The first section of this blog has been gratuitously copied from a post I just wrote a moment ago for Dannychoo.com

Being an Apple fan boy, my initial reaction to the iPad was ‘I want one!’ then ‘I’ll get one!’ I mean, I find *Twinkle*s iPod touch really sexy, so a BIG iPod touch must be Exceedingly sexy – like a giant Apple pie made by Mr. Kipling, drowning in Ambrosia custard.

But then I started thinking about how much time I spend in front of the screen already – I almost always have an iPhone and MacBook Pro on me already – do I really need another screen to look at?

These thoughts came to me whilst I was out running, training for the Tokyo Marathon. I thought about how much I’ve enjoyed exploring the city on these runs – but also how I’ve found it a bit frustrating that I can never explore beyond the distance that my legs can take me within a couple of hours.

It was then that I made the decision – I’d use the money that I’d put aside for the iPad to buy a touring bike, and spend my free time during the spring and summer exploring Japan.

Joseph on his bike Jungfrau

Used to do a lot of cycling when I lived in Switzerland

As a teenager I absolutely loved cycling, and covered some pretty long distances. It was such a great way to see places, to travel far from home for free, to feel the thrill of travelling at high speed (at least when going down steep hills). The summers I worked in Switzerland saw me doing quite a bit of cycling too – it was tough going but boy was the scenery beautiful.

Thinking about this a couple of days ago got me all excited, especially as I can now combine cycling with other passions, such as photography (using my Nikon DSLR) and tracking my trail (with a GPS app on the iPhone). I feel it’s important to know my surroundings. That’s one thing I really take from our runs – the knowledge and feel of how places on a subway map link together, of where I am in relation to other places I know, of how I can get from A to B to C when the earthquake strikes and there’s no public transport system left.

Japan by bicycle

So, although I haven’t even got a suitable bike yet, yesterday I ordered the iCrew – a waterproof iPhone holder to attach to the handlebars. I’d had a look at the other bicycle/iphone holders on offer, but wasn’t all that impressed. They seemed pretty dangerous really, liable to catapult your iPhone onto the road if you stopped too suddenly or jumped off a kerbstone.

Whilst I’ve obviously not tried it out on the road yet, I like it already – it’s very sturdy, and can be rotated so you can easily watch YouTube movies whilst pedalling along (OK, maybe not such a good idea). Although totally sealed, the power and home buttons can be pressed thanks to flexible rubber bits, and the touch screen is as sensitive as it is on a naked iPhone. There’s a rubber stopper in the top that you can pull out if you want to plug your headphones in.

Next on the list is the bike itself (complete with rack and panniers), a helmet, and glasses. That should do the trick. I see myself going on long weekend trips, blogging / live streaming when out and about (phone signal permitting).

It’ll be great to see more of Japan outside of the city. It’s something I’ve missed these past 18 months – about time to put it right. I hope to be able to do some mega-long trip, like Tokyo to Hokkaido, around Hokkaido and back to Tokyo – we’ll see.

Bicycle training will begin once the marathon is out of the way at the end of the month!

Tomorrow I’ll be attempting to set a new distance record – 20 miles – it’ll be the furthest I run before the marathon itself.

Ganbarimasu!