Jan 14, 2017
Help for Article and Life Vlog - Cycling Laws; What Do You Know? (Plus sub-questions)
Okay, so I fully intend to research this myself too. I'm in the process of putting together a life vlog based on cycling, which will also have an article posted on here. However, I would like some public answers, comments, and experiences, that I would love to read out on the vlog and quote in the article. So here are the questions. 1) What cycling laws did you already know about? 2) What cycling laws did you find out about? 3) What do you like most about cycling here in Japan? 4) What do you like the least? 5) What is the most frustrating? 6) What is the worst/scariest/dangerous experience you've had on a bicycle here? So for example, the other day I was cycling along the footpath, but my most frustrating thing to experience is pedestrians walking all over, some with their head in the phones. I had to swerve in and out of them because they were not paying attention, I found a space and cycled for 10 more seconds or so when suddenly a pedestrian shot around the corner right in front of me. I swerved to avoid collision and nearly got hit by a taxi. Shortly after that, my heart pounding and nerves shot, focus almost lost, I nearly got hit by a reversing van.
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1. - All bicycle need front light and reflectors - No cell phone or umbrella while riding (ignored by 100% of the mamachari rider) - You cannot ride on the footpath if it is less than 2m. http://www.mlit.go.jp/kisha/kisha07/06/061005/03.pdf 2. Tokyo Cycling club - cycling club for foreigner 3. There are cycling routes next to the rivier and lake. Easy to meet other cyclists if you live near Tokyo. 4. Many hills 5. Pedestrians that using their cellphones 6. I was riding my road bike down hill on a cycling path following another road bike and a saleryman ran in front of my path. I have to brake so hard that I lost control and did a 180 flip.
1) None (other than things I assumed to be the case) 2) Need to use lights after dark / no giving lifts to others on the back 3) I like the fact that my mamachari isn't an object of shame (which it would be back home) 4) The narrow roads 5) Talking about riding a mamachari locally; some of the stupid ways others park their bikes 6) Not had one that I can recall
1) What cycling laws did you already know about? None 2) What cycling laws did you find out about? Em... oops! I think there is a law that kids need to wear a helmet on a bike? I know from the angle of a driver as they taught us that in driving school. 3) What do you like most about cycling here in Japan? The weather! 4) What do you like the least? Cycling paths that end suddenly 5) What is the most frustrating? Same as #4 6) What is the worst/scariest/dangerous experience you've had on a bicycle here? Totally self inflicted: I decided to cross the train tracks with my bike when I was drunk and my bike swerved in such a way that the wheel got stuck between the track and the path... barriers went down, train was on the way... terrifying. Still not sure how I got the bike out of the grid, sheer force maybe!
1) What cycling laws did you already know about? Two functional brakes are required! I ride a track bike, and there isn't this requirement in the US, so when I came to Japan I had to make sure to set up my bike with two brakes. 2) What cycling laws did you find out about? Gotta have a light and a bell, no giving others a ride on the back (though it's not like people really comply with that one). 3) What do you like most about cycling here in Japan? The roads are in good condition and by and large the drivers are vastly more attentive and polite than they are in the USA. 4) What do you like the least? Inattentive cyclists and pedestrians, the biggest problem being people on bikes who cut out into traffic without even looking. 5) What is the most frustrating? As a pedestrian, it drives me crazy that so many people ride on the sidewalk. Unless you've got little kids with you or it's a road that's busy enough to be unsafe (Kanpachi dori, etc), ride in the street! I ride in the street 100% of the time and most of the people I see riding on the sidewalk really shouldn't be. Just because it's allowed doesn't mean it's what should be done. 6) What is the worst/scariest/dangerous experience you've had on a bicycle here? Way back in 2009 on my first trip to Japan, I was going down a narrow street in Osaka and accidentally clipped the side mirror of a car. The mirror wasn't broken, but there was a very small mark on it. The very scary men (yakuza types) in the car made me pay ¥60,000. I figure Osaka still owes me 6-man worth of good times in compensation. Other than that, cycling here has mostly been great. I once got 8 punctures in one week in Chicago, but have gotten one in the last two years in Japan.
I learned that cycle laws may vary. In my current city... Other than what was already said, the bicycles should ride on the same side as traffic. Kids and elderly have special privilege. I most hate that even the people riding with their kids aren't careful,m. They get on and off the sidewalk without bothering to look just to pass someone. Pedestrians get hit by cyclist and barely get apologies. Laws are enforced in some places and not in others. I most hate cyclists who smoke and ride by people.