GTFO:006 Riding in Nagoya w/ Shige

GTFO:006 Riding in Nagoya w/ Shige

Words by Shige

Photos by Shige & Aya

Hello everyone in Los Angeles. How are y’all doing? I’m doing pretty much fine here. Our rainy season seemed to last longer than last year and it never stopped at any point so we couldn’t go out riding like we usually do. Personally, I think it is very interesting to ride Japanese trails which have dreamlike atmosphere in the rain, but we also love to ride under the clear blue sky for sure. Finally the sky is blue and clear. Now we face a real summer in Nagoya City while listening to Cicadas chirping, a symbol of Japanese summer.

Anyhow, we rode out right after the rainy season was over. Of course we chose our favorite route, the one we always ride. Whatever it is, we must drink a cup of coffee before riding. We stopped by EarlyBirds Breakfast which is located in the same building of a bike shop called Circles.

EarlyBirds is a cafe that serves American breakfast. To tell you the truth, we have a culture called “MORNING” at almost all coffee shops in Nagoya City. Whenever you order a cup of coffee, it comes with a thick slice of toast and a fried egg. However, we don’t come across a cafe serving American breakfast here in this city very often. So I recommend you stop by here when you miss your homeland. (I also want you to try traditional Japanese breakfast; rice and miso soup as well!)

Once we filled up our stomachs, then finally we rode out. My ride route started from the center of the city towards the suburbs. Nagoya City has the world famous TOYOTA headquarters and you can see tons of cars everywhere around, but we avoided some main roads and got on a slow line.

It usually takes 1 hour to reach to a suburb, and during this time it is important for me to think, and make a change of the mind while I ride. I’m attracted by a life in which you can get onto a trailhead right after you leave your house, but this lifestyle fits me well right now. Of course, I need my bicycle to ride around the city, too.

We kept riding and the number of cars and traffic lights gradually decreased. Then, the road became ours. I have been riding my bike around this area for a long time and once I got to know more about different routes, I needed fatter tires and then I changed my bike from a road bike to cyclocross, and to monster cross, then here I am.

I usually ride on a route that connects some old mountain paths. I guess, a lot of people who read this article now imagine a huge dynamic gravel ride in the United States, but to tell you the truth, we don’t have that kind of path here in Japan. Dirt roads go on disconnectedly, like getting on an On-road, and Off-road, vice-versa. Consequently, we need to link each route together.

Narrow and steep roads, riding through on green mossy paths is kind of a seasonal thing in Japan. We also enjoy a rapid change of scenery and it could be one of the best parts of Japan. You know, sometimes we have to carry our bikes to keep moving.

We didn’t realize that it was lunch time already. Hungry dudes stopped by their regular UDON restaurant. This restaurant only opens for limited hours at lunch time and the taste of UDON, carefully made by hand, soaked into our exhausted bodies.

Once we filled up our stomachs, then we rode out again in the quest for other gravel roads.

It was a very hot day. The first summer day after the rainy season was 95°F. It seems like it’s not a big deal at all compared to Los Angeles, but please consider that we also have high humidity here and it consumes our energy so much. Since we were very full, we needed to ride slowly in the afternoon. (My ride is usually like that)

Since it was damn hot, nobody disagreed to bathe in a river. After having cooled down our flushing bodies, we came back to our city.

The truth is that I wanted to record the ride we did on that day in STRAVA as a log, but unfortunately my Garmin battery died on the way. (I totally forgot to charge the battery), so we don’t have any logs. However, the area I usually ride can create different types of route, and we are able to have tons of fun with various route variations according to time and circumstances, and this is the reason why I love to ride here.

If you come to Nagoya City with your own bike, please say hello to me and Circles! We would love to take you on your best ride! (The fatter your tires become, the more fun you can have, but any bikes are welcomed for sure!)

Next year, in 2020, is the TOKYO Olympics and we have XCO racing in July in Izu. Along with this huge event, we, Circles and Simworks, are also planning something very very interesting, so if you wonder when to go to Japan, then 2020 is the best timing for sure!

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