Cycling the Length of Japan: Day 2, August 17, 2013

Today was not a great photo op day.  I’ll explain…

A brief break in the rain.  This place is very lush.

A brief break in the rain. This place is very lush.

Why, you might ask, is Hokkaido so lush and green?  Well, that can be answered in part by today’s milestone in my 30-years of cycling.  I’ve lived in two places that are known for rain: Belgium and Seattle.  And in the eight years living in those two places I did plenty of riding in the rain.

However, today I rode 6 hours (and 8 minutes) in an almost continuous downpour (except for a few brief minutes here and there); and to add to the enjoyment, I was riding into a steady headwind the whole day.

Cute deer warnings.

Cute deer warnings.

Normally riding 71 miles is no big deal and I can usually do it in around 4 hours in the saddle.  The extra 2 hours on this day was due to the wind.  And the rain is always worse when you’re heading into it.

That said, it wasn’t all that bad.  Wind is not friendly to light riders, and it can really beat me up at times.  And rain, who actually likes riding in the rain?  But, I knew this was going to happen, so I purchased the best lightweight rain gear I could find.  And boy did it come into use today.

My first tunnel.  There will be more.  At least I can see the other end!

My first tunnel. There will be more. At least I can see the other end!

One thing about rain – when you’re prepared for it – is that you can get into this cocoon (mentally, that is) and while the rain is everywhere, beating on all parts of your body, it doesn’t really make that much difference.  It’s just another environment.  Now, I MUCH prefer the sunny, calm type of environment…but I guess that wasn’t part of the cycling plan today.

Oh, I forgot to mention, the rain stopped when I was about 5 blocks from my hotel.

~ by Robert on August 17, 2013.

3 Responses to “Cycling the Length of Japan: Day 2, August 17, 2013”

  1. If it makes you feel any better…It did not rain at all here in Newport Beach!


  2. In thinking about the challenges of your trip, it never even occurred to me that you’d have to be riding on the wrong side of the road the whole time until just now. The roads look really nice, though.


  3. The hardest part of riding in the rain is setting off. Once you’re out there, as you say, it’s not much different. Bonne route!


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