.
Facebook Engineering Opens a Satellite Office in Kyoto (For a Few Hours)
Nadya and Ryan At Uroko (鱗), Kyoto Japan -- Uroko (鱗) -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/100 sec, f/1.4, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Nadya and Ryan
At Uroko (鱗), Kyoto Japan

Facebook engineer Ryan Mack and his wife Nadia and their blissfully-sleeping two-year-old took time from their 10-year-anniversary Japan trip to join me for dinner at Uroko (鱗) in downtown Kyoto the other night.

Ryan has sometimes provided help or insight on navigating the complexities of Facebook's third-party app API, which I must use for my Export-to-Facebook plugin for Adobe Lightroom, so I was happy to finally meet him in person. Meeting Nadia was a wonderful bonus, though I didn't really get to meet his son, who slept the whole time we were together. (Jetlag sometimes giveth, I guess.)

It's just as well I didn't get to interact with their boy, because I came down with a cold the next day, and I think you're contagious before you're symptomatic. I would hate to have given any of them a cold.

I imagine that Facebook is a huge company with thousands of employees spread out around the globe, but I was happy to find out that he actually knew my other friends working there (Paul, Nam, and Arturo). I guess a big world is smaller in certain circles.

Aftermath with Damien having joined us part way through -- Uroko (鱗) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM — 1/160 sec, f/1.4, ISO 5600 — map & image datanearby photos
Aftermath
with Damien having joined us part way through

Uroko has an amazing (though difficult for me to read) menu, so we had a wide variety of wonderful things. They were a bit iffy about the somewhat slimy yamaimo potato, but seemed to enjoy everything else.

I would have liked to host them around Kyoto for a day, but not with a cold, so perhaps when they visit on their 20-year anniversary...


2015 Kyoto Marathon
Thrill of Victory as far as I'm concerned about marathons, any finish is a victory 平成27の京都マラソンのフィニッシュ -- Heian Shrine (平安神宮) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Thrill of Victory
as far as I'm concerned about marathons, any finish is a victory
平成27の京都マラソンのフィニッシュ

Today was the 2015 Kyoto City Marathon. Just as when I blogged about the 2012 Kyoto City Marathon, I went out with the Nikkor 300mm f/2, but new this time is that I intended to try to photograph two acquaintances who had told me their intended pace and sent photos of what they were wearing.

To help increase my luck in picking out two faces from 16,000 runners, I set up a bit past the halfway point just before a turnaround, so runners were going both directions in front of me. If I suddenly noticed a friend going by one way, I'd have a few minutes to properly prepare for photographing their return.

Unfortunately, I was literally 30 seconds too late to take my intended route to the spot... I saw the road become closed off right in front of me, so I ended up having to make a meandering path around traffic cutoffs, and I arrived to my intended spot 15 minutes later than I planned.

Sea of Faces マラソンの半分点のちょっと後 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 125 — map & image datanearby photos
Sea of Faces
マラソンの半分点のちょっと後
That's Some Hair! -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
That's Some Hair!

It was hard not to notice this guy's amazing head of hair. He seems to be a force of nature... I was able to find his web site, where he identifies himself as a surgeon, musician (piano/guitar/vocal), and obviously an athlete. He even has his own custom-designed shirt... he's the Ricka of Team Ricka.

Fetching 木村 泰徳 · Yasunori Kimura -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Fetching
木村 泰徳 · Yasunori Kimura

I was getting dizzy after 20 minutes of trying to pick faces out from the moving crowd, and thought I'd missed them both, when suddenly one pops into view!

Elena Nikitinskaya a friend from my gym -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 280 — map & image datanearby photos
Elena Nikitinskaya
a friend from my gym
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 180 — map & image datanearby photos

It was about three minutes to the turnaround and back, so I watched and waited...

Should Be In Here Somewhere -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Should Be In Here Somewhere

I wasn't able to pick her out again... that's how crowded it was. On the chance that she'd paused along the way to rest, I lingered for a while and took in the colorful crowd...

Currently 1st Place in the “Superhero, Male” category (his real identity — 井本 恵介 · Keisuke Imoto — must forever remain a secret ) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Currently 1st Place
in the “Superhero, Male” category
(his real identity — 井本 恵介 · Keisuke Imoto — must forever remain a secret)
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 720 — map & image datanearby photos
Katherine Runs a Lot -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Katherine Runs a Lot

She happened to glance right at me as I snapped a picture, which is why I include it here. A web search for her name (Katherine Lee Ming Sze) shows her in lots of race results.

A few minutes past when Elena should have returned by, it started to rain, so I packed up to go home.

The rain had stopped by the time I got home, so I left my scooter at home and walked out to the finish to scope out a good place to spot someone far enough away to take pictures. I find an appropriate spot 360m before the finish, looking down a 140m segment of road that slopes down to my position.

A Minute or Two Before the Finish フィニッシュの直前(〜360m) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1600 sec, f/2, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
A Minute or Two Before the Finish
フィニッシュの直前(〜360m)
Lots of Energy for having run a sub-3hr marathon It was about the 2:56 point when I took the photo, and it'd probably take a minute and a half to reach the finish. 松下 雄太 · Yuudai Matsushita -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 160 — map & image datanearby photos
Lots of Energy
for having run a sub-3hr marathon
It was about the 2:56 point when I took the photo, and it'd probably take a minute and a half to reach the finish.
松下 雄太 · Yuudai Matsushita
Freakishly Relaxed this guy (Daniel Matson) looked like he was on a fashion runway -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 125 — map & image datanearby photos
Freakishly Relaxed
this guy (Daniel Matson) looked like he was on a fashion runway
GoPro'ing His Finish Julien Mentzer -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
GoPro'ing His Finish
Julien Mentzer
Needle in a Haystack there he is, the other person I was trying to pick out -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 560 — map & image datanearby photos
Needle in a Haystack
there he is, the other person I was trying to pick out

The other person I was looking for, Jeremy White, is a member of the Cycling Kyoto Facebook Group that I've recently joined. I've never met him, but when he mentioned he was going to run the race, I asked for his pace an a photo of what he was wearing.

There were a bazillion Caucasians with blue shirt and green number bib and especially after not having been able to find him at the first spot, I held little hope finding him here, but I kept scanning far ahead with the big 300mm lens, and low and behold he appeared.

Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 560 — map & image datanearby photos
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 720 — map & image datanearby photos

The photo above, with proper focus missed, really shows that I don't have the skill to use this lens in this situation. I love using a manual-focus lens, but even at these distances, f/2 leaves a pretty thin depth of field and I'd set up such that the runners are doing their best to move out of the plane of focus as quickly as possible.

I want to say that this is not the lens for this situation, but I could make it work better if I had better skill. But I want to use it anyway because it's such an exceedingly rare kind of lens (there are only a few hundred in existence), so it has the chance to give me results no one else could get.

Mostly I feel I failed — none of the results here are photographically what I had hoped for — but the quality of the subject matter makes up for it. Folks who see themselves in the pictures like them, and that's probably the most important measure of success.

On Pace for 3:17 90 seconds hence (this is the first time we'd ever “ met ” ) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 900 — map & image datanearby photos
On Pace for 3:17
90 seconds hence
(this is the first time we'd ever met)
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos

It would be another hour before I expected Elena to come by, so I looked for fun and interesting folks in the crowd...

Event Staff huffing and puffing it out -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 360 — map & image datanearby photos
Event Staff
huffing and puffing it out
I've No Idea 関水 学 · Manabu Sekimizu -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
I've No Idea
関水 学 · Manabu Sekimizu
Team Ricka Again on pace for about 3:25 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 220 — map & image datanearby photos
Team Ricka Again
on pace for about 3:25
Victory! 野島 寛 · Hiroshi Nojima -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 450 — map & image datanearby photos
Victory!
野島 寛 · Hiroshi Nojima
Sticker Shock the sticker over her number means she might not get official photos ( but I found her online, so I'll send this one) 小川 陽子 · Yoko Ogawa -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 280 — map & image datanearby photos
Sticker Shock
the sticker over her number means she might not get official photos
( but I found her online, so I'll send this one)
小川 陽子 · Yoko Ogawa
Easy Smile レール マルク -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Easy Smile
レール マルク
More Triumph 笠原 勝 · Masaru ? Kasahara -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
More Triumph
笠原 勝 · Masaru? Kasahara
High Fives some folks did this with those cheering on; I thought it was nice 三浦 基行 · Motoyuki Miura -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/4, ISO 900 — map & image datanearby photos
High Fives
some folks did this with those cheering on; I thought it was nice
三浦 基行 · Motoyuki Miura
Event Staff better prepared than the ones seen above -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
Event Staff
better prepared than the ones seen above
Baby High Five 山本 剛大 · Yoshi Yamamoto -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Baby High Five
山本 剛大 · Yoshi Yamamoto
“ Kyoto Kamogawa (river) Running Club ” -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 360 — map & image datanearby photos
Kyoto Kamogawa (river) Running Club

At one point I noticed the banner for the running club that Elena is a member of, but I was growing hopeless about being able to pick her out of the ever-increasing mass of runners. Just look at how the numbers had swelled:

Fast-Flowing River of Folks -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/320 sec, f/16, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Fast-Flowing River of Folks

I didn't expect Elena for another 20 to 30 minutes, during which the numbers would only swell...

... which makes it all the more shocking that I actually noticed her 25 seconds later:

Another Haystack, Another Needle -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 450 — map & image datanearby photos
Another Haystack, Another Needle
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 450 — map & image datanearby photos
Looking For Her First Sub-4h Marathon she should make it with minutes to spare -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Looking For Her First Sub-4h Marathon
she should make it with minutes to spare

Having had success in plucking the two needles, I wandered back towards the finish...

Domo-Kun NTT (Japanese National Television) Mascot -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Domo-Kun
NTT (Japanese National Television) Mascot
I Have No Idea ( actually I do; I ran into my mother-in-law near the finish and she told me this was ZAQ ) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 140 — map & image datanearby photos
I Have No Idea
( actually I do; I ran into my mother-in-law near the finish and she told me this was ZAQ )
“ Finisher ” Towels -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Finisher Towels
Job Well Done this worker passing out towels had such a happy high-five for every runner coming through -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
Job Well Done
this worker passing out towels had such a happy high-five for every runner coming through
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Posing With His Towel ( Sadly, I couldn't unzoom with my feet due to the crowd ) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 900 — map & image datanearby photos
Posing With His Towel
( Sadly, I couldn't unzoom with my feet due to the crowd )
Bananas For All! -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 1100 — map & image datanearby photos
Bananas For All!

I ran into a number of folks I knew in the few minutes I was walking home, including Elena who had thrown street clothes over her running clothes and was headed to the subway...

( 300mm was a bit tight for this, too. I should have had another body with me ) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 900 — map & image datanearby photos
( 300mm was a bit tight for this, too. I should have had another body with me )

Elena looked less tired than I felt. She often does 12-hour 100km mountain runs, so a little thing like a marathon doesn't work up much of a sweat, I suppose. Out of my league.

Elena is Russian and I assume she speaks English just fine, as any Westerner I've ever meet in Japan does, but at the gym we speak only Japanese to each other. It feels weird because it's such a rare thing (English is the lingua franca among Westerners and many non-Japanese Easterners as well), but it's The Right Thing. We're in Japan, after all.

Anyway, おめでとう (congratulations) to Elena, Jeremy, and everyone who finished, or even attempted, the race. As for myself, I feel like a winner too, for being able to get up so early on a Sunday. Time for a well-earned nap! ;-)

(But first I'll send photos to all the folks I could track down.)


A Dark, Striated “What am I?” Quiz
What am I? -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Venus 60mm Super Macro f/2.8 — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
What am I?

Time for another one of my What am I? quizzes. What's the thing above?

As usual, I'll keep answers private until I reveal the answer in a few days...


Fantastic Video for Photographers: Get Inspired From Stu Maschwitz’s Artistic/Lightroom Agility

Screen capture from the video, mid-crop

This is a fantastic video for photographers.
(Note: I couldn't get the original Adobe Connect version to work in Firefox; it worked for me in Safari. In any case, there's now a YouTube version for easy viewing, though the video quality doesn't seem as good as the Adobe Connect original.)

In the video, visual artist Stu Maschwitz sits down to a blacked-out Lightroom catalog loaded with a couple dozen photos submitted by strangers, and one by one he unveils and processes them as the whim strikes him, providing a running commentary about his artistic reasons for doing things, or technical comments about how to achieve in Lightroom whatever look he's going for.

There are some amazing transformations, but whether a particular result is or isn't your cup of tea is not the point. The point is to see that amazing transformations can be made so easily, and sometimes so subtly. The running commentary on the hows and whys provide ample little seeds that may germinate ideas when processing your own photos.

Foremost this video is about artistic interpretation. Secondly it's about Lightroom, because all the hows are shown in terms of Lightroom. But let me be clear, it's not an instructional video. It's not a how-to video, and it's not a demonstration of the right way to process photos. (The only time right way comes into photo processing is in journalism, where it's a synonym for nothing.)

It's just Stu looking at a stranger's photo and instantly deciding what that photo's story is to him, and then proceeding to crop and adjust the photo so that as far as he's concerned, it better tells that story.

I found it highly entertaining, and I came away both with new artistic techniques and new Lightroom techniques.

If you're a photographer, I highly recommend it whether you use Lightroom or not.

Update: Photo-Development Challenge!
Try your hand at developing a few of my raw images, and compare your results with others for yet more ideas and inspiration.
See here.


Attempting a 100km Bikeride in the Mountains of Kyoto, Part 2: The Last 70km
desktop background image of a snowy mountain road in Kyoto, Japan -- The Road Ahead is finally downhill やっと下り坂です(撮影は運転しながら片手で) ( taken one-handed while cycling at 11 km/h ) -- Copyright 2015 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)
Nikon D4 + 35mm f/1.4 — 1/160 sec, f/14, ISO 1100 — map & image datanearby photos
The Road Ahead
is finally downhill
やっと下り坂です(撮影は運転しながら片手で)
( taken one-handed while cycling at 11 km/h )
Vertical Desktop-Background Versions
1050×1680  ·  1200×1920  ·  1600×2560

In part 1 about last weekend's cycling into the mountains north of Kyoto, I ended the story 23km into the journey at the top of the Hanase Pass (花背峠). At 769m it would be the highest point of the trip (a trip that started and ended at an elevation of about 60m).

With a nice downhill to look forward to, I didn't linger long at the pass. After a minute-and-a-half's rest and a selfie, I carried on.

I couldn't let myself build up much speed because the road was quite snowy/icy, so I dragged on the rear brake most of the time. Still, the slow speed allowed me to appreciate the scenery a bit. I suppose it's difficult to see in this next shot, but at times the ground dropped away from the road at perilous rates...

Looking Off to the Side 道の横 10:58am (23.1 km) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 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)
Nikon D4 + 35mm f/1.4 — 1/160 sec, f/14, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Looking Off to the Side
道の横
10:58am (23.1 km)
Slick Curves 11:00am - taken one-handed while cycling at 14 km/h -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 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)
Nikon D4 + 35mm f/1.4 — 1/160 sec, f/9, ISO 140 — map & image datanearby photos
Slick Curves
11:00am - taken one-handed while cycling at 14 km/h
Pausing to Look Back 振り返りの一時停止 11:00am (23.8km) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 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)
Nikon D4 + 35mm f/1.4 — 1/160 sec, f/9, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Pausing to Look Back
振り返りの一時停止
11:00am (23.8km)

The big tower seen above is not far from Hanase Pass where I'd been a few minutes earlier. The tower can be seen from Kyoto (in the hazy clouds in the upper left of this photo), or up close (here). When I took those photos five years ago, I was 100kg of out-of-shape frumpiness, and I'd never in a million years thought I'd bicycle that far.

The turning point for me came 2½ years ago in Yesterday’s Hike: The Agony Where Bravado Yields, In Spectacular Fashion, To Painful Reality, after which I vowed to get in shape. Even just two months later I was starting to show progress. I've been at it in various ways for 2½ years, and now at 48 I'm in by far the best shape of my life. Whoo-hoo!

Anyway, I soon descended into the little village on the other side of the mountain...

Entering a Small Village 11:05am (25.3km), taken one-handed while cycling at 25 km/h -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 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)
Nikon D4 + 35mm f/1.4 — 1/320 sec, f/9, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Entering a Small Village
11:05am (25.3km), taken one-handed while cycling at 25 km/h
Flyby Shrine Visit entrance to the Hiyoshi Shrine (日吉神社) 11:05am (25.5km), taken one-handed while cycling at 27 km/h -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 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)
Nikon D4 + 35mm f/1.4 — 1/400 sec, f/9, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Flyby Shrine Visit
entrance to the Hiyoshi Shrine (日吉神社)
11:05am (25.5km), taken one-handed while cycling at 27 km/h

I'd visited the shrine beyond that gate five years ago and had thought to do so again on this trip, but didn't. Judging by the amount of undisturbed snow on the path, (which goes 250m back up into the mountains to the shrine), it's probably just as well that I didn't.

In preparing for the trip I imagined a slow lazy ride, with many stops to check out hopefully-photogenic mountain temples and shrines. When I passed this shrine it was only 11am, but I was already starting to worry about the time: I had to get home and cleaned up in time to make it to 5pm Mass. According to my original plan, I still have 80km of unknown terrain left to ride.

One stop I would have made was at the cafe Cowbell moments later. Unfortunately, they were closed:

Cafe Cowbell 喫茶 カウベル 11:05am (25.7km) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 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)
Nikon D4 + 35mm f/1.4 — 1/400 sec, f/9, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Cafe Cowbell
喫茶カウベル
11:05am (25.7km)

I would have liked a cup of coffee, but had no choice but to press on.

Fifteen minutes of mostly downhill later, I decided to pause to put on some warmer clothes. As expected, I'd gotten quite chilly in the half-hour descent. My toes were the worst, but otherwise I was pretty okay... just chilly. But not knowing what to expect going forward, I thought it would be prudent to put on another layer.

So, I broke out some things I'd bought in preparation for the trip: a Uniqlo Ultra-Light Down Half Coat (it weighs nothing and can roll up into a ball) under my windbreaker, and Uniqlo Warm Easy Cargo Pants (fleece-lined polyester sporty winter pants) over my Under Armour leggings.

I snapped a photo of my legs just to mark the location on my tracklog.

Tracklog-Marking Photo 11:22am (29.9km) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 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)
Nikon D4 + 35mm f/1.4 — 1/1000 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Tracklog-Marking Photo
11:22am (29.9km)

I continued on, and after 20 minutes of ups and downs, I found a place to have that cup of coffee.

First Real Break 11:40am (34.2km) - 京都花背山村都市 交流 の森 -- 京都花背山村都市交流の森 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 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)
Nikon D4 + 35mm f/1.4 — 1/160 sec, f/13, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
First Real Break
11:40am (34.2km) - 京都花背山村都市交流の森
Inviting Scene -- 京都花背山村都市交流の森 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 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)
Nikon D4 + 35mm f/1.4 — 1/160 sec, f/3.2, ISO 2500 — map & image datanearby photos
Inviting Scene
Fogged Over Lens it's what happens when you bring a cold lens into a warm room ( the room was actually quite cold until you got near the heaters, which is why I suspect the prior photo came out clear ) -- 京都花背山村都市交流の森 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 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)
Nikon D4 + 35mm f/1.4 — 1/160 sec, f/3.2, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Fogged Over Lens
it's what happens when you bring a cold lens into a warm room
( the room was actually quite cold until you got near the heaters, which is why I suspect the prior photo came out clear )

My shirts were well soaked, so I took the opportunity to try to dry them by hanging them over chairs near the heater. I was the only customer, yet after a while one of the workers came to ask me to use the heater in the lobby (the cafe being part of a larger semi-public non-profit recreational area), commenting that the cafe was for customers only. I looked at her incredulously as I pointed to the coffee I was still enjoying. Geez. She and another worker then helped arrange my stuff for better drying.

This was my first real rest since starting in earnest. I was there for 29 minutes.

A Side Road I'll Have To Investigate Some Day the map shows a temple about 2km in 12:21pm (36.4km), taken one-handed while cycling at 21 km/h -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 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)
Nikon D4 + 35mm f/1.4 — 1/160 sec, f/13, ISO 140 — map & image datanearby photos
A Side Road I'll Have To Investigate Some Day
the map shows a temple about 2km in
12:21pm (36.4km), taken one-handed while cycling at 21 km/h
Typical Valley Scene 12:26pm (38.5), taken one-handed while cycling at 12 km/h -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 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)
Nikon D4 + 35mm f/1.4 — 1/160 sec, f/13, ISO 280 — map & image datanearby photos
Typical Valley Scene
12:26pm (38.5), taken one-handed while cycling at 12 km/h
Time to Check the Map 12:30pm (39.4km) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 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)
Nikon D4 + 35mm f/1.4 — 1/160 sec, f/11, ISO 160 — map & image datanearby photos
Time to Check the Map
12:30pm (39.4km)

A cursory look at a map makes it appear that the road I wanted to take was the main path that goes straight here, but in reality it's a 90-degree right turn. I knew I wanted to get to Route 367 so I'm sure I would have been fine without my iPad's map, but I was happy to stop to confirm.

There had been lots of up and down segments — as mountains are apt to do — but I knew I had another major pass to eventually ascend to, and the moment I turned onto Route 110 I knew the ascent had started...

Start of the Next Major Ascent the next hour would be brutal ここから能見峠まではめっちゃひどい 12:31pm (39.4km), taken one-handed while cycling at 14 km/h -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 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)
Nikon D4 + 35mm f/1.4 — 1/160 sec, f/11, ISO 110 — map & image datanearby photos
Start of the Next Major Ascent
the next hour would be brutal
ここから能見峠まではめっちゃひどい
12:31pm (39.4km), taken one-handed while cycling at 14 km/h
Road Getting Nasty 12:33pm (40km), taken one-handed while cycling at 18 km/h -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 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)
Nikon D4 + 35mm f/1.4 — 1/160 sec, f/11, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
Road Getting Nasty
12:33pm (40km), taken one-handed while cycling at 18 km/h
12:36pm (41.1km), taken one-handed while cycling at 17 km/h -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 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)
Nikon D4 + 35mm f/1.4 — 1/160 sec, f/11, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
12:36pm (41.1km), taken one-handed while cycling at 17 km/h
Splat! 落雪でピシャ! 12:37pm (41.4km), taken one-handed while cycling at 15 km/h -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 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)
Nikon D4 + 35mm f/1.4 — 1/160 sec, f/11, ISO 720 — map & image datanearby photos
Splat!
落雪でピシャ!
12:37pm (41.4km), taken one-handed while cycling at 15 km/h

It was clear weather, but throughout the trip, clumps of snow would fall onto the road from the trees in big splats. My luck in avoiding them was gone with the shot above, as it made a direct hit on me and the camera. I didn't have anything to clean the ice off the front of the lens, and didn't want to stop anyway, so I just left it.

Snowy Lens, Snowy Road 12:39pm (41.7km), taken one-handed while cycling at 16 km/h -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 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)
Nikon D4 + 35mm f/1.4 — 1/160 sec, f/11, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Snowy Lens, Snowy Road
12:39pm (41.7km), taken one-handed while cycling at 16 km/h
12:39pm (41.8km), taken one-handed while cycling at 13 km/h -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 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)
Nikon D4 + 35mm f/1.4 — 1/160 sec, f/11, ISO 180 — map & image datanearby photos
12:39pm (41.8km), taken one-handed while cycling at 13 km/h
Tough Riding 12:41pm (42.4km), taken one-handed while cycling at 11 km/h -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 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)
Nikon D4 + 35mm f/1.4 — 1/160 sec, f/11, ISO 560 — map & image datanearby photos
Tough Riding
12:41pm (42.4km), taken one-handed while cycling at 11 km/h

It was difficult to ride smoothly, as the semi-hard snow/ice/slush was thick and the tire had to cut through it. Sometimes it would grab the tire and force it one way or the other as if in a rut, so I had to spend more effort to keep control.

Still, it was all really quite pleasant, though that feeling wouldn't last long...

This is Just Ridiculous horrible conditions with a 20%+ slope 12:47pm (43.4km), taken one-handed while cycling at 7 km/h -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 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)
Nikon D4 + 35mm f/1.4 — 1/160 sec, f/10, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
This is Just Ridiculous
horrible conditions with a 20%+ slope
12:47pm (43.4km), taken one-handed while cycling at 7 km/h

I'd been stopping much more frequently than on the initial ascent up to Hanase Pass, and the refreshed feeling from the rest lasted much less. I was getting tired.

It eventually dawned on me that perhaps I should eat something. So far I'd had just a cup of coffee at home before leaving, and a cup of coffee at the cafe. I normally don't eat breakfast or lunch; unless a social occasion dictates otherwise, I eat when I feel hungry, not when the clock says everyone should eat. For me that means I generally eat just dinner.

I'm quite used to doing a day full of heavy exercise without having eaten anything, and I don't know that today was any different. I didn't feel hungry and didn't know whether eating something would impact my level of energy, but with not knowing what the route held, I thought it prudent to have a candybar.

Breakfast and Lunch 今日の初食事 1:01pm (44.0km) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 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)
Nikon D4 + 35mm f/1.4 — 1/8000 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Breakfast and Lunch
今日の初食事
1:01pm (44.0km)

I didn't bring along anything to drink, and Japan's seemingly-ubiquitous vending machines were nowhere to be seen in the last few hours, so I ate some snow along with my frozen Snickers.

It was a picturesque spot for a meal.

Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 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)
Nikon D4 + 35mm f/1.4 — 1/8000 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos

I soon felt better, not due to the Snickers, but because I reached Nomi Pass (能見峠) nine minutes later...

Nomi Pass 能見峠 at 653m 1:12pm (44.6km) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 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)
Nikon D4 + 35mm f/1.4 — 1/6400 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Nomi Pass
能見峠 at 653m
1:12pm (44.6km)

It took about 42 minutes to get here from the turnoff, 25 of which were actually riding. Strava says that I am KOM (King of the Mountain) for this segment this year, which in this case must mean that I'm the first person to do it this year. Others in the Kyoto Cycling group can do it finish-to-end in under 14 minutes, though I suppose these snowy conditions might slow even them down a bit.

Small Village the white spot in the center of the frame is a small village the road eventually goes through 1:13pm (44.7km) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 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)
Nikon D4 + 35mm f/1.4 — 1/5000 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Small Village
the white spot in the center of the frame is a small village the road eventually goes through
1:13pm (44.7km)
Steep Descent not exactly your best cycling conditions 1:15pm (45.1km) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 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)
Nikon D4 + 35mm f/1.4 — 1/4000 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Steep Descent
not exactly your best cycling conditions
1:15pm (45.1km)
Entering the Village 1:24pm (47.6km), taken one-handed while cycling at 17 km/h -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 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)
Nikon D4 + 35mm f/1.4 — 1/8000 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Entering the Village
1:24pm (47.6km), taken one-handed while cycling at 17 km/h
Shikobuchi Shrine (志古淵神社) 1:28pm (49.1km) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 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)
Nikon D4 + 35mm f/1.4 — 1/5000 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Shikobuchi Shrine (志古淵神社)
1:28pm (49.1km)

I didn't have much interest in shrines or temples at this point, but looked around for a vending machine. I really wanted something to drink and I was getting tired of eating snow.

There wasn't one at the shrine, nor at the Kyoto City ward office across the street (yes, officially I've been in Kyoto City the entire trip), but happily I came across one before leaving the village...

Thumbs Up for not dying of dehydration 1:34pm (49.2km) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 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)
Nikon D4 + 35mm f/1.4 — 1/250 sec, f/8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Thumbs Up
for not dying of dehydration
1:34pm (49.2km)

15 minutes of some ups but mostly downs later, I came to Route 367. I was feeling great.

Arriving at Route 367 1:53pm (55.4), taken one-handed while cycling at 25 km/h -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 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)
Nikon D4 + 35mm f/1.4 — 1/200 sec, f/8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Arriving at Route 367
1:53pm (55.4), taken one-handed while cycling at 25 km/h
Easy But Unfun 1:56pm (55.6km) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 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)
Nikon D4 + 35mm f/1.4 — 1/500 sec, f/8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Easy But Unfun
1:56pm (55.6km)

I've driven on this road many times... it gets a lot of traffic, including buses and lots of dumptrucks, but at times it's fairly narrow, so I didn't think it'd be all that pleasant on a bicycle, especially considering that I'd had to share the entire last hour of road with only three cars and one motorcycle.

But I was feeling great because it's downhill all the way to Kyoto; all the hard work was behind me, and now I just had to coast home.

Or so I thought.

“ Kyoto 34km ” 2:08pm (58.4km) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 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)
Nikon D4 + 35mm f/1.4 — 1/320 sec, f/8, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Kyoto 34km
2:08pm (58.4km)

I don't know why I had it in my mind that it was downhill from here, because it's not at all. It's mostly uphill, though broken more or less into smaller ups and downs. The ups felt very long, and the downs not very down... I could never get up much of a coast, and even some downhills felt like they were uphill.

The mismatch between expectation and reality is what really wore me out. That, and the saddle of my bike.... my rear was really hurting by now.

Then we had tunnels.

One of Many 2:19pm (61.3km) -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 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)
Nikon D4 + 35mm f/1.4 — 1/160 sec, f/9, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
One of Many
2:19pm (61.3km)

Not thinking I'd need them on a daylight trip, I didn't bring my lights. This turned out to be a mistake, because at times it was so dark inside that I literally could not see what I was riding on. With all the traffic, I didn't feel safe to ride on the narrow road without a light (even my orange jacket became a subdued dull gray in the tunnel lighting), so I road on the sort-of side curb that was perhaps two feet wide.

The lights in the tunnels are spaced for maximum efficiency, which is perfect if they're all working. If one goes out, it's utterly pitch black for a short segment of road. During these times, I just kept my hand on the side of the tunnel and felt my way along. It's not a particularly fast way to travel, but it has the nice side effect of keeping me alive.

More ups (always ups) and downs later, finally at about 2:40, I exited yet another tunnel to find a monster twisty descent waiting for me. Here even coasting I'd pick up considerable speed, but the impressive hairpin turns made speed dangerous, so I kept it relatively slow... I maxed out at 57kph prior to the first hairpin.

(I did snap a few pictures while in the hairpins, at a relatively-mild 32kph, but they don't really show anything but the caution strips painted across the road, so I'm not bothering to include them here.)

Kyoto's “ I Fall ” Tower and its flight of 308 steps 2:45pm (68.6km), taken one-handed while cycling at 50 km/h -- Otsu, Shiga, Japan -- Copyright 2015 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)
Nikon D4 + 35mm f/1.4 — 1/160 sec, f/9, ISO 140 — map & image datanearby photos
Kyoto's I Fall Tower
and its flight of 308 steps
2:45pm (68.6km), taken one-handed while cycling at 50 km/h

When I came across this big cell tower and its long stairs, I opted not to pause to climb to the top as I did once before. Perhaps next time. ;-)

My original route called for me to turn at Tochu (途中)... I love that name. It's a village in the middle of nowhere in the mountains, and the name literally means on the way or in progress. Every time I drive by I think it's well named... I'm on the way home, or on the way somewhere. I'm never there.

Anyway, I had been planning to cut over to Lake Biwa and return to Kyoto that way, but that would add 10km to my trip, and some steep ascents. With 5pm Mass looming, I didn't think I had the time, so I continued straight on Rt 367.

If I wasn't pressed on time I would have done my original route. I was tired, for sure, but that was part of the point. The only real problem I had was my rear end did not like sitting on the seat any more, so when a downhill segment afforded the opportunity, I'd stand and coast just to get some relief.

My wrists were also quite achy, leaning on the handlebars as I'd been for the last six hours.

Feeling Closer to Home 3:07pm (77.1km) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 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)
Nikon D4 + 35mm f/1.4 — 1/160 sec, f/9, ISO 125 — map & image datanearby photos
Feeling Closer to Home
3:07pm (77.1km)

This is the convenience store we always stop at when going through Ohara with the family, such as on a family outing to the Sanzen'in Temple, and the one we stopped at two weeks ago when out with folks from Cycling Kyoto on my first real bike ride.

30 minutes and 14km of mostly (but not all) down-ish later, I was home.

Home 3:44pm (91.0km), taken one-handed while cycling at 21 km/h -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 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)
Nikon D4 + 35mm f/1.4 — 1/160 sec, f/11, ISO 220 — map & image datanearby photos
Home
3:44pm (91.0km), taken one-handed while cycling at 21 km/h

I parked the bike and my rear end was happy for the relief. I was dead tired, but still shocked at how difficult it was to walk up one flight of steps... I had to consciously work to lift myself each step. This was unexpected.

I still managed to snap a photo of myself at the end.

Tired and Soaked to the Bone 3:49pm -- Park House Kyoto Okazaki Yuurakusou -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + 35mm f/1.4 — 1/160 sec, f/1.4, ISO 1400 — map & image datanearby photos
Tired and Soaked to the Bone
3:49pm

I dumped everything but the shoes, helmet, sunglasses, and camera into the washing machine, and while a bath was being drawn, ate a bowl of cereal.

The tracklog-analysis software I wrote for Lightroom after the trip gives the following stats:

Distance ridden: 91.3km. (The 90.2km shown at the base of the graph is distance without accounting for elevation changes. To account for how much distance was actually traveled, one must bring in Pythagoras and such, you know.)

Total time: 6.8 hours (4.8 riding, 2 resting, though 20 minutes of the rest was before I really started). It's interesting to note that it took longer to write this one post than it did to do the whole ride.

Elevation climbed: 3,850 meters

Anything with elevation must be taken with a grain of salt, because GPS (or in my case GPS/GLONASS) receivers are not very accurate in this respect. It's tempting to look at data like this and take it at face value, but even a highly-accurate unit set down in an open field will record a track drifting around the local area in three dimensions.

One must also consider how a tracklog is inspected. Considering that there's that natural small drift even when stationary, one must make a best guess at what constitutes movement?

I uploaded my tracklog to Strava, and their analysis of the distance and time were completely different from mine. I've sent them a note to ask about their methods.

Aftermath

My inner thighs really hurt... not the kind of I had a great workout and now I'm pooped hurt, but full-on Mommy make it stop! pain. A long hot bath helped, but I knew I'd be hurting the next day.

Except I didn't. I was fine on Sunday, with no aches at all. I even went for a bike ride with Anthony.

I was fine on Monday as well for my normal workout, starting with a warmup of 65 pushups in three minutes, then a group workout in the hot studio where Hot Yoga is normally done. Even during the leg workout... about 50 squats were not a problem.

But everything changed when we started to do lunges. Wow, it hurt. We didn't do that many, but I was left in a sniveling pile of pain. It's been several days since then, and my inner thighs still hurt... the lunges awoke the pain, I guess.