Recently I came to realize that I was kidding myself if I thought I could get out for more than 2 hours straight for cycling on the weekends. Given my desire to spend as much of my weekend with my daughters I usually set the alarm for 6am, put in 2 hours on the bike and return just as they're are starting to wake.
Unfortunately, two hours just isn't enough time to make it to the mountains for either an off or on road ride. Cycling to Tamagawa or Arakawa is an option, but upon reaching their banks it is almost time to consider turning back. In my two hours I can head West on Inokashira-doori or Route 20 and cover a reasonable distance, but its a straight line out, and a straight line back on flat, unending asphalt, with traffic.
Then there are other times over the weekends when the girls are busy and I find myself with a spare hour or so on my hands. There is not a lot of cycling you can do in an hour. Or is there?
My roadie side dreams of riding distance at speed, while the mountain biker within longs for shredding the hiking trails of Western Tokyo, but my schedule just doesn't have enough time for that and family. Clearly in order to use my fleeting moments of spare time to the fullest I need a new hobby.
Not impressed by any other hobbies I dropped into The Trail Store and bought myself another bike. The 2009 Giant STP1.
By now you're thinking I'm crazy. He doesn't have enough time to enjoy his two existing bikes and now he's gone and bought a third? How is that going to fix the situation? Did he hit his head? Well, hear me out.
My problem is time. Time just doesn't come in large enough chunks to enjoy all that my two existing bikes can offer. A decent road ride in a decent location takes hours, as does a decent trail ride. Yet give me an hour, the Giant STP1 and Wadabori Park across the street I'll do gaps, drops, wheelies, manuals and jumps until every muscle in my, no longer 17 year old, body aches for days. (Sunday morning to Wednesday evening to be exact.)
When I'm done I'm content in the knowledge that I've spent a fun hour on the bike. Not half an hour out and back from home in traffic you wouldn't even bother pulling on a jersey for, but a solid hour of adrenaline pumping madness like I've not had since I was a teenager.
June 22, 2009
No time for cycling? Maybe you need to change bikes?
Father of two, husband of one, lover of family, bicycles and running.
Urban Cycling Consultant, Tokyo By Bike.
Byron Kidd is the founder of the Tokyo By Bike website, writer, experienced urban cyclist, and expert on cycling in the staggering metropolis of Tokyo.
Working with NPO's and cycling activists to improve cycling infrastructure in Japan, Byron also operates internationally via a vast network of renowned urban mobility experts to promote Japanese cycling culture, and demonstrate how everyday cycling can work in megacities around the world. No city is too big for the bicycle.
Day Job, Software Developer.
Writing code and stuff, for games and things.