Since Typhoon 1315 is rolling my way, and the rain has been falling with a vengeance for the past 36 hours, I decided to spend my Saturday in front of wrestling with Google maps and the Hokkaido Mapple.
My good friend Gary and I have been planning to do a Hokkaido trip this September, but neither of us had been able to make the time to plan things out properly yet. Just when I had started thinking about canceling and using the time to do some touring in Shikoku instead, Gary and I finally got on Skype and came up with a rough plan. It was rough, but it would do. Basically, we agreed that as long as we were traveling together, neither one of us was worried if we left camp in the morning without a destination. Once you have settled on punting as a viable option, anything goes.
Perhaps it was the freedom gained from the mutual agreement on accepting departure and return dates as the only required points of the plan, but we both seemed to kick the planning into high gear. Gary has sent me the link to a post on The Best Motorcycle Roads in Japan numerous times, and he managed to create a route across Honshu that adds a few of those roads to our trip. So it looks like we will have some great riding even before we get to Hokkaido.
While I think that we have sketched out a fairly nice route for ourselves, I think that what gives me the most satisfaction is the knowledge that we agree that the goal is not to spend all day every day in the saddle, but rather that we take a leisurely ride with few concerns about deadlines or destinations. After all, isn’t that what riding is supposed to be about; the freedom of the road? Maybe next year I will do a planned no-plan ride during the summer break. I’ll just get on the bike, perhaps with my son on the back, and just ride. Maybe do a lap around Honshu and see what we can see…