Last October I did a two-week cycling trip in Shikoku and the north of Kyushu. I was unfit, unprepared and did not enjoy it nearly as much as I should. It's time to fix that: I'm heading back to north Kyushu in mid April with the intent of cycling back to Tokyo along the north coast. I've got exactly a month to do this before I have to head back and restart my job in the UK. I don't intend to rush, though. I won't plan out any day in advance, and will be bringing my tent, so I can camp in random places and don't have to stick to a schedule. That said, I've mostly made up my mind about taking the north coast towards Lake Biwa, and that part of the plan is unlikely to change. What happens after that.. nothing is set in stone. I've got some plans but haven't decided on which way to go yet. It's also not unlikely that I'll simply run out of time and will have to take a train back. Who knows! Not knowing is part of the fun :)
Although by bike's frame was bent heavily after the last cycling trip and was declared beyond repair by the bike shop, I've decided not to believe them. I bent back the frame as best as I could and it's reasonably straight again. I've done a few day trips since then and haven't noticed any weaknesses or further bending happening. Touring will be a lot more stressful on the frame, but I'm mildly confident that it'll hold just fine, since I'll be on good Japanese-quality asphalt practically all of the time. But should it fail during the trip.. well, that'll be a whole other adventure, and surely an interesting one too. I'm ready.