Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Wow, what gives? Second post in a week about the softer side of normally wacky international relations introvert/part-time sociopath, and bane to environmentalists, my beloved Japan. What's up, my Nihon?

Awww, it's gotta be the international community on you for your current archaic and unnecessary whale-hunt, huh? Well, even with suspiciously-timed PR aside, I still gotta give you props.

This refurbished bicycle program for countries in need is so very cool. Japan is a country where you can hop off your bike and leave it unattended for hours with no lock and it's still there when you get back, or leave a $1000 mountain bike in Tokyo with a lock made out of what is akin to a rubber band to a Bay Area bike thief and no one steals it. But so many bikes are abandoned or otherwise discarded every year. I remember visiting with my mom in the mid-nineties and witnessing a garbage truck dump a whole fleet of perfectly good, but illegally parked, bicycles into its gob. I am so glad to hear there's a program to give these bikes another life, and help someone in critical need.

Japanese bicycles are bomb-ass too. I have a 21-speed Bianchi hybrid that often makes me feel like I'm towing a bus, but the ubiquitous Japanese bicycle has no gears, and those little things haul. And it's true what the article says -- the baskets are magical. I have two metal "saddlebags" for carrying groceries and whatnot on my bike, and I can never seem to fit as much as I can into one little front loader on a Japanese bike. I'll bet it carries grandma 5 miles to the nearest clinic no problem, and still has enough room for a bag of goodies from the market and pharmacy to help make her feel better. Proper.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Trevor said...

ah...bike riding in chiba-ken--one of my fondest recollections...

:)

January 16, 2008 at 7:59:00 PM PST  
Blogger Trevor said...

Wow--just read the linked article--that is awesome. Props to Nihon. Woot!

January 16, 2008 at 8:02:00 PM PST  
Blogger Knaak said...

BOO!

ha ha, no...


but bike, yes. Obviously from my perspective that's the way of the future:
Modular-hybridized self contained industry/communities floating in bubbles in outer space with a velodrome encirling about each like the rings of Saturn with citizens happly peddling, singing, and tipping tin-foil hats to one another.

ps. Just play pretend!

January 19, 2008 at 10:10:00 PM PST  

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