So, the other day, a Sunday and my first day off in over a week, I participated in an Interesting aspect of Japanese biker culture. It’s called the 朝ラン, or Asa run. Asa being morning, you could directly translate it as a morning run. Yeah, not with these knees. It’s actually a custom for guys with bikes but very little time off and families. What you do is get up at the crack of dawn on one of your rare days off and go for a 2 hour or so ride. This gets you back just about the time family is getting out of bed and has the added benefit of getting you on the road when there is very little traffic and basically no cops. (They are rather regular with their work hours.)
I found myself awake and thinking about work on a Sunday at 6 in the morning. (Sucks getting old.) Lying there, I thought to myself that I could either stay in bed and do nothing, get up and start doing the million things around the house that needed to be done, or go outside and start up that beautiful blue ninja in the garage. So I silently slipped out of bed, put on my gear, checked the tire pressure and let my baby purr until she was warm enough to rocket off.
It was a fantastic ride with little traffic, perfect humidity and temperature, and all those lovely twists and turns that made me fall in love with riding here in the first place. I didn’t quite get my knee down, but I most certainly worked off a couple weeks of stress.
And therefore, if you are visiting Japan and want to go out riding but your host is real busy – ask him (or her) about going for an Asa run.