Tokyo is the largest metropolitan area in the world, with nearly 40 million people crammed into the size of Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe, I’d guess. Not the best place for a bike ride, you think? Damn straight, at least if you dare to brave the roads, but there are pockets of green spaces here and there, and if you look hard enough you can usually find something long enough to get some exercise on.
In 2003 I did a 3-day ride with good friend John. Me on my old Maruishi Emperor, and John on his ‘mama chari’ shopping bike! I once met a guy cycling round the world on something similar, so it’s not that crazy…but still, it makes me chuckle when I see this picture.
This trip was around Boso Hanto, a peninsula right across the bay from Tokyo, but a world away in terms of cycling joy. It is tiny, just hilly enough to make John sweat on his one-speed steed, and away from the coast, car free. It’s also a bit of a forgotten land round these parts. Check out this vending machine. I’m sure this is the only one I’ve ever seen that was broken in Japan, let alone antique.
Here are our two steeds standing near where we had lunch, possibly. The sign screams ‘Curry Udon!’ and ‘Delicious Soba!’ I’m sure it was…