Tokyo Bike Ride

The Long Tokyo Bike Ride

I Hate Canceling

Yesterday I went out on a long bike ride across Tokyo to visit my friend who was visiting from Osaka. I like spending time with him, so I became anxious about canceling. The reason I wanted to cancel was because I suddenly felt sad for no reason.

That ever happen to you?

Of course, my friend just hopes I feel better soon. 

Anyway, after that little episode, I had a little adventure.

Shibuya Tokyo Bike Ride

Sadness and anxiety somehow go together like some terrible PB&J. And they happen without warning.

Why did it even happen? I had a great time riding across Tokyo, from the Tama river all the way to Shibuya City with the sun beaming down on my face. 

Who knows.

That was my state of mind as I cycled out of Shibuya by myself, cranking up my noisiest Spotify playlist to drown out the feels. 

From Day to Night

Soon the sun was setting bright red, and day turned to night, until there I was, riding down the bluish-black road lit by bars and lamps all by myself on a Saturday night, looking forward to nothing more than to curl up beside my laptop and maybe do a little writing, maybe watch a horror movie and just have a quiet recuperative night.

I remember I was thinking about something happy – was it the thought of curling up at home? Not sure anymore, though I like that version of the story – when I started smiling real big and just looking into the crowd of people, somewhere in Setagaya. 

They must have been going to a club or bar area because they were all young, attractive, and full of electricity. That made me happy too. The electricity may have jolted me.

Two Cute Girls

Sometimes a lot happens in just a tiny amount of time.

So there I am, smiling for the first time in hours, just grinning dumbly into space, when I see two pretty brown-haired Japanese girls walking along with the crowd. I’m not paying much attention to them, but I slow down as I get near them because the whole corner over here is clogged up with the throng of chattering people.

Still grinning, I pass the girls, and one turns and smiles up at me. I keep eye contact. She makes more eye contact. I’m on a bike, though, so I keep going straight on ahead. 

“Bye-bye,” she says softly. I turn my head just 10 degrees and wave my hand without looking back. A duet of giggles erupts behind me. Secretly, safely out of sight, my face flushes. 

All that happens in less than 5 seconds.

The Turning Point

Then, up ahead, the light has gone red. I could wait there to cross, but I don’t want to do that. If I wait, the girls will catch up. They were pretty, and I liked the attention very much. But instead of waiting, I turn right and pedal on.

The interaction was perfect as it was. It served its purpose: somehow, I am happy again. What if the follow-up disappointed me? Or her? Once you break that barrier and go in for the “hello,” you find out how imperfect people are. Why ruin a good thing? I smiled on for the rest of the night, alone in the darkness on my bike as I passed through the busy part of town into the outskirts, closer to where I live.

And that’s what happened. I turned right instead of crossing the street, rode straight on, and just crossed further on down the road where the light was green. It was a perfect, simple moment with a happy ending.

Shibuya Tokyo

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