Monday, January 31, 2011

Available at all major departmental stores!

This is how it is in Japan, the bikes are just beside the dumbbells on the very first floor of a major departmental store.

But you can't blame them really, with what seems like the majority of people cycling as a means of transportation, more are sure the join the fray. And as with all Japanese hunks and babes, they could want to do it with style and probably want to get it from a departmental store than some tiny little corner shop that only sells "lady bikes".

Hmm... Of course there are the mega bike shops...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Commuting overseas makes some sense!

I commuted to Asa Zoo, Hiroshima yesterday and boy did it make sense.

Firstly, comparing my friend who took a bus there, he paid about 900 Yen or about SGD$14  round trip while I paid nothing.

Secondly, the awesome view while climbing the above view was simply breathtaking! The picture doesn't do it justice, can't expect much from my camera's phone!

Thirdly,  I was able to stop at my own will whenever I want, when i want. I visited a few shops a long the way, and most were interesting finds! Making for a far more interesting journey to my destination.

So on ans so fourth, there are so many advantages to commuting by bike. I'm pretty convinced that the best way to explore a foreign land is by using a bike unless its just too far! Then maybe getting a foldie will do good...

Other things that I benefited from the commute: Acclimatisation, a good workout, enjoyed myself, got some bargain buys, got lost and found interesting shops/places/views, saved time, etc!!!!

tags: Asa zoo, Hiroshima, Japan

Saturday, January 29, 2011


(Check out the thin cable lock and combination lock, can you see the red piece of paper on the handlebars? Its a warning note not to park your bicycle there, but the next day I don't see the note anymore and the week after a new note is put on. Seems like the authorities are taken lightly. But then again what are they going to do, hundreds of bikes are parked "illegally".)

Cruisers like the above are nearly non-existent in Singapore, although I have seen one parked outside an MRT once. But over here in Hiroshima, its all over the place.

Just look at it. It oozes of cool, all over. Not unlike what you get when you see a Harley Davidson parked.

Its not popular in Singapore probably cause its so big(where do you put such a behemoth in your HDB flat), its probably heavier than your $100 steel NTUC bike, the long wheel base and weight makes it slow to respond and probably thus less nimble, we kinda need gears in hilly Singapore.

All the reasons are not valid in Hiroshima though.

Cruisers do look really good and with tires known as balloons and seats so big I have no doubt it is comfy! I want one.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Classics & Hair Stylists

Firstly the bike, definitely a very classic look. Think retro! Throw in all the bright colours, mess it up a bit, Chrome paint job, add that piece of cloth strapped to the frame's top tube(What is called? Toptube protector? Lol.) area and top of handlerbar and you are all set! In the world of fixies and cruisers, this classic bmx just stands out.

Now the Hair Stylists, well Hair Saloons are practically at every turn and I'm not surprised. The average Japanese's hair is ridiculously flaw free, I swear. Every person you look at, their hair just looks great! I mean I know people talk about the girls here all putting make up and such.. But nobody though me that their hair are awesome too!

I'm guessing its no coincidence that there are so many Hair Saloons... ANYWAY, now to my point. These Hair Saloons almost always have awesome looking bikes outside their shop, probably belonging to the Hair Stylists since I see the bikes there everyday. It has to be one of the following: Something that looks like a fixie, crusiers, classic bmx(above), Foldable bike with funky colour combination.

Never the common "mamachari", or step-through ladies bike.

For the Hair Stylists are the trend-setters. Get a stylish bike now!

Tags:  Bike Spotted, Commuting, Cycle Chic, hair saloon, hair stylist, Hiroshima, Japan

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Japan: Fixed gear crazy?

And yes, they can park their lovely special class of single speed bikes on a sign post. And ride them home at the end of the day.

They are single speed alright, but I have yet to see one person riding fixed. I have seen the purebreds parked outside shops with no brakes on, but not actually seen a person riding one.

All the minimalistic "fixed" geared bikes I see riding pass me at all flipflopped(Most fixed gear bikes come with flipflop hubs, google that!) to the normal tick tick tick ball bearings. Can't blame them though, I have rode fixed and its not easy stopping in a split second.

Have you rode fixed? You gotta try it one day!

In the mean time, Hiroshima is not exactly what you call "fixed" yet.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Green hornet

Was walking around the shopping centre and stumbled upon the cinema where the were playing the Green Hornet trailer... Looks good. Just like this bike here.

Wouldn't it be swell if we could just leave our nice bikes out like this? In the middle of nowhere, beside the pedestrian crossing.

If you think you see snow on the tires and seat, yes it is snow. Sorry for the blurry picture, I was walking along and didn't want to stop to take this picture. I was out in the cold for so long!

And the red path that says 自, its a bike path. The red reminds me of the many stadiums in Singapore, although it is a bike path nobody follows it. Much like how it is in ECP and Bishan park. But when it snowed heavily a few days ago, only the bike path was free from snow. Probably has to do with Tar(I'm guessing the material of the bike path) since it is a better insulator and thus retains heat better then concrete, which also means the snow that does fall on the bike path melts away. Leaving the concrete cold (if you know what I mean). Sorry to bother you with such trivial!

Ride safe!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Modern day Pennny Farthing

Came across this a few days ago, while walking home and it immediately reminded me of an age old Penny Farthing, why did this work?

For the front wheel, probably because the steering would be less twitchy, thus more confidence inspiring and therefore be able to take greater loads in the basket, not to mention a larger diameter would mean the wheel rolling over objects easier(think 29" MTB vs 26").
For the rear, acceleration will be quicker thus less effort will be used to start the bike providing an easier ride.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My current bike

This is my bicycle (given by the apartment I stay in for use while I stay here), there are many others like it. But this is mine.

I have been riding it more than a couple of times and have took it up a 200+ meter(in altitude) hill climb where the locals thought I was crazy (I was wearing office attire, ok maybe I am). Used it for grocery runs (yes brought it up the hill with the groceries just for fun), as transport to the nearest train station as a multi-modal commute and well leisure.I am loving it.

Monday, January 17, 2011

New lock!

This thing huge! It is one chunky piece of metal, if Ah-longs were to lock people's gates with this it would have sealed the people in. Cutting down the door itself would probably be faster.

I wonder if I'm the only one with this lock. Will do a review of it once I start using it, since its in Singapore and I'm in Japan.

Nothing but the best for my commuting bike, to let my mind rest easy.

Tag: Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit U-lock in Singapore (Is it the only one?), bought from Chain Reaction Cycling, Best Kyptonite Lock

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Choosing a market bike for commuting: Gearing.

My definition of a market bike is well... Something less then $300 dollars either brand new a second hand, and I'm guessing that is what the bike in the picture cost brand new, maybe more... But when second hand definitely less than $300.

Now clearly it is a mountain bike, a hardtail as purists call them. Hardtails aka mountain bikes with only the front suspension and thus a "hard" rear at the back.

Ideally, it will have 3 X 7 gears at the very least. Lowest gears to tackle the urban hills, maybe certain HDB slopes, wheelchair access inclines, etc. The highest gears for pedaling down the longest of downhills both to keep control (Notice if you are a on a low gear coasting down a steep hill your legs have no control over the rear wheels) and to build momentum for the coming uphill thus saving precious energy.


Grading this bike lockup, Grade C+. Why? Decent U-lock but not a great technique, The U-lock could have gone through the Rear triangle through the rear tires (unless the tires are too thick) so that the rear wheel (most expensive part of bike) can not be stolen. Front wheel is quick release yet not locked. Seatpost is not quick release thus safer, and bike is quite beaten up and definitely less desirable.

Till next time :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Full sus wild in the city!

When I say wild, I mean spotted and untouched by thieves... This is my neighbour's bike and yes I don't know him/her.

And I'm pretty sure this bike has not seen the any trails, in its lifetime. such a pity... But with such suspension, city riding would certainly a breeze. Wouldn't it? Curbs, potholes, drain covers broken tiles. Like driving a luxury car on a really bad street.

Would the weather get warmer so I can enjoy my commutes more? :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hiroshima and the atomic bomb.

Tell anyone about Hiroshima and they immediately go, is it the one that got bombed? The atomic bomb?

Yeah, that's the one. That's where I'm currently in right now, and boy is it cycling heaven. All except the crazy temperature... Its about 3 degrees right now... But still, many locals brave the cold and commute without fail.

Oops side tracked... Right, if you ever do visit Hiroshima. Don't even give the Atomic bomb peace memorial a miss. It tells the story of how terrible atomic weapons are and the effect of them on Mother Earth.

If only US gave up their atomic weapons for world peace I'm sure other countries would do the same. But why would the world's most stubborn country do that? The way I see it, the only way anyone would give up atomic weapons, if if everyone does the same thing.

That's probably never going to happen. Until then, the human race is at the risk of extinction.

Happy commuting!

tags: Atomic Bomb Peace Memorial Park, Hiroshima, Japan, Hiroshima Tricycle

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Bike Security in Hiroshima

Would you please check out the thickness of that cable that is being used to secure the bike the to lamppost? I think that is actually the same thickness as a telephone cord, might as well use string to tie the bike there.

But this is just how it works here. Bike thief is non-existent (I'm guessing) and a simple lock is all it needs to deter the most daring of thieves (being sarcastic).

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I wouldn't know how to describe this bike in pure words alone... I can't even imagine how this would stay on the ground when making a sharp turn.

In case you can't see properly there are actually two disc brakes on the front, which is insanely cool if you ask me. Overkill, but still cool.

It's purpose is probably to carry more weight in the front basket thus the need for an additional wheel. What do you think?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

First day in Hiroshima

Walked pass the touristy Hiroshima Dome to DeoDeo (A electronics departmental store) so that the other intern with my industrial attachment and me could get our Internet up ASAP.

First impressions when walking around town is that. LOTS of people here cycle! I couldn't wipe the smile off my face. The occasional ring of the bell, kept me spinning my head around looking for the incoming cyclist.

What really shocked me was that probably 50% of the cyclist here are female. Yes, that's right. And Japanese people really dress well. Boy would you love to be in my shoes right now.

Cheers, till tml.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Your personal parking spot!

Who wouldn't want their very own bike rack aka personal parking spot at your HDB void deck?


  • Its a very in-your-face, parking spot and that means if your keep parking there. People are probably going to recognize you and your bike. Thus, some people might, just might, stop the someone(a thief) fiddling/trying to get your bike.

  • Its beside the letter box, and a path with heavy human traffic. Making doing something unethical (stealing a bike) more unlikely.


  • It has plenty of space around the bike, thus giving the thief plenty of space to maneuver his tools around the bike to get the best leverage to break the lock.

  • This is an old bike rack(haven't seen the new bike racks at a single HDB(Housing Development board) void deck yet though), where having a short lock means only locking either your rear or front wheel. Leaving the rest of your bike vulnerable.

Will you park your bike there?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Symbol/Picture fail!

I tried designing a new header for the site. But look what I got!

Super cheesy and low level! I think i gotta change the background to something like a greenish picture... Hmmm!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Filling a swimming pool with a tea spoon.

Eco velo received many questions on how to improve a blog and the writer answered somewhere along the lines of "It's like filling a swimming pool with a tea spoon."

Which basically means it takes continuous effort to bring his blog to where it is now, and let's see if I can follow suit!

Now... I want a symbol/picture for this blog!