Monday, September 5, 2011

All but my spirits have been dampened, Typhoon Talas

I'll give it to ya straight, ladies and gents, there has been a lotta rain and bad weather. That doesn't really effect my spirits, but it has drastically limited the amount of pictures I am able to take, so I am just apologizing if this post is a little light in the visual stimulation area.

In other news, I have just been killing it on the road, for some reason. A good friend once told me that it is during our rest days that we become stronger. Perhaps this is true, because I have been riding like a madman, bagging three 80+ mile days in a row (82, 90 and 94 to be exact). I have been quite worried about some burgeoning pains in my knees, but apparently riding these long days hasn't troubled them too much, so I'll assume everything is just fine down there.

I must say that, since there is a fundraising aspect to this whole journey (even though I know I scarcely speak of it), I was surprised to actual witness the character of the devastation that was caused by the earthquake and tsunami. Essentially, I passed through all of the affected areas in a mere two days of riding and, frankly, didn't see too much damage. This is, of course, because my route kept me on the inland side and most structural damage along my path had already been repaired. Though this initially gave me the "Everything is Ok, no fundraising needed" impression, I quickly learned that along the coastline of Japan, there is still much work to be done, and many lives to be rebuilt.
As long as there are cars on top of 3 story buildings 300 feet from the shoreline, there is work to be done
Almost everyone I talked to knew many people who lost everything in the tsunami, and certainly everyone was effected by it. Unfortunately I was not able to spend as much time as I liked in the affected areas, but the best thing I can do is continue riding, blogging and hoping for more donations!

Also, if that isn't enough, Japan has recently been getting rocked by a typhoon recently, going by the name of Talas. Cool name, but not such a cool meteorological formation. I feel bad saying this, but in the midst of the unfortunate experience that a typhoon creates for many people...for a cyclist that is a bit out of it's path, typhoons can create some monster tail winds! To provide some perspective, I usually am going at about 20 km/hr each day. When it's almost totally flat, with no wind, I can bump this up to about 22 km/hr. However, with my good buddy Talas at my back, even with some tough mountains in my way I managed to pull almost 24 km/hr with 7 hrs in the saddle. Mind you, that's 7 hrs in the saddle, not travel time. Such an awesome day, and it was right in the middle of this beast (I am the red circle)

We had some good times, Talas...but that was really lame what you did to southern Japan.

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