Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Cycling Around Hakata Station

I had thirty minutes to kill before boarding a bullet train, enough time for a bicycle-themed walk.

I was outside Hakata Station, the busiest train station on Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan's four main islands. I tried to walk predictably so as not to confuse cyclists who shared the sidewalk with pedestrians.

About 17% of weekday trips in Japan are by bicycle. These are short trips around town. Most bikes are simple, heavy, one-speed mamachari (Mommy chariots).

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Travel Gear: UK Electrical Adapter

Next month we'll be taking our nephews and their parents to the UK. Today the mother of the nephews asked me about adapters for UK electrical outlets.

I had anticipated the question and had stocked up on this necessary item. Ax-Man, a local surplus store had a supply of UK adapters at 75 cents apiece.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Journeys Through the Eyes of Children

I'm planning a June trip to the UK. We're bringing our nephews (7 and 8) and their parents.

We start in Edinburgh, Scotland, then hop on a train to Morpeth, Northeast England, near where I grew up. We're carrying backpacks and we won't be taking cabs.

I expect my nephews will revel in small things rather than big sights. Through their eyes I will see the world a little differently.

Travel does not have to be an exercise in consumption. I will never take the boys to a Disney park, but when they're about 16, I want to abandon them in a European city with enough money for hostels and basic travel. A week later, we'd meet again in a different city in a different country with stories to share.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Urban Bike: Purple Rain Tour

As I get older, I find it's best to focus on one task at a time. In fact, a task can become so engrossing it pushes out thoughts of everything else. Some would call this a deficiency of aging, I call it an advantage.

Last Wednesday, it was time for a bike ride with purpose. I wouldn't know the results of CT and bone scans until the next day, and didn't want my mind to drift to the worst possible outcomes. A bicycle tour of Purple Rain movie locations was a perfect diversion.