Sunday, December 30, 2007


Slippery when wet

Sadly, the greyhound bike didn't last me all that long: having completed the pilgrimage up and down the Yodogawa a bunch of times, it was thieved by some thieving villain in Kyobashi. Another kick in the teeth in a year full of them.

Fortunately, Adam chose to return to America this December: fortunate because, although it further shrinks my already-shrunken circle of like-minded scoundrels, it at least enabled me to buy his bike off him.

And this thing is mint.

The first bike I've ever owned with drop handlebars, it has wheels like razor blades and they just shave the miles away in next to no time. It is quite a steed.

What it isn't so hot with, however, is tactile paving.

Dan has been teaching a lesson in Umeda on a rainy, rainy day. Picks up bicycle from outside station and sets off down Midosuji. Steady going, looking for a chance to move from pavement onto road and put his foot down. Spies pedestrian crossing ahead with green man on the go. Nice opportunity to transfer onto road. Speeds up slightly. Hits patch of tactile paving, which, wet as it is, doesn't agree too well with mighty steed's razor-blade wheels and slick tyres. Mighty steed goes from being mighty steed to being newborn foal with bandy legs. Dan loses control and all hope of making it home sans abrasions. Miraculously manages to rescue himself from falling off bike outright, only to find that his compass bearing has changed and he is now heading due tree.

Dan and steed rebound squarely off tree and end up in a parody of a lovers' embrace on the wet pavement, bicycle- as is usually the case in such events- on top.

Brrr brrr

"Emergency operator, what service do you require?"

"All the King's horses and all the King's men, please: I've had a great fall."

Click. Dial tone.

Morose introspection thus far completed, I hauled myself to my feet and assessed the damage. Casualties: coccyx and gear shift. Ring out the old, ring in the new. Rode home with handlebars at new rakish tilt. There's nothing new under the sun.


I was wondering how long it would take before there was an accident. Sorry that I forgot to warn you about the slippery-when-wet thing. I had a few similar encounters in Shizuoka when I first got the thing, though never with such a disastrous finale. Good luck with the repairs, try Cycle Land Naniwa near JR Tenma.

Ha ha ha! Makiko (She's cruel like that)
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