iPod, therefore iRide faster

We have a new toy. One of the great things about being a native English speaker in Japan is that people will essentially pay you to talk to them. Often, they will pay you now to promise to talk to them in the future. That is why I had 30,000 yen sitting in an envelope in my cupboard with the word iPod written on it while I waited for Steve Jobs to say `Oh, and one more thing...` back in September.

We purchased a 2nd gen iPod nano, 8 GB of storage, black aluminum casing.

The first time I took the iPod out on a ride, I almost bonked. When your ride is as boring as mine generally is (a 2.5km stretch of old highway, no hills and only one corner with a radius of about 5 km), and you are riding 20 or 30 km at a time, things get a little monotonous.

Add an iPod and some rockin` tunes, and that same ride is a different animal. It also helped that my SPDs arrived from back home at about the same time. It made a huge difference in my willingness to kick my own arse, rather than having it kicked by the teenaged cycling team that trains on the same stretch of road.

That being said, I don`t think that I will pipe music into my brain on every ride. The weather here has been absolutely gorgeous, aside from the gale-force winds last weekend. The daily high has been 27 or 28 degrees celsius most days and the oppressive humidity is gone.

Last Sunday I rode into Gifu and found a road leading up what I thought was Mt. Kinka and Gifu Castle. Turns out I was on the hill beside Mt. Kinka but adding some verticality to my ride was very nice. I will post some pics when I get home. I decided not to plug myself in on that ride, partly because the wind was howling something fierce and I would have had to have the volume way too loud to hear anything over the wind and partly because one of the reasons that I ride is that it is a fantastic way to clear my brain of any extraneous baggage I may have picked up along the course of the day.

On those rides, I become free.

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