Personalized Bicycle Key Holder

I was walking through Inokashira Park with my family this afternoon when my daughters spotted, this bicycle key holder.  My wife bought it for me, but before giving it to me she had the craftsman personalize it by burning my name into the reverse side.

I love small personal gifts like this, I love that when my daughters find anything with a bicycle design they excitedly show me, and above all I love my wife.


Subtle bicycle helmet promotion increasing in Japan

Mind the gap.
This newly painted sign at a nearby railway crossing warns cyclists to be careful not to get their tires caught in the rails.  I've not seen this sign before, but at this particular crossing the tracks don't run perpendicular to the road and as a result they're easier to get accidentally caught in.

I couldn't help but notice the subliminal message.  Can you spot it?  That's right, the helmet. Helmets aren't compulsory in Japan, but they are being passively promoted in a number of ways.  How long before the misguided start trying to make helmets mandatory in Japan?  

At the moment we have the choice to wear a helmet or not, I'd hate to see that choice taken away.


Yakult's Bicycle Delivery Ladies, 41,000 Strong

If you have ever wandered the suburbs of a Japanese city you have most likely seen, and inevitably exchanged greetings with, a Yakult Lady delivering probiotic drinks by bicycle.

In 1963 Yakult launched its unique door-to-door delivery system, the Yakult Ladies, in order to help customers fully understand the benefits of their products. Yakult currently employ over 41,000 Yakult Ladies in Japan, working from 2599 sales centers. The typical part-time Yakult Lady is also a full-time mother and as a result there are 1,373 daycare facilities near sales centers supporting the Yakult Ladies.

Travelling by bicycle, always smiling and polite as they pass by, the Yakult Ladies have become a recognisable part of all communities in which they operate. The personal impact of delivering by bicycle brings them much closer to customers and the community than if they delivered exclusively by by car or scooter. Checking in on the well-being of the elderly as the do their rounds, offering counsel and support, the Yakult Ladies offer so many additional benefits to society.

Even if you're not a customer, you will eventually exchange a polite smile, or "konnichi-wa" when a Yakult Lady passes you on her bicycle, which is something you just don't do with the local pizza delivery guy as he darts anonymously down the road on his noisy scooter.


sumo cycle chic

Sumo Wrestlers Attend Bicycle School in Tokyo

A sumo wrestler weaves his way carefully around a line of pins outside the Ryogoku Kokugikan arena in Tokyo's Sumida Ward on Dec. 7, 2011. Twenty-two wrestlers from the Hakkaku-Beya sumo stable turned out to improve their bike-riding skills at a class organized by the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). The class -- which included sections on maneuvering, crossing intersections and negotiating curving roads -- is part of the MPD's traffic accident reduction program, though this is apparently the first time the officers have conducted one just for sumo wrestlers. (Mainichi)



Japanese Mountain Bikers Turn to Religion

From the promoter's site:
For the second edition of Red Bull Holy Ride, 95 mountainbike downhill riders - including top riders from the Japan Cycling Federation Elite Class and downhill legend Filip Polc - met at the traditional shrine at Mt. Ishizuchi (one of Japan's Seven Holy Mountains) in Saijo City, for one a most unique mountainbike downhill event. More than 2,000 spectators witnessed some tight races and saw Filip Polc put his longstanding experience to great use in the final.

Wow.  Its a good thing that all Japan's "ancient temples" were built after the 1960's.  I can't imagine this kind of thing happening at the Pyramids, or Parthenon.  Do you think next year we wil see "Mountain Bike Down Hill on Holy Soil 2012 - Shred the Sphinx"?? Probably if Red Bull can pay off enough people.


Tokyo By Bike on Google+, Facebook and Twitter

Lets admit it I'm a terrible writer, you already know that, so I don't need to go into details.

So in order to get you more of the cycling news and information that you want from Tokyo and Japan, without being subjected to my abysmal writing, Tokyo By Bike is available on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.
Tokyo By Bike Google+ Page
I've primarily been using Twitter to quickly distribute interesting articles as I find them, Google+ and Facebook for when I want to pass some comment on the article that Twitter's 140 character limit does not allow.  I write on the blog when I've come up with something original that I'd like to share.

As writing for the blog hurts my tiny brain, the Google+, Facebook and Twitter feeds have much more content than appears on this blog, so if you're a user of any of those services please do check them out.