My name is Elin - A pro cycling lover's reflections

Elin experience stunning cycling in Japan

Category: Life

Besides working in a bike store this year, I have also had the opportunity to travel to Hong Kong, Macau and Japan. Those are three countries / autonomous territories that I have never visited before, and where I honestly did not think I would ever go. However, I was the happiest girl alive when I got the trip as a birthday present. And it did not get worse by the fact that I had the best company, and that he had visited Japan several times before and could therefore guide me around. I truly do not believe that the trip would have been so easy without Oskar.

We spent our third day in Japan in the saddle. We borrowed two women's bicycles by our friend Jay's sister-in-law. Coming from Sweden, the main problem was dealing with the left-hand traffic, but I have to admit that it also took a lot of mental energy to sit upright on a bike. I'm accustomed to a sportier seating position.

It took around an hour before I could relax a bit more and in the end, I must say that it was fun to ride around the suburbs of Tokyo and see new things. Dealing with left-hand side traffic was good to learn, especially as we would later head out on a longer trip.

As Oskar had already been in Japan several times, we decided that it would be fun to do something completely new. We both enjoy riding our bikes, and when we say a bike route called Shimanami Kaido. It begins on Honshu in Onomichi City, then leads across the six islands of Mukaishima, Innoshima, Ikuchijima, Omishima, Hakatajima and Oshima, before ending in Imabari City. Compared to many other bicycle routes around the world, this one was well marked and maintained. For example all the ramps leading up to bridges were built at small inclines so that intermediate cyclists can climb them.

We started in Onomichi; a small city located an hour's train ride from Hiroshima, on our borrowed Giant road bikes.

The staff in the bike shop was really nice and service-minded. The girl, who appeared to be the only one speaking some English, helped us with everything we needed, even when I had to change bikes because it was too big. It was very nice of them to help, because they really did not have an aluminium road bike my size, so they gave me a carbon bike. It was still too big, but much better. It's hard being a tall girl with short spine.

The sun was shining, and it was a lovely day to be out on our bikes. In total, we rode 90km that day, including a considerably difficult uphill, and the absolute worst downhill I've ever experienced. It was steep, frequent turns, but worst; the road was practically a dirt road, as it was poorly maintained with potholes everywhere and lots of gravel. Yuk! (However, that road was not part of the normal bike route, so only for daredevils!)
I'm too used to the nice Swedish roads. I need to travel more, don't you think?

During the day, we also had time to eat ice cream and dip our feet in the ocean. It was a great day.