Plan a route west, as I want to attend a vintage bike rally on a small island west of Kyushu. The meeting with the motorcycle journalist gets postponed until I’m at the end of my vacation, so Crazy Pete leads me to some motorcycle workshops his friends run, a bit west of Tokyo center. Fine people out there, who incidentally look just like the same sorry flock of Indian- and pre-1960 Harley riders you can find in the rest of the world, except here they look and speak Japanese. I note that one of them is even taller than I, as he unfurls himself from his extremely worn old Chevy pickup.
Funny as it seems, everyone grins and exclaim a loud “Aah, Smith!” when they see the Nimbus’ ‘Smith Cronometric’ speedometer. Before we leave one of the places I ask what they think of the large custom scooters. “Too noisy”, they say, which is a strange thing to hear from people whose bikes usually have short drag pipes. Then it’s time to head back to town, and again I struggle to keep up with Pete. Yesterday I already drove a bit too fast in order to keep up with the motorcycle couriers – they can better ‘afford’ an accident than I can, so I try to cool it. Wonder what the h*** I was thinking about, when I converted the bike to hand gear change and a ‘suicide’ foot clutch.
The local drunks have started to greet me in the morning, when I go to the bakery, so it is definitely time to get out of town now. Early if possible, but an Okinawan folk music at Tepui Bar gets in the way. Great Japanese audience doing waves, clapping and singing along, a band sounding just as great in the sober part of the evening, and a great way of ending my acquaintanceship with Tepui, which most nights here has been my last stop before hitting the sack.