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.

June 16, 2011

How fast is a Mamachari?

Put a professional Japanese Keirin bicycle racer on a mamachari and how fast will he go?  That was the question posed by a viewer of a program on television last night.

To answer the question two professional cyclists completed laps of a velodrome and recorded their top speed and time over the last 250 meters of the circuit.  On their track bicycles they both managed a top speeds around 65km/h, and on the mamachari they barely managed to reach 44km/h.

In contrast, a comparatively unfit member of the programs crew completed the same course on the mamachari and managed a top speed of 39km/h.  Thus it was concluded that the top speed of a mamachari is more a factor of the bicycles gearing and geometry than the strength and level of training of the rider.

Obvious of course, but still entertaining viewing on a slow Wednesday night.