't have to be home by a particular time, so I decided to cycle up a mountain to a scenic view spot. Most folks go up the cable car seen above, but there's a road as well, 2.8km @ 10%.

Mini Shrines on the Road Up 3:31 PM (from start: 7h 32m / 151 km / 94.1 miles) on the way to the Nariai-ji Temple (成相寺) -- Nariai-ji Temple (成相寺) -- Miyazu, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 47mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Mini Shrines on the Road Up
3:31 PM (from start: 7h 32m / 151 km / 94.1 miles)
on the way to the Nariai-ji Temple (成相寺)
Nariai-ji Temple (成相寺) -- Miyazu, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 32mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.2, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
Horrible Road Surface not quite cobblestones, but not very far from it 3:33 PM (from start: 7h 35m / 152 km / 94.3 miles) -- Nariai-ji Temple (成相寺) -- Miyazu, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 72mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Horrible Road Surface
not quite cobblestones, but not very far from it
3:33 PM (from start: 7h 35m / 152 km / 94.3 miles)
Roadside Spring 3:35 PM (from start: 7h 36m / 152 km / 94.4 miles) -- Nariai-ji Temple (成相寺) -- Miyazu, 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
Roadside Spring
3:35 PM (from start: 7h 36m / 152 km / 94.4 miles)
Up Up Up 3:38 PM (from start: 7h 39m / 152 km / 94.6 miles) -- Nariai-ji Temple (成相寺) -- Miyazu, 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
Up Up Up
3:38 PM (from start: 7h 39m / 152 km / 94.6 miles)
Steeper Section 3:44 PM (from start: 7h 45m / 153 km / 95.0 miles) -- Nariai-ji Temple (成相寺) -- Miyazu, 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
Steeper Section
3:44 PM (from start: 7h 45m / 153 km / 95.0 miles)

The steep lead up seen at right was brutal, especially coming after kilometers of climb, so I was happy to have the excuse to take a photo as a reason to stop. But then, after the hairpin, it got even worse, reaching Nasty 20+% levels. At least for this section the road surface was fine.

Sense of Scale In this shot there's a car at the next hairpin down -- Nariai-ji Temple (成相寺) -- Miyazu, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 34mm — 1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Sense of Scale
In this shot there's a car at the next hairpin down

The maps in this area were atrocious so I was playing it by ear, but from what I could gather, after I had climbed up to a temple, it was just a short ride over to the scenic-view spot. It turns out, though, that the short ride included 150m (500') of steep descent:

Pitching Down to the scenic-view spot 3:52 PM (from start: 7h 53m / 154 km / 95.5 miles) -- Miyazu, 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
Pitching Down
to the scenic-view spot
3:52 PM (from start: 7h 53m / 154 km / 95.5 miles)

I don't quite get what's going on with this road. It's a public road (Kyoto Prefectural Road 616), but there's a makeshift sign saying that only buses and pedestrians are allowed (no vehicles allowed, not even bicycles). I hadn't seen this makeshift sign on the way in, but even if I had, I'm not sure I would have let it deter me. The government has specific signs it uses on public roads to indicate vehicular limitations, such as the no bicycles and rickshaws signs seen above; I question whether a makeshift sign expressing one person's desire for the road eclipses my (tax-paying, I might add) right.

Anyway, I didn't have these philosophical thoughts on my mind at the time, with the need to return up the same steep road filling my thoughts.

View From The Scenic-View Spot 3:56 PM (from start: 7h 57m / 155 km / 96.0 miles) overlooking Amanohashidate (天橋立) -- Amanohashidate (天橋立) -- Miyazu, 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
View From The Scenic-View Spot
3:56 PM (from start: 7h 57m / 155 km / 96.0 miles)
overlooking Amanohashidate (天橋立)
The Pedestrian Path From Sea Level -- Amanohashidate (天橋立) -- Miyazu, 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
The Pedestrian Path From Sea Level
Taking in the Scene upside down, by looking through your legs ( this is apparently the thing to do here ) -- Amanohashidate (天橋立) -- Miyazu, 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
Taking in the Scene
upside down, by looking through your legs
( this is apparently the thing to do here )

After relaxing for a bit, I made most of the 150m climb back up towards the temple, but just before arriving realized that I had dropped my taillight. Upon reaching the sandy path an hour earlier I'd wanted to make sure it was fully charged for the long ride home which would be mostly in the dark, so I attached it to my portable charger. It's easy to fall out, so I wrapped the pair in a bag and stuck it in the back pocket of my jersey.

Apparently, it had poked through the bag and fallen out. I figured it must have been at the scenic-view spot, so I descended to get it. It wasn't there, so I made the 150m climb back up to the temple.

Temple Pagoda 4:27 PM (from start: 8h 28m / 158 km / 98.2 miles) just before pitching down the 20+% descent -- Nariai-ji Temple (成相寺) -- Miyazu, 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
Temple Pagoda
4:27 PM (from start: 8h 28m / 158 km / 98.2 miles)
just before pitching down the 20+% descent

One of the draws for me to have made the long climb up to begin with, besides the view, was to leave my KOM mark in the area by hitting the descent in my traditional manner. That plan fell by the wayside as I descended slowly, to try to find my taillight that had presumably fallen by the wayside. Besides not wanting to be out a $50 light, I sort of wanted to have the light for the return trip home.

Didn't find it.

I hadn't been planning to return to the sandy landbridge, but did so looking for the light. Never found it. It's got my name and phone number on it, so perhaps I'll eventually get it back. It is Japan, after all.

Finally giving up, at 5pm, after just a bit over 100 miles of riding, I started on the return trip home. I planned a more direct route than the one I came on (the return would be just 130km / 81mi), a route that went over some mountains but didn't seem to — in the rough research I'd done the night before — have all that much climbing.

Lovely Cycling Road ( that had been marked as a normal road on the map, though I've since fixed it ) 5:17 PM (from start: 9h 18m / 172 km / 107.1 miles) -- Yosa-gun -- Yosa-gun, 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
Lovely Cycling Road
( that had been marked as a normal road on the map, though I've since fixed it )
5:17 PM (from start: 9h 18m / 172 km / 107.1 miles)

My biggest stress for the return was battery management. By law and common sense I needed lights in front and back for the many hours I'd be riding in the dark. I didn't care about the front so much except in a city, but I always needed to care about the back. My Fly6 rear camera functions as a tail light, but I worried how much battery I had. I also worried about running out of battery on my phone and on my Garmin cycling computer (the latter of which was recording my ride, and displaying my route so I knew when to turn). I had one portable recharger battery, but managing it so that I could keep everything important going filled my thoughts.

First Return Climb Awaits 5:47 PM (from start: 9h 48m / 182 km / 113.0 miles) -- Yosa-gun -- Yosa-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 67mm — 1/125 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
First Return Climb Awaits
5:47 PM (from start: 9h 48m / 182 km / 113.0 miles)

I didn't think the overall return had much climbing, but I knew it had one doozy at the beginning. But first, my plans called for dinner at a restaurant I'd mapped out at the foot of the climb....

Inexplicably Closed no dinner for me 5:53 PM (from start: 9h 54m / 183 km / 113.7 miles) -- Yosa-gun, 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
Inexplicably Closed
no dinner for me
5:53 PM (from start: 9h 54m / 183 km / 113.7 miles)
Heading Up There 5:58 PM (from start: 9h 59m / 184 km / 114.1 miles) -- Yosa-gun -- Yosa-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 72mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Heading Up There
5:58 PM (from start: 9h 59m / 184 km / 114.1 miles)
Happy that I don't have to take the steep road on the right (except I do) 5:59 PM (from start: 10h 0m / 184 km / 114.2 miles) -- Yosa-gun -- Yosa-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/125 sec, f/1.7, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Happy
that I don't have to take the steep road on the right
(except I do)
5:59 PM (from start: 10h 0m / 184 km / 114.2 miles)

It turns out that this road often splits and rejoins, with one branch being the original straight (steep) way, and the other being a longer, twisty, more mild climb. My routing software had given me the shortest route, which was of course the steepest. I would have chosen exactly that had I paid attention, but it turns out that not many would, because only three people using Strava have taken it. By comparison, fifteen have taken the easiest route, and seventy have bailed on the road altogether to take the easier modern bypass. All in all I guess the point is that few people ride here at all. /-:

Rare mix of trees and bamboo 6:01 PM (from start: 10h 2m / 184 km / 114.3 miles) -- Yosa-gun -- Yosa-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 33mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.2, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
Rare
mix of trees and bamboo
6:01 PM (from start: 10h 2m / 184 km / 114.3 miles)
Looking Back Where I Came From 6:14 PM (from start: 10h 15m / 186 km / 115.5 miles) -- Yosa-gun -- Yosa-gun, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 75mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Looking Back Where I Came From
6:14 PM (from start: 10h 15m / 186 km / 115.5 miles)
Darkness Fell Quickly it's much brighter in the photo than it was in real life 6:52 PM (from start: 10h 53m / 201 km / 125.0 miles) -- Fukuchiyama, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/25 sec, f/1.7, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Darkness Fell Quickly
it's much brighter in the photo than it was in real life
6:52 PM (from start: 10h 53m / 201 km / 125.0 miles)
Brightly-Lit Area long stretches between villages had nothing but the half moon 7:32 PM (from start: 11h 33m / 210 km / 130.6 miles) -- Ayabe, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/8 sec, f/1.7, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Brightly-Lit Area
long stretches between villages had nothing but the half moon
7:32 PM (from start: 11h 33m / 210 km / 130.6 miles)
I Must Be Getting Near Kyoto 8:04 PM (from start: 12h 5m / 218 km / 135.7 miles) -- Ayabe, Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2017 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Panasonic LX100 at an effective 24mm — 1/15 sec, f/1.7, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
I Must Be Getting Near Kyoto
8:04 PM (from start: 12h 5m / 218 km / 135.7 miles)

At 8pm I was still 3½ hours from home.

I had been very wrong about there not being much climbing. There was lots, and I was slow. I got home around 11:30pm.

Here's the Relive.cc video of the ride: