I just started a new job, same company, different location. The new location is closer to home, only about 12 miles away. About 9 of those miles are on a cycling path along a river. This is rare in Japan, and I count myself lucky. Most roads are not much wider than a US city sidewalk. This is a road only for bikes.
I had to leave work late, after the sun had set. It was dark, which I had planned for. It was raining, which I hadn’t. I had bought a small but powerful LED lamp to light the way. There are no street lights on this rare stretch of road. Fog was rising from the river. The road twists and turns, trees on both sides at times, the river to my right. My lamp, which had been more than sufficient the night before, seemed more of a hindrance than a help. The fog threw up a wall of grey in front of me.
I could see pieces of sky, hear the ripple of water, the rustle of branches, the crumble of pebbles under my wheels. Part of me was afraid I’d hit a tree, fall off the side of the road, skid in the mud. Another part of me pushed to ride faster. It was like speeding through a dimly lit impressionist painting.