Yesterday my skies were blue

Bicycle in front Japan Imperial Palace moat

Yesterday the weather was beautiful, warm with blue skies. Unfortunately I had other things to do. Today was very mild, but the skies were grey and occasionally threatening. I’m happy to report I only noticed a drop or two of rain as I was riding, and later the sun peeked out from the clouds. At the same time, though, the wind picked up considerably. Near the finish I was nearly blown out of my lane! Fortunately the car following me at that point was keeping its distance.

Japan Olympic Stadium
Japan Olympic Stadium

I made good time through Meiji Jingu, past the State Guest House (Geihinkan) and Akasaka. In fact I set a personal best climbing up from Akasaka Mitsuke to Uchibori Dori, although a part of that was making all the lights green. I made my first rest stop at Shiba Koen, and it was around here that the threat of rain was the greatest.

Cherry blossoms at Shiba Koen
Cherry blossoms at Shiba Koen

Peach blossoms
Peach blossoms

I’ve never seen the Imperial Palace grounds as empty as they were today, although I’m not usually down here on a weekday. I’ve never been able to get Kuroko in this shot in the past because the sidewalk has always been full of joggers.

Bicycle in front Japan Imperial Palace moat
Bicycle meets palace moat

Turning east from the palace, I was greeted by the welcome sight of the Bank of Japan, finally done with its renewal and all the walls and barriers down.

Nihonbashi cherry blossoms
Nihonbashi cherry blossoms

Bank of Japan
Bank of Japan

I stopped for an early lunch of Nana’s famous onigiri at Tokyo Big Sight. I was surprised to see groups of pre-schoolers out in the park, socially mingling as if there’d been no announcement from the governor asking us to avoid unnecessary gatherings.

Cycling path at Sumida River
Cycling path at Sumida River

Tokyo Sky Tree
Tokyo Sky Tree

After crossing over the Sumida River with Tokyo Sky Tree in the background, I stopped near a baseball field in the park and refilled my water bottle from a tap in a public restroom. Usually I’d avoid that but any port in a storm … I’d no sooner finished than I realized how foolish I was being. It’s exactly the sort of tap that people would be rinsing their hands at, and it’s designed so you can’t avoid touching the spout where the water comes out. I poured out the water immediately, and then stopped at the next vending machine and bought some bottled water. I filled my other water bottle with that, and didn’t touch the first water bottle until I got home — Nana sprayed it thoroughly with disinfectant.

My last stop of the day was at Chidorigafuchi and Budokan. Here the crowds were thick as people turned out despite the grey skies and governmental pronouncements to enjoy the cherry blossoms.

Cherry blossoms at Chidorigafuchi
Cherry blossoms at Chidorigafuchi

Cherry blossoms at Chidorigafuchi
Cherry blossoms at Chidorigafuchi

Cherry blossoms at Chidorigafuchi
Cherry blossoms at Chidorigafuchi

When I got home and synced my GPS, I saw that I’d gotten my 400km badge for the month.

Strava badge for 400km
Strava badge for 400km

Strava didn’t include the 26km ride where the Garmin wasn’t recording, of course. The Garmin site (where I entered the ride manually) has me at 476km.

Tokyo Landmarks ride
Tokyo Landmarks ride

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