2008-10-26

Ride to Okutama-ko and back

I haven't ridden a century since I moved to Japan but with a bit of spare time on my hands before baby number two is due, I decided I was going to get back into decent enough shape that I could pull one off. I've been using mornings and weekends to get back into riding longer distances, and slowly building up toward the goal of 160 km by riding further and further up the Tama river every weekend.

Five minutes looking at Google maps yesterday morning at 6 am convinced me that Lake Okutama was exactly the necessary 80 km away, so without a minute to lose I got dressed, headed out the door and rode north up the Tama river.  Here's the activity report.

The ride along the river is gorgeous, one of the few places in Tokyo you can ride uninterrupted through a green belt that runs from the ocean at Haneda airport all the way into the mountains in the northwest corner of Tokyo. The bike path ends at the south Hamura dam, but by then it's pretty inaka, so you can continue by road from there without much worry about traffic. At the north Hamura dam, I crossed over to the west side of the river, to pick up Route 411 through the towns of Oume, Sawai, and Mitake before leaving the city completely and starting the climb up into the mountains.

2008-08-22

Monkey Madness

How many police does it take to catch a monkey in one of Tokyo's busiest train stations? Apparently a lot more than the 40 or so that tried. The monkey was first spotted around 9:45am on top of the Tokyu Toyoko Line schedule display, possibly one of the best choices for people-watching in Shibuya Station, strategically positions between the exit of the Tokyu department store and the entrance to one of Tokyo's busiest train lines.

It hung around for close to two hours while commuters, shoppers, news crews and a posse of net-wielding cops showed up, before finally deciding to make a break for it. Police never did catch the cheeky monkey, and its current whereabouts are unknown.

Apparently this is the third incident of a monkey getting into a train station in Tokyo in the last few weeks.