Monday, 22 November 2010
Put that between your legs!
A bike. This is the country to ride in! If you hit someone with a car in Japan, you're %$#@ed! There are almost no bike-lanes except along levées. Most people ride crap bikes, and none of them will fit height over 5'9". You cannot get your size. You have to pay a dollar or two to leave your bike at a train station. That bike is going to get scratched-up. Umbrellas and bikes are 'borrowed' freely by drunks (but only the crap ones, and you'll do it too!). Most streets are narrow, have no sidewalk, but have car, pedestrian and bicycle traffic. What sidewalks exist are used by cyclists with an umbrella in one hand, and their cell in the other. Not even the police know that sidewalk-riding is against the law. The streets have no names, are lain out without perceptible logic, and each corner is blind and acute. None of that stuff makes a country a great cycling destination. I won't suggest it is my idea of justice, but despite the abject stupidity of parents, pedestrians and cyclists here, few cars hit people, because Japanese drive in fear! What keeps traffic fatalities at a half in Japan compared to N. America, despite the fact that they drive as much, and on more crowded roads in mixed traffic, and poorly supervise their children, is that if you hit someone with a car in Japan, you're %$#@ed!