Monthly Archives: December 2011

The Manifesto

I’m not a convert to the social media movement: ┬árarely do I check my Facebook account unless my email alerts me to something written on my “wall” (how do I turn that thing off?!). I believe I’ve never knowingly “friended” anyone, and the absence of a “dislike” or “stop that inanity” button has meant that I’ve rarely left my electronic signature on posts and status updates. And, it was only until last week that I thought that “LOL” stood for “Lots of Love”, the real meaning of which was only made clear to me after I had texted that very acronym in response to news of the passing of a friend’s pet dog.

And now I’ve started a blog. Oh blimey, LOL.

I feel a little dirty, to be honest, and a little hypocritical. But it doesn’t mean that I’m going to start talking about my feelings or share my deepest thoughts. No, I don’t do warm & fuzzy, and I don’t plan on becoming emotional or hysterical. Unless, that is… you get me talking about my bike.

Why is it I will happily pedal a heavy duty steel touring bike, loaded with camping gear, cooking gear and tons of other crap, up and down steep narrow mountain roads, day after day after day ? Why do I put up with the ridiculous heat and humidity of a Japanese summer, and the sub-zero icy roads of it’s winter ? And why do I climb into a set of tight fitting lycra – without embarrassment – and take my road bike on a 100+ mile ride out of Tokyo almost every weekend ?

I’ve tried to answer these questions here.

But to really get to the root of this lunacy I need to keep a record, start a commentary. Sure, I have a few photographs here, some Garmin GPS data there, and the odd handwritten diary, gathering dust, but they are not enough to provide answers – I need to bring it together, past and present, make some sense of it all. So I think I will give this “blog” a go. A┬átrickle of notes, tips and anecdotes from travels by bicycle in Japan (and sometimes elsewhere), past and present. Hopefully of some interest to the like-minded cyclist, but probably more a self-indulgent, misty-eyed opportunity for me to relive some former glories.

You could almost call it my case history. But whatever the final diagnosis, I am pretty certain of one thing: there ain’t no cure.

The drink of cyclists... and small frogs