Mt. Shirane in Japan: One of the Greatest Days of my #BikeLife
January 16, 2020
On October 6, 2016 I was in the midst of my week long bike tour in Japan organized by my friend, Jim. Like all my memorable days on the bike, I remember is clearly as if it only happened yesterday. On this day, I experienced the most epic day of my #BIKELIFE, and it still is to this date. What made it so “epic”?
I’ve never experienced a day on two-wheelz where I experienced so many different EMOTIONS, weather, and scenery. It was a mind-fuck of sensory over-load.
I experienced contrasting emotions from extreme fear to intense happiness.
We all had the routes loaded into our Garmin so we could split up into separate groups. Group A was Jody the Speedy One. Group B was Katy, whom couldn’t keep up with Jody but tad faster than everyone else. Group C was everyone else. FYI, everyone else were older & recreational cyclists.
I will forever be stuck in group B because competitive cycling does not interest me and I am definitely not a weekend warrior.
Just a few meters ahead, I came to a pass and was completely wrapped in the clouds, the wind were blowing at over 100kph, and I was in danger of being blown off my bike. Luckily this was low season and only two cars passed me because I got blown to the other side of the road a few times and had to get off and walk for a few meters. I’VE NEVER BEEN SO SCARED IN MY LIFE but surprisingly, I managed to stay calm and talk myself through it… ONLY BECAUSE I HAD NO CHOICE.
I got to a building somewhere at the top of the mountain, devoid of any souls except for a couple of straggling tourists in warm, bubbly jackets. I stopped to assess my situation and debated if I should wait for the the group behind me. There was a long, freezing, and windy descent ahead of me and I was really scared and didn’t want to go alone just in case something happened.
The cold eventually took over me and I decided that if I waited any longer, the descent was going to suck x1000000000. I ruffled in my saddle bag and put on everything I had, repeated one of my favourite mantras: “NOW OR NEVER”, clipped in, and started my descent (albeit, very slowly).
When I use to do really intense Crossfit workouts at the gym before I got into cycling, “NOW OR NEVER” was one of my mantras because my philosophy was always, “don’t think, don’t hesitate, just do!!” Same same.
The rest of the descent was phenomenal with wide swooping turns and a gradual glide though the forest… I remember thinking to myself, “wow this is one of the best descents I’ve never done!!”
This was one of my favourite hotels, not only because of the hospitality of our wonderful hosts, but because this means extra climbing every day. Yhayyy! I don’t know if everyone was as happy about it as I was though. I just love a good workout and hills making cycling fun.