Friday, August 23, 2013

Day 543-Bike First Aid and Test Ride

It is like crazy humid! And it rained today. Now I know what it feels like to bike in serious's a bit more difficult. The air is thicker and so breathing is a bit more labored.

Yesterday I took my bike to get the handlebars, pedals and a few other things reattached after the flight from America. There was nice grandpa at a bike shop that got the bike basically up and running, however, after leaving his shop I noticed that the gears were slipping...especially going up hills. He wasn't really a road bike-type bike shop, but I was glad to get the first step in getting my ride put together.

So, today I took the bike back to a different bike shop to get the gears working. Needless to say, it needed some major tweaking all around. Many of the lines to brakes and gears were loose and needed adjusting. Also, after the adjustment, I took the bike out for a spin and the handlebars actually twisted sideways. Yikes! Let me point out though that the handlebars weren't put on by this bike was the bike shop from yesterday. Anyway, the owner quickly adjusted them too. Whew! I was literally riding on a ticking time bomb. I'm glad he tweaked the entire bike! Now it rides like a charm!

The guy that fixed my bike, Oshigamo Kazunori, and the owner of the Oshigamo Bike Shop, was a true professional. He was down on his knees looking at every piece of my bike. He changed out a gear line, adjusted the brake tension, adjusted the derailleur, lubed up this and that, and even took my bike pouch that has the tools in it and readjusted the position of it. He was on his game! I felt so relieved that he was the one working on my bike.

I bought a few CO2 cartridges and a bike bag. In Japan, if you're taking your bike on the train, you need to cover it up. So I have a bike bag ready to go for when I head over to Travis' house.

My father in law took me out for a "training ride."  He needed to wash his car and so I followed him out to a car wash on my bike. While he was washing his car, I took a spin around the block a few times. It gave me a little practice in riding on the left side of the road. The roads here are very narrow and there is not much of a bike lane in town around here. I imagine that that is par for the course for most of the roads in the country.

I finally made a quick call to Travis and yes, he is Australian! Love his accent. It was good to finally talk to the guy I've been emailing over the past year. We'll talk tomorrow again. Also, My cameraman Robert is really busy and I may not be able to meet with him before the ride. We'll do a prep phone call to talk through a few of the details. I trust that he's going to show up to this gig!

Anyway, We're having good times here and it's nice to be in this country that I love so much. At this very moment I hear the train coming down the track and stopping at Goko Station that's about 50 yards away. My in-law's house is in kind of a quaint little location.

Tomorrow is prep day as we get ready to move the entourage to Kawaguchiko, one of the cities at the base of Mount Fuji where we'll be stationed. My wife and daughter will head there with my in-laws on Sunday, and I will meet up with Travis for the big ride.

It's a little surreal being here in Japan, riding my own bike on the roads. I have ridden my bike all over Salt Lake City back home, but now it's weird to actually be here with my bike, ride the streets of Japan!

Weird, but cool!

Talk to you tomorrow,

The owner of the bike store getting my bike in working order!
The guy that worked his magic for me!
A little welcome sign waiting for us at my in-laws home.

My mother-in-law is trying really hard to feed me healthy while I prepare for the bike ride.

This was lunch today with my father-in-law. Japanese Noodles with some sort of yummy fish.

My father-in-law showing me how to eat noodles.

I got real hungry later on in the afternoon and found some Taco Yaki to eat. No that's not mexican "Taco", Taco in Japanese is Octopus. I'm not a big fan of octopus, but when wrapped in these little bread balls with a special sauce, mayo, and fish flakes, they're quite yummy!


  1. Good stuff, Don!
    By the way, it was good to talk to you for the first time today! See you on Sunday.
    Give me a call, regarding where to meet!

  2. Love the photos! Keep them coming, if you have a connection. Safe travels.


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