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Published: September 3rd 2010
The idea for this trip originated about a year ago in a phone conversation with Ray, an old California friend. By the time we met as ESL teachers in Japan in the early 60s we had both traveled the world extensively, Ray as a merchant seaman, and I as a hitchhiker and odd job holder in Europe and Asia.
In Japan, we hung out together, shared teaching materials and classroom experiences, talked endlessly about our love and admiration of Japan, and spent a few evenings carousing Kabukiza and Dogenzaga, Tokyo entertainment areas. This friendship was aided by like world views, somewhat similar dysfunctional childhoods, and shared hysterical amusement at some of humankind's many foibles.
After nine years in Japan, I left in 1972 for grad school at the University of Arizona while Ray stayed on to teach at Seijo University in Tokyo, and along with his wife, establish and operate a well-respected and profitable ESL school for children that also supplied teaching materials and advice to sister ESL schools throughout Japan.
I finished grad school, married a wonderful girl from Japan, and taught at the Center for English as a Second Language at UA until I retired last year.
During the intervening years, Ray and I both independently took up cycling for enjoyment and as a way to keep in condition. I made it a part of my daily routine, even lately making the arduous climb up Tucson's Mt. Lemmon a few times. Ray made frequent cycling trips outside Japan. Tasmania, Europe, India are among 9 long-distance bike trips he took over the years.
Both of us having recently retired, in our 70s, and casting about for a hurrah, we came upon the idea of a German-to-Italy bike trip across the Swiss Alps. A year or so earlier I had proposed to members of my 1955 Missoula County High School graduating class a Tucson-Missoula ride in time for the 55th class reunion. The idea was met with with doubts about my connection to the real world. And to be frank the connection may be tenuous. There were no takers. Fortunately. But I digress.
Tot: 0.884s; Tpl: 0.029s; cc: 9; qc: 48; dbt: 0.0393s; 1; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb