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Tokyo Bike Fantasty- The Land Before Crime

Last week I went on a trip to Asia to visit some of the Boombotix distributors. My first stop was in Tokyo and Osaka to meet Fun Fancy. Donky and Katsu have been working to promote Boombotix in Japan since we started, so it was cool to get on their turf.

Bike-Japan

 bike commuting is a way of life

The bike community is vastly different than San Francisco. It wasn’t uncommon to see your everyday investment banker headed down the street in an upright sitting cruiser wearing an expensive tailored suit. The number of people riding bikes seemed to keep the clutter of the streets to a minimum. If people didn’t ride their bikes, then they would be on the subway.

Occasionally I’d see a messenger whiz by with a tricked out fixed gear. I knew there had to be a fixed gear scene here. That’s what LOOP magazine was built on right?! But the real shocker was not the track bikes; It was the commuter bikes.

Katsu was telling me that some people don’t spend in excess of $100 on a bike. Some people will not even do a major repair on a bike. They treat the all as disposable. The other beauty of this is that nobody even locks their bike. Not only is the crime non-existent, but the bike is such a commoditized form of transportation that you can leave it out on the city curb for hours and expect that it would be back upon your return.

Katsu

Nom noms with the Fun Fancy Crew over Korean BBQ

effortless fitness

I also noticed that the average citizen was very fit. The amount of stairs one would walk to take the subway regularly or to bike the streets combo’d with the simple Japanese diet definitely help with that. If only they could take care of their radiation issues over there and keep the Geiger counter down to a minimum, they’d have the fittest country on Earth.

Almost everyone I know has had a bike stolen. We put so much personal pride in our bikes that it sometimes feels like a personal attack when someone jacks you. There was something refreshing about this society. They looked at the bicycle as purely a transportation device. The bike is to transportation as a toothpick is to get food out of your teeth. This really is the land before crime.

Japanese bike

It was not uncommon to find entire families sharing a bike to get around town.

bicycle-parking

 

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