Fall 2013 NSP Tour (1: Taking the leap)

To conquer the world, one needs to go out. So I did, in the middle of the last month.

Passed Niigata, and…

Landed in Matsumoto, Nagano.

It was the second time for me to fly Chitose-Matsumoto, one of the minor air routes in Japan. Last time was in winter, with a company called JAS. Yes, that happened during the last century.

Such a bliss to fly above the Sea of Japan and turn inland, lowering altitude while enjoying the vast panorama of the Northern and Southern Japanese Alps mountains underneath. The plane descended to the plains toward which dusk was creeping down the foothills and through the valleys, then landed all safe and well, guided by the occasional smoke of field burning.

Whenever there is a chance to travel to the main land, showing off new stuff must accompany, which requires means of land transportation.

So here is the locally-purchased new team van. A new convenient way to travel.

Typhoons were to hit the mainland, so the selection of burly off-road type fits perfectly. Performance guaranteed; this vehicle appeared in the past movie Shuto Shoshitsu (disappearance of metropolis).

Good looking wall en route, which I didn’t hit because it was late, it was cold, and my bike wasn’t assembled yet. If conditions had been better I may have sessioned like no tomorrow, but I was kind of glad I ended up having tomorrow.

Since I was driving right by Fujimi Panorama Ski Area, I met up with Shingo Kaneko for a bite. I asked him: “Which terrain do you prefer to ride, downhill, dirt jumps, or what?” He replied: “It’s fun to keep the balance and ride well, whatever terrain or style, on a bike or something else even. That feeling of good control is what really matters.” As long as my summary of his comment is correct here, that’s what I think, too.

Okay, it’s time to work. I picked up bike frames at a parcel company office I had sent them to, and built up my own bike I had carried with me. When I was all ready to go, the car’s power steering blew. Or was I still lucky because it didn’t stop the car at least?

I’m sorry if you suffered from the flood caused by the typhoon. I’m sorry, I added a few drips of power steering fluid.

As far as business went, it went okay. Though there is never enough time to cover everything, I could visit a few shops I hadn’t had a chance to go to for a long time. It made me realize staying inactive is never the answer. I should plan to visit all other parts of Japan in the future as well.

And that’s not the only thing you should do when you are on a trip. The story continues…

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