The first night, I rejected the bike with a good excuse of being uneasy and unsettled upon just getting into the country. This decision left me and a few others walking in the light
rain watching others head home quickly on their bikes. The next day, I got on my bike and took it out making me realize that my initial rejection was kind of silly.
Over the 4 weeks that I spent in Shiga, I rode my bike almost everyday. It was convenient, fun and gave me the feeling that I was fitting more into the culture around me with such a simple act. I also felt free and safe which is a bit odd if you're in a foreign country. I wanted to keep that feeling and bring it home, I didn't realize that there was another factor playing a part.
Fast forward to my first week back home and I am planning to try and recreate the bike experience I had in Japan. It seemed well at first until I stood outside in my neighborhood and remembered the feeling it caused. I tried to imagine myself doing the things I did in Japan and the kind of places I went. It wouldn't be the same. The place I live is more spread out and has a slightly volatile atmosphere. It is more practical and safe to be in a car or bus. For now, I have put the idea of biking in Orlando away and plan to wait until I can get back to Japan to enjoy biking again.