THERE ARE A FEW ITEMS that we absolutely cannot bicycle Japan without. Getting right down to it, the spare clothes, the cooking set, and even the tents are classifiable as luxury items. It is possible to cycle without them. A few things we must have are our bicycles (in working order), water, food, and visas to be in the country. However, there is one item we each carry that is debatable: our wallets. Inside we keep cash, our domestic IDs, credit cards, and family photos. For Dylan specifically, he may be about to find out exactly how crucial his wallet is to his Japan by Bicycle experience.
Backtrack 20 hours and 75 km
As you may recall, we stayed at Yae’s in Nagoya last night. Dylan left before Scott and me in hopes of arriving at his friend’s place 195 km away in Shizuoka (our next destination city) before tomorrow afternoon. With some procrastinating and packing to do before leaving, Scott and I departed Yae’s around 2 pm. Based on the principle of inertia, we should have seen this coming. We only made it about 45 km east of Nagoya Station before stopping for dinner at a supermarket and scouting out campsites.
As per the usual routine, I also kept an eye out for locations with power outlets in order to post the day’s blog. A 24-hr McDonald’s was perfect, and the dull day seemed almost at an end. As we pulled up to the bike parking lot, however, I received a call from Dylan who was now a full 40 km ahead of us. “Have you passed the 7-11 in Okazaki yet?” This question seemed odd, and I knew something was up. As it turns out, Dylan had met up with some Japanese cycling tourists headed in the same direction. Somewhere between using his pocket electronic dictionary and making an ice cream purchase, he had misplaced his wallet. The convenience store in question was still out of range for Scott and I to check. The last we heard from him before writing this journal entry, Dylan was heading back to the 7-11 in hopes of recovering the valuable lost item. Stay tuned tomorrow to hear how this mini-story concludes. Praying folks, feel free to jump on this.
Not one to be outdone for attention, while securing our campsite, Scott was in a minor traffic accident. Apparently, he was turning off the sidewalk onto a side-street as a minivan was slowly turning the opposite way… into Scott, the side of the van colliding with the side of the cycle. Somehow, Scott managed to keep his wheels under him before quickly dismounting and discussing the situation with the middle-aged, non-English speaking Japanese man who was driving. From what Scott described, the conversation was brief, friendly, involved many gestures, and concluded with both in agreement that no damage was done. Both the bicycle and the minivan were unscathed. When recounting the tale, Scott was still recovering from the incident but laughed as he digested a comforting McFlurry. We’re glad it wasn’t anything more serious. To reassure those of you who may now be worrying, we always ride cautiously and wear our helmets.
Ok, that’s all for today. For such a short ride, I’m pretty tired. Tomorrow should be a nice pedal. For me, saddle time is filled by books on mp3. I’m excited to hear the exciting conclusion of “In Search of the Castaways” by Jules Verne. Goodnight!