After briefly showing Ami ordering new jerseys, the episode starts out with Ami giving her bike a clean. Things don’t exactly go as planned with Ami getting a drenching (it’s pretty much like when I wash the car, some of us probably shouldn’t be given hose responsibilities).
Aoi suggests to Ami that she should take her road bike into Alpaca Cycle for a service. Paca-san takes care of checking over the bike, while Ami takes notes on good bike care.
It’s worth noting that the explanation on limit screws really doesn’t explain their purpose especially well. The limit screws limit how far the chain can move inward and outward to stop the chain from falling off the gears. They’re also not things that are suggested for beginners to adjust, as it’s quite easy to do it wrong and they don’t tend to need much alteration. It seems like a great way for Ami to have her chain fall off while cycling if she started playing around with them. An advantage of buying from a reputable bike shop; they can take care of maintenance for you, which if you’re riding a lot would be totally worthwhile.
The team jerseys arrive and are suspiciously lacking in sizing information. I just don’t buy that all the girls could wear the same jersey size, or that the 5 jersey minimum would allow the purchase of different sizes.
We see Ami and Emi’s mother in this episode. She looks a lot like both the girls. I wonder if we’ll meet Ami’s father in the future? It does make sense if you’re living in a family home that you’ll see your parents around sometimes. While we only see her in passing, she does seem a lot more grounded than Ami and a bit more like Ami’s younger sister, Emi (her name was mentioned this week which is good because while she’s been credited in previous episodes I’m not confident enough with name kanji to provide guesses for names).
Wearing the jerseys, the girls set off for a ride together as a team. According to the official site info, this week’s ride is about 80km in total with a sizable mountain in the middle. Ami’s come a long way from her first cycling experience on her folding bike!
The girls stop for a bite to eat and run into Saki, and have some food and fun. This scene really makes me notice that seems to be some off-model visuals this week (like poor Aoi’s hand) and just generally, things aren’t looking like they’re at a consistent standard. The bikes still look beautiful and detailed though. I wonder why there’s such a disconnect between the way that the bikes look, and the way that everything else looks? These sorts of things make me more curious about the anime production process.
When going back downhill, the girls stop for a short rest break and Saki shares a cautionary tale about why you should keep your hands on the handlebars as well as the brake levers when descending. She was lucky not be seriously hurt after coming off her bike while going downhill like that. In road cycling events, cyclists can end up with broken bones and other severe injuries if they come off while going down mountains (of course pro cyclists will ride downhill at 70km/hr+).
The episode closes up with Hinako suggesting that they enter a cycling event together. I wonder what sort of event it will be? There’s races and there’s more casual events, and at least in Australia, there’s some where people ride to raise funds for a charitable institution. Hopefully the event is an interesting and positive experience for the girls. It definitely seems like we’re gradually building up to everyone participating in a flèche at the end of the series.