Tag Archives: giantcycles

New Bike, Lucky Break

This week I decided to get rid/sell my beloved Giant Bike and get a new..Giant Bike, but one that fits. Having bought a second hand one in the uk in my size I realised that it really isn’t good to ride a bike that is too big. Here is a great blog with symptoms you might get when riding a bike and why they happen.

So I sold my old bike and a few other bits and pieces, mainly cameras, so I could afford a new Giant Liv. I love Giant because they are affordable and well made at the same time, plus the shop I go to in Japan has amazing service. For example, as soon as I walked into the shop this week they handed me a bag of shoe bits I left there A YEAR AGO!! Not when they figured out who I was or when they rummaged in the back, but as soon as I walked through the door. Plus when I said I wanted a bike that fits the assistant said, “oh yes, the blue bike is too big for you”. WOW, take my money.

So here is my new bike…

Not the best pictures in the world, but I was too excited to settle and take better ones.

This weekend I went back to my old route of trying to get up that damn mountain, cold weather be damn I am going to start trying again. So off I set. I also decided to use a throwaway camera to record this event, unfortunately the camera shop screwed up the processing. So excuse the state of the pictures.

I got to the start of the Fudo Pass with no worries at all, a breezy 12km ride from my home. Flat and clear as it was a week day. Usually this pass is heaving with cyclists at the weekend. I decided to stop a few places on the way for photo ops.

Then comes the start of the ascent. On previous attempts, at least 6-8 months ago, I got half way and then had to stop for a break, then walked/rode the rest of the way. It is about 4km long and up. This time I wasn’t expecting to even get there as I am heavier and much more out of shape. To be honest I wasn’t looking forward to the up, but was really hyped about the down.

I got to 1km and stopped for water and then again at 2km. I was actually pleased with that as they were brief stops. While I was drinking a small branch fell from a tree right next to me. A morbid thought entered my head, what if I go over that on the way down..I might crash. But with little more thought on the matter off I set again basically walking and riding the second half.

Finally I get to the top and for once the picnic table is empty. I stop for a drink and a snicker. Then I notice lots of fur around me, lots of fur. And right next to me is a dead raccoon dog. Usually I am not a suspicious person, but with the morbid thoughts I had already had I started to think maybe I should go slow on the decent. Plus it is a new bike and the brakes may not be bedded in.

So off I set back down, holding fast to the brakes when suddenly on a corner right by the branch my front tyre gives up and goes flat. My wheel started to wobble and slide, but I wasn’t going fast so I could come to a safe stop. Holy crap.

Happy, safe…but now I have to walk down the hill in cycling shoes, new ones too. By the time I got to the bottom, 2km away, the back of my ankle was bleeding. I used google to find a bike shop as in my haste to go out I did not take any equipment to fix a tyre… There must be one nearby such a popular route.

YES…No 😦 shut

Dear Ms Friend who has a car… please come and pick me up 🙂 YES!!

Thank you Ms Friend, as I did not fancy walking 12km home in those shoes. Morals of the story:

  1. Listen to your instincts
  2. Carry fixing stuff even if you are not going far.
  3. Be nice to your friends (unless they are really annoying,then try your best)

If you are interested here are my stats and route on strava.com


Miyayama, Sannoudou, and a New Bike

I got a new bike this week. I say new, but it is second hand. I have been perusing a Giant catalogue recently and had finally decided on a bike that I liked…and there it was in a second hand shop. I have always liked their bikes as I was under the mistake notion that they were a British company from Nottingham where a lot of my family are from. And right now they are shouting…no, that is Raleigh bikes you idiot. So I bought an expensive bike from the wrong company. Giant bikes are from Taiwan, just down the road really. Bugger. Oh well, still a nice bike.

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It’s not yellow so I leaned it on a yellow post and put a yellow phone holder on it. The best thing about the new big phones is that phone holders are now big enough to hold my GPS. Being a road bike it doesn’t have a kickstand and I am debating whether it would be uncool to add one.

Unfortunately as it is a second hand bike I didn’t have much choice about sizes and that is important. This website explains in great detail about the right bike fit. I tried it in the shop and it seemed ok, but riding it is another matter. I will have to make some adjustments before riding it a long distance again. Like moving the seat forward and lowering it a little..just a little as there isn’t much room for it to go down.

And where to go? I decided not to go far from home as it was forecast rain and it was cold. Plus it is a new bike to me so I was a little nervous. This is also my first real road bike and I wasn’t sure how stable I would be. I ended up staying in the “tops” position for most of the ride, unless I was pretending to be Mark Cavendish.

I ended up skirting around Mount Tsukuba and heading to…

Miyayamafurusatofureai Park

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The route there passed by some shrines of course and the roads were nearly all empty. They were also flat and in fairly good condition. Here is the location of the park.

And now after looking at the website I linked to above I find there is a petting zoo! double bugger, I didn’t know that. What I did notice was loads of picnic squares and sakura trees. So, I think another ride in spring is called for, and a jolly good picnic or petting??


I ended up at the back of the park with an impossible barrier. I thought and thought..how can I pass by this impenetrable obstruction. *finger click* I will walk under it. And there I was among the trees, hiking trails and the birthplace of Abe no Seimei.

IMG_2278 IMG_2280 IMG_2283 IMG_2284 IMG_2287  See, sakura trees.

I wandered around a bit and bought some strawberries. There is a local produce shop there. Usually when I finish a ride I eat lots of crap, which has meant I have lost zero kilos! So after this ride I am going to eat strawberries.

After my persual and mini hike….by the way did you notice I kept my helmet on, weirdo, I always forget to take it off. Luckily nobody spotted me hiking in a helmet. Anyway, I set off back passing the site of the Battle of Sannoudou. The link is from Wikipedia Japan, but if you use Google Chrome it will automatically translate it. Ain’t technology grand. I found some English information here. I am not going to write about the battle as the two websites have all the information you might want.


It doesn’t look very ‘battle-y’. But if you are interested here is a map..

By the time I got back home I was a little sore. I will alter my bike a bit before my next jaunt or swap it for a Raleigh 🙂

And here is my mapmyride route.