There are always telltale signs that Winter is approaching in Japan, the obvious include: Oden starting to be sold at the local convenience stores, the sun disappearing earlier than usual and the constant chatter of “Obasans” saying “samui”. I however also have my own gauge for measuring Winter’s approach – the bike ride home.
I have noticed in the last week or two that I’m getting home in record time – in around Seven to Ten minutes flat (SAFELY), it usually takes fifteen. There is only one reason for this, It’s getting colder. Recently as I walk out into the night and put my flags away I am very aware of the slight chill that hits me. I jump on the bike and subconsciously pedal a lot faster than usual as I try to warm up.
For most of the year I usually take it easy and pedal leisurely down the back streets weaving my way home usually saying hello or good evening to the locals in the neighbourhood as I go. As the temperature drops however and I start to speed up it seems that I don’t see the regulars out strolling etc. I probably miss them by a good few minutes. This pattern will probably continue until the cold air lifts in a few months time.
I can’t complain about my mode of transport, I always consider myself very fortunate that I’m lucky enough to not only have a great job teaching and managing an SSE franchise but also for the fact that I don’t have to catch the train to and from work, I just wish it was a little warmer. Coming from Australia this is cold for me however I know that for a lot of you this isn’t cold at all, especially if you come from North America.
For those who also commute by bike remember to always travel safe and know that a quick hot drink from the vending machine or 711 also never hurts when trying to warm up before starting the return journey home.