Way back when we first started out on this journey, we learned from the principal that the original Cycling Club actually rode around Japan. From what I understand (based on what this show presents) cycling isn’t the act of just riding a bike. It’s about experiences, travel, and enjoying yourself. If you look at cycling in that light, it makes sense why the club isn’t officially sanctioned by the school just yet. The Cycling Club hasn’t done anything but a short race.
I doubt MK is looking for us think about cycling v.s. biking in this way, but it helps me come to terms with the fact that it’s episode ten and the Cycling Club still isn’t an official club, yet.
Korone finishes building Hiromi’s bike using that frame the club won during the Night Criterium. Hiromi is embarrassed that she is the one getting a free bike, but since none of her friends seem to care that she is getting special treatment- we probably shouldn’t either.
I do want to discuss how the team sold themselves a little short when talking about Hiromi getting this bike, though. When Hiromi states that she may not deserve this because she didn’t win the race by herself, the rest of the girls say that she was the one who won the race and should be the one who gets the frame. I’m sure the girls are just trying to make their friend happy and give her the frame she loves, but I truly hope they don’t believe that Hiromi was the one who won the race. If anything, it was Higa.
Since Hiromi finally has a regular bike, Shiki suggests the Cycling Club go on a cycling trip. She further explains that since road racer bikes are easy to breakdown, the girls can theoretically go anywhere they would like to in Japan using planes, trains, and automobiles by just packing up the bicycles in handy bike bags.
Luckily for the Cycling Club, Shiki was able to procure from funds from the school principal even though they still aren’t officially recognized as a club. I have no idea how much these bicycle bags are, but I think all of the allotted funds were used to purchase them. Because the club did purchase all their bike bags from Korone’s store, Sandy gets to borrow a road racer from the shop. It’s great that Korone is letting these kids borrower her bikes, but I did want to see Sandy struggle to keep up with the rest of the club on her “mommy bike.” I’m actually a little disappointed.
Young Americans, in anime, are typically portrayed as annoyingly forward- I always hate those characters, and Sandy is just that person. If you didn’t get a good enough taste for her loud personality last episode- well, look no further:
The day before the Cycling Club day trip, Sandy bursts into Hiromi’s bathroom while Hiromi is bathing. Sandy yells about how it’s normal to bathe together in Japan. She then fondles Hiromi, who is very much against this interaction. It’s really quite terrible. For the first time in the show, I feel bad for Hiromi. I would sincerely hate being in that situation, and Hiromi is a trooper for being so kind during the ordeal.
After a brief train ride, the girls reach their destination and begin to bike with Shiki at the lead. The girls then attempt another bicycle train, though Sandy tends to ride far too quickly according to Fuyune. Sandy doesn’t take into consideration the other members and is selfish. With these glaring personality flaws, I can see Fuyune getting fed up with Sandy’s behavior which will lead to a short conflict. Possibly next episode, though I doubt it. This is likely something to be picked up next season- if there is one.
The episode ends with Shiki leaving the Cycling Club behind to find their way to their destination by themselves. While the girls are scared, they also seem relatively confident that they can complete the rest of the course.
I am happy that the Cycling Club is getting out to see the world after ten episodes of what I consider mostly stagnation. Typically at this point in the season we see the show building a climax, and I am thinking that the girls will get lost or encounter some mild issue on their way to meet up with Shiki at Miura Peninsula. I doubt we will see Shiki next episode, and instead it will be a focus on the girls’ teamwork and cycling aptitude with Shiki coming in again on episode twelve.