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 at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games

We're excited that Tokyo is hosting the 2020 Olympic Games! Read on to learn what we know of the cycling events and facilities planned for Tokyo.

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.

March 14, 2011

Miyagi Earthquake Update

It has been over 48 hours since what has been upgraded to a magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck off the coast of Miyagi Prefecture in northern Japan.  I have stories about my experience, but my experience pales in comparison to hundreds of of thousands of other people around Japan.

To everyone who sent their best wishes I say thank you, I am safe, my family is safe.  We've had contact with some relatives in Sendai, and are awaiting word on some others.

For cyclists out there I can confirm  the events in Richard Masoner's article "Tokyo earthquake and bicycles".

Right now, while I'd like to write I'm focused on my family and keeping life as regular for my daughters as I can.  I have been tweeting cycling related things at @tokyobybike, and more general observations about the situation at @byronkidd.  Until I have time to write more you can follow our progress  there.

Stay safe, cherish your loved ones.

March 01, 2011

Toyota proposes 250,000km of bicycle lanes across Japan over 5 years

An official at Toyota Motor Corp. has presented proposals to the central and local governments to install 250,000 kilometers of cycling lanes across Japan over the next five years in a bid to reduce accidents involving cyclists.

The proposals were presented by Akira Watari, a 63-year-old member of Toyota's IT & ITS planning division, which aims to reduce accidents and ease traffic congestion through intelligent transport systems that make use of information technology.

After conducting observations in Europe, Watari reached the conclusion that the installation of cycling lanes was essential to prevent accidents between motorists and cyclists.

"The establishment of cycling lanes is the most effective way to enable motorists, cyclists and pedestrians to coexist," Watari said.

The number of accidents between cyclists and pedestrians is 3.7 times higher than a decade ago, and as many drivers regard cyclists as a nuisance on the road, the suggestions from the Toyota official are likely to gain public attention.

In January last year Watari drew up standards for installation based on the situation in Europe. He announced them in the Japan Society of Civil Engineers' magazine Civil Engineering in October last year. Japan currently has no standards for installing cycling lanes so Watari made his own suggestions.

His proposals split the 1.2 million kilometers of road in Japan into three main categories: roads in urban areas, roads in non-urban areas and community roads with no center line. He also grouped roads in the first two categories into main and regional roads, and examined measures based on the various speed limits (under 30 km/h, up to 40 km/h, 50 km/h and 60 km/h or above).

Watari concluded that cycling lanes separated from traffic by fences or curbstones were needed to ensure safety on some 6,900 kilometers of city roads where speed limits of 50km/h or 60 km/h and above were implemented. On the remaining urban roads and roads in non-urban areas -- a distance of about 730,000 kilometers-- Watari proposed cycling lanes separated with white lines. He also suggested making cycling lanes in urban areas stand out with colored paving.

Watari proposed that cycling lanes be installed on a preferential basis on 250,000 kilometers of roads, excluding regional roads in non-urban areas.

via Mainichi