08 October, 2015

Big park resolution

I've been trying to figure out what to do for regular exercise. Granted, my life here has a certain level of exercise built into it (hauling back all those groceries for hungry boys, just for starters), but I find that I need just a bit more to help me have enough energy to meet all the demands on me.

From 2007 to last year when we left to go back to Australia, I exercised at Curves most weeks two or three times. In Australia I rode to school four times a week (seven km hilly ride) and also went to the gym once a week while the boys were at wrestling training. Now we're back in Japan I face the decision again about what to do. If I don't decide, I'll do nothing.

I really did enjoy riding in Australia, so I thought that as I have a bike already, that would be a cheap way to go. It's just making the time and having a destination that I really needed. Today I decided to try riding to a large park Koganei Koen (park). It's nearly 800,000 square metres or 80 hectares: four times the size of Brisbane's botanical gardens in the CBD or 1.5 times Mt Cootha Botanical Gardens.
We've enjoyed many times there with the boys when they were younger. We've always driven there, though. Turns out it is only about 5km from our house by bike and flat by comparison to what I was riding last year. I had some navigational issues, but am so thankful for Google on my smart phone!

What is astounding, really, is to realise how much humanity is squished into just 5 km as compared to Australia. In 5km of riding where we lived in Australia last year, I wouldn't have passed more than 100 houses, probably a lot less. Here I rode through whole neighbourhoods. I touched on three or four cities, all of which have population densities between 8,800 and 12,450 people per km². Enough to blow most Australian's minds! The areas I rode through in Australia earlier this year have between 500 and 1,100 people per km².

All that maths and geography aside, my start-of-term resolution is to ride to this beautiful park as often as I can (once every week or two, I already have to rides written into my schedule for October). Today I stopped there for a snack and read my Bible for a while. The weather was gorgeous. I know that that's not going to be the case most of the year, but I'm willing to give it a go. It really is a beautiful big space in the midst of so much humanity.

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