Tokyo has been drenched with four consecutive days of early rain, preventing me from hitting the tarmac since last week Thursday. Finally this morning I was able to hit the streets for a dreamy dawn ride before it was prematurely cut short thanks to none other than rain. Nevertheless, it felt absolutely amazing to finally log some kilometers, get the heart pumping, and let the legs do some work for a change.
Prior to calling it a night I was resigned to the fact that I would likely not be able to ride for a fifth consecutive morning. When I finally awoke at 4am I was pleasantly surprised to see no rain even though the street was wet from remnants of recent rain. This was all I needed to see, and I was immediately energized to get out as quick as possible.
When I walked out the front door right around 4:45am the balmy temperature was perfect for riding. It was not hot at all, slightly cool actually, and there was no wind. The humidity was non-existent to the extent it felt like more like an autumn morning than summer. Who am I to complain about the outstanding temperature, even if the overall weather is kind of blah?
I hopped on Red Chameleon and immediately started riding towards the Tamagawa. Today I opted to avoid the back streets, specifically choosing a more highly trafficked road simply because of the lower risk of riding through large puddles. While I wanted to enjoy the ride this morning, I was not interested in getting soaking wet and dirty with mud.
It felt incredible to finally have that cool breeze rushing by my face yet again. I started out at an easy 27kph pace since I needed to warm up. Even at this slower speed, having the wind cool me down was pleasurable, and the returning freedom cycling provides was the perfect start to the day.
While the overall ride was a ton of fun, I did have one close call with an utter idiot runner. Generally speaking, I am really good at anticipating how people are navigating the Tamagawa River Road, whether on foot or bicycle. I really pay close attention because I do not want any incidents.
As I was riding towards my first checkpoint, I almost crashed into this asshat runner. This kid was jogging towards me, moving upward on an incline where he would ostensibly turn to his left and keep going in the direction I had just come from. I am riding towards the decline on the left side of the path, he is running on the right, and I was just about to make a slight right to head down towards the water.
Rather than keep running as expected, this jackass did a sudden u-turn in front of me, without nary a warning. I slammed on my breaks, and wielded Red Chameleon away from the runner. He gave me this look of what the fuck is wrong with you?
I chewed his ass out in Japanese, screaming obscenities at him and a few to myself, and then told him to pay attention otherwise he is going to cause accidents. This kind of tomfoolery does not belong on an untrafficked part of the road, especially at 5am when there are even less people around.
Other than dealing with this jackassery, the ride was quite pleasant.
As I hit the 15k mark it started to rain. I was faced with a decision: do I keep riding in the rain or return back? Instead of risking it, I opted to cross the river at the next bridge and ride downstream towards home.
When I finished riding, the stats were actually nowhere near as bad as I expected. I was regularly hitting 30kph+ on the ride home, ending with a 27kph average, 87rpm cadence, and 150 watts. Not bad considering this was the first ride in five days. I was not even pushing myself, instead just out there having fun.
Today was really about appreciating cycling. That freedom to go anywhere, do anything, and just ride while forgetting about everything happening in the virtual world of the internets. Unplugging from work and riding was refreshing and just what I needed to start this exceedingly busy and long day of tough meetings.
Cycling is all about enjoyment. If you are not having fun then you are doing something wrong. One of the byproducts of riding is being both physically and mentally healthier. Combined with a simple yet effective diet and you can be on your way to an all around better lifestyle.
What are you waiting for? Get to it!