Despite living in a metropolitan area of close to 20 million people, my suburb of Osaka is minutes away from the Minoh National Park and the opportunity to get in the countryside is close at hand. I went on a 50-kilometer ride through the forests, farms and rice paddies with friends Sunday morning. We did the Tamno loop and in the mornings, the roads are popular with cyclists, although not crowded. There are some tough climbs, but once you get over the first major ridge up from the city, the rest of the day is fine.
I am enjoying cycling more and more. It is a great alternative to running as it is easier on the knees, but I still get to move through nature. It is a great way to spend a couple of hours. You can see a bit of the ride in the video below. We crossed the border between the Osaka and Kyoto prefectures several times. My next ride will be all the way to Kameoka, a city on the outskirts of Kyoto.
I would like to thank Steve for organizing the ride and for my friends for waiting for me to catch up!