At the start of the episode, we’re introduced to the mysterious new girl in the OP, Saeki. She spotted Ami riding her bike and is curious about it. We don’t really know anything about her except that she is in one of Ami’s classes (what is Ami studying anyway?), and is a little interested in cycling. Hopefully she doesn’t make Ami’s mistake of buying a cheap folding bike as a starter if she’s going to get serious about cycling. Maybe in the future we’ll get to see Saeki make beginners mistakes and Ami can teach her about them? This seems par for the course for this show.
Ami and her friends organise to go on a 100km ride. This is the furthest Ami has been so far, but not as far as the autumn cycling event she’s planning to enter. It’s good to do some training leading up to a big ride, but it’s not super necessary to be able to ride that far on a regular basis in preparation. Sometimes going too far in your training can be detrimental, you need to plan these things carefully. Still, as she’s already ridden about 70km in last week’s episode, 100km isn’t out of the question.
I love the easy-going music which accompanies the ride. This sort of cycling is fun and very much not a race, it’s about taking your time and enjoying yourself. The whistling I think really helps to emphasis the relaxed fun that you can have on a bike. I did notice that during this ride, there’s some stills which I think is a first for the show when it comes to the cycling scenes. The animation of riding has had a lot of detail put into it up until this point. A series of stills isn’t a bad way to show several events happening in short succession, but it is a change of pace from the previous episodes.
The girls stop for an ice-cream and I can’t help but notice the spoon and cone combo here like in the first episode. Is this a Japanese thing? Everywhere I’ve been it’s very much spoon (and a cup) or cone, you don’t get both. If anyone can confirm that they have received both a spoon and a cone when they get ice-cream I’d love to hear about it.
Although it’s at an easy-going pace, Ami and her friends successfully ride 100 kilometres (it’s actually just a little over that). Yayoi’s bike computer looks fancy, I don’t recall seeing one with a temperature gauge on it before. 23 degrees (73F for my non-Celsius using readers, it’s mild, not freezing) is definitely great weather to be outside.
The second half of the episode is all about the Autumn Ride, and we start off with watching Ami packing to go away. I feel like Ami’s family only exists to worry about how spaced out she is. Surely they should have other personality traits? I don’t expect super deep characterisation in a show like this, but it is kind of weird how everyone’s world just revolves around Ami.
Transporting four bikes on one car is hard. They’re lucky to have so many attachment points on the one car.
This is totally not a thing. Breasts can definitely get in the way doing a lot of things, especially sports (cycling is actually pretty good for the busty because your breasts don’t really get in the way much and you don’t need to strap them down super hard as you’re not going to bounce too much), but there is no reason that your breasts would get in the way when steering. You should hold your arms slightly out from your body when driving and bend your elbows. I could only imagine it being a problem if you were one of those people who didn’t use a good grip in the upper section of the steering wheel as recommended and instead had one hand on the lower half. Yayoi seems to have good steering wheel form so it shouldn’t be an issue. Why create a completely false situation when there’s so many real ones? Why bring it up at all anyway?
Ami and the other girls register for the ride (it looks like you can only register on the day which seems a bit odd to me, based on my experience with group rides you need to pay and register somewhat in advance so that the organisation team can plan ahead for numbers), and then head to the inn where they’re staying.
The public bath scene is such a normal thing in anime, and it’s also so much a thing that I at least don’t really understand why so many shows have. I know that Japan definitely has public bathing, and I would be totally fine with the actual public bathing, but it always feels a bit uncomfortable watching other people take a bath when you’re not there with them. Should I take it for granted as something which is par for the course, should I be troubled every time? I really don’t know. There’s probably an editorial lurking in there somewhere which I could discuss.
There’s definitely a bunch of great-looking food here! Japanese food in general is very big on presentation and I think that this is no exception. Also Saki, why are you starting without everyone else? Why is the meal even served before everyone got here? If the team was entirely made of Saki, her suggestion for a name of ‘Team Chowhound’ definitely makes sense.
After a slightly nervous night’s sleep on Ami’s part, it’s time for the big ride! Here, like during the rest of the show, the emphasis is very much on having fun and doing what you can. It’s not competitive, but just about enjoying cycling. The obvious enjoyment that the girls have is somewhat infectious and why I’ve been enjoying the show so much.
It’s been confirmed, much as I expected that we’ll only see Long Riders episodes up to episode 10 air this year. The final two episodes will be released in February, and Daisuki has confirmed that they’ll make these available with English subs shortly after they’re released in Japan. I’m planning to keep covering posts on Long Riders which means that the last two will be some time in February after the show ends. I’ll fit them in my blog schedule somewhere.