I got a chance to further initiate my daughter into the wonderful world of motorcycling this three-day weekend. My wife had taken the kids to her parents’ house in Nagano, and I headed up by bike to join them, under the pretense of being a good son-in-law. My real purpose, of course, was to take advantage of the proximity to the Japanese Alps and give Lin a taste of real riding.
I got pounded by a squall of driving rain and gale-force winds on the ride up the day before, but on the day of the ride we had perfect weather with clear views of the snow-capped mountains surrounding us. We headed up the twisty roads to the Venus Line and looked back down on Lake Suwa and my wife’s hometown of Okaya below. (Google map of this trip)
The rain that drenched me the day before apparently had turned to snow at this altitude, so Lin did her best to make a small snowball at the Mitsumine overlook. In the background, heading off into the distance, you can see the winding roads of the Venus Line we took to get there.
Lin was thrilled by the view, saying that the mountains looked just like the ones in Heidi, and at the Kirigamine highlands, someone had decided to enhance that impression by bringing in small goats for tourists to take pictures with. No actual yodeling was involved.
Lin had lots of fun leaning into the curves and waving at the other bikers we passed. And the Fujimidai rest area, true to its name, even provided a great view of Mt. Fuji, even though we were geographically farther from the mountain than back home in Kawasaki. Being on top of a mountain range increases one’s field of view considerably.
All this and we were still able to get back to the grandparents’ house by lunchtime! Lin handled the trip well, smiling and excited the whole time, although she was clearly starting to drift off once we got back down the mountain into city traffic.
Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen. The indoctrination is moving along smoothly, and it looks like my little biker girl’s going to need a new helmet for her fifth birthday.