2020 Tokyo Olympic Cycling Facilities

#1
As we're all well aware Tokyo was chosen to host the 2020 Summer Olympics. Which got me wondering where will the cycling facilities be? So I banged out this article : Cycling at the 2020 Olympics. What we know so far.

Also while cycling around the proposed Olympic sites last week I discovered that the site for the Olympic Mountain Biking course is inaccessible by bicycle! But of course that will change once construction gets underway.

Given bicycles can't use Rainbow Bridge or Gate Bridge the whole Tokyo Bay area is inconvenient to access by bicycle. Lets home city planners have cycling in mind when they design the facilities, and transport systems.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#2
To make a point, how about we flash mob the train with about 200 cyclists rinko'd? Do this a few times (or more) and perhaps the 'planners' will get the message. But, remember, this facility is very temporary and just proposed for the Olympic games. So an equally temporary opening of the bridges to cycles is probably ok.
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#3
The question is, Why would you want to make the location accessible to cyclists? You then in turn need some sort of bike parking and really this is a sports venue that is going to see a huge increase in foot flow in such a small area that having the whole cycling community of greater Tokyo descend on it for the Olympics is going to cause serious congestion.

I'm all for improving facilities, infrastructure and education to promote cycling and equal rights on the road but lets not get carried away and focus on things that do not make sense, especially once the games have finished. Remember a lot of these structures and venues are temporary and will either be relocated to other parts of Japan where they are needed (like the Velodrome) or pulled down just like after the London games.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#4
Yeah, totally beats me why anyone would want to ride THEIR BIKE to a cycling event? Especially when the JKA is sure to have PLENTY of mini-vans ready and willing to shuttle bettors, er, spectators to and from. Kinda like wanting to ride your horse to the Equestrian events, or sailing to the sailing events, huh?

As for infastructure - they can use this as a convenient excuse to NOT improve cycling related infra as it will clearly show that moving masses around central Tokyo (10km) is MUCH MORE efficient and eco by using Taxis, Trains and JKA Mini-vans. Besides being much more lucrative.

Off topic - but who wants to chip in on mini heli-drones with cam? They used these in the Haute Route and it was awesome. Just hover over the group and get beautiful broadcast of the action. I want a couple of these so I can have my own personal video feed - without having to even visit the event and fight the hordes to begin with.
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#5
My point is we need to look at the cycling events as just events - we as cyclists just want to ride everywhere. But do you ride a bicycle to a music concert, Premier league football game or theater? I'm guessing if you do attend the above you use public transport.

But wasting money on building a cycling infrastructure to a temporary venue is just stupid and I would rather see more well thought out cycle routes in the city or other permanent facilities for cycling.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#6
Some of us ride our bikes just about everywhere. And when I lived across from Meiji Stadium, cycling to concerts was a large majority of the traffic there. - without any decent cycling parking established. So, yes, the Tokyo govt can do ALOT more to make the city more accessible and friendly to cycling transportation. And, using the Olympics 'slush funds' to bolster that would be great - instead of building futuristic 'monuments' that simply 'pay off' select groups for their ability to participate in the glass ceiling money-go-round-as-usual.

The sense of urgency and access to funds is the key trigger here. Without the Olympics happening, Tokyo govt has absolutely ZERO incentive or agitation to do ANYTHING! TIJ, status quo is the accepted norm. And guarding the old guard is the single most important function of the Ministry.

Sometimes you need to kick the shins of a Donkey to get it going!
 
#7
Many good points about the absurdity of cycling infrastructure to temporary facilities. I'd never thought of it in quite that way before.

Transport for the Olympics, no matter however efficient Japan's transport systems are is going to be overcrowded as hell during the games. Just look at it during peak hour at the moment, and the Tokyo Bay isn't as well covered by trains as it could be. Sure there will be buses, taxi's and vans transporting people around, and most venues in the Tokyo Bay are are within walking distance of each other anyway. With all the transport options under stress why not add bicycles as another to spread the load? Odaiba has the space for bicycle infrastructure and it could serve as an example or pilot program for the rest of the city and other cities around the country.

While the government is throwing money around why not try and secure some of that for something we're passionate about because they're certainly going to tighten the purse strings once the games are over.
 

theBlob

Bokeh master
Sep 28, 2011
2,865
1,451
129
...
#8
That area is perfectly accessible by bicycle. Just not over the routes you seem to want to take. And the routes you want to take shouldn't be open to cyclists. There is a big enough congestion problem, adding cyclists over those bridges is not a good idea.
 
Likes: FarEast

GrantT

Maximum Pace
Oct 2, 2012
1,620
1,199
143
Setagaya
#9
Looking at a map of Tokyo, Odaiba is pretty out of the way. Improving cycling infrastructure to get there probably wouldn't get many people biking to work or into the city.
 
Last edited:
Likes: TokyoTurtle
Jun 6, 2013
119
18
38
40
#10
"And the routes you want to take shouldn't be open to cyclists. There is a big enough congestion problem, adding cyclists over those bridges is not a good idea."

Not so much congestion, which to be honest is rarely a problem on the bridges. The bridges are off-limits to cyclists for the same reasons that the expressways are off-limits to cyclists. The bridges are long stretches of road, easily 3-4km, completely uninterrupted by traffic lights. As such, drivers basically drive at expressway speeds no matter the posted speed limit (I'm guilty too). Not safe for cyclists.

The only change the games will bring to this is more motor vehicles on the bridges.

To pick up on what others have said, you wouldn't expect swimming enthusiasts to jump into the bay or the canals around the city to get to venues right? Wouldn't be safe. The cycling venues will be no different.
 
Last edited:

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#11
One thing more to consider is simply the popularity of the events. While the people here on TCC may be passionate about cycling, in general, except for the medal heats, the spectators at most of the cycling events will be few. I doubt they'll get more than a couple hundred. The medal events <might> draw a few thousand - and only if some Japanese riders are in the mix. Cycling to Odaiba isn't really a problem - HFC does it all the time - and their route is fun! The idea of bridge opening is good because it sets some wheels in motion regarding alternate transportation than simply buses, trains and cars. To consider those 3 methods as the only viable means of people moving is archaic and needs to be dropped. Cycling is the next (current) most viable method with little development costs required. So, from a radicalization perspective, it is the most viable option.

Again, taking London as an example, the radicalization of cycling adoption is resulting in manyfold increase of usage and showing signs of positive benefits throughout the community. Long term results are not hard to see in such communities as Amsterdam, Seattle, Copenhagen and other cities that have set these goals long before.

China blew their chances when they radicalized in the direction of the motorvehicle - mainly to cast off the impression as a 'developing nation'. Now they have to revert - and that means reverting a mindset as well that is inclined more towards greed than community. One only needed to experience China in the last 15-20yrs to see this in action. (I've been visiting and doing business there since the late 80's regularly)

Japan is just an earlier example of China. Emerging as a struggling , battered economy from WWII, the bicycle represented a step in mobilization - but the goal was / is always to emulate the great industrial successes of the West. Therefore, the infrastructure developed for that , rather than to engage the cyclist within the planning and ecosystem of transportation. Shoving it to the sidewalk (literally) as a nearly cast-off symbol of poverty and favor the more egalitarian pose(ure) mentality of single-person cars.
 
Jun 6, 2013
119
18
38
40
#12
"Looking at a map of Tokyo, Odaiba is pretty out of the way. Improving cycling infrastructure to get there probably wouldn't get many people biking to work or into the city."

Correct. Not many people live or work there; most are mearly visitors to the shopping centers, the man-made beach, or Big Sight. Cycling infrastructure in Odaiba/Ariake wouldn't do much at all for bicycle usage among the populous.
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#13
OK Odaiba is perfect accessible to cyclist it bloody hosted Tokyo CX for the past two years that had more spectators than the World Championships, in fact over the 2 days it was held it had a larger spectator attendance than any other CX event in the world, many of whom came by bicycle. so I really don't think it will be the 100's more like 1000's

The other thing to take in to account is local support - The London games had a huge turn out to even previously low turn out events because of the free ticketing system and because the population really got behind it.

In regards to legacy - the JCF and UCI here are very good at securing both funds and legacy, the Japan Cup is one such event held every year since the World's were held here. I would not be surprised if the JCF secured an intercity cycle race and citizens race after the Olympics. Not only that but the Velodrome will be moved to Kansai for the cycling Federation there.

In regards to Obaiba's current transportation system being able to deal with the increase in foot flow...... guys it's XC MTB and BMX, seriously how much additional flow do you think those will create? The big draw will be the road race that will be held in central Tokyo and the surrounding countryside so in reality expect about double the attendance of TOKYO CX at Odaiba durring the games.
 
Likes: TOM