Tuesday, February 12, 2008

when in Asia, ride a bike

I borrowed my host's bicycle yesterday and tooled around the Kichijoji neighborhood for a couple of hours. Everyone rides bikes here, of course, but they don't wear special clothes for it. Guys in their business clothes. Gals wearing dresses or skirts, with leggings and high heels (usually boots).
I didn't fit in.
off for a ride
When it's raining, riders hold an umbrella in one hand and steer with the other. One senior lady had an umbrella holder attached to her handlebars so both hands were free to steer. I bet that's the equivalent of a walker - - younger people wouldn't be caught dead with one on their bike.

The streets are very narrow and property walls go right up to the street. Most intersections have mirrors so you can see if someone is coming from the cross- direction. I don't know if there are rules about yielding to the left or to the right - I can't even keep that rule straight when I'm driving in the U.S. for pete's sake. So I yielded whenever there was a potential collision. Good thing it was mid-morning on a weekday and light traffic, otherwise I'd just have to go for it and hope for the best.

At one point, I was on a busy road and had to enter the roadway to go around a truck parked in the bikeway. I navigated around fine, but when I entered back onto the bikeway I caught the curb a little and over I went. I feel like an eight-year-old with my scraped knee and elbow! Good times.

1 comment:

Luna-See said...


Wasn't it cold?!