So you think you deserve to host the Olympics?

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
Going to have to agree with Joe here - two years commuting from Yokohama along route 246 in to AkasakaMitsuke and never an accident. Yep encountered some idiots but never been side swiped or ran off the road.

One thing I have noticed is that if you get aggressive, ride aggressive then other road users will be aggressive to you - ride passive, obey signals and rules and life is a lot more pleasant and you'll probably live longer too!
 
  • Like
Reactions: thomas

JackTheCommuter

Maximum Pace
Apr 3, 2012
401
98
48
Tama Center <-> Otemachi
My commute experience is over five years between Futako area and Ebisu. I've had some close calls of course but hindsight shows it was caused by my lack of experience. Bad behavior like riding in the gutter and being too aggressive. These days it's about signaling intent, letting other agro vehicles slide (I'm not a traffic cop), signaling thanks for giving me space, deliberate pace, and very visible bright lamps. Next up is a camera to act as the "eye of god" to keep people on good behavior.

Even with all that, I did have a big enough collision with a taxi that warranted and ambulance ride. 100% blame was assigned to the taxi, which I understand is rare...

We all know to take it easy in the metro areas. Save the strength for, IMO, the more interesting rides into the hills and sanctioned races.

I think street choice has a lot to do with number of incidents. I find Meguro doori, while busy, easy to navigate by bicycle. Komazawa doori, while a single lane each way and not as busy, is more difficult to negotiate because of parked cars and it is a single lane. The 246 is just one long stretch of 2 to 4 lane intensity with large number of buses and taxis changing lanes. Dai-ni doori is similar to Meguro doori but feels a lot more intense because of all the slow gentsuki. Dai-ichi doori is also like Meguro doori but now with big van trucks and tractor trailers.
 

Sheep

Maximum Pace
Jul 27, 2009
285
54
48
Tokyo
My commute experience is over five years between Futako area and Ebisu. I've had some close calls of course but hindsight shows it was caused by my lack of experience. Bad behavior like riding in the gutter and being too aggressive. These days it's about signaling intent, letting other agro vehicles slide (I'm not a traffic cop), signaling thanks for giving me space, deliberate pace, and very visible bright lamps. Next up is a camera to act as the "eye of god" to keep people on good behavior.
Totally agree. Having said that, I normally ride assertively (not aggressively of course), but sometimes you just get some really bad drivers that you can't do anything about. The other night I was in primary position approaching a junction in slow moving traffic, when a driver (Prius) decided he just somehow had to get in front of me - crawled out into the oncoming lane then proceeded to push back left, pushing me into the side of the road. I think in these cases there's no option but to give the aggressive stare (was tempted to use my cleats on his car, but refrained...).
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
Koshukaido (20) is madness unleashed in the mornings. Evenings are much better. If I swing up then it adds nearly 30-40min to my commute mainly as I need to wade through the endless streams of other drivers trying to get on another 'spoke' into Tokyo. It's always a toss up between the smaller roads with more signals (I stop as required) or larger ones with higher transit speeds but less buffer. When I ride in a car on the 20, and we pass other cyclists I think, 'my god, he's gonna get killed any second!' There is less than 10-20cm to drive in. If you attempt a 1m 'rule' , then drivers will intentionally hit you, honk, curse or otherwise force you onto the gutter. On the otherhand I used to ride Yamete Dori almost every day. IN spite of it being a major artery into Tokyo, it had side strips, wider lanes and cleaner approaches. Regardless the traffic density, I never felt as threatened as the <killer> 20.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
AWESOME!!
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
Well the IOC seems to think so! Job done!
 

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
2,956
833
133
Japan
Well done! Job done? Hardly, there are still 160,000 refugees displaced by the nuclear meltdown living in emergency housing and growing stockpiles of radioactive water by 400tons a day being stored in makeshift tanks. Abe lied when he said the situation was under control but he got what he wanted. Reports of thyroid cancer in children from the region are just beginning to surface. But let the games continue. The Fukushima ex-residents are a new generation of hibakusha here. But HEY, we won! Herald the mighty victory.
rant over.......... for now.
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
Simon, totally agree with you in regards to the seriousness of the situation in Fukashima, hell the whole nuclear policy here in Japan. I'm no slackavist either that just rants on facebook or forums and since the events of 2011 I've actually got off my arse and gone to Fukashima, Sendai and surrounding areas to support local communities and events and will be heading up again on the 16th to support another event for the victims of the Great Tohoku Earthquake,Tsunami and Nuclear disaster.....

However I do see Tokyo getting the Olympics as a good thing - the international spot light is well and truly on Japan to sort out this mess that both the government and Tepco has created.The Olympics gives hope to a nation that has not only been knocked on its back once, but 3 times in one hit. It's not going to cover up the situation but it will give the nation something positive to work on.
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
In regards to the Olympic road race - well it will include a lap of the Imperial Palace. Tokyo will get a brand new temporary velodrome which after the Olympics will be relocated and form part of the new UCI Continental Cycling Center from what I hear this will be located in Kansai and be a mirror of the one in Shuzenji.

MTb and BMX will be held in Odaiba and also a new park will be built for the XC race.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Gunjira

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
Well, hey, why not just shuffle everyone out to Izu?? After all , isn't that WHY the built the 'world class' , 'International' facility? Jeez, its just a hop skip and jump from central Tokyo, too! Perfect location for ALL the cyling events, no? Scads of trains, easy, quick access by motorway and convenient to airport! Cycling in the morning and Gymnastics at night - NO PROBLEM!

@kiwisimon - but honestly, they'll have to answer up to higher authorities now. And mabe this will crack the stalemates on TEPCO refusal to outside help. Or, on the flipside , they can sell tickets to tour the most radioactive place in Asia! It's probably more interesting than Disneyland - even if they were both engineered b Mickey Mouse.
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
The question I want to ask those who don't think Japan should get the Olympics is this " Who is actually being punished if they didn't win the bid based on Fukashima? The President of Tepco? The share holders or the Politicians?"

What you are basically saying is that we should punish a nation for the evil of a few?
 

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
2,956
833
133
Japan
The question I want to ask those who don't think Japan should get the Olympics is this " Who is actually being punished if they didn't win the bid based on Fukashima? The President of Tepco? The share holders or the Politicians?"

What you are basically saying is that we should punish a nation for the evil of a few?
There's no punishment, it's about priorities and that's why I referred to a new generation of hibakusha, yes largely forgotten save the odd cameo whenever a celebrity wants a photo op or a feel good vibe. Where is the army of volunteers or publicly funded groups keeping the issue at the forefront of the Japanese consciousness? Seems like the victim card got stopped being played by the media as soon as it was shown that this catastrophe was the result of Japan inc's incompetence and not just a natural disaster.

Why should a sporting festival take more of the nations attention than the real need to restore (a) peoples lives as best they can and (b) the environment? It can be argued that Mr Abe has been underwhelming in his action on these issues thus far.
Since when has the awarding of the Olympics been anything other than a slush fund for the IOC members? I personally think the Olympics should be held in the same place every time and the hosting of the games is a stylistic theme not requiring billions of public funds being spent every 4 years.

Japan says it has 4.5 billion dollars already allocated for the games, yes but the same money would go a long way to providing (a) permanent housing and sources of income for the homeless (b) real effective solutions to the continuing meltdown at Fukushima which at present, there are none!. Again which is more important?

Why should these people be made to endure further hardship than necessary (punished) because a few elites in Tokyo decide it's more important to host a sports festival than the obvious right thing to do? Sure it will cheer some of the people up but 16 days after the opening ceremony they will still be homeless, on welfare and unable to return home, and lets not forget their kids will also be dealing with chemotherapy and seriously diminished quality of life in ever increasing numbers.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Forsbrook

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,704
1,542
133
Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
I have always found it interesting how trains out of and into Tokyo are called "kudari sen", "nobori sen" (descending line, ascending line), as if Tokyo was on a big hill overlooking the rest of the country. If there is one thing in which Tokyo towers over the rest of the country it's in the arrogance of its people in charge. Of course this is nothing new. Much of the bad habits of the Eastern Capital (東京) were directly imported from Imperial China and its Northern Capital (北京=Beijing) and Southern Capital (南京=Nanjing) some 1400 years ago.

Yesterday as we watched Mr Abe's presentation and he said something like the situation in Fukushima did not really affect Tokyo, my wife commented, "can you imagine how this must sound to the people in Fukushima?" She had seen an interview with someone from there who had said, Tokyo winning the bid would be like a different country winning the bid. It didn't change anything for people in Fukushima.

There is a disconnect between the capital and the provinces. Fukushima was sacrificed on the altar of "cheap" electricity, while Okinawa is bearing the bulk of the burden of "collective defence" for Japan. Meanwhile Aomori is home to the nuclear waste factory in Rokkasho mura, which means it will be the default long term dumping ground if no permanent storage location can be found.

Congratulations to Mr Abe for bringing Games to Tokyo. If Abenomics can also provide the Bread then he can hope to rule like a Roman emperor of old.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
Well, perhaps like Beijing, Abe can truck (literally) in the unemployed from Fukushima and other areas to work on the grand stadium and other infrastructure. Of course they can sleep in the park - they've already got the precedence of the Blue Sheet Village, which I presume is what will be used to house the other staff. The Olympic Athletes themselves, safely ensconced in the Olympic Village, may dine on some of the proudly 'Grown in Fukushima' produce and finally put some of that surplus whale and dolphin to use! So much for the naysayers! Lean meat and veggies my boys! It will be a BOON for Kyocera , Hitachi and the other Japanese companies in providing dosimeter badges (in Olympic's 'friendly' motif). But, yeah, given Japan's somewhat less than stellar handling of construction funds and 'glass ceiling' economics .... there will be some blowback to manage.

Overall, though, I think / hope , the event will:

1) Put Japan in a more global spotlight AND responsibility driven position.
2) Revamp the infrastructure of central Tokyo and make some sense of the current National Stadium, which is really a clusterf* as it stands.
3) Bring thousands of cycle hungry tourists.
4) Finally allow bikes on the Tokyo Bay Bridge.
5) Put an end to who is really #1 when it comes to producing high quality original vinyl characters!
6) Get DAM to update all the karaoke boxes with more non-Japanese songs.