Things I Noticed on My Cycling Trip to Yotsukaido City

For about a week now, I have been feeling very depressed, shocked by my family relationships, especially my children's attitude towards their father. When I feel down, I imagine myself sinking into the ground. I felt the same way during my burnout a few years ago.

At the time, my wife, tired from work and child-rearing, was furious, and I felt as if my entire body had fallen tens of meters into the ground and was struggling to climb out.

When I thought I had finally pulled myself out of the ground, my wife would get angry again the next day, and I would fall tens of meters into the ground again.

After a few years of this, I found myself emotionally drained, and much of my motivation had disappeared. I even seriously wondered why I was still alive.

Now that my children are in elementary school, parenting has become much easier.

My wife, who used to get angry every day, has become calmer and more in control of her emotions.

I was relieved that things were finally settling down at home, but then I noticed a change in the children's attitude toward their father.

They are now more prickly with me, their father, sometimes, and do not listen to my advice.

They used to bother me, saying, "Daddy, Daddy," but I was happy to raise my children.

At present, I spend more and more time not talking to them even when we are at home during the holidays.

Then, after dinner on holiday, my children made fun of their father, which made me very angry, and I locked myself in my room.

The next day, a feeling came over me that I did not want to remember.

My body was not pulled into the ground all at once like before, but little by little, I found myself sinking into the ground, starting from my toes.

At the same time, I became aware of something in my head whose presence had faded recently.

This is not a time to say, "Hey, it's been a while."

When I was on the road to recovery after burnout a few years ago, I had an extraordinary feeling.

As if another avatar-like self, separate from my consciousness, was floating in my brain and supporting what I was saying and doing.

It was an unconscious activation, but I could clearly feel the sense of my original self being helped as my consciousness. I named the being "Avatar."

When I looked into burnout in detail, I found that it can change personality as if he or she is a different person.

It is said that when a normal person undergoes burnout, he or she often turns into a freezing and ill-tempered person.

In my case, I was originally cold and temperamental, and burnout seems to have turned me in the opposite direction, that is, closer to the personality of a decent person.

However, my personality might be changed incompletely by separating Avatar and by switching my character.

What the hell!

If that is someone else in Manga comic book, I would laugh, but it's not funny because it's me.

For about a week, I came home late at night after the kids had gone to sleep and just exchanged greetings with my wife.

When I came home at midnight on Friday, not only the older child but also, the younger one were awake and greeted me with a cheerful "Welcome home! "

Apparently, my wife and children had noticed that I was feeling depressed and about to die.

However, once I'm down, it's hard for me to get back on track.

Moreover, the period when the Avatar and the real me switch places is very tiring.

After a while, I get used to it, and the Avatar and the real me switch automatically, but until then, I have to switch manually.

I don't have to use my hands, though.

When I woke up on a holiday morning, my body could not move freely.

Much of my body has already sunk into the ground, and I feel like I'm in a sand bath in Beppu Hot Springs in Oita Prefecture, with only my head sticking out.

For about half an hour, I sat on the futon and wondered what I should do.

If I didn't do something, my health would deteriorate, and I might be in danger of having another burnout.

How could the kids' little joke have done so much damage to me? There had to be a reason.

I crawl on the futon and reach for my favorite road bike in my room.

When I had a burnout and was miserable, I rode this classic steel road bike to continue my cardio exercise and Zen. This time, the steel road bike is up to the task again.

Under the state of emergency, there is an announcement from the government to refrain from going out unnecessarily.

However, this announcement excludes going out for exercise, which is definitely an emergency for me.

Nevertheless, given the tight medical situation, I had to avoid falling and getting seriously injured.

Feeling very dizzy, I finally got up, changed into my cycle clothes, put on my shoulder and waist protectors, and then put on my jacket and knicker pants.

In the larger cycle backpack I usually use, I have a honeycomb structure shock-absorbing plate.

I learned this method from a snowboarder who fell and broke his spine.

He said that it is common to hurt spine in the event of a snowboarding fall, and even just putting a bath towel or a weekly magazine in backpack can reduce a damage.

Fortunately, his spinal cord was intact, and there were no sequelae of fracture, but if he had worn a back protector at that time, he would not have been immobilized on the bed for weeks.

Then, I turned over the big box where I keep my bike gear and pulled out a set of gear.

These were arm protectors designed for motorcycle riders. The plastic shell protects the arms, elbows, and wrists.

I once got into a traffic accident and fell off my bike while commuting on my road bike.

I fell on the hard road surface and found that the arm protectors protected me more than I expected.

While the human shoulder is capable of complex movements, it has a very fragile structure.

That's why many cyclists break their collarbone when they land on their shoulders.

However, if we wear arm protectors made of hard shells, the elbows and shoulders will disperse the impact.

When I ride my bike with arm protectors on and ride on the roadway, car drivers will avoid me in the big out-of-the-way without having to pull wide.

I'm sure they feel uncomfortable getting tangled up with a weird-looking cyclist.

Or maybe they feel that I wear a hard shell on my arm and will smash their door mirror if they make contact.

Besides, I put a 2kg foldable lock made by ABUS in the bottle cage.

This will prevent the bike from wobbling in crosswinds or over bumps in the road.

It's not easy to make a lightweight bike heavier, but it's the way to keep it safe.

Finally, I put on my helmet and set off from home.

My outfit is like that of the "Mutant Turtles," with too many different protectors. They have their own back protectors, though.

Walking around the city, I would definitely be questioned by a policeman.

However, in a situation where there is a heavy medical load, more care needs to be taken to minimize injuries in the event of a fall.

After leaving home, I tried to keep my riding speed at 20 km/h, or 25 km/h at the most.

As usual, I cycled through Funabashi City, through Ichikawa City, and Mihama Ward in Chiba City.

I was quite concerned about the prohibition of using the toilets in convenience stores, but I found that I could get around it by looking for a public toilet on my smart phone.

After all, actual riding on a road bike is wonderful. The temperature was cold, less than 10 degrees Celsius, but the sky was clear.

I arrived at Chiba Port, but I decided to ride just a little longer to reduce the stress on my body and mind.

I decided to head north through Chiba City to Yotsukaido City.

I usually live my life with my Avatar's help, but I can be my true self when I'm riding my road bike.

When I live to be almost fifty, I have a lot on my shoulders: work, family, the present, the future, and the past.

In the past few months, I have hardly ridden my road bike at all, and my thoughts have been in a state of flux.

Yet, society continues to change at a dizzying pace, and here I am, struggling in the midst of the tide.

Even though a state of emergency has been declared, many people are still in Funabashi and Chiba cities.

They must be out on urgent and necessary business, as they are supposed to avoid going out unnecessarily.

I saw a line in front of a TAKOYAKI shop. Indeed, there are times when I have an irresistible urge to eat TAKOYAKI.

For many people, TAKOYAKI must be necessary and urgent.

What's this about declaring a state of emergency?

After passing through the northern part of Chiba City, I should reach Yotsukaido City, so I relied on my compass to keep heading in a northwesterly direction.

When I finally reached Yotsukaido City, I found that I was still in Chiba City. The signboard said Chiba City.

As we leisurely rode along the one-way single lane road, many cars were driving and many people in the stores.

No matter how many announcements the government makes, society is already moving to the next stage.

And the moment I felt that there were fewer stores along the road, all at once, the number of cars on the road decreased, and I entered my image of a city in Chiba Prefecture.

I saw a sign that said, "Welcome to Yotsukaido City," but I didn't need to see the sign to know that I had entered Yotsukaido City.

I went around Yotsukaido City for a while, and it seemed to be my kind of city in Chiba Prefecture.

Strangely enough, Chiba Prefecture, whether in the north, east, or south, has something in common: it's a city in Chiba Prefecture.

Whether I go to Shirako Town, Narashino City, or Yotsukaido City this time, there is a strong Chiba Prefecture atmosphere.

It's not obviously a rural area, but rather a place with few people, where I can relax and feel at ease, but suddenly find myself feeling lonely.

Perhaps, if I live in each city, I will find the streets and atmosphere and the relationship with the people who live there.

A city can only be a city if people live in it.

I thought that life in Yotsukaido City must be very calm and relaxing.

When I returned to Chiba City from there, I noticed something.

Apparently, my older child is starting to enter puberty (Shishunki in Japanese).

Come to think of it; it's a natural time for my child to go through puberty.

My child, who was just a baby until recently, is growing up and becoming an adult.

I noticed that my family was changing towards a new stage, and I was tired of not keeping up with the changes.

Why am I so shocked when this is a common occurrence in every family?

A wife goes from being a lover to a life partner, and children go from protecting to becoming adults.

When I think about it, the time a father has to be a father is short.

Perhaps in the Heian, Kamakura, or Azuchi-Momoyama eras, when the human lifespan was about 50 years, this shortness of time was just right; at about 50 years old, I could see grandchildren, and at the end of my life, I could leave for the next.

However, with the advancement of medical science and sanitation improvement, human life expectancy has increased greatly.

We have a long life ahead of us, even after we finish raising our children.

I wonder how I will live then.

As I pedaled my road bike, I smiled at the thought.

I thought to myself, "This is how I will be pedaling in five years, ten years, twenty years! My life would never change for the better!"

The sun had set, and I headed home, feeling sorry for myself for getting carried away.

Life in the coronavirus pandemic will not be solved in one or two years. It will probably require changes in my life on the level of five or ten years.

However, my life is limited.

If I go that long without riding my road bike, it will be detrimental to my health.

So I decided to add some customization to my road bike.

I had failed before, but I couldn't turn my back on it, so I decided to change the tires to 28C and modify my road bike to handle the slow pace of cycling at an average speed of 20km/h.

In this situation, riding at 30km/h is difficult. Falling off the bike and getting injured would be serious.

On the other hand, riding a 50km round trip on a lightweight road bike is not satisfying enough.

So I decided to take my road bike as heavy as a cross bike to increase stability and enjoy cycling as if I were riding a cross bike.

I should buy a cross bike straight away, but I couldn't let go of the beloved road bike that rescued me from the swamp of burnout.

I went home and immediately ordered 28C wide tires through mail order.

I had written in this blog that I had made a mistake buying 28C tires before, probably because the tubes were too heavy.

This time, I decided to order a lighter tube.

It's no longer a question of whether or not I enjoy riding, but whether or not I can ride.

And although I had been drinking more and more lately, a little bit of alcohol made me sleepy, and I slept soundly until morning.

When I woke up, my body, which felt like it had sunk into the ground, was above ground from the waist up.

However, if I am not careful, my children will make fun of me, so I will continue to let Avatar play the role of father.

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