Today my wife, Sarah, and I took advantage of the great Sunday weather and went for a bike ride along the Muromi River. Along the ride, we saw people fishing in the river and one family had even setup a tent along the river with their kids running, splashing in the river naked.

We were on the way back home when Sarah made an interesting observation about how she hasn’t seen any roadkill here in Japan. About 30 seconds later, I passed by a snake (~ 0.5m long) lying in the road. At first, I thought it was evidence of the “roadkill” that Sarah had mentioned. Much to Sarah’s surprise it wasn’t dead at all! After I rode past, the snake sprang to life and started slithering across the road. I heard Sarah scream and watched her weave across the road in order to avoid hitting it. Fortunately, no injuries were involved to man or beast. For the record, there ARE snakes in Kyushu (in case you were in any doubt).

The injury free trip wouldn’t last too much longer. About 15 minutes later, a car was coming toward us on a narrow section of road. We were riding single file near the shoulder with Sarah in the lead. The car didn’t seem to either slow down or provide any room for us to get by. The car forced Sarah on to the edge of the road. Part of the pavement was washed away and Sarah’s front wheel dropped off the road and caused her to go down onto the pavement. Fortunately, there wasn’t another car coming immediately behind the first one so that we could collect ourselves. The first thing I noticed was that Sarah was alright, although she had a little road rash. She was pretty shaken up by the experience though. After making sure that Sarah was ok, I turned my attention to the giant hissing sound that was coming from her front tire. Part of the tire had been torn and air was quickly coming out of the tire. I removed the tire, grabbed the spare tube and tire levers and found a nice spot to sit along the river. I removed the old tube and inspected the damage to the tire. During the crash, a V-shaped gouge had been cut in the middle of the tire. The back side of the tire appeared intact and it looked like it would get her home with a new tube. Fortunately, the damaged tire and new tube held up for the trip back to our apt. The next step is to check for a new tube. It wasn’t the best ride, but nobody was seriously hurt and no major damage was done.

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