Bicycling is one of those acts that are a tradition to childhood; some older figure, like a father or a big sister, stands behind the bike of little, scared you while you desperately try to keep balance and hope against all fears that he or she will not let go of the bike. Plenty of kids graduate from tricycle to bicycle at a young age. It wasn’t strange to see my classmates zooming around with confidence by the time we hit 1st grade. I didn’t find balance until well into my 4th grade year on a dirt road at the jeering of my well practiced friends. Since then, cycling has always been a chore. While I remember roaming the neighborhood with my posse like every other suburban kid, I never chose biking as my first course of fun. And when college came around with its steep hills and freezing winters, the bicycle turned from a tool of convenience to one of torture. So here I am, living in Seattle where cyclists abound and where even my boyfriend is a bike nut who owns two and just this past summer rode a 130-mile path with his cycling group. My office is frequented by bike messengers, who always smell of sweat and have some of the largest calves that I’ve ever seen. Cycling has never been more strange and attractive.
When Yowamushi Pedal started airing I remember thinking how coincidental the timing was–here I am in a new city that caters to its cyclists and dating a guy who has a long-standing love life with the hobby. Onoda’s natural choice to bike all the way to Akiba doesn’t sound so strange in comparison, and the activity is one that any person of any background and personality can pick up. What makes this interesting to me is the seemingly logical progression from casual riding to group riding and racing. I’ve heard that racing is a terrifying test of rhythm and trust. As Naruko shows Onoda on the bridge as they cut through the wind, the cyclists in a line must maintain a steady speed. The closer the bikes are, the easier it is to create that protective cone. When it’s a matter of competition, each party hopes that the other is balanced and steady, making the prediction and act of passing safer and easier. Just one falter or unpredictable break could result in a domino effect. And moving at the speeds that they do, a fall would be extremely dangerous. That Onoda has caught the bug of competition is not an indication that all cyclists can or should try racing. His quick capability should instead impress upon the viewer just how incredible this kid is. I have a feeling that like the hime he loves so dearly, Onoda is about to transform into MAGICAL CYCLING BOY DESU!
Does my newfound appreciation for cycling mean I’ll pick up the activity? Certainly not! You couldn’t get me to bike up a mountain even if you set a bowl of the most fragrant unadon at its peak. I’ll leave that sense of accomplishment to better folk than me and cheer on the sidelines at start and finish, hoping for an end as quirky as the beginning.
- Changing gears does not create sparks as Imaizumi’s bike would have you believe! It would be pretty cool if it did…
- Straight from a cyclist’s mouth: other than the sparks, YowaPeda is verifiably real on technique.
- Not only calves, but THIGHS! A cyclist’s thighs can get monstrously huge…disproportionately huge. Google “cyclist thighs”.
- As green and healthy as cycling is, it’s an extremely dangerous mode of transport in the city. The show neglects to warn viewers of how easy it is for vehicles to overlook you. A cyclist is lucky if he or she has never been hit; it’s only a matter of time.
- This show is slotted for 38 episodes of pure awesome sports anime-ness. I totally thought it’d be a one-cours show given my luck with likable shows lately.
- If you’re watching this, don’t close out after the ED credits. You’ll be treated to some hime goodness 😉