In the hills north of Kyoto are several good rides: Kibune, Ohara, and Kumogahata.
All are excellent rides.
Kumogahata is perhaps the hardest of the three, with a gradual climb that will take about 30 minutes.
What awaits is a pastoral scene of farm houses, shrines and temples, and fields.
It is a cool breather from the scorching heat of central Kyoto.
From central Kyoto, ride north along the Kamo River until you get to Kamogamo Shrine (off to the right). Continue along the river until Route 38. Then, you will continue straight onto 61. That is where the climb starts. The ride is about one hour from downtown Kyoto, a bit more for first-timers.
For those in very good shape, it is possible to continue up and over the top of the mountain and follow the narrow mountain road - paved, of course - back into a different part of Kyoto close to Bukkyo University.
View Kyoto Kumogahata Cycling Map in a larger map