Tag Archives: safety

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


Back to cycling in Japan’s heat

My summer break is almost over. I have returned to my current home in Ibaraki. Practically as soon as I got back to my home I was out on my bikes. Though I did buy a cheapo run around in the UK, I missed my regular bikes. So I went out on both as soon as I could.

The regular – I call kendama – I used to go to the shops on a 20km round trip to pay bills.

The giant – I used for a jaunt along the river route, which is my go to route when I just want to get out without going far away. I am not uploading route maps or pictures as I have already talked about these routes. This is purely a blog blog post.

When I told a friend I had cycled 40km that day she was amazed as the weather here is hot and humid. A real feel of about 35-40 celsius. But I believe if you are prepared it should be ok, no silly stuff allowed. I have suffered from heat stroke in the past and it sucks. So, I am cautious now.

I bought a new water bottle to make sure I had two good, clean ones for the bike holders. They get dirty you know. Plus I bought a helmet inner cap with a removable neck cover. Plus a neck water cooler, they are about $1 and awesome. The neck coolers do dry out quickly, but there are plenty of places to resoak them here. Here are some good points about the caps from Amazon.

I also have a bladder pack for longer jaunts, but I am not feeling the urge to do that in the heat yet, maybe next weekend when I have recovered from jet lag and before school starts. Here are some websites with more information about cycling in the heat. Why write about it if others have done all the work. Thanks though 🙂

4 keys to cycling in the heat
Protect yourself in hot humid weather
How it affects you and what to do

I really want to focus on getting fitter, lose weight, and getting up that damn hill. Over the summer I found out I have high blood pressure so losing weight, exercise, and better eating habits should help bring that under control. I bought a wrist monitor to check my readings and usually they are between above normal to high. The good news is I had an almost normal reading this morning after returning to cycling most days. Yeah. If it is not under control by the winter break I will see a doctor. No need to panic right now.

Keep calm and carry on cycling.