Alright, then…at the time of posting, I’m actually back from Japan. Yes, I’m so glad to be back in Seattle because .because .the,uh ..hmmmmmm .actually I’m not at all happy to be back. Well, there is pizza, of course I’m happy about having good pizza again. Well, I’m back anyways, so how about we all try to make the best of this, and in exchange I’ll tell you some more bullshit stories about me in Japan.
So last time I posted I was in Takayama, a pretty little town in the middle of the Japanese Alps. We had decided to kill a couple days in Takayama because the inn we were at was hella cheap, my knee was killing me with the nastiest climbs on the next stretch of road, and I wanted to hit on the cute German chick staying at the inn. But time was running out on us and so was Fraulein Nele, so we left town late morning after three nights at the Zenkoji Temple/Inn, to complete our quest to cross the mountains of central Japan.
Now at this point, my knee is a big question mark. I had tooled about town the night before to see if the pain had gone away, but within a few minutes I could feel the pain gremlin nibbling at my tendon. That had been on flat ground with an unladen bicycle. But the road to Matsumoto would be around 75 miles with an immediate 870M pass that would drop us and our 56lb bikes into a heartbreaker 1800M climb. And there’s no bail-out option in the middle; no inns to rest at if man or machine faltered. I try to imagine how much damage to my knee I can endure. Matsumoto would be the end of the gnarly climbs, and the roads after would be heavy truck routes as in not fun. So, revised mission goal: instead of riding all the way back to Tokyo, we will finish the Alps and take a bullet train back from Matsumoto to Tokyo. No matter how bad my knee is, I can endure it for one day, right? Right?
OK, then, it’s settled: it’s Matsumoto, or death!…