Margaret had me penciled in for a motorcycle ride out near Chiba. I planned a little ride down south of Chiba, near Mt. Tateyama on the Boso peninsula. She sent me a text saying she was sick the night before, but when it came to my phone it was white background with white text. I dunno whats up with that. Kei-tai be trippin'.
So I showed up at her doorstep anyways. We grabbed some coffee, and on the way back ran into some sort of oxygen place. Oxygen bars were popular in Tokyo in the 90s. You would get hooked up to pure O2, have some drinks, and get bent off the oxygen or something I guess. I dunno, I never went to one. There was one in San Francisco, and when I finally made my way to it, it was shut down.
This place was some sort of chiropractor's office. In one corner he also had a massage chair with some weird colored bottles next to it.
You get hooked up, pick your aromatherapy scent, and just chill. The guy did some sort of measurement on my finger, and it showed 98. 98 what, I don't know. After 20 minutes of breathing oxygen that smelled like flowers, I was at 99. So I totally went up 1 unit of awesomeness. I guess I felt relaxed. I look like I'm in a hospital or something.
I took the bike solo on my trip. It was kinda far. But then I got to this.
It's an observation platform to see all of Tokyo Bay. It was some art type stuff, very cool. Japan always impresses with the weird massive... things.
Good view from up top.
From here, headed south and the decent riding began. Just decent, nothing too special. Turned inland at one point and rode in the hills. Rode out along the coast. Rode here and there. Hi and low. Fast and slow. Enjoy the show.
And I saw this in the remote mountains. A little old lady with her sickle. Just slowly walking home, after working the fields all day. When I rode by, she could have totally just did some crazy ninja move and decapitated me on my bike. I think I've been watching too many Takahashi Miike movies lately...
Lemme vent a little...
Expressways in Japan fucking suck! There is no rhyme or reason to these things. My town to the end of the line is 700 yen for about 15 minutes of riding. Then to Chiba it's 400 yen for about 45 minutes of riding. Hunh? Then some roads charge you when you get on, and some you get a ticket and pay a random amount when you get off. Lot's are incomplete, and you have to get off in the middle of nowhere, travel a bit on normal roads, then get back on... and of course pay. Within Tokyo, it's 700 yen just to get on. Every time you use it, 700 yen. That's like $6. I was talking with some seasoned riders out here, and I guess the plan was to charge, then when the roads were finished, the price would drop and eventually disappear. But wait! We can just transfer the roads from government to private sector. Let's do that! So now all the roads are private run. Hooray for capitalism! Someone get Mao on the phone, he'll fix this shit. Check out this one... The Aqua Line is a 15km toll road under Tokyo bay. It cuts a 100km trip own big time. But it costs 3700 yen for cars!!!! Well, at least it has an omiyage shop. I'm serious, you can stop before going under the tunnel and buy some gifts to show that you were there. So the idea is to cut time, and decrease the traffic in Tokyo. Traffic in Tokyo didn't change, and how the fuck does stopping at a gift shop speed up your commute? The saddest part is... I want to ride through this thing. I love tunnels!
Express ways are fucking awesome! Yeah they are! Driving on street level in the metropolis is a nightmare. Delivery trucks are everywhere. The air is massively polluted. The traffic lights don't run on timers, so you will most likely get stuck at every red light. Something that takes about 2 hours is cut down to 15 minutes on the expressways. They aren't usually packed, but when they are it's easy to split lanes. And there's an onramp 5 minutes from my apartment. Three cheers for expressways!
Next time: I try and climb Mt. Fuji. I can guarantee it's gonna suck big time. It's gonna be cold and probably overcast. I don't know why I'm going...