Up at 8:30 and out the door at 9:00, I still catch the tail end of Hiroshima's rush hour. I'm running a little late and going a bit too fast. I dodge other vehicles and keep a wary eye out for pedestrians. My route takes me over Misasa bridge and along the Otagawa River. Its a beautiful trip this morning- the cherry trees are blooming. I cruise under a canopy of pink puffs... which rain down when the wind blows. The sky is clear and I can see the mountains on the edge of the city. They too are spotted with cotton-candy trees.
As I cruise into town, traffic picks up. Downtown is bustling as I search for a parking space. It reminds me of downtown Athens... too many people looking, too few spaces. I cruise by my favorite illegal spot, but its full. Traffic cones mark "no parking" areas in front of store entranceways. All the best places are cordoned off. Worrying I'll be late for work, I opt for the parking deck. Its only 100 yen for the whole day (about $1).
I park my bike on the second floor and dash off to work. The air is clean. The city is quiet. I'm invigorated by the morning's exercise.
Its another day in cycling paradise.