Back in the USA
After a couple of long flights and two days in Tokyo I am now back in the US until mid-January. Tokyo served as a nice re-introduction to reality, weather-wise, and I’m getting used to just feeling cold, all the time.
Tokyo also had an interesting cycling culture, at least from what I saw while walking around. First of all, the place is immaculate. Everything is well taken care of, and this includes the multitude of bikes you see. While old steel bikes are also popular in Penang, often they are devoid of paint and pride, often used as primary transport. In Japan the steel bikes were in pristine condition, and there were a number of people riding them around the city. With public transportation readily available, there was more a sense that they wanted to ride instead of having no other choice.
I didn’t see as many people riding folding bikes as I do in Malaysia, but there were a few, and it also seemed like whomever was selling electric bikes was making bank because those were everywhere, too. It wasn’t until we were leaving that I saw recreational cyclists out on a route, but there they were, clad in winter clothes in a paceline. Unfortunately my winter cycling stuff had been shipped to Malaysia, so I had to bring it back in my luggage.
So now back in the States it’s been unseasonably warm for the last couple of days, which is nice for my poor nose which can’t figure out if it wants to be clogged or bleeding most of the time. Soon it’ll be back to freezing temperatures, and the promised snow will arrive, making life on the bike difficult. I left my bikes back in Massachusetts as we’re traveling to visit family, but as soon as I’m back you’d better believe I’m taking my ’70′s Raleigh out for a spin. It’s been too long since I rode the steel bike, and I’m feeling a little nostalgic.
So, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you Loving The Bike folks. My last post of the year will be on the 31st, so I’ll have some of my winter-riding tips for the new year, but here’s a very important one that needs to be shared immediately: chamois cream before embro, never the two shall meet.