Chapter 17 - Let's Try Riding on a Bike Path

Yo, Mai-kun.
Oh, Satsuki-san♪
Whooh... Great weather today, huh?
It's the perfect weather for cycling.
Thanks for coming out with us today, Satsuki-san. I know you're busy with school and everything...
It's fine, it's a good excuse to unwind some.
Besides, bicycles are my passion, so this is fun for me.
It's a relief to hear you say that. I never expected there to be any girls at St. Michael's who were into cycling... So this is a pleasant surprise.
There isn't anybody in your class who seems like they'd ride a bike?
Not really. In our world, pretty much everyone has a car pick them up...
I see...
That's why the biggest winner was me for getting the chance to hang out with a couple of my juniors like this.
Hehehe... Oh, speak of the devil, look who we have here.
Huh?
Satsuki-sama~ Mai-sama~ Good day, you two.
Good day to both of you.
Risa-chan, Miya-chan, good day.
Good day... Yep, the perfect girls' school greeting♪
So I looked it up yesterday, and it looks like this place is called the "Palace Cycling Course."
That's right, a portion of the road running alongside the inner moat of the palace has been opened up as a bike path for use by bicycles.
That's incredible... Being able to ride brazenly down the middle of a road where no cars are allowed to drive makes you kind of special.
Hehehe, I know, right? It's open every Sunday from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM, so we can take our time.
We're on the part of the course next to the Takebashi subway station right now, so if we stop just short of Hibiya Park and then come back, that's about 3.4 kilometers.
They close it on days when it rains or when there's a major event going on though, so watch out for that.
Um... Is it okay for just anyone to ride? I- I mean does it cost money or something...?
It's totally free, you don't even have to check in. Of course you have to provide your own bike, but other than that, you're set♪
That's awesome... It'll be so much fun to be able to ride without having to worry about cars or people♪
Just remember, you still need to watch your speed, Risa.
Nnngh, yeah, I know... I just got a little carried away yesterday, that's all.
Hehehe.
You know, I would've expected someone as competitive as you to be a lot more into this.
I enjoy it when you're the one pursuing me, but for me to be the one in pursuit is a little...
Uh, you know it's not like I chase after you because I enjoy it. I only do it because you're always skipping class.
Oh, are you quite certain of that? I could have sworn you chased after me because you wanted to see me.
Y- Yeah, well... Hnnh...
Hehehe.
Oh, not again... I'm getting caught up your antics like I always do. Oh, hey, Mai-sama.
What is it, Risa-chan? Do you want me to listen to you and Miya gush over each other?
N- No! I just noticed Reo-sama wasn't with you today...
Oh, yeah... I couldn't get that girl out of bed this morning.
*slam!* *vrrrr...*
Whooh~ Oh man. Hey you guys, thanks for waiting.
Reo-sama?
She showed up in a taxi? Like she's some top executive or something...
Reo! What are you doing wasting money again?
What? It's fine. I came all the way out here, didn't I? I honestly didn't even want to.
So then why did you come?
Because you didn't leave me anything to eat!
Hehe.
Hey, what're you laughing at, Ayase Miya?!
I'm merely grateful that you chose to honor us with your presence.
Hmph.
So really, you just wanted to spend some time with us. Is that it, Reo-kun?
N- No... Geeze...
Great, you can observe all you want, then.
God! You don't listen at all, do you?!
Why don't we just forget about old sourpuss Reo and get ready to start riding?
O- Okay.
Like I said yesterday, speed really doesn't matter that much when you're trying to lose weight.
The most important things are maintaining a constant heart rate, and the duration for which you maintain it.
So today, why don't we use heart rate monitors and try our best to keep our pulses steady?
Heart rate monitors...?
If you wear a heart rate monitor, you can monitor your pulse in realtime. Here, this is the sensor.
It's an elastic band... with some kind of device on it.
It's called a chest strap. You should position the device near the center of your chest, with the band wrapped around you. And this is the receiver.
Receiver...? It looks like a wristwatch.
That's right, this one is wristwatch style. You could also use it for things like jogging.
You can also use a smartphone, a cycling computer... There are even some that can display on bike speedometers.
Wow... There are so many different kinds.
Well, there's a restroom over there, so I'm going to go put the sensor on.
Okay♪
………………
Whoa... The numbers are going up and down... This is cool♪
Those numbers are your heartrate. Is it showing somewhere about 100 right now?
Yeah... It was a little higher when I was walking earlier, but now that I've stopped, it seems like it's gone down.
Our goal today is going to be to keep checking that while we try to maintain our heart rate in the fat burning zone.
I see... That seems easy enough.
With enough experience, you'll be able to tell by feel, without even having to look at the meter. But until then it's safer to use these.
All right then, let's give it a try♪
Will be riding about the same as we did yesterday?
Today we'll try staying in low gear. Because of that we'll be keeping our speed down somewhat, but we should still be able to have an enjoyable ride.
I see... Low gear, huh?
*ka-chak*
Whoa! The pedals are spinning like crazy!
The amount of force required to rotate the crank by a certain degree is more efficient and results in less fatigue... It's just like in the book I read.
That's Miya-chan, always doing her homework.
Which part is the crank?
It's the rod connected to the pedal. For someone so studious, you haven't done very much research on bicycles, have you?
Nnnh... But I've been spending all my energy on upkeep...
Upkeep? But you've barely even ridden it.
Risa spent all day yesterday polishing her bike to preserve its lovely pink color.
R- Really?
Actually... Yes. I did.
Well, I think it's great you're taking such good care of your bicycle.
Th- Thanks...
Now then, from here on why don't we ride at a comfortable pace while monitoring our heart rate?
………………
How are you two doing?
Not bad. It's a lot easier to keep a steady pulse than I thought it was going to be.
One of the most appealing things about cycling is how simple it is to control your heart rate.
I feel like I'm just on the verge of having to start panting.
There you go, you've really picked this up fast.
Hehe, at this rate I feel like I could keep up this cycling diet for ages. Don't you agree, Miya?
R- Risa, why do you have on such a lovely smile...?
Hm?
If you don't stop showing me that dazzling smile, I'm going to... Haah, haah, haah...
M- Miya-chan, you're starting to breathe heavy. Are you having trouble controling your heart rate?
Yes, my heart rate just won't stop climbing... Ahhh, all I want right now is to wrap my arms around my lovely Risa♡♡
Whaaaaat?! No, don't do that here!!

To be continued... Next time♪

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