Friday, January 23, 2015

Mean Green

After a great deal of thought and deliberation I decided to buy a bike for my stay in Japan. If you're a frequent reader of this blog you'll know that I quite enjoy my time on two wheels. It is a little different here, though. Many more people bike and being an urban area, the distances are quite a bit less. So that merits a different kind of bike.

Check out this hog. I don't want you to feel intimidated, but Mean Green is pretty accurate. I mean, you gotta be pretty tough to pull off a front basket as awesome as that one. 

Let me run you through the feature list as well as the sweet mods I've already made. The super comfortable handlebars are perfect for someone about 6 inches shorter than me. The same goes for the seat post. You'll notice that the fenders were stock as well as the basket and headlight (which runs off the tire generator). The drivetrain has six sidewalk-shredding gears, operated by state of the art grip shifts. For convenience it has a full kickstand and rack in the rear and an integrated lock on the rear wheel.

Not pictured is the 100 yen store basket I zip-tied to the rear rack for additional cargo carrying options or the rear LED light (also 100 yen) for safety. 

In all seriousness, it's a pretty fun bike. Biking is totally different here. For starters, everybody doesn't hate cyclists like in the US. These pictures were taken in the bike storage area of our hotel. The fact that our hotel has that, and that it's full of bikes, should show that way more people bike here. It cuts my commute down by 2/3, which for me, is well worth it.

For a while I toyed with the idea of spending more and getting a nice folding bike. If I did that, I would want to try to take it home with me. I thought it would be useful to have in the car sometimes. Or I could leave it at the shipyard and use it when I had to buzz around. In the end, I knew it would be cheapest to just buy the cheapest bike I could. It's going to be fun, but come the end of spring, I'll be glad to be back to my bikes at home.


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