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This year's Bike Friday Japan Meeting was held November 13 and 14 in Kyoto hosted by Kataoka-san, Bike Friday's Japanese distributorCYCLETECH IKD. Kyoto-City (Kyoto Prefecture, Japan) is in the Kinki-Region of Japan, located in the west central part of Japan. Kyoto is the ancient capitol of Japan from 794 to 1868, thus famous for it's many historical landmarks. This year, Bike Friday co-founder/designer Hanz Scholz and BF Ambassador to Japan : Ruthy Kanagy (known as O-rusu-san to the Japanese community) came over from Eugine Oregon to join this meeting. This made the meeting a very exciting one for us to participate. It's not so often that one get's to ride together with the designer of your bike.
About 50 participants gathered to Kyoto where the the weather was a fine one for cycling this weekend. @nak(A)(myself) brought our latest addition, the Air Friday. (Ta),who owns a Sat-R-Day however brought her Brompton to Kyoto thisi time so she can easily stroll around the narrow streets of Kyoto.
There were two cycling routes to choose from on the first day of the meeting :
1) A hillclimb up to Kyoumi-Touge (Kyoumi-Pass) located north of Kyoto.
2) A sightseeting route covering temples and shrines, and other points of interest in Kyoto.
followed by a dinner party at a Japanese cuisine.
The theme was "water" for the cycling on the second day, where the route ran along rivers and waterways running in and out of Kyoto.
Of course, the participants enjoyed not only cycling, the good food, but chit chatting about Bike Fridays, cycling, and about everything else during the two days of the Kyoto meeting !
Information about Kyoto...
JNTO Website >Regional Tourist Guides
As we wait for today's cycling to start, people chat and talk about....what else, but their Bike Fridays ! A perfecty color coordinated Sat-R-Day joins us today. Even the seat is red ! Nagino-san's Raspberry Crusoe shines.
While we wait for our leaders to decide on today's route, (Ta)-san takes Nagino-san's Crusoe and Arima-san's Petite Crusoe out for a test ride.
Occasions like this is very valuable for (Ta)-san who is 153cm tall, because she get's to test ride frames her size.
We also had a chance to ride the new 16" model that Hanz brought with him. Very sporty ride with it's long wheelbase.
Today's ride starts off from the bike path along Kamo-Gawa(Kamo-River). Today's ride theme ; "Water"
After parting Kamo-Gawa at Shijo, we stop at Gion, Tatsumi-Jinja (Tatsumi-Shirine). Too bad we didn't come across any Maiko (Traditional Japanese dancing girls).
We continue to Shira-Kawa (Shira-River).
Nas-san leads us across a bridge that's no wider than....2 feet or so. That's barely wide enough for one bike ! The brave cross this narrow bridge on the bike, while others walk their bike across. Who's the one asking me to stop and balance my bike while he takes a picture of me ! :-)
Continuing through the residential areas between old and interesting apartments.
Okay, don't leave me because I'm getting lost. Winding through the narrow streets loses your direction.
We arrive at the famous Nan-Zen-Ji (Nan-Zen-Temple). This popular sightseeing spot is full of tourists on a Sunday, especially in the autumn season of leaves coloring.
The mixture of red, yellow on green can be seen at a short timing. A few weeks ahead, the green will disappear.
A waterway that runs through the Nan-Zen-Ji propoerty is a historic landmark. The Nan-Zen-Ji Waterway is part of what runs from Lake Biwa (Ohtsu-city, Shiga Prefecture) to Kyoto City, and was built in the Meiji period some 140 years ago. It's still in use as water source feeding the people of Kyoto.
Everyone gathers for a shot.
We leave Nan-Zen-Ji, ride the gravel of Tetsugaku-no-Michi and arrive at Takara-ga-Ike for lunch.
The ride after lunch ran though Takara-ga-ike park, did some mountain climbing (single track!), and headed towards Kurama-Kaido (Kurama Road). A 25% hill appears ahead of us ! A speedy downhill takes us to Kami-Kamo-Jinja (Kami-Kamo-Shrine).
Everyone gathers in front of the torii (the sacred arch) of the shrine.
Kataoka-san's classic Bike Friday "Diamond Frame", and TETU-san's Air Llama equipped with a original rear carrier and caster wheels.
Nearing the end of today's route, we head back along Kamo-River to the hotel where Kataoka-san's final remark end the meeting.
Canon IXY Digital 400