I leave for my one-month cycling trip today.

Well, I leave for my cycling trip today. This means that i will not be able to respond to any emails until I get back. May 27th. I am really looking forward to it, but I would be lying if I didn’t say that I wasn’t a little bit scared. It will be the longest trip that I have ever taken. But I am sure that I am in for quite an adventure.

I will be updating my Japanese blog on the road : http://blogjp.brendanpaull.com. I will be putting some pictures up there as well.

“Fast Food Nation”

I saw the movie, fast food nation over the weekend. I was expecting it to me more of a documentary style of a movie (something like “Supersize me”) but it fact it turned out to be something much, much more grim. It looks at the way fast food restuarants work in American cluture. It looks at a fictionalized fastfood chain rather than the usual documentary style. Without spoiling it for those who want to see it, it tells the story of several groups of people who work for this fast food chain from the store clerks to the martketing department to the illegal immigrants who work in the meat processing plants.

One point that I kind of wished they would have fociused more on was the environmental damaged caused by these factory farming. They passed breifly on it , but not in any significant way.

Worth a watch, especially for those who eat fast food regulary but don’t know where the food actually comes from. Beware that it is rated “R” for a reason.

Practice touring result

After buying the bicycle, I decided it would be best to try and do a short tour to practice. So I took a day of a work and went touring near Tokyo for 3 days. The second day was filled with view of Mt. Fuji. The sky was clear so I could see the peak all day, even from the other side of a small mountain range it was still visible over the peaks. I learned a lot about the bike and touring in general. There are a few extra items, especially a large light for the front of the bike so that I can travel at night. Aditionally, a large flashlight would have been very useful. I also discovered that I need to get better at cooking outdoors. The cost of food was a bit higher than I had expected, so hopefully with some outdoor cooking experience, I can bring that cost down.
Additionally, when I got home, it appeared that one of the straps that keeps the back against the racks of the bags broke. This does not make the bag unusable, but it does seem rather quick for something like that to break so I will probably go back to the store early this week.

Days: 3
Nights: 2
Lodging Costs: 0yen
Food Costs: 4000yen
Distance Traveled: 348.5km

New Bicycle…Giant Great Jouney 2

With my “Tour of Westen Japan” bicycle coming up. I definitly needed a new bicycle, the bicycle that I wanted, the Louis Garneau, was out of stock so it came down to the slightly cheaper Great Journey 2 made by Giant. The size was a bit iffy so I got a significantly longer stem. The old one was about 60mm and the new one is 120mm which is pretty much the longest you can get. Additionally, I got a kickstand like what you might get on a scooter so that it can stand upright by itself even when fully loaded. All tallied, it came to 108 000yen. Which is about 1000$CAN and includes bags as well, which is a pretty good deal.

I rode it home and it feels a lot different than the road bike that I have now. It feels more like a truck as the response time seems to be lower and less crisp, that is probably because it has suspension on the front wheel.

The above picture was taken in my kitchen.