TRUST IS BOTH valuable and fragile. For example I trusted convenience stores to carry my favorite type of ice cream bar, but some of them seemed to have missed the memo. Now when the team stops for a “bathroom break” (usually just an excuse for me to buy ice cream), I don’t have as much confidence that my “bathroom break” will be as satisfying as I would like. Boo hoo.
It’s also because of a lack of trust that Scott and I decided to stop at a bicycle shop this afternoon about 30km into our journey. Being around lunchtime, we stopped in Fukuyama, a bustling, if not somewhat rusty town. Was my cycle broken or even riding funny? Oddly, no. It had been a full 80km since Hiroshima where it was last fixed for the third time. We stopped because we didn’t trust it and wanted to make sure I was riding on a safe wheel. The gentlemen at the shop said he would have it inspected by the time we got back from lunch. Perfect.
Nearby was a cozy looking cafe named Nanairo (click for restaurant blog). In Japanese this means “seven colors” and is a clever play on the overused Japanese proverb that goes “ten colors, ten people,” which is similar to how we call ourselves unique snowflakes in English. Nanairo’s interior was decorated with various retro items like vinyl record cases and vintage photos. For around $10, we each ordered the delicious hamburger steak plate which came with a small salad, miso soup, a drink, and a bowl of white rice. After the meal we conversed briefly with the owner/cook and was able to tell him about our trip. There’s a chance he’s even viewing this journal entry.
Once back at the bike shop the man working on the wheel assured me that it would get me to Hokkaido without a problem. He also said that he changed one of my spokes since it was bending and about to break. It’s nice to get a second confirmation that the wheel is ok, but also doesn’t completely rebuild my trust because of the consistent spoke issues.
Departing Fukuyama, we made good time towards our destination of Okayama City where we will rejoin Dylan tomorrow. After a total of 78km on the day, we landed in the suburbs about 20km shy of Okayama station. Currently, I write from the bicycle parking area of a local grocery store that has outdoor outlets (woohoo for a full charge!) Last night we found a beautiful spot on a hillside near a shrine overlooking Mihara. Hopefully the flat, grassy tenting spot under a bridge in a nearby public park we scouted will be just as quality.
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