jonasgoat

All about the Ride: Chiba Excursion

In all about the ride, bike, japan on February 10, 2010 at 11:02 pm

Headwind or is it a crosswind all the way there, one pretty much straight local road, two lanes and plenty of flyovers, Tokyo has rivers running through it, the sun is out and it makes the grey rivers glitter, Tokyo this far out, in the sprawl between the cities can be quite down at heel, rumpled and crumpled at the edges, but Tokyo is built on a massive scale, the bridges, the buildings, the roads, I roll across a flyover which must be at least two kilos long, and it’s just one of many.

But the massive scale doesn’t preclude moments of intimacy, or human connection: the dip of the head of the taxi driver behind me at a set of lights; the lone pensioner practising his chip shots by the river close to the bridge; the young kids in the bus as it turns right staring and staring and staring, then giggling as I smile and wave, then tentatively waving back; the old woman painfully bent over, cane in hand who walks ever so slowly across the crossing, dignity wrapped around her as she pauses for breath, looks up at the lights then continues on her mission to the kerb.

I ride through a section of town that is devoted to 2nd hand motors Mercedes g-wagons, Nissans, Mitsubishi’s and the like, each one devoted to one make and model. I watch the down and outs collecting scraps by the waters edge, I try not to tire as the wind presses constantly on my chest, a hand placed there slowing me down no matter how hard I try to forge ahead. But I am happy I am on the bike, riding fixed again, track-standing whenever I can and enjoying the constant cadence, the momentum that pulls me over and through the pedal stroke. This is what I hoped cycling overseas would be like, this movement from one part of town to the other, the effortlessness (in parts it feels as if the bike is pulling me along rather than me pushing it) of traveling between the different neighborhoods, knowing enough of the route, or being confident enough with the map to slip off down a side route, a new road to someplace else, an opportunity to see something new.

  1. It’s those little moments and snapshots of other people’s lives I love so much, beautiful. Keep ’em coming 🙂

    Loving the blog and hoping the bronchitis has settled down. xxx

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