Reach for the Stars

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Reach for the Stars

It’s July 7th, it’s TANABATA MTBing. What is Tanabata?

Tanabata, also know as Star Festival is akin to Japan’s Romeo & Juliet.  Legend goes that long ago the gods had a daughter, who was  a weaver named Orihime. She met Hikoboshi a cow herder who lived across the river that we know as the Milky Way. After falling in love, the weaving and cow herding took a back seat.  Orhime’s father one of the gods separated them by the Milky Way allowing them to meet only once a year on July 7th.

The idea was to ride our mountain bikes up the old Mikegata ski are. Have dinner under the stars while watching the lovers meet across the Milky Way. Put on the lights and ride down the MTB trails in the darkness.

The ride up in the fading light with a lot of cloud cover meant that we were cool but that the stars were probably not coming out to play.

At the top of Minegata we sit down at the old Yume-no-nojo and boil the water for the cup noodles for dinner. Neither of us are great cooks. Actually, the noodles taste a lot better than usual, maybe it is because we are outdoors.

It is now dark as we set up the bikes with the lights, on foresight we should have done this earlier. The lights are attached to our handlebars and helmets, as well as a rear red light. We don’t want to crash into each other.

We ride down course B/2. The going is slow at first as we get used to the trail and the shadows the light throws off it. At one point we turn off all the lights and like that old saying “We can’t see our hands in front of us.”

We continue down the trail and get a few glimpses of the valley lights below us. As I come to the final corner, my bike skids on a rock and over the handlebars I go. It is like a cartoon, with the stars making a garland around my head.

Well at least some stars came out to play tonight…..