At the beginning of Episode Six, the bicycle racing club is waiting for Miki’s brother to arrive with a road racer bike and equipment for Sakamichi for the race. Unfortunately, an accident causes a traffic backup, and her brother isn’t able to arrive in time. So Sakamichi has to participate in the 60-kilometer race with his “mommy” bike.
At the starting line, Sugimoto mentions that he overheard the upperclassmen say there will be a recovery vehicle following them and people biking too slowly will be picked up. When the team captain is asked about it, he says that this is true and that they will be picking up any cyclists they believe can’t go any further. The first years are instructed that during the beginning part of the race where they ride through town, they’re supposed to obey traffic lights and race as a pack led by Shunsuke.
After the race starts, a first year named Kawada decides that Shunsuke is going too slow and passes him. His buddy, who I have referred to in my mind as no-name kid, since I don’t remember his name from his brief introduction in Episode Five, whines at Shunsuke to go faster, and even accuses him of going slow on purpose because he’s friends with Sakamichi and is trying to let him stay with everyone on the “mommy” bike. Shunsuke refuses, saying that he’s riding as slow as he can for the others, because they need to conserve their leg strength through this warmup section. Once they make it to the countryside, the real race will begin.
Once they make it to the countryside, both Shunsuke and Naruko speed up. Sakamichi switches his gear and starts speeding up. However, Sugimoto and no-name kid have more gears on their road racers and can easily overtake Sakamichi. After Sakamichi is left behind by the other two, he becomes really frustrated and tries to push himself harder. Unfortunately, his chain slips, and Sakamichi falls off the bike. And with the recovery vehicle coming up behind him, it looks like Sakamichi could end up being out of the race.
Actually, I know what happens to Sakamichi, but I don’t want to provide any “spoilers” for readers who haven’t seen this episode yet.
One thing I have to say about this episode is that I appreciated its realism. Sakamichi discovers that simply having had that one adjustment made to his “mommy” bike doesn’t make it equivalent to the road racers that the others are riding. While I was rooting for Sakamichi, I knew that realistically, there was no way the “mommy” bike could possibly endure the whole 60-kilometer race course.
I was also glad to see that the race didn’t end in this episode, because that would have been kind of unrealistic for a 60-kilometer course. I suspect the race will end at some point in Episode Seven, so that way the story can move on to its next point. Since we see another team featured prominently in the opening and we’ve only had a small brief glimpse of them in one scene in a previous episode, you know that they will have to become more prominent rather quickly.
I also find myself riveted to the action that takes place during the racing scenes. And I will admit that when I watch the races that appear in this show, Queen’s song “Bicycle Race” starts popping into my head. When this happens, it makes me wonder if anyone will ever make an AMV of that song with footage from Yowamushi Pedal.
And now I’m looking forward to watching Episode Seven to find out how the race will continue.
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