Understandably, when I was planning this trip, there were so many things that I was nervous about. Particularly, how I would handle disasters, big or small. Bad things happening are a guarantee on a bike tour, but you never know what those things are going to be, or when they will come up. The really tricky part, as far as life skills are concerned, isn't how you fix the problem, it's how you react when you realize there is a problem. Early on, I would be a bit cranky or frustrated at most things that came up. Flat tires, unexpected hill climbs (the worst!) and any number of small things that came up would just make me cranky for an hour or two. Quite early on, though, I had my big realization, and here it is (ready?).
Life is a lot like a bike.
How does that taste? Cheesy? Good, let's continue, then. Even though there are many things that can break, rust, wear down and fall apart on a bicycle, it actually takes very little to just keep the damn thing moving and keep on touring. Flat tire? Pump that shit up and check it with your thumb every hour! Road disappeared? Hoof it until it comes back! No use in spending a single minute being cranky about it, just laugh and move on! I have actually composed a flow chart illustrating the complex decision making process that begins each day after waking up. Please, if you hope to accomplish a bike tour successfully, follow this religiously.
|For a small fee, I can provide an annotated version to further clarify the chart|
|I guess this is the "where did the road go?" pose...|
|Some times you go with the bike, not on top of it.|
Three examples. First, a friend of Kawasaki san wanted to meet me, so we met up, had some awesome food and chatted about as much as we could, with whatever Japanese I could muster. The friend, Abe san, rode a train for an hour just to buy me some dinner!
|Abe san on the right, and our waiter on the left.|
|Me and my homie Chris|
|A big, happy family|
|What a strange and wonderful place this must be|
|Only one preposition away from making me giggle to death|
|No big deal it's just Ronald McDon...oh my god is that a butcher's knife?|