Yesterday I rode my first 100 km bike ride! It was all kinds of awesome. I’ve done 50 miles, which is about 80k, but I’ve never done 100. Actually total was 114, including a dash to and from the train station at night.

I rode with the Kunitachi Giant Store staff including 3 girls, the shop owner and the hottest pair of professional cycling legs this side of the ocean! There was so much happy I would have exploded except that I used my pedals to focus all that energy.

We rode from Kunitachi to Enoshima (江ノ島) where we had delicious sashimi rice on the seashore. Along the way I got to see some girl butts on bikes! I always ride with guys because either there are no girls who want to ride, or the girls who ride are too squeemish to do serious work on a bike and I get bored. So it was a real treat for me to ride with the shop girls. I even got passed on a hill by my new rival, Ms. Tabuchi!

The guy who joined us, with his thighs thick enough for about 2 normal sized legs a piece, is a former pro racer on the Japanese national road bike team. He still races now, but I don’t know the details about his team membership. Most of the time he was zipping past us to burn up some hill, or ride off road along our cycling path, and then swing around behind us to catch us before the next stoplight turned green. But for one moment, he and I were lounging on our frames waiting for the group to catch up and he says to me, “If I had my way I would ride bikes all day every vacation day I ever had.” I realized suddenly that I was in the presence of another one with The Sickness*. I didn’t think it was possible, but he got even hotter that moment.

After lunch we rode home at a brisker pace than we rode out. I was happy because the nonbiri (lazy) 13 kph pace we started with was making the prospect of 100 km seem miserable. Rain clouds started to blow in from over the ocean and we raced them back to the city. One of the girls had leant me her shop shorts, my first bib shorts, and I was grateful for the padding on my saddle-sore ridden butt, but more over I was grateful to be a part of the team.

There is nothing like the feeling of knowing that you belong. I kept grinning to myself knowing that everyone who saw us on the road would see me and know that we were together that day. It was an awesome, awesome ride.

*The Sickness: Needing, for no good reason, to ride bikes, race bikes, train on bikes or play with bike parts basically every day. In other words, where normal people would think you’re crazy because you already own or ride bikes more than enough, you can’t help yourself and go out for more.