Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I can see clearly now

The rain had gone over the weekend. Having nothing useful to do, I walked up celebrity hill behind Denenchofu station, to see the now rapidly falling blossoms.

Oh look, folks on bikes. The guy is even on a road bike. Great, I have always loved road bikes, riding several thousand miles every year for about the last fifteen.

Last year, just after a couple of Japanese riders placed well in the Tour de France, I worried that the sport would become a popular fad and that people would bring their mama-chari "skills" to road bikes at higher speeds. I was right.

But that is a story to be continued later. For now I will just say that one cannot count on any realistic attempts to deal with the root of this problem---negligence, ignoring traffic devices, rules and laws (even the koban sitters ignore them when out of the koban on their police-charis), lack of awareness of surroundings, and lack of concern for others, lack of anticipation, lack of cycling skills, and a general incompetence on a bicycle. I have recently developed an actual dread before a ride.

Most "serious" cyclists, native and not, know to avoid the Tamagawa cycling path, at least until about 20 miles out from Futako-tamagawa. It has become deadly dangerous (some would say it always has been). So dangerous---including fatal accidents---that the authorities have decided to take action. Simple-minded, mostly ineffective action, but action nonetheless.

By the way, what would happen if a speeding car came around the curve ahead of these cyclists? Are they prepared? What side of the road are the helmet-less, glove-less riders on? (They should both be to the left---toward the camera here since we drive on the left in Japan.)


  1. Anonymous10:37 AM

    My pet hate are the 'bike salmons' who ride the wrong way up city streets (sometimes chatting on their phones), forcing you out into the road and avoiding eye contact as they pass.

  2. But that's about 91.3% of the cyclists---at least the mamachari-types---here.