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Greenways, Drums and Overpasses

July 16, 2010

There is nothing as nice as a house-full of friends.

Momo has arrived for her stay, and brought the boy along, and with the  resident house guest (RHG), it’s a lovely (if cliche) evening watching Howls Moving Castle with lots of chatting and giggles. Sigh…lovely.

Today  RHG was still feeling quite poorly but we did venture out to the Thai take away truck. Here is the thai truck guy… and then back home to eat in front of the TV. I think this should be the last day I do nothing, although I keep saying that.

In the afternoon I ventured out to the Taiko school to put my deposit down on lessons starting in August. I rode Beaute through Daikanyama, which I always forget is a bit of a brutal hill, and I was thinking about how I still hadn’t fulfilled the challenges for the Bicycle Summer Games, and wondered what parts I still had to do, but that ride certainly wasn’t a picnic or a greenway. I wondered if it might count as using the bike for a commute because it’s far enough that in the past I would have trained it. I was typically bad about writing down the address or directions and was flying by the seat of my pants (or at least the hem of my skirt) in a town with very few straight streets or street names and I was just wondering if I had gone too far and should stop and google it on my phone when I realized I was right in front of it.

From there (Yutenji) I wanted to know how long it would take to cycle to Shimokitazawa, because in the fall when I have uni and taiko, the schedule will be tight and I was wondering if, rather than doubling back on the train, if I could leave my bike at Shimokita and cut down (I basically have to go round to sides of a triangle and there is no way to cut off the point by transit). The people at the taiko school and the police box I dropped into to ask directions both thought I was crazy, and that it would take too long.

It was a really lovely ride actually, with lots of the kind of older shopping streets I really enjoy. I think for the purposes of commuting I would need to find some back streets because the sidewalks (which is legally where you ride) were too packed, but all in all it only took me 27 minutes. At the moment that is the same as going the long way around on train, but I think I can cut that down.

On the way home I found an amazing greenway that stretches halfway across the city but doesn’t show up on any maps. It had both a bike lane and a walking path down the middle with a river and plants and trees. And what was most exciting was how vibrant and busy it was. Some of the greenways here are a bit dismal, and all of them are hard to find, so it was so exciting to come across one that has been well planned for cycling, and well used. So that covered my green way category for the summer games. And I stopped and had an ice-cream, so I am also hoping I can squeak by with that being a little picnic<a because it’s too hot and too rainy right now to really sit in the park and picnic in the middle of rainy season.

The greenway came to a rather stunning and abrupt end where it met with a busy street which had a highway overtop. I was a bit lost, and finding this sign that showed both cross streets I was at as Yamatedori didn’t make me feel much better.

I finally found my way into the back of Shibuya from the Dogenzaka side, which is a terrible place to bike. The roads are being all ripped up and there are no crosswalks, it’s truly horrific on a bike which I found a few weeks ago when I thought the ride was going to see me crushed by a cement truck. Anyway, this time I found I could cross on the pedestrian bridge, but it did feel a little strange pushing beaute up it at first. I need to stop coming through Shibuya during rush hour, it really isn’t the best route.

Taking Beaute down the overpass…

Oh, and the bike I have been oogling on yahoo auction, a 50s black Japanese roadster Bridgestone, suddenly jumped in price today and I think I have to give up on it…. but it’s soooo pretty…..

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