Friday, June 30, 2006

Another Tour de France

The first one without Lance Armstrong since 1999. This makes some happy, because they wanna feel superior to the so-called Johnny-come-latelies who got interested in cycling because of Lance.

I have enjoyed it for years, even though I did not pay as much attention to the Tour and other European races before Armstrong. Probably won't pay as much attention after him either, although I am interested this year to see if Jan Ullrich can win again. I prefer riding in any case, and if I can find appropriate convenient amateur races here that don't cost a fortune and take 14 train change and 6 hours to get to, I will ride those.

Until last year, we could see reruns of the Tour on TV beginning about a month after it finished. They did not show that last year.

Japan has a lot of commuter cyclists on "mama-chari"----old clunky steely bikes. They ride without watching where they are going, disobey traffic and other laws and regulations, ride on sidewalks and will run you down if you don't get out of their way. I personally believe that they are the least skilled, most negligent, irresponsible and dangerous cyclists I have ever seen and that includes in several states in the US, as well as in Korea, and in Europe. People there make occasionally make stupid mistakes as we all do, but they don't do it 110% of the time.

Cops are basically idiots on bikes too, waddling around not watching where they are going, putting themselves and others are risk of serious injury or death.

Last month, there were numerous stories on TV news about the big increase in cycling injuries and fatalities. They had tons of video showing morons causing bicycle accidents. However, that is as far as it goes. Nobody will take any action---especially the cops, who as mentioned are as bad or worse than anyone else, as well as being reactive as opposed to being proactive. They will wait until there is a fatality and investigate it, but will do little to try to prevent them in the first place.

I am back to riding 20-70 miles per day, 3-5 times per week. Hardly a day goes by that several people on bikes do not come close to getting injured or killed along the Tamagawa (river). It is due to pure carelessness and stupidity. You would have to see it to believe it.

I am extremely careful there, trusting nobody. I assume that everyone I see, in cycling gear on nice bikes, or on mama-chali, is a dangerous, negligent fool. I am rarely wrong. A lot of serious cyclists, Japanese and non-Japanese, refuse to ride along that road because of the danger. I ride early mornings before the main group of simpletons get out and wander blindly, which does reduce danger. But I never relax, never get off the brakes around other cyclists or people wobbling around with their head up their ass.

And especially, cops---one nearly ran into me yesterday. Two were riding along the river, watching the river and behind themselves---everywhere but where they were going. Both were on the wrong side of the rode. One was a stud, riding with one hand on the bars which helped him wobble even more. I came around a curve, but knowing how idiots often are on the wrong side of the road here, I had slowed way down. Luckily, it was enough to avoid a head on with this fake law-enforcement officer.

No wonder a lot of people prefer highways. There are rules there which are obeyed and enforced, and fewer idiots wandering around without watching where they are going.

Just a few minutes after posting this, I learned that Jan Ullrich has been suspended because of doping allegations..

8:08pm It continues to get worse, Basso has been suspended. Maybe up to 20 will be. Makes cycling look bad again, but if they tested and disciplined athletes in other sports--- major league baseball, football, bodybuilding etc.---as seriously as they do cycling, there would be few left on those teams. It's a real shame. This year's Tour is pretty much over before it starts. Hardly worth the bother of following. This will help the popularity continue in the USA after Armstrong. It's dead there now, I figure.

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