“A good scientist doesn’t have to be separate from the world to make sense of it.” –Eva Saulitis, Every Reason to Stay in The Sun Magazine, January 2017
While cycling in Japan I discovered some amazing places, like the one pictured above. I was on a super narrow road, a path really, and the light shining through the bamboo forest canopy and pooling on the ground startled me. When I’m out cycling my work interests in geography, culture and sustainable transportation flow together with my sense of curiosity and wonder.
Sakai City Japan, the suburb of Osaka where Mai’s parents live, is the home of Shimano, a leader in cycling manufacturing. Shimano adapted technologies from gun manufacturing in the 1800’s and applied them to cycling parts construction to meet demand for cycling. Shimano has a bicycle museum in Sakai City. I’ll have to visit! This time around I was happy making my own firsthand experiences cycling in Sakai City and the adjacent mountains. The museum looks very interesting, as they tie together the evolution of technology with the ongoing development of cycling culture. Cycling is an epic story, a way to relax in nature, build community, be joyful and work towards big picture goals such as global sustainability. The museum website is here.
Cycling works as a positive force promoting a sustainable, connected, healthy way of being. When I met other cyclists on the road in Japan there were head bows, encouraging words, and looks of understanding, unspoken communication of shared joy. The bicycle builds natural and inclusive culture amazingly well if people are open to it. Cycling creates communion.
Japan’s beauty is awesome. On this road pictured below climbing up into the Kongo Range, a creek and waterfalls were flowing beside the road. The landscape’s sweet music. It reminded me of the sound of meltwater running off the San Juan Mountains I hear in the Ironhorse in Durango, Colorado, which is upcoming this May. Cycling keeps me motivated and looking ahead to the next sequence of discoveries and shared experiences. What a joy. Thank you!