Yowamushi Pedal Episode 6: Rough Start
Oh my where to begin? It was quite an emotional episode, it’s not easy seeing Sakamichi panicking, thinking he lost before he even had a chance to compete. I did tear up and quickly became concerned about his reckless actions which made him hit his knee and his chains to suddenly fall off (GOD I HATE IT WHEN THAT HAPPENS). It was a quite a brutal reality check of seeing why a mommy-bike would never be able to compete with a road racer. Mommy-Bikes are for casual, comfortable riding, and Sakamichi’s only has one Double Gear in the front which only gives him two gears to work with; where as Road Racers are built for speed and has twenty gears (ten rear gears and one double gear in the front). I don’t know how I feel about Sugimoto, but I suppose giving Sakamichi a prime example of why he wouldn’t be able to compete with a mommy-bike was necessary, and a good eyeopener despite the heartbreak that came along with it.
I was so relieved when it turned out that the Seniors were the ones who had asked their former captain Tooji to supply Sakamichi a road racer (only Tooji didn’t make it on time because he was stuck in traffic). It was understandable to see Sakamichi who knew nothing of this panic when he saw the Recovery Van because they were told earlier that if they felt the racer was too far behind, they are automatically disqualified. Luckily when they were telling Sakamichi to stop, it wasn’t to disqualify him but to have him switch bikes so that he can actually have a chance competing with the others. My favourite part was when Sakamichi had just comfortably got on the road racer and didn’t even think about technicalities and how different it would be to ride a road racer. Instead he was so focused and so determined, he forgot all that (even his water-bottle unfortunately, hopefully they’ll hand it to him or something). It makes me really happy, because Sakamichi may have been freaking out earlier, but the road racer gave him that flame of hope and BOOM competitive mode!
I’m calling it now that the purple first year (Tennis Kid) who had ignored the instructions of following Shunsuke’s lead until they reach the first stage is most likely going to be the first one to drop out of the race. He is heavily relying on his legs since he is a strong athlete, but is forgetting (or just doesn’t know) that just because you have strong legs doesn’t mean you will automatically do well in cycling. As Naruko had told us last week, cycling is extremely different to ground sports such as Tennis, Basketball, Soccer where they consume lots of stamina because you have to support yourself; as oppose to cycling where the bike supports your body for you. But ultimately, (and I’m going to take a guess based on what we learned over the past five episodes so don’t bite me if I’m wrong) I think it all comes down to cycling experience and knowing how to pace yourself. This is where the Tennis Kid is making a grave error in his judgement. Although his legs are strong, he probably isn’t used to cycling for a long period of time and is over exerting himself which throws off his pace in the long run to preserve his stamina that he will most likely need for the steep climbing (because going up means going against gravity).
There is just one more thing that I am slightly concerned about and that is how the first years are going to react when Sakamichi catches up with a road racer. Earlier before the reached the first stage of the race, the first years were putting the blame on Sakamichi for being slow after the Tennis Kid decided to go off ahead of them despite the orders. All the first years fear the Recovery Truck, so it does make me worried how they are going to react when they realize that the recovery truck DID catch up to Sakamichi only to swap bikes. Of course there is nothing wrong with this because the Seniors are trying to give him a fair shot, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the others and more competitive first years end up being bitter about it, especially if or rather when (fufufufufu) Sakamichi catches up to them.
I was told that this Beginners Race in the manga is quite long, so I am curious how many episodes it will be. There are four stages:
– First Stage: 12 km flat-road through town
– Second Stage: Steep Climb at Minegayama
– Third Stage: Descendant, where they must overcome their fear of speed
– Fourth Stage: Kameishi Dam, 18km series of ups and downs that requires total power
Either way I look forward to it!
Finally last but not least, the adorable extra bit at the end! Can we all take a moment to appreciate Shunsuke for being so nice to Sakamichi and while he didn’t quite understand or particularly like, but he didn’t want to let Sakamichi down so he tried to bring up the positive aspects, so four for you my friend!
AND IT’S ONLY A MATTER OF TIME SHUNSUKE, IT WILL GROW ON YOUUUUUU MWAHAHAHAHA