checking with local shops/riders...?

jdd

Maximum Pace
Hardest Crash
Jul 26, 2008
2,512
639
133
Kanazawa
#1
In that other thread about kyushu, Sikochi offered that when planning on riding somewhere new that perhaps checking with local cycling clubs or bike shops is not really a feasible option. That made me wonder...

There's enough hair standing up over there in that other thread, please note that I am not intending this to be any kind of criticism of the above opinion. But I'd at least like to table this possibility to see if anyone has ever done/tried this, and then did it work out or not, did you get any good info/tips?

Personally, I've done this twice, tho in the end I didn't go ride in either place. :( Most recently, for a Feb. conference in Shikoku I did PM Sikochi, and he was kind enough to offer a thorough reply or two to my questions about riding one direction or another using Kochi as a base. He offered what I think would have been great info (had I actually made it to the conference with a bagged bike!). So +1 on the idea of inquiring with local riders.

Another time was a contact with "joeinjapan" who posted at the end of page 2 in the Kyushu thread. He was also enthusiastically informative, providing lots of road/route suggestions, ferry schedules, and even an offer to let me couch-surf at his place. So +2. Also, for anyone who has posted that they're coming thru Kanazawa, I've tried to help. Phil Harris was thru and we had a fair amount of beer and a couple meals here. A stranger to TCC, Helen, who was going cross country last September or so, and had asked the TCC forum for some advice, was also thru here. Before that, maybe 3 golden weeks ago, Thomas and a couple others were thru (tho we missed each other). And I think it's kiwisimon who is in Aomori, who I'd probably try emailing if I were going up there, and is it Andy who is in Niigata? And, someone else in Ina? And ericromney, tho off on the wrong foot in the kyushu thread, has at least offered kyushu info for someone who might be riding there. And I've got SteveT's route down the spine of Japan bookmarked. So ++more.

And these are folks that I've never met, that the TCC board has brought together. (or at least they have surfaced here!) So tho the T in TCC is for Tokyo, I'd suggest encouraging and cultivating this kind of diversity/resource.

**

Next, as for contacting cycle clubs, that's a harder one. One local one that does have a forum is http://www.tondemo.jp/xps/ which is the club connected to the shop where I bought one of my bikes. Obviously, all in Japanese, and for some, that may be the stumbling block that would prevent local club contact from happening. But it would be interesting to see what their (or some other similar club's) response would be to an outsider's inquiry. I guess you'd need to do some googling in japanese to find other such clubs around the country.

Finally, as for info from shops--probably not. I don't see them as being in the guide business, but if asked they may be willing to refer you to a local club.

**

So how about it? Have you tried getting or gotten useful info from riders or clubs around the country?

John D.
 

Sikochi

Maximum Pace
Sep 13, 2010
1,149
49
68
Kochi
#2
Jdd, no-oe was interested in your post! But yes, if anyone is coming this way and wants some advise re:routes then I am happy to offer my limited knowledge. It`s a bit better since Jdd enquired (I didn`t think what I told you was that much help), as been exploring more.

Biggest problem with route advice though, is that sometimes it`s easier to leave someone on the main road as the lack of signage (road names/numbers) means the danger of getting lost and time spent faffing about, outweighs the inconvenience of the traffic.
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#3
Actually I think thats the whole purpose of why this forum was created.....to bring people in the Tokyo area together for rides and information.

I know other riders here that started riding with local shops and clubs before finding the TCC, but like any other non-native rider in a different country language skills are basically essential when trying to get on club or shop rides.

One other option is "Owners Clubs" I know here in Japan Rapha, Pinarello, Colnago all have owners clubs or Grand Fondo rides organised on a regular basis and even if you aren't an owner there is never an issue tagging along.
 

Izo

Warming-Up
Oct 20, 2010
44
0
0
Wakoshi
#4
Finally, as for info from shops--probably not. I don't see them as being in the guide business

When I bought my bike at Y's Shiki I asked the guy (had his picture on the wall proclaiming he'd been some famous team leader) how far to the Arakawa as I'd probably cycle home that way. He had no idea (about 5km). Huh???????
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#5
You haveto remember that Y's in Tokyo is pretty much the same as Sport Authority. The guys that work there are basically just bodies... there are a few "GREAT" guys like the tall guy at Akasaka that wears glasses and the manager down at Yokohama but most others don't have a clue.

You want the smaller shops like Positivo, Bike-Run, Sagami Cycles, C-Speed that have group rides set up on the weekends and the likes,deptarment store style bike shops or franchised brand stores are not the place to go!