Off out for a ride.

It’s 9:30pm on Friday night and I’m off out for a ride. I just fancy it. My wife is watching the Lord of the Rings for the umpteenth time and I just fancy being out on the bike. There’s a toll road not too far from here called Sanage Green Road. I hear it’s free after 10pm. It a 13.1km, two lane mini-highway that runs mostly through forests and countryside with a significant distance between the lanes running in opposite directions. I’ll probably get lost, but I’ll find my way home I’m sure.


I’m back home again. It was just an hour and a half’s ride, because it was damn cold. A roadside temperature display said it was one degree, and I’m sure it was a lot colder than that with the windspeed. When I got into the house my fingertips ached for 15 minutes or more.

I left Seto through Setoguchi and to Yakusa in northern Toyota where there’s a sliproad onto the Sanage Green Road. It was my first time on the SGR on the bike, and, therefore, without GPS. The road was pitch black and all I could see was what my headlight would illuminate, crash barriers and the trees behind them and the road a few metres in front of me. After joining the road I soon arrived at a set of toll gates. Only the middle one had a light on and there was a uniformed man in it counting money. I stopped and reached into my breast pocket for money, but the man looked up from under his cap and curtly waved me on. So what I had heard about no toll after 10pm was right. I kicked into first gear and ripped off along the dark road ahead.

Through the toll gates I had the road to myself. I could remember travelling it before by car, how it twisted and dipped through forest into the Toyota countryside, and my memory didn’t disappoint me. Well protected from the cold I let the speed needle rise, but at 80kmph, in the darkness, it felt much faster. I passed several signs along the twisting road warning me of possible deer ahead so I held a steady 80kmph through the curves and bends and out into a long straight where I saw an exit I reckoned I should take before I got lost. Luckily the exit road swung right and under the Green Road and met the ramp leading back onto the road and to Seto.

The Sanage Green Road’s opposing lanes only sometimes run side by side. Moreoften the two lanes running one way are flanked by forest on both sides and some distance apart. One part of the road back to Seto disappears into the Sanage Tunnel with only one way traffic running through it, about 1km long and well lit by amber lights lining the ceiling. All of a sudden 80kmph seemed slow on the straight. For the first time since I bought it I took the bike above 100kmph and up to 120kmph. It was sweet. The fairing really cuts through the wind and the engine hummed happily under me. It was the finest feeling, despite the fact that my fingers were all but numb.

Out of the tunnel I was soon back at the toll gates, now empty and in darkness. I passed the exit which I joined and headed further on along the road and left it in Seto city itself, much closer to my home and along the road which will be my commute to work from April. Not long after I was back at the house. Earlier today I installed a small, solar powered, infra red triggered light under the car port for getting on and off the bike. It made getting the key into the top box a lot easier than usual, especially with numb fingers. Soon I was sitting here, drinking a hot cuppa and eating baked potatoes sprinkled with salt. What a damn nice life. Bloody blessed.

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4 Comments on “Off out for a ride.”

  1. Brad Rowden Says:

    I cannot wait for the follow up to this post to see how it went. :)- Brad

  2. Motorbiking in Japan Says:

    Updated Brad.Thanks for dropping in :O)

  3. daniel Says:

    Nice and cold ride !

  4. Simon V Says:

    “Soon I was sitting here, drinking a hot cuppa and eating baked potatoes sprinkled with salt. What a damn nice life. Bloody blessed.”

    Didn’t realise how much I miss ’em till I read that!

    BTW have you used Google Maps for explaining your routes. It’s so much easier to understand than a page of words. You can make them private or public and can open them to collaboration too. Here’s one I sent to someone who was trying to get to my house from Tokyo.,0x601bc54e1e671f0b:0xa162ceb56c442731&msa=0&msid=106379661470330841199.00046f2f9e7472c610467&z=10

    Simon V

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