Bike and Ocean

The ride can’t always be great


I realize that nearly all my touring reports start and end with something along the lines of “that was an amazing ride!” And I pretty much always feel that way when I get back from touring, because even when we have nasty weather or mechanical trouble, the positive stuff and great times always outweigh any negatives.

But it can’t always be that good.

Today, for instance. I woke up bright and early ready to conquer the roads and go visit the mighty Pacific, but cloudy weather and other stuff delayed my departure. Then once I got out of the tunnel on the Aqualine across Tokyo Bay, the wind was gusting so strong I had to slow down to a crawl and was still getting blown around to the point where I couldn’t ride in a straight line. On top of that, the air was filled with cedar pollen, particulate pollution, and yellow sand from China, and the haze kept visibility to a minimum. Even when I did finally make it to the ocean, blowing salt and sand and haze made for a much closer and less impressive horizon than I had been hoping for.

I think I got ten or fifteen minutes in the twisties where the mountains blocked the wind enough that I could enjoy the winding roads, but I spent pretty much the entire ride battling wind and grit.

But the thing is: I somehow enjoyed myself anyway, and I still can’t wait to get back out on the road the next chance I get. Because these unpleasant ones really are the exception, not the rule. We just have to keep riding.

4 thoughts on “The ride can’t always be great”

  1. Yeah, I was pretty surprised to read that. The dust was the same kind of yellow I’ve come to expect from the Gobi stuff, but I guess this was all local nastiness.

  2. As an example, we took the ferry over to Chiba last week, got about 30Km out to Tateyama, when someone behind us stopped at lights decided to accelerate, roughly shunting me forwards 3m and removing most of the rear fairing. 2 hours, a hospital check and talking to the Police later, I managed to limp the bike home, and ultimately to the Honda dealer.

    Odd, I still enjoyed the day out.

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