Friday, August 13, 2021

Super Cub Volume 1 Chapter 33 - Thirst

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Reiko let the Cub charge into the 8th Station.

Even while she was riding, she honestly didn’t think she would make it this far.

She easily passed the 8th Station, which was out of reach yesterday and the day before, and crossed the hiking trail to reach an even higher level.

As the name suggested, she was at the eighty percent point of the entire climbing route. However, based on her preliminary research and previous experience of climbing on foot, the percentage of burden on the bike and herself was still about fifty percent.

No, the path from here, the 8th Station, to the 8.5th Station, the 9th Station, and the Ohachi1 on the summit is the real part of climbing Mount Fuji, and everything up to now might just be warming up exercises.

She could see the bulldozer trail that led up from the 8th Station. If you looked at it from a distance with a wide field of vision, you could see that it was a well-leveled and ordinary road. But when you were actually riding a motorcycle, it was continuous torture.

This was what she felt the most difficult route of the Dakar Rally2 would be like. It was a road many motorcyclists have given up riding on and pushed their bikes up on. To be honest, Reiko had also considered abandoning her bike and walking up many times before coming here.

Reiko revved up her Cub’s engine. The drop in oxygen level due to altitude and the resulting powering down of the engine was expected, but within the range of expectation.

The front and rear suspension systems worked fine, and the frame, which she inspected in detail before replacing it, twisted and warped under the burden of the engine power and road surface burden, but there should be no problem if it was only this much. The electrical system and fuel were fine. All that remained was the software equipped on the bike body. In other words, herself. The low oxygen on the high mountain was making her lose concentration.

After passing the 8th Station, the bulldozer trail became steeper and steeper with no change in the road condition. Rather than riding uphill, she had to use the power of the engine to pull her tires off the stones they got caught on.

She made a mistake in shifting the load and the front wheel rose into the air. Crap, I’m going to fall, Reiko thought before letting out a scream that was unintelligible even to her. She hung her body over the handlebars and pushed to hold down the flailing front wheel by force.

The advice that the owner of the store at the 5th Station, who climbed Mount Fuji everyday in a vehicle with continuous tracks, gave her. She now understood the meaning of “Don’t put your body up against the mountain. Let your body follow it.” It didn’t mean to relax and surrender yourself to the mountain. The only way to keep from falling off this mountain was to get down and brace your legs with all your strength. 

Climbing to the 8th Station, she felt like she was almost there, but she could never see the actual station. Her muscles, brain tissue, and bike weren’t getting enough oxygen. The dry, low-pressure air stole the moisture from her body. 

The slopes that were steep but not impossible to climb on foot seemed steeper than they actually were when riding a motorcycle.

She thought it was probably because her head and senses were running out of oxygen.

As the Cub gained altitude, the torque reduced, and Reiko’s concentration and muscle movements began to grow dull.

She recalled the times she rode her motorcycle in her dreams. In her dreams, her bike always refused to go forward, no matter how hard she twisted the throttle, as though it was blocked by a wall made of a bird net or clay.

Biting down on her back teeth, Reiko looked at the never-ending steep slope. This is a wall. The wall that surrounds me. The impossible, reckless, and futile act of riding a motorcycle against a wall.

I want water. I want to drink the water of the southern alps that comes out of the faucet when I’m at home in Hokuto.

In her hazy state of mind, Reiko began to think about why she decided to do this.

1 The Ohashi is the name of the crater at the top of Mount Fuji.
2 The Dakar Rally is an annual rally that currently takes place in Saudi Arabia. The terrain is much tougher than in conventional rallies and the vehicles are typically off-road vehicles and motorcycles.

1 comment:

  1. Once again thank you, great start to weekend seeing this