How Suburban Tokyo Promotes Cycling (without even trying)

Despite poor cycling infrastructure 14% of all trips made in Tokyo each day are made by bicycle. What is it about the city's suburbs that make cycling such an attractive transport option?

A Tour of Tokyo's Newest Bicycle Lanes

New bicycle lanes are appearing all over Tokyo, and thats great even if the lanes aren't so great themselves! We cycled as many as we could and here are our observations.

Fitness isn't a goal, it's a side effect

If you or a friend are cycling to get fit and not enjoying it then cycle to the shops instead. Before you know it you'll be fit, car free and better off financially.

How to Turn Your Old Mountain Bike Into a Tidy Commuter

Need a new commuter bike? Maybe not, because with a few cheap and easy modifications you can convert your mountain bike into a lighter faster commuter bicycle. Here's how ...

Japan's National Bicycle Commuting Ban

Strict government regulations and inflexible insurance rules effectively force companies in Japan to ban their employees from cycling to work. It's time for a change.

Cycling My Fuji and Fuji's Five Lakes

Climbing Mt Fuji by bicycle is a ride you have to put on your bucket list. The Pro's do it every year at the Tour of Japan, but us mortals can do it anytime we like.

July 07, 2010

Tokyo Night Pedal Cruising Video

Video shot at the June 2010 Tokyo Night Pedal Cruising event.  The Tokyo Night Pedal Cruise is held on the last Thursday of every month beginning at the intersection of Omotesando and Cat Street in Harajuku at 8:30pm.

July 05, 2010

We are cyclist. These are our FUEL.

I am blessed with a beautiful wife, who not only tolerates my cycling obsession, but actually encourages it.  On Saturday she bought me this t-shirt from Tokyu Hands in Shibuya.


OK, so the English isn't perfect, but that adds to the charm.

A couple of weeks earlier she returned from Shimokitazawa with a Giant t-shirt from Uniqlo for me.

Pretty soon my wardrobe will consist of nothing but cycling and marathon t-shirts!

July 02, 2010

Pedal Policy - Confused by Japan's Cycling Laws? You're not the only one.

 After being stung by a policeman for performing a right hand turn at a busy Tokyo intersection on his bicycle, as he has done unmolested many times in the past, Metropolis editor, James Hadfield, began to question Japanese cycling law, and the local constabulary's understanding and enforcement of those laws.

What he discovered is that beat cops don't have a detailed understanding of the traffic laws, the laws tend to be ambiguous and open to interpretation, and that these inconsistencies tend to work in favor of the cyclist unless they encounter an over zealous traffic cop or one who got out of the wrong side of bed.

Read the full article at Metropolis.

July 01, 2010

No need to know the law, but you must obey it

One of the most popular articles on this site is entitled "Of Japanese Cycling Laws and other Mythical Beasts" in which I express my opinion that Japanese cycling laws are poorly understood, inconsistently enforced and largely ignored.  At the end of that article I concluded that if you exercise some common sense, and ride safely you can conveniently ignore most of the rules of the road.  Because unless you are disturbing the peace, or present a direct danger to yourself or others the police turn a blind eye to most cycling.

This week Japan Times' reporter Colin Jones wrote an interesting piece on how the Japanese enforce vague laws entitled "No need to know the law, but you must obey it".  While not specifically about cycling law, although it does provide some examples, I was surprised to find that it  confirmed a number of points I had made in my article about the inconsistency in the policing of laws in Japan and goes on to explain why this is the case.  Most certainly worth a read.