Japan Day 13: Riding Imabari to Marugame

Today’s ride started off with a bang, I was riding down a 6% gradient hill in the pedestrian/cyclist section and had a split second to choose between riding into a big kerb or trying to merge into the car lane, where trucks were also descending. I picked the kerb and landed fine, but the impact of the landing caused the bars on my rack to snap off on both sides.

Basically the rack was resting on the rear wheel, which meant I couldn’t cycle with it, so I duct taped the broken bits together, put my bags on my shoulders and walked my bike to the petrol station nearby. A mechanic was kind enough to help me temporarily fix the bike, by using cable ties to keep the broken bits stable enough to support my bags for the rest of the journey.

I steadily rode on and was very cautious of every bump for the rest of the ride, while enjoying a little bit of tailwind along the way. There was one particularly steep climb that I had to walk, but the view from the top was quite nice, when I’m winding around the mountain it’s easy to forget how high up I am.

The remainder of the ride was pretty uneventful, the route was very straight forward, however riding through the built up city areas meant there was a lot of stopping and starting at intersections. I arrived late in the evening and checked into my hostel where they recommended a nice restaurant nearby. The head chef worked in New York for 15 years and I sat at the counter and chatted with him while he prepared some amazing food.

Super tender chicken

There were two other guys sitting next to me and both of them had visited Australia multiple times on holiday and when they left they secretly bought me a serving of sea bream sashimi and tuna sushi. It was so generous and both dishes were delicious, it’s one of the perks of being a single female traveler, I’m up for free sashimi any day. I stayed at the restaurant a little while longer and some other guests from the hostel were dining there too. One of the guys was doing the pilgrimage around Shikoku Island, which is about 1200km long, with 88 temples.

I chilled out at the hostel and noticed that the host had some photos from his solo motorcycle trips across Australia, the US and Japan, so that’s probably why he could easily understand why I chose cycle touring as a hobby. Luckily tomorrow is a short day and I’ll be heading to Okayama where I can hopefully get a new rack for my bike.

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