Ride when you can

BW bikes at Yabitsu Pass

As I get older, my life keeps getting better in all sorts of ways, but I often miss the spontaneous rides I used to be able to take whenever the mood hit me. With a happy family life, busy social life, and a more successful career, riding has to be planned in advance like anything else.

So it was a really refreshing change of pace to wake up Saturday to a tweet from Go, one of the biker buddies I used to ride off with whenever the wind called to us, saying he had a rare free day and wanted to ride. (Go is one of the busiest people I know, lucky to get a day or two off in a month, and so busy that his twitter feed is all I ever see of him nowadays.) I had things to take care of in the morning, and plans for the evening, but my schedule for the whole afternoon was miraculously open!

I jumped on the bike and headed toward the nearest mountains with no real plan, just like in the old days, and met up with Go at the foot of Yabitsu Pass.

It was cold, with the susuki grass under the clear blue skies showing the transition from autumn to winter, but the air was fresh and the mountain roads were just what my spirit needed.

Sometimes the best rides are the ones you don’t plan, where you can just enjoy the roads and the sky and good conversation with old friends.
(But next time I’d like to do it when it’s a little warmer.)

6 thoughts on “Ride when you can”

  1. Hello,
    really beautiful images, which brings back the glorious mid 80’s, when I too used to travel the Japanese countryside by mc (a 1985 CBX750F), from the home base in Kyoto. Alone or with friends I covered a lot of ground between Tanegashima and Wakkanai between -85 and -87, + a few smaller trips on later holidays on my brother in law’s naked 400cc (the Goto isles etc).
    I currently live in Norway, with wife (Japanese) and 2 kids (14 and 17), and had many bikes since Kyoto, the last 3-4 years I’ve been driving a KTM 990 adventure (the best one so far).
    But, and this is the main reason for leaving a comment at your blog, which is quite fun to read;
    my eldest son is at the moment on a high school exchange program in Nagoya, so me, my wife and our youngest daughter will be visiting him in march.
    And as I’ve managed to negotiate myself into a few days on my own during our stay, I’ll try to rent a bike and get out into the wild (I’ve been thinking of going to the Toyama and Takayama area, since I’m a bit of a rotemburo freak).
    Through reading your blog, I understand you’ve travelled a lot around on bikes, and also know a lot of bike people, so I’m wondering whether you know of any bikerental companies in Nagoya or around there? There wasn’t any bikerentals at all when I lived in Japan, and just google around on the web is a little vague.
    best regards
    Ogmund Sørli, Trondheim, Norway

  2. Thanks for dropping by, Ogmund.

    I visited Norway once as a child, and it’s high on my list of countries I want to visit again to ride.

    My buddy Chris has some good info on rentals at his site about riding in Japan.
    I’ve heard good things about Japan Bike Rentals, although that one is Kanto only. Rental 819 has a shop in Hamamatsu, which is a little closer to Nagoya.

    If you do make it up around Takayama, I definitely recommend the Shinzansō rotemburo at Shin-Hotaka onsen.

    Good luck!

  3. hello.. i’ve been following your blog for 3 years now and i really impressed by your biker’s soul, friends and family. after reading this, i just realize that i somewhat cast aside my passion for bike because of busy life schedule.. i need to be on the road again and thanks to you and your blog..

    i own xv1100.. HD is just to damn expensive here.. i’ll get my hand on one of those someday..

    respect from malaysia

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