I don't have much to report today. I had a late start and a good breakfast at one of the good old restaurants I used to frequent when I lieved here. Then I went shopping in Machida and bought a wide angle lens for my micro four thirds camera and a big puffy camera bag that I've mounted onto the front of my bike, so I can have easy access to my camera and other things while cycling. I've also adjusted my saddle position to be in more of a 'casually enjoying cycling' position rather than a 'must go faster faster faster ouch everything hurts' position. It's probably still not right, but I'll keep adjusting it as I go along.
There's this place I always used to visit, it's on the way to the big mountain alongside a small river. Just before the road starts to get really hilly there's this bridge, and a very large gravestone behind the spot from where I took this photo. I've been coming here for 8 years now, I find it relaxing to sit there and ponder. But this time somehow felt different. I noticed different things. The haze made the mountains and the sunset less impressive than in my memories, and instead of focusing on the uninhabited bits of the grave and the narrow walking path next to it, I kept looking to the other side of the bridge, to the houses and the people living there, to the cars and the people commuting back home from work. I've seen all that before of course, but my mindset was different this time. My mindset is still full of worries. Worries about real boring life things that I never had when I was living my life here because I was naive and innocent.
I should not have come here so soon. I should've gone to Hokkaido first and then come back here. Now I'm still fresh from the plane with my mind wandering back to UK worries and my body not in shape yet. I realized this before I left the UK, but it was too late to cancel the hotel. So I've decided to challenge myself tomorrow with the Yabitsu mountain pass. It'll be a tough ride, even without luggage, but it will be good training for the mountains yet to come. Getting to Nagano from here won't be easy so I'll need all the exercise I can get. I hope I can improve my mindset as the trip progresses.