Today May 2019

OreoCookie

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Dec 2, 2017
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BTW, I received a bike trailer (a Burley Encore) last week, and it is causing a ruckus at day care at a daily basis. I think me turning up in a red Ferrari would cause less commotion. My wife freaking loves that thing. We have been BBQing, and we packed an insane amount of stuff in that thing and, get that, she volunteered to push that thing. Even in pram mode that thing is nimble and much easier to push over curbs and uneven ground. Hopefully our neighbors will tolerate that we store it underneath the stairs.
 
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leicaman

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Sep 20, 2012
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Asakadai, Saitama
Spent half the day replacing the (positively ancient) 6700-series components on my Bura with a (105) R7000 drivetrain + (Ultegra) R8000 levers. Doesn't look very different from this morning, but the 11-34T cassette I now have will be very welcome. Looking forward to a little ride up Yabitsu tomorrow...


View attachment 17836
I reckon that saddle bag weighs more than the frame 😜
 

joewein

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Oct 25, 2011
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Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
Spent half the day replacing the (positively ancient) 6700-series components on my Bura with a (105) R7000 drivetrain + (Ultegra) R8000 levers. Doesn't look very different from this morning, but the 11-34T cassette I now have will be very welcome. Looking forward to a little ride up Yabitsu tomorrow...


View attachment 17836
One of the beauties of the 11-34T R7000 cassette is that it will work with 10-speed freehubs as you would typically have on a bike with a 10 speed group set such as Ultegra 6700. All the smaller 11-speed Shimano cassettes (11-23T through 11-32T) need a wider hub body, but with the 34T the largest sprocket is wide enough that it can take advantage of the dishing of the wheel to have enough clearance even with the older 10-speed body. It's the easiest way to upgrade to 11 speed.
 

stu_kawagoe

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Jun 23, 2018
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Once you ride in e. g. the Netherlands, where they have proper cycling infrastructure and drivers know they have the last priority and accept their fate
Can you explain this to me? How is it different in Japan and the Netherlands? I was under the impression (from a very hazy article I read a couple of years) that there are some similarities between the systems, particularly with regard to the hierarchy of road users (including pedestrians) and insurance. Any knowledge people have to share on this topic is greatly appreciated as it's something I often think about and don't have the answers to.

I'm actually fortunate in some ways that I don't commute as I really worry about the whole cyclist vs. driver aggro thing. I read this thread recently and it's pretty sobering to read what happens when you let stuff get out of hand. Fortunately, the guy was able to get everything sorted out and move on with his life.
 

MattRyuu

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Apr 23, 2019
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Can you explain this to me? How is it different in Japan and the Netherlands? I was under the impression (from a very hazy article I read a couple of years) that there are some similarities between the systems, particularly with regard to the hierarchy of road users (including pedestrians) and insurance. Any knowledge people have to share on this topic is greatly appreciated as it's something I often think about and don't have the answers to.

I'm actually fortunate in some ways that I don't commute as I really worry about the whole cyclist vs. driver aggro thing. I read this thread recently and it's pretty sobering to read what happens when you let stuff get out of hand. Fortunately, the guy was able to get everything sorted out and move on with his life.
You got to be careful out there. The laws are pretty strict on motor vehicle operators. They are as well for non-motorized vehicle operators (cyclists) but selectively enforced. Foreign cyclists should be aware of the laws (easy to find via Google, here's one set: https://jpninfo.com/76265), and also culture. A lot of old timers that are out there on their mamacharis grew up riding wherever and however they wanted to.

I'm riding pretty much every day on Arakawa route in Tokyo and because of job flexibility, the times I ride varies. What doesn't is the consistency of intoxicated, retired/elderly people on cyclists. In the last week I saw:

1. What looked to be a 90+ year old fall from standing position on his mamachari bicycle, both feet on the pedals, 90 degrees to the ground. He hit an actual mother on a mamachari, with a kid in the back seat, who was aware enough to only get her front tire grazed. He twitched on the ground for a few minutes, before someone noticed (not the mother) and then he slowly got back up. I'm 100% certain he was drunk.

2. At least 10 drunk elderly 80+ year olds steer their bikes off the Arakawa road onto the grass/gravel, before gaining control and getting back on the path.

3. Around 11 a.m., a suicidal schoolgirl in a long skirt and mamachari, probably 12 or 13 years old judging by similarity in height to my older daughter, made a beeline for me and steered her bike directly into mine, coming from the opposite direction. I had to jump off the path and steer into the grass. As I did, I saw she had been crying.

4. While on the way to the Arakawa route, which is 1 km from our building, I was riding approx. 1 meter from the curb, and I had an older Japanese man, 60+ (?) going the same direction, with no other cars on the road, slow down as he came up from behind me, roll down his tinted M-Benz station wagon (btw, it is completely uncool to buy a sports car in station wagon model!), yell something at me and then beep repeatedly 5-6x. The speed limit was 30, I was going 28 km/hr.

There are just idiots out there and awareness-avoidance is the best policy I can think of.
 

kiwisimon

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Dec 14, 2006
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Japan
Benz wagon for the win, it's not a sports car, it's the best car for carrying kids, golf clubs and bicycles. Better if it's a diesel.
The dude in the Benz you can ignore cause you know he saw you, he may have had kidney stones. . The other scenarios are scary.
 
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MattRyuu

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Apr 23, 2019
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Benz wagon for the win, it's not a sports car, it's the best car for carrying kids, golf clubs and bicycles. Better if it's a diesel.
The dude in the Benz you can ignore cause you know he saw you, he may have had kidney stones. . The other scenarios are scary.
VW station wagon cooler?

I'm still frosty my first car was a nearly junked hand me down Ford 5.0 station wagon Country Squire. The frosty part was the windows didn't roll down electronically anymore so we had to use our hands. On both sides of the glass. Good thing it got 15 gallons to the mile.
 
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luka

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Jan 13, 2015
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made a beeline for me and steered her bike directly into mine, coming from the opposite direction. I had to jump off the path and steer into the grass. As I did, I saw she had been crying.
that's straight outta horror film right there!
 

OreoCookie

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Dec 2, 2017
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Can you explain this to me? How is it different in Japan and the Netherlands? I was under the impression (from a very hazy article I read a couple of years) that there are some similarities between the systems, particularly with regard to the hierarchy of road users (including pedestrians) and insurance.
In my experience, there is no similarity to Japan. Japan is marginally better than Germany, but only because drivers tend to be less aggressive. The infrastructure is worse. I have only more extensive experience in Groningen, which has a reputation of being very bike friendly. Back in the 1970s the city decided to make the city bike friendly. That means cars usually have to take the long way around. Bicycles usually have their own roads, yes, roads, which are separate from the roads for cars and separate from sidewalks. These are wide: they at least fit two bicycles across. If you have to share the road with cars, bicycles have the right of way. So the car just has to patiently wait behind you. And all participants respect each others's spaces.

Quite naturally, when there is bike traffic, your speed tops out at 20-25 km/h. Apart from children, nobody wears a helmet (only foreigners like myself do).
I'm actually fortunate in some ways that I don't commute as I really worry about the whole cyclist vs. driver aggro thing. I read this thread recently and it's pretty sobering to read what happens when you let stuff get out of hand. Fortunately, the guy was able to get everything sorted out and move on with his life.
I have to say that most drivers here are not aggressive, and in my experience the vast majority of dangerous situations are due to negligence and grossly underestimating my speed. That includes other cyclist who do things like cross when the traffic light is red (including mamacharis with mother and two children!) or change from the sidewalk onto the road without looking.

Now I am commuting only on the sidewalk as I have a bike trailer, so it is safer, but a lot slower. Plus, I am big and with baby, so people usually give me some extra space, which is nice.
 

kiwisimon

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Dec 14, 2006
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Japan
I have to say that most drivers here are not aggressive, and in my experience the vast majority of dangerous situations are due to negligence and grossly underestimating my speed. That includes other cyclist who do things like cross when the traffic light is red (including mamacharis with mother and two children!) or change from the sidewalk onto the road without looking.
pretty much my opinion as well. I can get angry but I find a smile and a wave of the hand when I make eye contact with the driver or other cyclist probably has more educational value than a slap on the windscreen, (wich usually scares the crap out of the driver and leaves no damage for cops to be involved in). I used to be a hot head and take bad driving personally but now I just expect to be cut off and prepare for it. If traffic if it looks tight when I overtake a parked vehicle, I take the whole lane to stop possibly getting squeezed. There is a lot to be said for assrtting your rights in the traffic lane and being considerate at the same time. As a former heavy Vehicle driver I will not put trucks and buses in tight spots by my riding, even if it means I will have to stop for a few seconds and let a line of trucks through, I look at the drivers as they roll on through and 90% of them give me a thank you. The drivers appreciate it and it makes them mopre cycle friendly. It also pays to stay off main arterial routes unless you are able to ride at 50kph and not slow down traffic.I7d take Japanese road conditions over New Zealand and Australia 7 days a week.
 

Kangaeroo

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Jan 24, 2018
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I used to be a hot head and take bad driving personally but now I just expect to be cut off and prepare for it...As a former heavy Vehicle driver I will not put trucks and buses in tight spots by my riding, even if it means I will have to stop for a few seconds and let a line of trucks through, I look at the drivers as they roll on through and 90% of them give me a thank you. The drivers appreciate it and it makes them mopre cycle friendly.
I'm still a hothead and carry a wrench in my top tube bag so I can smash driver's side windows if they look the door when I try to drag them out and start pummeling into them.
Having said that, after taking a step back and trying to look at my riding objectively, I realized that nearly 100% of trouble I had on the roads was caused by my own actions, and the remainder was not intentional. I reminded myself that I'm not a pro and I don't get anything by riding like a madman and endangering my own and others' lives (after riding with people here, I also realized I'm not even remotely fast on a bike). I realized that a lot of the people irking me ARE professionals just trying to do their job or get to their job. That helped me to chillax.
I'm too old to change and my initial impulse it to immediately smash the cXXXt's window when something happens, but I remind myself to have respect for people, the conditions and other cyclists and have been able to avoid trouble for a long time, pretty much by coincidentally mimicking the sort of things that @kiwisimon mentioned above.
My experience has been that a smile, wave, nod of thanks and being a little humbler go an enormous way to making roads easier for all users.
 

OreoCookie

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Dec 2, 2017
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And I have to say, something clicks here, his videos are always more playful than similar ones of others (e. g. Ashton Martyn's infamous videos). Plus, I just got a trailer, too 🤣
 

stu_kawagoe

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Jun 23, 2018
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I went for another second ride on my bike this evening. A little bit further this time (say 2-3km) with a conbini stop en route. Bike still feels good. I didn't go fast but it's very noticeable the CAAD doesn't flex in the same way as my last bike. I've got the doctors again this Friday, so hopefully I get good news then and I give the bike a little run out on the river this Sunday.