Last Friday I decided to ride my Giant STP1 to work. This is no commuter bike.
The STP is designed to take a flight of stairs at full speed, to survive large vertical drops, and is much more at home in a skate park, than on the streets of Tokyo. The correct way to ride such a bicycle is with as few wheels on the ground as possible, which is the direct opposite of commuter cycling where rubber on the ground is considered essential.
To my surprise the ride to work was a lot of fun. The STP1 is a very playful bike, with just a single stroke of the pedal I'm transformed back into my 10 year old self. I want to go fast, I want to ride through the puddles, not around them, I want to hit those bumps in the road that I normally try to avoid. But above all the urge to launch myself into the air is just irresistible.
With time on my side I managed a few detours around Shimokitazawa, and Setagaya Kouen to take in some terrain not normally accessible by commuter bicycle. Needless to say the ride to work was one of the most enjoyable in a long time.
The mornings ride left me in a great mood for a day at the office, and I spent all day looking forward to the ride home. Unfortunately the return journey was a chore. I was in no hurry to reach the office in the morning, but in the evening my main goal is to get home to my family as fast as possible and for that I require a much different bicycle.
Would I commute on the STP1 again? Sure I would, but maybe on a day when my family aren't waiting at home for me, because as enjoyable as spending time with my STP1 is, it just can not compare to the pleasure I receive by being with my family.
June 28, 2010
The Giant STP1, this is no commuter bike
Father of two, husband of one, lover of family, bicycles and running.
Urban Cycling Consultant, Tokyo By Bike.
Byron Kidd is the founder of the Tokyo By Bike website, writer, experienced urban cyclist, and expert on cycling in the staggering metropolis of Tokyo.
Working with NPO's and cycling activists to improve cycling infrastructure in Japan, Byron also operates internationally via a vast network of renowned urban mobility experts to promote Japanese cycling culture, and demonstrate how everyday cycling can work in megacities around the world. No city is too big for the bicycle.
Day Job, Software Developer.
Writing code and stuff, for games and things.