Hello from Harajuku

Zaldabus

Warming-Up
May 12, 2020
3
6
3
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Hi All!

Been wanting to get back into cycling for awhile and a few days ago I finally decided to bite the bullet and get myself a new set of wheels:

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Colnago CRS, in addition to being the first new bike I've ever purchased this'll be the first carbon frame bike I've ever owned. I'm super excited that I'll be able to ride again soon if not a bit intimidated by all the extra things it seems I need to be aware of handling a carbon bike. I'd love to hear any good advice you may have in regards to appropriate carbon care and handling.

I officially pickup my bike on the 25th, this coming Monday. In the meantime I've been gearing up on all things cycle and a friend of mine pointed me to this community.

I was wondering, how do people here plan out their bike routes? Having dealt with the overly aggressive cars, other bikes, and pedestrians on the streets of NYC I'm not afraid to get out there but unlike the relatively grid-like streets of Manhattan it doesn't seem like there's any clear paths in Tokyo. Originally I figured I'd use Google Maps as a guide but it seems like the bike directions option doesn't work in Tokyo. I came across an app called Komoot that seems to do a decent job though I'm a bit annoyed that it seems you can't save specific locations for quick use. Anyone familiar with Komoot or have other suggestions?

Also, any upcoming plans for a meetup? I'm sure things have been on hold for awhile with Corona Quarantine but with things warming up and with the pandemic waning away for now I was hoping to enjoy some rides with people more experienced with the terrain. I'm currently based around the Harajuku/Omotesando area but don't mind going out a bit for something.
 

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
3,176
1,160
133
Japan
Welcome aboard.Nice bike!
Carbon bikes are tough, ride it, wash it, maintain it and you'll be fine. If you hit something with any great force there may be damage but that is what dealers are for.
 

Azikara

Speeding Up
Feb 2, 2011
52
21
28
Tokyo and Nagoya
Hi there. Welcome. I'm also making a 'comeback' after many years off the bike. Now back in Tokyo. I'd be happy to get together and show you some rides if you don't mind hanging with the slow coach for a while. There is some great riding out here if you can get beyond the sprawl. Although, I'm not the expert around here. Last time I rode in Tokyo was back in 2017. The expert is the guy who writes this blog (David): http://positivo-espresso.blogspot.com/ Check out the details on routes out of Tokyo and the famous '20 rides from Tokyo' page. Fantastic information.

Congrats on the new ride. I've also got an old Colnago CX-1 which is being shipped and should arrive in a week. Colnagos are well known for being heavily built. I've punished mine and it still lives on. Ride it and clean it and it will be fine. Terrific bikes. Stable and confidence-inspiring.

Cheers,Tristan
 

Zaldabus

Warming-Up
May 12, 2020
3
6
3
34
Cheers! Appreciate the advice. A lot of online info makes it seem like carbon bikes will fall apart with a slight breeze so its reassuring to hear that’s not the case.

Hi Tristan, I’d definitely be up for a ride at some point. I definitely enjoy riding just as much for the exploring aspect so no need to worry about pushing the speed. I actually enjoy a good city ride as much as anything if the streets are accommodating. Not sure what forum etiquette is buts let’s touch base at some point to sort things out.

Never ridden a Colnago before but after coming across this one in the shop I did a good amount of research. Seems to be well received like you’re saying. Looking forward to seeing how it feels on the road!
 
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jeffintokyo

Warming-Up
May 16, 2020
5
3
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@Zaldabus I live in the Harajuku area too. I don't know your abilities, but this is what I do.

I don't like riding in traffic. So for most of my rides, I take a bike bag with me, and ride one way until I get tired. Then take the train back. It takes about 30 minutes along Route 246 to get to the Tamagawa River at Fusako-Tamagawa. This is not so pleasant, but it gets me to the river faster than other routes, so I can enjoy riding the riverbank sooner. From there I ride west along the river for as far as I can go. On most days I ride to Ome or Takao before taking the train back. If you have more energy, you can hit to mountains from both places. Some days I ride up to Okutama (80KM?), then dip in an Onsen, have a bite to eat, then relax on the train ride back. Sagamiko is another great ride, I have have gone as far at Otsuki (100KM one way). That's about as far as my body will take me with my current bike. Alternatively, you can ride East on the Tamagawa towards Haneda Airport, then come back on the opposite side of the river, then cycle back That's not so far.

By taking a bike bag ("Rinko-baggu") with you, it frees up a lot of possibilities to come back by train, and avoid a dreaded trip trough the city.
 

TheAussieinJapan

Maximum Pace
Apr 15, 2014
116
179
63
Nerima Ward
If in Harajuku and up early before the rush, probably one of the first trains for the day, you could even take the Fukutoshin Subway line express out towards Wakoshi, Kawgoe, Hanno & lots of places out in the hills as well if you have a Rinko bag.
 
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jeffintokyo

Warming-Up
May 16, 2020
5
3
3
55
+1 for taking to Fukutoshin Line to Hanno, or returning from there. That's a nice area with rolling hills. And if you plan it right, you can take a single train from Meiji-jingumae with no transfers.
 
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Zaldabus

Warming-Up
May 12, 2020
3
6
3
34
By taking a bike bag ("Rinko-baggu") with you, it frees up a lot of possibilities to come back by train, and avoid a dreaded trip trough the city.
Nice, I had already been thinking about getting a bag for trips farther out but I really like the idea of using it just for the return trip when I’ll be tired and wanting to cool down.

I used to bike regularly to work in NYC and would usually do a couple hours of biking every weekend or so. I definitely need to spend some time getting my body used to a bike again but I hope to be putting in some decent kilometers soon. Maybe awhile before I do 100km in a day though

Appreciate the recommendations! I’ll take note of them and check them out!